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Message of the Day: Growing Gracefully and Reverently, Pt. 2

“…the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” (Titus 2:3-5, NKJV)

Image courtesy of http://www.mudpreacher.og

The same moral standard standards applied to women as to men. Both Judaism and ancient moralists stressed that wives should love their husbands and nurture their children; many tomb inscriptions report these characteristics as a woman’s crowning virtue.

The term “discreet” (v.5) means “self-controlled” or disciplined (temperate, v. 2), one of the central Greek virtues; when applied to women, it meant “modesty” and hence indicated virtuously avoiding any connotations of sexual infidelity. In the Greek ideal, women were also to be secluded in the privacy of their home, because they were supposed to be the visual property of their husbands alone. They ruled the domestic sphere to which they were limited but had t obey their husbands in everything.

Paul only says they are to be “submissive” rather than “obedient”; women were also expected to be quiet, docile and socially retiring. To violate such social customs was to lend credence to the charge that Christianity was socially subversive, a charge that would provoke more persecution for the small but growing faith then most of them, both women and men, would felt it worth.

Thus, Older women, just like the older men of 2:2, should be a good example so younger women are more likely to benefit from their advice and learn how to carry out their responsibilities in the home. This shows Paul’s deep spiritual concern behind these ethical instructions. His concern is that Christian living should help rather than hinder the spread of the gospel.

Sources:

Keener, Craig S. The Bible Background Commentary. New Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

Olive Tree Bible Software, 1998-2020.

Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Grand rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999.

http://www.biblegateway.com

http://www.mudpreacher.org

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