Friday, October 03, 2008

Titus 2:3-5 (2)

The second part of my script from Wednesday night

And we see the results that Paul expects to see in the lives of the younger women which will result in good in the lives of the rest of the members of the church. The younger women are taught to love their husbands, and love their children, to be discreet, chaste keepers of homes. Paul expects the older women of the church to teach the younger women in the church how to be good wives and mothers. Isn’t that outrageous to our modern and post modern ears? But this is what the Bible calls for. For women to be loving, modest, Godly mothers and wives. There are seven things that Paul calls on they older women to teach the younger women, all of which complete this picture.

Firstly she is to love her husband. This is not a love based on the man’s worthiness but based on a commitment by the woman to love him and stand by him. This love is willing, determined love based on God’s commands for wives to love their husbands. I think that young Christian marriage is one of the greatest testimonies to the Gospel there is to my generation, and it’s the older woman’s responsibility to teach and model it, and the younger woman’s responsibility to throw off the shackles of culture and partake in it.

Secondly, women are told to love their children. This love will be, almost be definition a selfless and sacrificial love, one that again grows from an understanding of the Lordship of Christ in every area of life, one that again is a great testimony. This love is demanding as it will need to include every physical and spiritual need. This is the sort of love that Timothy would have experienced from his mother and grandmother that we read of in 2 Timothy 1:5. And, as we can see from Timothy’s life, what great fruit can come from the endeavor of a mother. These women are also to be discreet, the same quality that Paul calls for from the Elder and the older man. This good judgment in all matters should be something that is apparent in all believers, young or old.

The fourth quality called for is for the women to be chaste. This word means moral and sexual purity. It means marital faithfulness, it means to opposite of almost everything that young women are told to be by the media today. Paul calls on the young women to be chaste rather than lustful, chaste rather than causing men to lust after them, and chaste rather than pursuing sexual relations outside marriage.

Fifth, women are called on to be keepers at home, and this is probably the Biblical command under most attack from feminism. There’s nothing in the Bible that says that women shouldn’t work outside their homes, in fact this church is packed with women who work and are great, Godly, mothers and wives, but scripture is clear that a woman’s first responsibility is to her husband and children, that this is her highest calling. And what a high calling it is. There is nothing innately inferior about keeping a home than working in an office. The responsibility of looking after a husband and raising children is a high and holy one, and it’s a great shame that so many in my generation look at it with such distain. One commentator puts it like this: ‘the home is where the wife can provide the best expressions of love for her husband. It is where she teaches and guides and sets a Godly example for her children. It is where she is best protected from abusive and harmful relations with other men… The home is where she can find authentic and satisfying fulfillment both as a woman and a Christian.’ The next quality called for is that the young women be good, the meaning of which is fairly obvious.

Lastly, young women are to be obedient to their husbands. One thing I love about marriage, one thing that excites me more than most other things about getting married is that husbands and wives get to be a picture, an illustration of Christ and the church. Christ is the head, in charge, leading, protecting loving and giving Himself up for His bride, the Church. And as Paul says in Ephesians 5:24: ‘therefore as the church is subject unto Christ so let the wives be to their husbands in every thing’. I can’t wait to get married, because I can’t wait to live out Christ’s relationship with the church. This is our privilege.

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