Tuesday, March 3, 2015
In a previous blog, I have stated that vital growth activity takes discipline, work, time, and prayer. It is beyond our frail human efforts, but when we turn to God, He instructs us and answers our fervent prayers.
In verses 1-15 of Titus chapter 2, false teachers were denying the great truths of the faith. Paul gave Titus the task of teaching what was proper for sound doctrine. Verse 1 is rich and demands individual in-depth study. I’m intrigued with the admonition that believers are to “speak things which are proper for sound doctrine.” Paul uses the word “sound” five times in this little book and always in the sense that truth produces spiritual growth. What are the “things” that Paul is referring to? “Be sober-minded, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in love.” Ponder them. It would be good to consult your commentary. I found the dictionary enlightening also— “unmarred, established, firm, solid, healthy, fit.”
Let’s take a look at Paul’s Holy Spirit-inspired admonition to older women that is found in verses 3 and 4. The footnote in my Bible describes older women as those who no longer have child-rearing responsibilities. That becomes the ouchy part, especially with grandchildren. We look at their tendency toward sin and say, “Do we or don’t we?” especially if their parents are wearing rose-tinted glasses. However, I believe it’s always best to start with prayer.
Age makes some people callous, bitter, and cynical. Note the unconditional virtues that God longs to develop in women as well as men—Paul adds more to the older women’s list— “behavior that becomes holiness, …teachers of good things.” Why does Paul assign these strengths to older ones rather than younger ones? I rather assume it is because it takes a long time for God’s patient polishing. We will be old by the time we learn and apply what we need to know, apply, and do in order to be capable of teaching, exampling, and admonishing younger women. When we shine forth as gold, He is ready to assign responsibilities.
We are apt to find excuses when we are given assignments. Martha Peace helps us by asking pointed and introspective questions: What are your priorities of life? What activities and commitments do you have? What takes up your time? Are they biblically based? (Becoming a Titus 2 Woman). How do we figure in our plans, wishes, desires, conveniences? When progress becomes discouraging, our all-sufficient One steps in and assures us that His purposes, done His way, will not lack His supply.
Specifically, an older woman should admonish the younger women. Years of Bible study and experience enable her to pass on valuable counsel to those starting out in life. Otherwise each new generation is doomed to learn the hard way, repeating the mistakes of the past. While the
responsibility for teaching is put on the older women, any wise young person will cultivate the friendship of godly older Christians and solicit their advice and correction. (adapted) Believer’s Commentary.
(to be continued)