“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2: 3-5 NIV
In my younger years, I desired to be the Proverbs 31 woman (and I still do). There are numerous studies about it (group and individual). There are seminars, women’s weekends and conferences, and now there are even blogs and websites.
As I’m getting older, I see the need to teach and train the younger women (just like I was taught and trained). There are also many books, conferences, blogs and websites about being a Titus 2 woman. It can be confusing and overwhelming, at times. Regardless, there is a desire by the “younger women” to learn. They truly desire to be Godly women, wives and mothers but don’t even know where to start. Perhaps it starts with one woman having a burden and desire for another.
I’ve been pondering the Titus 2 woman for awhile. What does it mean? How do I do this? What does it look like in my life? Is it even possible? Is this role different than being a Proverb 31 woman? Those are questions not easily answered but certainly worth investigating and thinking about.
I like to take things to their simplest level and then build from there. I also like lists (I think it’s how my mind works). After reading and pondering this passage, I realized that it’s divided into 2 main parts — what we are to “be” and what we are to “teach or train”.
To BE —
- reverent in the way we live
- not to be slanderers
- not to be addicted to much wine
To TEACH and TRAIN –
- what is good
- to love their husbands and children
- self-controlled and pure
- busy at home
- be kind
- subject to their husbands
Finally there is the “why” we do this — “…. so that no one will malign the word of God.” Okay so that’s 3 parts but who’s counting.
Okay, let’s break it down —
BE Reverent in the way we live
According to Merriam-Webster, reverent is defined as “showing a lot of respect; very respectful”. The Oxford Dictionaries says “feeling or showing deep, solemn respect”. Respect (according to Oxford Dictionaries) is “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements”.
To be reverent, we need to respect and admire people for their abilities, qualities or achievements. Oh it sounds so easy doesn’t it?!?!
That doesn’t mean that every one’s abilities, qualities or achievements are all the same. What’s wonderful about people is that God created each of us to be individuals but all created in His image (Genesis 1:27)
We’re also part of the same body (Romans 12:4 & 5 and 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31). We were created to work together as different parts of that same body; each with our own unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Let’s respect, encourage and support each other and praise God for those differences. Imagine how boring the world would be, if we were all the same.
Not to BE slanderers
To slander is to make “false charges or accusations”, “misrepresentations”, or “false oral statement” (Merriam-Webster). This sounds a little like gossip to me. I can hear my dad’s voice in my head saying “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.
Another word that comes to mind is disrespect. If we’re supposed to be respectful of others, then it shouldn’t necessarily need to be said that we aren’t to do anything that would disrespect others. Again, sounds so easy! So what causes us to be “slanderers” or to be “disrespectful”.
I know what my problem is — my mouth! James 3:1-12 talks a lot about taming the tongue. “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” – James 3:9 & 10 NIV. OUCH!!!!
Not to BE addicted to much wine
I certainly don’t want to start a debate about whether you can drink wine or not. Truly I believe that this decision is personal and between you and God.
What this says to me is that we are to keep a clear head. I can’t “be” or “teach/train” if I don’t have a clear head. If my mind is not focused on doing God’s will and speaking God’s words, I will not be glorifying Him.
To sum up what the Titus 2 woman is striving to “BE” –
- We need to respect and admire people for their abilities, qualities or achievements.
- If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
- Keep a clear head
Whew! My mind is on overload right now. How about yours? I think that we should ponder and chew on this for awhile and finish up with what we are to “teach and train” at another time.
If you have a story or testimony to share about who was a Titus 2 woman in your life OR how you are being a Titus 2 woman for someone else, please let me know. I would love to share it!
Looking for more resources on being a Titus 2 woman? Here is a link to a Christian Book Distributors search on the topic.