One set of verses that is referenced over and over in that book is found in Titus 2:3-5.
“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
I know that the very first sentence states that it pertains to the “aged” women, and while I don’t like thinking about getting older, I do realize that there are several groups of women who are looking up to me (besides just my children) —
- My teenage daughter and her peers
- The young college-aged ladies at church
- Newly married women
- Women just starting their families
And when they look to me, I want to be pointing them to Jesus. I would so much rather they look to HIM, but I pray that nothing I say or do could ever be used as a stumbling block if they do look to me.
As a mom of 7, and one that has been married for 10+ years, it’s pretty evident that I fall into the “aged” category now. And the more I read, re-read, and study these verses, the more I want to be this type of woman.
Let’s break it down, bit by bit:
The aged women likewise - We’ve already said who this pertains to: any woman that has someone who looks up to her. (In reality, every one of us can think of someone that looks up to us, no matter what our age or situation.)
that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness - What exactly does this mean? According to the Strong’s Concordance, behaviour means “a position or condition” and holiness means “reverent.” To me, this section of the verse says that we are to be respectful in all that we do. In fact, according to dictionary.com, reverent means “deeply respectful.” So, we aren’t just to be respectful in any situation, but we are to be deeply respectful. (Boy, is that tough – especially when someone cuts you off in traffic!)
not false accusers - This is easy to interpret: don’t lie, and don’t make up stories to make yourself look better. It is never ok.
not given to much wine - The word given here means, “to be brought under bondage, made a servant.” In other words, don’t let wine (or alcohol) control your life. I do not drink – at all – because of my own convictions from I Corinthians 6:19-20 - “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (For another really good article on why Christians shouldn’t drink, read this one: Seven Good Reasons Why Christians Should Not Drink)
teachers of good things - This is literally translated from the Greek as “a teacher of the right.” Wow. Tugs at the heart strings, doesn’t it? We should know what is right and what is wrong, and we should teach others what is right. Not condemning, not judging, but teaching by our actions.
That they may teach the young women - Why are we doing this? Because of all the women that have been placed under us.
to be sober - This literally means “to make of sound mind.” We should not let anything have control over our minds or bodies (I Cor. 6:12) except for the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
to love their husbands - Notice who is mentioned first: our husbands, not our children. Many times, when we become mothers, we make our children our top priority. They should be a priority, yes. It is our duty to teach them right from wrong, and love them. But, we must remember that God expects so much more in our life. We are to first love our husbands. Respect them. Honor them. If we put our relationship with our husband first, it will cause our relationship with our children – and everyone else around us – to be even better. It took me a long time to learn this lesson, especially after being a single mom for quite a few years, but once I “got it,” my marriage has become so much sweeter and better than I ever could have imagined.
to love their children - Yes, we are to love our children. We are not to belittle them or be annoyed by them. We are simply to cherish them. I can’t tell you how much it hurts my heart to see moms on TV or even on Facebook talking about how terrible their children are, or how they wish they could just get away from them. Our children are a precious gift, and they should be treated as such.
To be discreet - This word “discreet” has caused quite a commotion on my blog as of late. While the literal translation of this word is “self-controlled,” I believe there are many ways it could be interpreted. We are to be modest, private, and careful with the words we choose to speak. I know this is easier said than done, especially when it pertains to our words. The world does not need to know how angry you are at your husband in your Facebook status update. There are some matters that are better kept to yourself or brought only before your Savior.
chaste - Literally translated, this means, “morally blameless, innocent, modest, or perfect.” None of us are perfect. We are human, and we fail daily. But, we should be striving for perfection. We do that by keeping our standards high in every area of life. In today’s world, there are no morals. We should stand out from the world so they might see the difference in us. (And they won’t always like it. You will be called things like a “prude” – or worse. Don’t let it discourage you. As long as you are doing what you believe will please your Jesus, that is all that matters.)
keepers at home - This means we are to run our household smoothly, efficiently, and to the best of our ability. I will tell you that this is one area that I have to work to do. Laundry piles up, dishes pile up, and I can’t remember the last time I dusted the mantle. I have given this area over to Christ, and with His help, I’m getting better.
good - This means “valuable or virtuous.” Am I a woman of virtue? One that my husband is proud to show off? One who keeps her standards high? There is nothing I desire more in this world. I made mistakes in the past, but God is using those mistakes to help me teach my teenage daughter the importance of guarding her heart and keeping her mind, heart, and body pure.
obedient to their own husbands - The world today jumps all over the idea that women are to “obey” or “be brought under” anyone. We are taught the exact opposite: you are your own person, no one can tell you what to do. But, God’s word is clear: we are to be under our husbands. To love them and respect the authority they have been given.
that the word of God be not blasphemed - The world will use the Bible against you. I hear it all the time. They justify their actions by interpreting the Bible to mean what they want it to say or by using verses out of context. (We Christians are guilty of this too.) However, if we are living the life of a true Titus 2 woman, and a woman who desires only to please her Lord and Savior, the word of God cannot be truly used against us – or against God. If someone tries, we should have enough knowledge of Scripture to back our choices up.
The Lord convicts different people of different things. I believe He has called me to keep my standards incredibly high on many things:
- My dress. I have never seen anything wrong with wearing pants, but as I’ve drawn closer to the Lord, I have felt Him convicting me about what I wear. I don’t wear low cut tops (unless they have something under them), and I don’t wear shorts or short skirts. However, now, I have an overwhelming desire to only wear skirts (or dresses) when I leave the house. It’s funny, because I grew up going to a Christian school that only allowed us to wear skirts – and they had to be below the knee. I hated every minute of it and swore I would only wear skirts to church once I graduated and you’d never catch me in a skirt anywhere else. Look how far God has brought me…
- Television and movies. My television is not on very often, but when it is, my husband and I are both very careful about what is showing on the screen. Foul language, sex, gore, and extreme violence are just some of the things that cause us to turn off a tv show. Before we rent a movie or see on in the theater, we use Focus on the Family’s website Plugged In to see exactly what we can expect from a movie. This site has saved us from wasting a large amount of money. Otherwise, we would have had to leave the theater or turned off the movie. The same goes for my kids: they don’t watch a movie unless my husband and I have watched it first, or we watch it with them and can turn it off if need be.
- My words. Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt…” Always. I want to be known as someone who goes out of her way to encourage someone else, not bring them down or hurt them with my words. And this applies to all areas of my life: with my husband, with my children, with friends and family, and even with strangers. A smile and a kind word goes a long way, and I know that my speech can either please or displease my Lord.
- My disposition. I have always been a “Here I am” type of person. By that, I mean, “I’m right here. If you need me, come find me.” I want to help, and I want to be asked to help, but at the same time, I am very much an introvert and don’t make friends easily. This gives off the attitude that I am a snob or stuck up or, gasp, “holier than thou.” (Man, I hate that term.) I’ve heard it all. And it’s not true – at least it’s not what I’m intending to portray. I just have a very hard time of getting out of my “bubble” and getting to know someone. However, I have fallen under real conviction about this lately. I’m trying so hard to become a “there you are” person instead of a “here I am” one. I want people to know that I care about what they need, and I am striving to reach out and let them know… no matter how hard it is. (And it is hard!)
Having high standards in today’s world can set you apart, and the world will often let you know how much they disagree with you. I have even had Christians tell me that I’m too strict, and if I don’t back off a little, I will regret it. I’ve had people condemn me (good people) because I took a stand against a movie, a book, or a decision they decided was all right for them. I won’t lie, it hurts. But, I’m not living my life to please them or make them happy. I must live my life to please Jesus. He is all that matters.
If it were easy to stand against the world, Ephesians 6:11 – 18 would have been left out of the Bible. We are in a battle, and we must arm ourselves with the proper equipment.
I am so blessed to have several examples of Titus 2 women – Joan White, Deena Stalnaker, Elaine Stephens, Pat Lucido, Glenda Seay, Bonnie Michel, Carol Renshaw, and my mom. These women live their lives daily for the Lord, and through the years, they have all helped mold and shape me into the woman I am today, and the woman I am becoming. I am still far from perfect, and I still seek out these women for Biblical counsel, advice, or to watch how they react to certain situations. I am so thankful for each of these women, the testimonies they have, and their desire to live for Jesus.
I don’t know if this post has helped you, or even just caused you to think. It is simply what the Lord has placed on my heart, and I felt the need to share it with you. It is my desire that we all get a little closer to Jesus and hear His words for us.
If this post has helped, would you let me know? And if there’s something I’ve forgotten, please let me know that as well.
How is the Lord working in your heart? Have you felt His touch lately? Are there changes you need to make in your life, your home, your heart? Are you striving to be a Titus 2 woman? Do you have an example of a Titus 2 woman in your life? I would love to hear from you.