titusheader2Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to walk through the book of Titus and learn what the Lord would have to teach us through this great book.

Titus 2:2, “Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.”

The first rule has reference to older men. Older men are to be “sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.”

Seasoned older men should have the same moral characteristics as the elders and deacons. Titus is to encourage them to be sober-minded that is moderate with respect to their use of alcohol. They must also be dignified, that is venerable, serious, and respectable (1 Tim. 3:5 8, 11); self-controlled or sensible, that is men, of mature judgment and proper restraint (Titus 1:8; 1 Tim. 3:2); and sound, but healthy and even health-imparting: spreading health, moral, and spiritual in every direction (Titus 1:9, 13; 1 Tim. 1:10; 6:3; II Tim. 1:13; 4:3).

This soundness must be shown with respect to the faith, love, and endurance. Their faith, in order to be sound, must be neither luke-warm nor mixed with error (Titus 1:14). Their love must not deteriorate into sentimentality nor must it be permitted to wax cold (Matt. 24:12; Rev. 2:4). And their endurance must not be replaced by either faint-heartedness on the one hand or obstinacy on the other.

In their attitude toward God, older men are to show soundness in their faith. They are to rely wholly on Him and on His revealed truth. In their attitude toward the neighbor they are to evidence soundness in their love. And in their attitude toward bitter trials, they are to reveal their soundness in their endurance or steadfastness.

Titus 2:3, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,”

To the four requirements for seasoned men are four somewhat similar requirements for older women: “reverent in behavior, not slanders or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good.”

In their entire bearing as well as in their deportment, seasoned women must be reverent, conducting themselves as if they were servants in God’s temple, for such, indeed, they are! Note how “not slanderers” and “slaves to much wine” are combined. Wine-drinking and malicious gossip often go together. Older women, then, must be temperate, just like older men. They must not become enslaved too much wine. On the contrary, by their godly example they must “teach what is good” (1 Peter 3:1-2).

Titus 2:4-5, “and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”

Such teaching by way of example has one of its purposes– the training of younger married women. Hence Paul continues: so that older younger women may train the younger women to be: loving toward their husbands and children, self-controlled, pure, workers at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands.

One understands immediately that no one—not even Titus—is able to train a young woman than an experienced, seasoned woman.

Not the emphasis on love. The Christian young woman must be trained to love her husband and to love her children. Was it not love that saved her? This love, coming from heaven, being shed abroad in the heart must “Flow out” toward others; and certainly among those “others” a young woman’s own husband and her own children should occupy a very prominent place. The Christian virtue of self-control—that same virtue which is demanded not only of overseers (Titus 1:8; 1 Tim. 3:2) but also of seasoned men in general (Titus 2:2), is a most necessary requirement for any Christian wife and mother. Such younger women must avoid any immorality in thought, word, and action. Their attention must be concentrated on their own families. Not only must they be pure but also workers at home. The two virtues are related.

Now, while performing their tasks in the family these young women must take care that the constant strain of domestic duties does not make them irritable or cruel. They must pray for grace to remain kind, and this not only to husbands and children but also to slaves. Lest Christian women should begin to think that their equality in spiritual standing before God and the great liberty which has now become their portion as believers (Gal. 3:28) entitles them to forget about God’s creation-ordinance regarding their relation to their husbands (Gen. 3:16), Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit, adds that they must be “submissive to their own husbands” (1 Tim. 2:11-15, Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:4; 14:34-35; Eph. 5:22-24, 33; Col. 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1-6). Surely in the light of Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7, when the husband too is a believer, this is not a burden. And when he is not, then “as unto the Lord” makes the burden bearable.

A purpose-clause, in all probability quality not only the last requirement but all seven, is now added: “that the word of God may not be reviled.” This is characteristically Pauline language. He, in turn, uses it from the Old Testament (Isa. 52:5).

Wrong conduct on the part of the young married women would easily lead to slanderous remarks with respect to the gospel. Not only do the Greeks judge a doctrine by its practical effect upon everyday life (Chrysostom), but so does the world in general. If young mothers, professing to be Christians, should manifest lack of love for their husbands and for their children, lack of self-control, of purity, domesticity, kindness, and submissiveness, they would cause the message of salvation to be spoken evil of by outsiders. It must be borne in mind, moreover, that when Paul says “that the word of God may not be reviled” he means, “in order that the word of God may be honored.