Young Men: Be Self-Controlled

d469144595722740c4523f5ab0bcfc58Now, what does Paul say about younger men? “Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled” (v. 6). The Greek for “self-controlled” (sophroneo) is an interesting word. It means, “be of sound mind, be in one’s right mind Mk 5:15; Lk 8:35; 2 Cor 5:13.—2. be reasonable, sensible, serious Ro 12:3; Tit 2:6.” (Gingrich) “Be in one’s right mind, think straight (MK 5.15), opposite μαίνομαι (be out of one’s mind, be insane); (2) of intellectual soundness be sensible, use good sense, be reasonable (2C 5.13); (3) of a measured and ordered way of life be self-controlled, be moderate, be sober (RO 12.3).” (Friberg)

There is a close connection between the first, second, and third definition by Friberg. If you are thinking straight (1), then you will be sensible and reasonable (2), and then you will live a self-controlled life (3). It begins in the mind and then shows itself in the actions.

Mark tells the story of a man with an unclean spirit who met Jesus in the tombs. No one could bind him with chains. He rent the chains apart. He was stronger than all men. Day and night, he was crying in the tombs and bruised himself with stones. When he saw Jesus, he fell down and said, “What have you to do with me Jesus Son of the Most High God?”

Jesus told the demons, “Come out of this man!” and then asked, “What is your name?”

He replied, “Legion, for we are many.”

Then the demons asked Jesus for permission to be sent to the pigs. Jesus allowed them. So they went to the pigs, about 2,000 of them. The pigs rushed down the bank into the sea, and drowned in the sea.

The people in town came out to see what had happened. “And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind [sophron], and they were afraid” (Mark 5:15).

The demon-possessed man was transformed by Jesus’ power. Before, he was running around. Now, he sits there. Before, he was naked. Now, he is clothed. Before, he was out of his mind. Now, he is in his right mind. He is thinking straight. He is self-controlled.

Young men, think straight, be sensible, and be self-controlled.

What causes you to think crookedly? There are many sources of crooked thoughts. A crooked sinful nature. A crooked world. Crooked values. Dirty movies. Twisted books. Twisted thoughts from your twisted friends.

Throw away the things that make you think crookedly. Flee youthful lusts (2 Tim. 2:21). Don’t be a slave to your lusts. Don’t give in to your sinful nature. Master yourself. Control your thoughts and your feelings. Discipline your mind to think good thoughts, healthy thoughts. Regulate your impulses. Renounce worldly passions.

Go back to God and His Word. With God’s Word, you will think straight. Obey God’s will in God’s Word. Then you will live a self-controlled life.

Young Women: Submit Intentionally

Bible Study

Sixth, older women are to train young women to “be submissive to their own husbands.” (v. 5) The word “submissive” (hupotasso) means “subject, subordinate.” (Gingrich) Submission does not mean inferiority. Many wives are more intelligent than their husbands.

Three men were out fishing when one caught a mermaid. “I’ll give you each a wish if you let me go,” she said.

“Double my intelligence,” said the first man. Immediately, he began reciting Shakespeare.

“Wow!” said the second man. “Triple my intelligence.” Immediately, he began expounding Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

“Wow!” said the third man. “Quadruple my intelligence.”

“Are you sure? You may not like the results.”

“I’m sure.” Immediately, he turned into a woman.[1]

Submission to your husband does not mean slavery to his wishes. Rather, submission is an attitude of obedience to God’s will. The verb “be submissive” is a present participle, “submitting,” indicating ongoing action. It is in the passive middle voice, “submitting oneself.” It is to be voluntary submission to one’s own husband.

Thus, Paul is saying, young women are to submit themselves willingly and freely to their own husbands. You are to be intentional in your submission to your own husband.

Husbands, your wives’ submission is to be a willing submission, not a forced submission. It comes from the willingness of the Christian wife. You are not to force her or to compel her.

Thus, young women, these are the six habits for a happy married life in Titus 2. (1) Love their husbands and children. (2) Be self-controlled. (3) Be sexually pure and faithful to your husband. (4) Get busy taking care of the home. (5) Be kind and good to everyone. Finally, (6) Give your submission to your husband.

What is your purpose behind all these godly actions? Paul wrote, “That the word of God may not be reviled” (v. 5). Do it all and you will give people no reason to revile God’s Word. The verb “reviled” (blasphemeo) means “slander, revile, defame someone’s reputation (TI 3.2) . . . (3) in relation to the things of God, such as the gospel message (TI 2.5), one’s way of life (RO 14.16) speak evil about, revile.” (Friberg)

Love your husband and children. Be self-controlled and be faithful to your husband. Get busy in your home and be kind. Submit willingly to your husband. Then people will have no excuse to talk bad about the Gospel. Your ungodly behavior will cause the non-followers to blaspheme God’s Word. But your godly behavior will cause unbelievers to honor God’s Word.

[1] “Women,” Hotsermons.com. Cited January 19, 2017. Online: http://hotsermons.com/sermon-illustrations/sermon-illustrations-women.html#sthash.gzQ7AV2T.dpuf.

Young Women: Maintain Sexual Purity, Efficiency, and Kindness in the Home

fjbs_women_having_coffeeThird, older women are to train young women to be “pure” (v. 5) The adjective “pure” (hagnos) was used to describe ceremonial washing and moral purity. It means to be “Chaste Tit 2:5. Innocent 2 Cor 7:11.” (Gingrich) The word “chaste” is the root word for an old word, “chastity.”

Have you heard of a belt called “chastity belt?” Chastity belts were widely used in the 16th to the 19th Centuries. They were designed for women for several purposes—to maintain chastity, to discourage sexual temptation, and to protect women from rape. In a time when young women suddenly get pregnant outside of marriage, I’d recommend a chastity belt if there is one.

Paul says younger women are to be pure or chaste. He means sexual purity. The context is the home. Thus, sexual purity means sexual faithfulness to the husband.

There is an old saying for both young men and young women. “Don’t drink, smoke, or chew, or go with girls who do.” Wild behavior is the way of the world, but not the way of God. God’s Word for young women is self-control and sexual purity. Young women, you are to love their husbands, to be self-controlled, and to be sexually pure.

Fourth, young women are to be “working at home” (v. 5). It refers to “one who takes care of the home, homemaker.’” (Louw-Nida) Does this mean that women are to be “stay at home” moms? No. The word indicates “efficient running of the household” vs. idleness in the household. (Marshall)

Paul taught a similar theme in the Pastoral Epistles.

13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. (1 Tim. 5:13-14)

Paul urges the young widows to stop being idlers, doing nothing but gossiping and saying things they should not say. Instead, they are to “manage their households.” This way, they give the Devil no chance to slander them. Thus, Paul compares the idle young widow with the busy young wife, managing her household well. That is what Paul means in Titus 2. Young women, get busy taking care of your home.

Fifth, younger women are to be “kind” (v. 5). The adjective “kind” means “Morally good, upright.” (Gingrich) In the context of the home, young wives are to maintain moral goodness as they manage the home.

The Six Habits of Christian Young Women

download_ink_liOlder women are to train the young women in the six habits. These six habits are to be expected from older women as well. At this point, I’d like to encourage the older women to practice what you preach. To teach something without practicing it is to lose your credibility. You should teach things that you yourselves are practicing also. If you teach a young woman to love her husband, you should be loving your husband also.

First, older women are to train the young women to be loving of their husbands and their children. “Train the young women to love their husbands and children” (Tit. 2:4). Are you a young, married mother? Your number one priority is to love your husband and your children.

Second, train them to be “self-controlled” (v. 5). The adjective “self-controlled” (sophron) is the same word in v. 2. It means, “Having ability to curb desires and impulses so as to produce a measured and orderly life self-controlled, sensible.” (Friberg) It refers to “being sensible and moderate in one’s behavior.” (Louw-Nida) To be self-controlled is to curb your desires and hence, control and moderate your behavior. Conversely, to lack self-control is to be careless about your thoughts and behavior.

Paul used the same word in 1 Tim. 2:9-10, “Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control [sophron], not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” In the Pastoral Epistles, self-control is a spiritual quality of Christian women.

Young women, be self-controlled.

Older Women: Bring the Young Women to Their Senses

t2-womenIf Christians behave, people are bound to notice. If Christians misbehave, people are bound to notice more. People are more interested in how Christians behave than in what they believe.

Paul knows this fact. In Titus 2, he stresses that godly living makes a positive impact to people. In v. 5, he writes, “that the word of God may not be reviled.” In v. 8, “so that an opponent” has “nothing evil to say about us.” In v. 10, “so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.” The emphasis of Paul is a lifestyle that makes God look good. Negatively, our lifestyle should not make people talk bad about our faith. Positively, our lifestyle should make people see good things about God. The key then is how we live.

In Titus 2, Paul instructs defined age groups in church about godly living. We have studied how older men and older women are to behave. We will now focus on younger women and younger men.

Older women are to teach the younger women (v. 3). They are to “train” them (v. 4). The verb “train” (sophronizo) means to “bring someone to be self-controlled, be sensible; hence train, teach, advise.” (Friberg) The idea is to bring someone to his senses, to make him realize the right thing to do; and hence, to train. (Marshall)

Has someone brought you to your senses? For years I’ve been using credit cards to buy things and pay bills. It came to a point when my credit card bill reached the skies.

One day, my mother told me that I should stop using credit cards. The banks earn high interest monthly while you lose money. Stop borrowing from credit card companies. Go back to using cash. After many talks, she brought me to my senses. I realized that I had to stop. Now, I’m paying all my credit card bills one by one. I live by cash and not by cards.

That is what the word “train” means. Older women, you are to teach young women until they come to their senses and do what is right.

Older Women: Train the Young Women

11162406474_7c5b64dc73_bOlder women, you are to teach what is good to the young women. That is your purpose. That is your ministry in church.

Do you know that you are better teachers than the Pastor? Reader’s Digest reports that “In later life, women can speak 20,000 to 25,000 words a day compared to a man’s 7,000 to 10,000.”[1] Husbands, have you noticed that when you got married, your wife spoke few words? Then 20 years later, she speaks more words than you do?

Older women, you are better teachers than your Pastor. God is calling you to teach young women. “And so train the young women to love their husbands and children” (Tit. 2:4). The word “so” is from the Greek, hina, which means “so that.” It is a word of purpose. Paul is saying, “Older women, teach what is good so that you will train the young women.”

Older women, you are “to train the young women.” The verb “train” (sophronizo) denotes “encourage, advise, urge.” (Gingrich). It means “to instruct someone to behave in a wise and becoming manner.” (Louw-Nida)

What are you going to instruct the younger women? Paul wrote, “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” (Tit. 2:4-5).

Older women, can you look around and find some young women? Will you obey God’s Word and teach them what is good? That is your God-assigned ministry in church.

[1] Reader’s Digest April 2005, p. 18. “Tongue,” Hotsermons.com. Cited January 15, 2017. Online: http://hotsermons.com/sermon-illustrations/ sermon-illustrations-tongue.html#sthash.DjnEnHH2.dpuf.

Older Women: Don’t Drink Much Wine

for_womenThird, older women are not to be “slaves to much wine” (Tit. 2:3). Actually, the word “slaves” is a perfect participle in the Greek—“enslaving.” Hence, it literally reads, “Not enslaving to much wine.” It seems that drinking was a problem in the Cretan church. Some older women in church were drinking. In reply, Paul emphasizes holiness. He stresses holy behavior—reverent behavior that avoids slandering other people and drinking much wine. Significantly, church leaders are required to avoid much wine, and thereby, avoid drunkenness (Tit. 1:7).

In ancient Greek culture, both slanderous talk and drunkenness were common descriptions of older women. But Paul here prohibits older women from doing these things. Thus, Paul is exhorting Christian older women against behaving like the ungodly women around them.

Older women, live a reverent life that shows your devotion to God. Avoid slanderous talk and much wine. In other words, behave in a way that honors God. Don’t behave like people who don’t honor God. That is how you impact this ungodly world.