I have seen my share of family heartaches, divorces, and family dissolutions in 37 years of ministry. What was rare in my youth, divorces and broken homes, has become epidemic in the 21st century. There have been rare instances when one spouse appeared to be the cancer of a marriage; however, the majority of divorces and family failures I have observed have come as a result of both husband and wife bent on “marital self-destruction”. Having officiated at many weddings, it has been my sorrow to observe youthful love deteriorate into bitterness and strife.
Because the emphasis of this devotional series has been primarily the older women’s responsibility to be “teachers of good things” (Titus 2:3), our focus has been the spiritual disciplines and feminine graces to which young wives and mothers are to aspire (Titus 2:4-5). Before I conclude the challenge to young women, allow me the liberty of a personal observation: The foremost reason for separation and divorce in our churches has been, in my experience, husbands failing to “love their wives” with a Christlike, self-sacrificing love (Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33).
In his letter to Titus, the apostle Paul challenged Titus to “speak [tell; proclaim] thou the things which become [befit; proper; fitting] sound [i.e. true; whole] doctrine [teaching; learning; instruction]” (Titus 2:1). My study of the eight tenets of feminine graces concludes today by focusing on what radical feminism would consider the most controversial of all…the older women were to teach the young women to be “good, obedient to their own husbands” (Titus 2:5d).
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].”
The “good” listed in Titus 2:5 is a virtue that expresses kindness, compassion and tenderness. Rather than the “bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour” (Ephesians 4:31) that often surfaces in a marriage and home, the Christian wife is to model a kind, tender-hearted, forgiving spirit as she has experienced the same in Christ (Ephesians 4:32).
To be “obedient to their own husband” is the eighth feminine grace older women were to model and teach to young women (2:5). In addition to being a command, a wife’s submission to her husband carries this burden: “that the word of God be not blasphemed [reproached; discredited]” (Titus 2:5).
Failure to be God’s kind of woman not only dishonors the Word of God, but is spiritually devastating to the home, church and nation. A rebellious, contentious wife dishonors the Word of God and makes hollow her profession of faith in Christ.
In summary, a woman professing faith in Christ should reflect in her words and actions eight disciplines: Sound spiritual judgment; unconditional love for her husband and children; discreet; morally innocent; a keeper of her home; a good spirit; and obedient to her husband.
Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith