Titus 2:1-5 Older Men, Older Women, And Younger Women In The Church.

In contrast to the false teachers that Paul has just rebuked, he now instructs Titus in the one task which is a remedy to the former’s infection-namely, sound doctrine (v. 1). Sound doctrine is always the one thing which will guard and protect the church’s health and life. First in order, he instructs Titus what needs to be emphasized with the older men in the church. Firstly, to be sober, besides referring to the obvious point of not being a drunkard, more broadly speaks to a condition of giving serious attention in one’s thinking, attitude, and duties. Secondly, to be reverent speaks to the respect we must have for God and others in the church, especially to those in authority. Thirdly, to be temperate is to practice moderation and self-restraint. Fourthly, there are three things which the older men must be sound in. They are to be sound in the faith, which requires that one give heed to and ascribe to sound doctrine. They are to be sound in love. The Greek word for sound means, wellness, wholeness, or uncorrupted. This is the love the older men are to have for God and others. Finally they are to be sound in patience, which means they need to be steady, spiritually healthy for the long haul that is the Christian life (v. 2).

Paul then turns his attention to the older women in the church. Firstly, as with the older men, they also need to “be reverent in behaviour.” Talk is not enough, this reverence must show itself in one’s behaviour. Again, this respect must be shown to God and others. Secondly, if one does respect others, then they will not slander them. To slander is to bear false witness of another to the detriment of their good name and reputation. Thirdly, just as the older men must be sober, the older women must not “be given to much wine” (v. 3). It is important to note however, that Paul does not say that they must not be given to any wine. Fourthly, they should be “teachers of good things-that they admonish the young women” (v. 4a). It is also important to note here that Paul has a specific emphasis in mind-the teaching of younger women, so he is not contradicting himself when he also said that he does not permit a woman to teach or have authority over men in the church (Cf. I Tim. 2:11-12). Firstly, the older women are to teach the younger women “to love their husbands, to love their children” (v. 4b). Christian love ought to begin in the home, and to be a homemaker is an honourable and necessary calling.

Secondly, as an expression of that love they are to have for their husbands, they are to be “obedient to their own husbands.” As to their character, first of all they are to be discreet, which means to be “careful and circumspect in one’s speech or actions, especially in order to avoid causing offense or to gain an advantage” (google). Secondly, they are to be chaste, which is to be “virtuous, pure from unlawful sexual intercourse” (Dictionary.com). The younger women are also to be ‘good’. Again, as teachers of good things, the older women must themselves be good, giving the younger women an example to follow. All of these qualities, character traits, and behavior, have a direct bearing on the attitude and response which people will have toward the word of God. If the behavior of the people of God is not as it should be, those outside the faith will blaspheme the word of God, which is a failure to show it the respect which it deserves. To blaspheme the word of God is to blaspheme His name, which is to blaspheme Him. As Paul noted in his letter to the Romans, to fail to keep God’s word, is to give those outside an excuse to blaspheme (2:24). We ought not to give anyone cause for doing so.

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