In earlier devotions we have reflected on the apostle Paul’s exhortation to Titus that he would challenge and instruct four age groups in the churches; older men, older women, young women and young men. Having considered the challenge to the “aged men” and the “aged women”, we turn our focus to eight “good things” (Titus 2:3) the “aged women” were to teach “young women” (Titus 2:4-5).
Who were the “young women”? I have suggested the “aged women” were beyond age-bearing and age-rearing years (50 years and older); therefore, for the sake of our study, I will categorize the “young women” as women of marriageable age, in the child-bearing and child-rearing years (up to 50 years old). The “aged women” (whose character was the subject of my May 11, 2016 study) were to instruct the “young women” in eight spiritual disciplines.
Titus 2:4-5 – That they [older women] may teach the young women to be sober [exercising sound judgment; prudent], to love [be affectionate for] their husbands, to love [affectionate for] their children, 5 To be discreet [soberminded], chaste [holy; pure from carnality; free from evil], keepers at [workers in the] home, good [honorable; pleasing to God], obedient [subordinate to; ranking under; submitting] to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed [reproached; discredited].
“To be sober” is the first spiritual discipline older women were to teach the younger women. A “sober” woman is by definition a sensible, well-mannered woman of good judgment. In a culture dominated by scurrilous young women like Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swfit and Ariana Grande who serve as the antithesis of a “sober” women (2:4a), our churches are desperate for women who will model and teach the young women “to be sober”.
The aged women were also to challenge the young women to “love their husbands” (2:4). While the husband is commanded to love his wife with a self-sacrificing love, “as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:22), the young wives were to be taught to embrace their roles as their husband’s helpmeet (Genesis 2:18) and love him with an affection she would show to none other.
The third discipline the older women were to impart to the younger women was “to love their children” (2:4). One would think this discipline is a natural, maternal instinct; however, when you remember the sinfulness of the human heart and our society’s tolerance, even its celebration of abortions, we realize the necessity of older women teaching young women to “love their children”. 21st century mothers are facing enormous pressures to be everything but loving moms; however, apart from her relationship with the LORD and her husband, a young woman’s responsibility to her children is supreme. Provide for them, teach them, discipline them, and pray for them.
In my opinion, too many couples are pouring their energies into careers, pleasures and pets and failing to aspire to the highest role—parenting eternal souls!
I will continue this devotional study in Titus 2 tomorrow.
Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith