|The Apostle Paul
sent Titus to Crete to complete the process of stabilizing a congregation
of Christian believers on the island of Crete. These believers were living
in a culture described as “liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” (Titus 1:13)
The men and women of Crete needed to be taught God’s way of life--to be
transformed in their thinking and behavior. (Romans 12:2)
Titus was instructed what to teach older men, older women, and the younger members of God’s elect whether slave or free. (Titus 1:1,2,3,4,6,9)
The instructions to mature Christian women are about passing on Christ-like virtues to the next generation.
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)
We older Christian women have a responsibility to model Christ-like behavior. These qualities are not “feminine” qualities; they are Christian qualities. God has called us to a life of holiness. We worship God through Jesus and show that worship as we yield to the work of the Holy Spirit which produces love and loving actions in us. Reverence toward God includes submission to The Greatest Commandment:
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
We are expected to know the will of God through the Scriptures; we are expected to practice the will of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, through the grace of the Lord Jesus; and in our maturity, we are expected to pass on what we have learned to our younger sisters-in-Christ.
Mature Christian women are to “be reverent in the way they live” or, to put it another way, “’to practice the presence of God’ and to allow their sense of his presence to permeate their whole lives.” (Quote from John Stott, The Message of I Timothy and Titus, The Bible Speaks Today.)
They, as we Christian women today, must not be in the habit of drinking alcohol to excess (or be addicted to any other substance.) We have a responsibility to manage our speech. The habits of their, and our, culture of lies and slander have to be replaced with speech that teaches “whatever is good.” This includes the same sound teaching about the gospel message and the truth of Scripture that Paul himself taught. When older women have learned these lessons, they are expected to teach the younger women.
Everything a mature Christian woman says,
does, or teaches is expected to honor God and uphold his glorious reputation.
Editor’s Note: The March issue will
focus on what the younger women are to be taught.
For the Scripture References and
related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible
Study Guide: Be Reverent