We transition in our study of Titus 2 from a focus on the “aged men” to the “aged women” Titus was to instruct in the churches.
Titus 2:3 – “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;”
Who are the “aged women”? I suggest they are past the childbearing and child-rearing years of life. I think we can safely say the “aged women” of our day would be 50 years or older, having reared their own children to adulthood.
Having instructed Titus to challenge the “aged men” of the church (2:2), the apostle now encourages the young preacher to exhort the “aged women” to aspire to four godly traits.
Titus 2:3 – The aged women [old women; note – 1 Timothy 5:2] likewise [in like manner; in the same way…as the older men], that they be in [in earnest; about] behaviour [demeanor; i.e. condition; manner of life] as becometh holiness [reverence; suitable; i.e. worthy of character; holy], not false accusers [slanderer; malicious gossips; note – 1 Timothy 3:11], not given [servants; enslaved; in bondage] to much wine, teachers of good things [i.e. teacher of the right, good or what is beautiful];”
The first trait of “aged women” was they were to be holy in demeanor [“in behaviour as becometh holiness”], models of godly character in their bearing and whole manner of life. In word, deeds, dress and personal disciplines, the “aged women” were to be portraits of holiness. Paul instructed the same in his letter to Timothy when he writes:
1 Timothy 2:9-10 – “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest [goodly and proper] apparel, with shamefacedness [reverence; modest, rather than brazen and irreverent] and sobriety [discreet; good judgment and restraint]; not with broided hair [elaborate weaves with], or gold, or pearls, or costly [expensive] array; 10 But (which becometh [befits] women professing godliness) with good works.”
Secondly, the “aged women” were to be cautious in conversation [“not false accusers”]. They were not to be numbered among those who have a proclivity to gossip and tale bearing. Not unlike our own day, Paul described some women in the early church as “idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not” (1 Timothy 5:13). The “aged women” were to not be in the company of slanderers or gossips.
Thirdly, the “aged women” were to be free from intoxicants [“not given to much wine”]. Some aged women, perhaps because of the loneliness of old age, had turned to “much wine” to dull their sorrows. As one who frequently visits nursing homes and shut-ins, I have seen more than my share of elderly men and women who, having been all but forgotten by their loved ones, fell into what John Bunyan described in “The Pilgrim’s Progress” as the “slough of despondency” [described as melancholy in the early 20th century and today defined as depression].
There are a growing number of professing Christians who champion strong drink as an expression of Christian liberty in spite of numerous biblical arguments against Christians indulging in the use of wine, beer and alcohol. Giving little thought to the Bible’s admonitions concerning intoxicants that impede one’s judgment or the historical reality that wine in ancient times was not only far less alcoholic than our own day, but was also watered down for consumption, some who defend their indulgence, will tomorrow mourn their influence in their children and friends.
Finally, the “aged women” were to be “teachers of good things” (Titus 2:3). They were to teach the “younger women” (2:4-5) by word and example.
My next devotional will focus on the “good things” the “aged women” were to teach the “young women” (Titus 2:4-5).
Have a blessed day!
Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith