Titus 2:5 Commentary


ADORNING THE DOCTRINE OF GOD
Click chart to enlarge
Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
See Summary Chart by Charles Swindoll
Chart below from Michael J. Penfold

Focus

Appoint Elders

Set Things in Order

Divisions

Ordain
Qualified Elders 
Titus 1:1-9+

Rebuke
False Teachers
Titus 1:10-16+

Speak
Sound Doctrine
Titus 2:1-15+

Maintain
Good Works
Titus 3:1-15+

Topics

Protection of
Sound Doctrine

Practice of
Sound Doctrine

Topics

Organization

Offenders

Operation

Obedience

Place 

Probably Written from either Corinth or Nicopolis (cf. Titus 3:12).

Time 

Circa 63 AD

   Modified from Talk Thru the Bible

Titus 2:5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: sophronas hagnas oikourgous agathas, hupotassomenav (PPPFPA) tois idiois andrasin, hina me to logos tou theou blasphemetai. (3SPPI)

Amplified: To be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

KJV: To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Phillips: to be sensible and chaste, home-lovers, kind-hearted and willing to adapt themselves to their husbands - a good advertisement for the Christian faith. (Phillips: Touchstone)

NLT: to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Wuest: to be discreet, chaste, workers at home, kind, in subjection to their own husbands with implicit obedience, in order that the word of God may not be reproachfully spoken of.   (Eerdmans Publishing - used by permission)  

Young's Literal: sober, pure, keepers of their own houses, good, subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be evil spoken of.

SENSIBLE: sophronas :

To be self-controlled (Amp)

sober (YLT)

discreet (KJV)

to live wisely (NLT)

to use good judgment (GWT)

They can teach younger women to be wise (ICB)

to be wise in mind (BBE)

temperate (Geneva)

LIVING LIKE YOU HAVE
A "SAVED MIND"

Paul writes "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.." (2Co 5:17+) As a young woman who believes in Jesus Christ, you are a new creation, a new creature and have a new mind, the mind of Christ (1Co 2:17+) which gives you a new perspective on this short life (Ps 144:4, 39:5) and a new motivation to imitate your Bridegroom, Jesus (1Co 11:1+, see Walking Like Jesus Walked!)

Sensible (4998) (sophron) has the idea that they now have "saved" minds (derived from sozo = save + phren = mind) and a saved mind should lead to right thinking which leads to right living ("good deeds"). This means having a sense of what is appropriate for them as Christians and avoiding extremes. Such individuals should exhibit self restraint in their passions and desires. They should not allow evil conditions of Crete, including the immorality or foolishness that was rampant, to distract them and win over their attention and their interests. A modern day application would be "Don't soak your mind with soap operas for this wrong thinking could lead to wrong actions." Remember that ones outlook (or "uplook" for believers) determines one's outcome; and if a person is not thinking rightly, he will not act properly. Note that this same quality of sensibility or one who is in control of oneself should characterize elders (Titus 1:8-note), all older men (Titus 2:2-note), and, in fact, all believers (Titus 2:12-note uses related word sophronos). Common sense and good judgment should improve with age, but they should be evident even in early adulthood.

Sophron - 4x - 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8; Titus 2:2; Titus 2:5

A sensible young women is in command of her mind. She has control of the things she thinks about and does. She does not allow circumstances or the immorality or foolishness of others to distract her and gain her attention and interest. She not only does not become involved in things that are outright immoral and unspiritual but also avoids things that are trivial, foolish, and unproductive. She knows her priorities and is devoted to them.

Spurgeon notes that this "exhortation is as necessary in London as it was in Crete. Young men often know a great deal, or think they do; and they are very apt to be intoxicated with the idea of knowing so much, and being able to do so much, so that the exhortation to them is to “be sober minded."

John Phillips - Moreover, the older women can teach the younger women how "to be discreet." (KJV) The word translated "discreet" means "sensible, self-controlled." Most parents do their fair share of foolish things in bringing up their children. They might overindulge them or overdiscipline them. They might threaten and then fail to do what they say they will do. They might break promises. They might play favorites or take sides. The wonder is that any children survive and become useful members of the community and functioning members of the body of Christ.
The classic example of foolish parents in the Old Testament is found in the story of Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac was placid, pliable, and, in later years, carnal and self-indulgent. His son, Esau, had long since learned how to get what he wanted from his father. Rebekah, on the other hand, was determined and tough-minded. She had been badly betrayed once, and she never forgot it (Gen. 26:6-11). She, too, knew how to trade on Isaac's weaknesses and was not overscrupulous about telling the truth. Moreover, she had a soft spot in her heart for her clever and wily younger son, Jacob. What Rebekah needed was a wise older woman to counsel and teach her. It is a great pity that she never knew her mother-in-law, for Sarah had traveled through the same troubled domestic waters not once but twice (Gen. 12:10-20; 20:1-18). She did not let that stop her from holding her husband in high honor (1 Peter 3:6). Sarah could have taught Rebekah how to be sensible and self-controlled. It is a great advantage for young mothers to have wise, saintly older women to teach and counsel them. Preaching and pastoral counseling have their roles, but some problems and pressures are best resolved when women talk to women. (Exploring the Pastoral Epistles)

R C H Lenski - Whom they are to teach and what follows in a purpose clause: “in order that they may make sober-minded the young women (feminine adjective) to be devoted to husbands,” etc. This verb repeats the adjective “sober-minded” which occurred in v. 2 as well as the one that follows here in v. 5 and means “with sober-mindedness to make others sober-minded.” We see how great a stress Paul lays on sober-mindedness; in fact, the young men are also “to be sober-minded.” Christianity lends balance of mind to all its members, old and young, men and women, and fortifies them against all flighty deceivers who would unsettle them.
Seven items are noted in the case of the young women; the first two are a pair: “devoted to husbands, devoted to children,” husband-lovers, children-lovers; these two are themselves a sermon for young women: truly affectionate wives and mothers, an ideal so sadly missing today. Now we again have “sober-minded,” and with “chaste” or “pure” in every way these two form a pair. The same applies also to the next two: οἰκουργούς (or οἰκουρούς), “caring, working for the home” (or “keeping at home,” domestic, the reading varies), their home is to be their kingdom. With this goes ἀγαθάς, “good” in the sense of doing what is good and beneficial to others (here husband and children). This is a picture of homebodies and housekeepers as they dispense all good things in this domain. Homes that have such wives and such mothers are good homes, especially when they are filled with the Christian spirit.
We have a seventh item: “subjecting themselves to their own husbands,” a matter that is constantly stressed by Paul lest anyone think that the gospel altered the relation between husband and wife. Paul’s fullest presentation is found in Eph. 5:22, 23, in the light of which all his other brief references should be read. These things the old women must teach the younger. The texts vary between the subjunctive σωφρονίζωσι and the indicative σωφρονίζουσι. The latter is not a “corruption” or a mistake in copying but the beginning of the use of the present indicative after ἵνα, which is common in the later Greek (R. 984, bottom).
Paul has more to say regarding the young women than regarding any other class of members. Why this is the case is indicated by the purpose clause which, however, extends back also to the old women because they are to be qualified for producing all this sober-mindedness in the young women. If the women fail in what Paul here asks, he fears “lest the Word of God be blasphemed,” lest the whole gospel be vilified. So much depends on the women, in great part on the young women, of the church. The world will to a great extent judge the churches by the character which the gospel produces in the women. (Interpretation of St Paul's Epistle to Timothy, Titus)

PURE: hagnas 

chaste" (Amp)

to be morally pure" (GWT)

clean in heart" (BBE)

clean minded" (TLB)

STAYING PURE IS 
AN IMPURE WORLD

The darker it becomes, the easier it is to see the light. Someone turned out the lights in the old Astrodome and a match was lit on the other side of the stadium and it could be easily seen. It was just a small light, but the darkness allowed it to shine forth.

May the fire of the Spirit of the Living God enable your purity to shine forth like a light in the midst of the increasing spiritual darkness of our age. In Jesus' Name. Amen

Pure (53) (hagnos) refers primarily to moral purity, and, especially in this context, to sexual purity and marital faithfulness. Christian women as young wives are “to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments; but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness” (1Ti 2::9 10). “Modestly” refers to a healthy sense of shame at saying anything, doing anything, or dressing in any way that would cause a man to lust. “Discreetly” refers to moral control, to keeping passions, esp sexual passions, subdued.

Study the 8 uses of Hagnos - 8v - chaste(1), free from sin(1), innocent(1), pure(5). 2Co. 7:11; 2Co. 11:2; Phil. 4:8; 1Ti. 5:22; Titus 2:5; Jas. 3:17; 1Pe. 3:2; 1 Jn. 3:3

Brian Harbour - Younger women were also to have a commitment to Christ which led them to be “self-controlled and pure” (v. 5). They must avoid any hint of immorality in what they think, what they say, and what they do.

Phillips - Paul said, too, that older women can teach younger women to be decent-to be "chaste." The word translated "chaste" here is hagnos, which means "pure and immaculate, free from carnality." Chastity has gone out of style these days. We live in the day of the "adult" movie, the marching sodomite, and the demanding feminist. It is the age of "the new morality" based on relativism and humanism. The so-called new morality is just the old immorality but now openly espoused by the media, the schools, the courts, and often the government. Pornographic books, child molestation, syndicated crime, indulgence in drugs, and the senseless pursuit of the demon-haunted occult world characterize our society. Most of the old familiar landmarks of morality and common decency are gone. We have banished the Bible from our classrooms and the Ten Commandments from the courts. The pressure is on to conform to the world's wanton ways. More than ever, young women need the counterbalancing influence of older women who remember a different, more decent, more disciplined age. Naomi was such a woman. She greatly influenced her young daughter-in-law, Ruth. Ruth was raised as a pagan in Moab, a nation with a very unsavory history and one under the direct curse of God's law (Gen. 19:30-38; Deut. 23:3). Yet, when Boaz first met and talked to Ruth, he exclaimed, "All the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman" (Ruth 3:11). Ruth is the only woman specifically identified in the Bible as "a virtuous woman." The full measure of all that is implied in that tribute was given later by Solomon (Prov. 31:10-31). Where did Ruth learn her virtuous ways? She must have been taught virtue by her mother-in-law. Naomi had learned much from the bitter experiences that she had encountered in life. After she was restored to the Lord, her godly counsel played an important part in the events that led to Ruth's subsequent marriage to Boaz. Happy is the young woman who will heed the counsel of a godly older woman in the matter of dress and deportment, to say the least, and who will espouse chastity in all of its higher and holier implications as a rule of life.  (Exploring the Pastoral Epistles)

Related Resources:

WORKERS AT HOME: oikourgous

  • Ge 16:8,9; 18:9; Pr7:11; 31:10-31; 1 Ti 5:13
  • Titus 2 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

homemakers (Amp)

to take care of their homes (ICB)

diligent in home work (Darby)

to take care of their homes (NLT)

to be good workers at home (NCV)

working in their houses (BBE)

good managers of the household (NRSV)

industrious in their homes (Weymouth)

fulfilling their duties at home (NET)

TAKING CARE
OF BUSINESS

Workers at home (Hapax legomenon)(3626) (oikourgós from oikos = home, household + ergo = to work) one devoted to home duties, preoccupied with domestic affairs, or as we might say today "a homemaker" and stands in contrast with the conduct of the younger Ephesian widows who were "idle" and going "around from house to house" (1Ti 5:13).

The NIV says they are "to be busy at home" which is not the same as our idiomatic expression busybody!

The KJV translates this section "keepers at home" because it uses another Greek noun (Textus Receptus has "oikourous") but most authorities (A T Robertson, Marvin Vincent, etc) and most modern translations (NASB, etc) favor the older manuscript use of oikourgós. Even if one favors the KJV, it should be emphasized that “Keepers at home” does not suggest that the woman's home is a prison where she must be kept! The idea is that she is “Caring for the home” and the wise husband allows his wife to manage the affairs of the household, for this is her ministry. It was estimated that in year 2000, up to 80% of women age 25-54 were involved in the the workplace. More women are entering or staying in the work force after having a baby. These numbers are interesting in light of a survey by Family Circle magazine which revealed that 68% of women surveyed would prefer to stay at home with their children if economically feasible.

Reformation Study Bible - working at home. Or, “busy at home.” Contrast the behavior of some of the younger widows at Ephesus (1 Ti 5:13).

Spurgeon notes that "There were some women who supposed that, the moment they became Christians, they were to run about everywhere. “No,” says the apostle, “let them keep at home.” There is no gain to the Christian Church when the love, and the industry, and the zeal, which ought to make a happy home, are squandered upon something else. The young women of Crete appear to have been such that they needed to be taught “to love their husbands.” That expression does not occur elsewhere in Scripture. Christian women do not need to be told to love their husbands; but these Cretans, just brought out of the slough of sin, had to be taught even this lesson. Oh, what a blessing is love in the marriage relationship, and what a gracious influence love has upon children! How are they to be brought up aright except the whole house be perfumed with love?

Phillips - The older women can also teach the younger women in the church how to be "keepers at home [oikourgos]." The Greek word means literally "workers at home." Some scholars think that the word Paul used was oikouros, which refers to watching or keeping the home. In either case, the idea is that the woman's role is in the home. Our feminist culture urges women to become career women, and enormous pressure is put on them to enter the workforce. Many marriages are wrecked because working wives become discontented with and independent of their husbands. Working mothers face enormous problems, and so do their families. Many children have strayed because their mothers were off to work when they were needed at home. Gone are the days of the extended family when a young wife and mother had the support of her parents, in-laws, brothers, and sisters and when children grew up surrounded by grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins who played a supportive role in each other's families. The pressures of modern life notwithstanding, the Bible ethic is always best because it is based on the highest wisdom. Its mandate that wives should be "keepers at home" ought to be the blueprint that Christian wives and mothers follow. Their tasks might not seem as exciting as supervising the production division of a big corporation or as interesting as teaching psychology to young people in college. But, in the light of eternity, the role of "keepers at home" is infinitely more worthwhile Susannah Wesley might well be considered the patron saint, so to speak, of all of those women who stay at home and raise their children for God. She was the mother of nineteen children. She was well educated and had strong convictions. She homeschooled her children individually and diligently. Her piety, devotion, and Christian character were reproduced in her children. The impact that she made on the world will never be known this side of eternity. As a Moses, an Aaron, and a Miriam came out of the humble home of Amram and Jochabed, so a John and Charles Wesley came out of the home of Susannah Wesley, and with them came the Methodist revival. According to God's Word, a woman is not to be "busy here and there" (1 Kings 20:40). If she is, she may one day wake up to the fact that her children are gone and that the world has taken them.  (Exploring the Pastoral Epistles)

KIND: agathas

good-natured (kindhearted) (Amp)

THE "KIND" OF YOUNG WOMAN
THAT PLEASES THEIR FATHER

The writer of Hebrews exhorts us "do not neglect (present imperative with a negative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." (Hebrews 13:16+)

Kind (18)(agathos) refers to that which is "good" in its character or constitution, beneficial in its effect. Luke illustrates the meaning of agathos describing different quality of soil -- "other seed fell into the good (agathos) soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great." (Lu 8::8+)  Agathos then refers to that which has the proper characteristics for performing the expected function in a fully satisfactory way. And so these young women are to be gentle, considerate, amiable, congenial, and sympathetic, even with those who are undeserving and unkind to them.

All uses of agathos in Titus - Titus 1:16; Titus 2:5; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:1

That which is "good" in its character or constitution, beneficial in its effect

1 of good constitution or nature. 
2 useful, salutary. 
3 good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy. 
4 excellent, distinguished. 
5 upright, honourable.

To be kind is to be godlike, for Jesus said that "Himself is kind (agathos) to ungrateful and evil men (Lu 6:35+)

Paul admonishes the believers at Ephesus to "be kind (agathos) to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you (Eph 4:32+).

Synonyms: kind, kindly, kindhearted, benign, benevolent - These adjectives mean having or showing a tender, considerate, and helping nature. Kind and kindly are the least specific: thanked her for her kind letter; a kindly gentleman. Kindhearted especially suggests an innately kind disposition: a kindhearted teacher. Benign implies gentleness and mildness: benign intentions; a benign sovereign. Benevolent suggests charitableness and a desire to promote the welfare or happiness of others: a benevolent contributor.

Phillips - Older women can teach younger women to be "good." The word translated "good" here is agathos, which has to do with being good in character or constitution and with the beneficial effects of such goodness. It is sometimes used to describe the absolute, essential goodness of God. The idea of kindness is included in the word, as is the concept of being good-natured. Thus, one rendering of agathos is "kindhearted." A woman's role is to make her home a refuge from all of the mean-spiritedness, callousness, cruelty, and wickedness so often encountered in the outside world. Her husband often has to deal with evil in the workaday world. Her children have to battle it at school. When husband and children come home, home should seem to them like a suburb of heaven. Jochebed-the wife of Amram and the mother of Aaron, Miriam, and Moses-created such a refuge for her family. Her name means "God my glory." She moved around her home like the Shekinah glory-cloud itself. Jochebed transformed the slave hut in which she lived in the Goshen ghetto into a veritable sanctuary. When Moses, the great emancipator of the Hebrew people, was finishing the writing of the Ninetieth Psalm, he might well have thought of his mother. He wrote, "Let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us" (90:17). He had seen that beauty in the face of his mother. "God my glory," was her name, and "God my glory" was her nature. The glow of her face and the glory of her grace never left her, and its memory never left Moses. All of the glitter and glamour of Pharaoh's courts and Egypt's schools, and the goals of Moses' royal patron's could not prevail over Jochebed's influence. From the divine standpoint, that is the glory of being a wife and mother. Nothing else compares with it.  (Exploring the Pastoral Epistles)

BEING SUBJECT TO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS: hupotassomenas (PPPFPA) tois idiois andrasin

  • Ge 3:16; 1Co 11:3; 14:34; Ep 5:22-24,33; Col 3:18; 1Ti 2:11,12; 1 Pe 3:1-5)
  • Titus 2 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

to place themselves under their husbands' authority (GWT)

willing to adapt themselves to their husbands (Phillips)

in subjection to their own husbands with implicit obedience (Wuest)

adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands (Amp)

to place themselves under their husbands' authority (GWT)

to yield to their husbands (NCV)

living under the authority of their husbands (BBE)

under the control of their husbands (NAB)

who puts her own husband first (CEV)

Related Passages:

Genesis 3:16+ To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” 

1 Corinthians 11:3+; But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.

Ephesians 5:22-24+ Wives, be subject (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey)  to your own husbands, as to the Lord (BUT HUSBANDS, SEE THE CONTEXT!!! Eph 5:21!) 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 

Ephesians 5:33+ Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

Colossians 3:18+  Wives, be subject (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

1 Timothy 2:11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.

SUBMISSIVE BUT NOT
LIKE A "DOORMAT"!

Being subject (5293) (hupotasso from hupo = under + tasso = arrange in orderly manner, assign or dispose to a certain position or to a particular task) means literally to set something in place up under something else and in context refers to wife placing herself up under her husband and his authority. Paul is saying to the young wives "Be willing to place yourself in a position under your husband who is the authority of your family. Be in that position of being submissive." KJV has "obedient to their own husbands" but that is not accurate translation of the verb hupotasso.

Hupotasso - 38x in 31v - put in subjection(5), subject(16), subjected(7), subjecting(1), subjection(4), submissive(3), submit(2) Lk. 2:51; Lk. 10:17; Lk. 10:20; Rom. 8:7; Rom. 8:20; Rom. 10:3; Rom. 13:1; Rom. 13:5; 1 Co. 14:32; 1 Co. 14:34; 1 Co. 15:27; 1 Co. 15:28; 1 Co. 16:16; Eph. 1:22; Eph. 5:21; Eph. 5:24; Phil. 3:21; Col. 3:18; Tit. 2:5; Tit. 2:9; Tit. 3:1; Heb. 2:5; Heb. 2:8; Heb. 12:9; Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:18; 1 Pet. 3:1; 1 Pet. 3:5; 1 Pet. 3:22; 1 Pet. 5:5

There is another Greek verb for "obedient" (hupakouo from hupo = under + akouo = hear) and it refers to the relationship of an inferior to a superior. For example God commands

Children, obey (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey and note the context "flows" from Eph 5:18+) your parents in the Lord, for this is right (Eph 6:1+)

God tells the children that they must obey their parents and that they have no option. This verb is NEVER used in reference to the interaction of a husband and wife.

Hupotasso in contrast is the word that talks about two people who are absolutely equal in God’s eyes. The wife makes a choice to place herself as an equal underneath another equal, her husband, in order that there can be order and function in the family. The purpose is so to meet the design that God has ordered.

Hupotasso was a military term describing soldiers lining up under their authority and also referred to the arrangement of military implements on a battlefield in such a way as to facilitate effective warfare. As Paul explains (Eph 5:22+), the structural function of the family, like that a successful military regimen requires both authority and submission. Submission is a general spiritual attitude that is to be true of every believer in all relationships. If a wife is more gifted and capable than her husband, rather than dominating him, she should encourage and aid him to be more active in home leadership and in serving the local church. If tempted to nag, she should resist the temptation and praise him instead. Here what Paul is saying is that the young wife is to subject herself continually (present tense) to her "own husband" and that this is not something the wife does one time so that she can get something but that submission is to be a way of life so that daily she is to be being under her husband's authority. And what should be the motivation? It’s not because she loves her husband so much, but it is because she loves Jesus. "Out of loving You, Lord, I am going to do what You have told me to do." That is the genuine motivation of submission. And being continually filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18+) and the Holy Word (Col 3:16+) is the only way one can truly submit. The flesh may bow on the outside, but it is resisting on the inside. But when one is filled with the Spirit and walking by the supernatural power provided by the Spirit (Gal 5:16+), then one will not fulfill the desire of the flesh! Don't try to accomplish submission in your own intrinsic power! You cannot do it without supernatural (Holy Spirit) enablement!!!

As an aside, it helps if husbands "love (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey and note the context "flows" from Eph 5:18+) their wives as Christ loved the church." (Eph 5:25+). So please understand what hupotasso does not mean. It does not mean that the wife is commanded to obey her husband as a child would obey his parents. A lot of men treat their wives as "door mats" walking over them as if they were inferior. Hupotasso does not allow for such dictatorial behavior by the husband! Hupotasso in no way implies superiority of the husband over the wife in God’s eyes. However, by God's design for an order and function in the family, He does say in essence Wives, voluntarily choose to put yourself under the headship of your husband" so that the family will function as was originally intended by God and all the Cretans would see the impact of the gospel (cf Mt 5:16+, Php 2:14-15+).

Exalting Jesus in Titus - In keeping with what is said consistently throughout the New Testament (Eph 5:21-24; Col 3:18; 1 Pet 3:1-5), wives were encouraged to be "submissive to their husbands, so that God's message will not be slandered." Submission means to yield in one's will to the leadership and direction of another. It is more of an attitude than an action, though one's attitude will certainly determine one's actions. Contrary to popular misconceptions, there is no inferiority in submissiveness. We see this plainly in the Trinity where Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all equally God, and yet for the purpose of redemption, the Son submits in His assignment to the Father. Note also that a wife submits to her own husband, not every man. This charge is specific. Indeed, unless a husband asks his wife to do something unbiblical, illegal, immoral, or unethical, she is to follow his leadership. By doing this she will honor God and His Word, and she will reach, in a more effective manner, the heart of her husband.

Phillips - The older women can also teach the younger women to be "obedient to their own husbands." The word translated "obedient" here is a military term that means literally "to be in subjection." God is a God of order. The lines of authority are clearly drawn in the New Testament. Whether in the home, the state, or the church, these lines are not to be tampered with. "But you don't know my husband," some wives plaintively complain. Maybe we don't, but God does. And that is what matters. These rules are not ours; they are not even the apostle Paul's. They are God's rules and must not be changed. Come back to the case of Isaac and Rebekah. Rebekah was not in the habit of being guided by her husband, whose appetite had long since replaced her as his first love (Gen. 24:67; 27:4). When she discovered that Isaac was about to do something carnal, worldly, absolutely wrong, and spiritually disastrous, she reacted in a worldly, carnal, wrong, and spiritually disastrous way. Both Isaac and Rebekah knew that the patriarchal blessing had been divinely promised to Jacob (25:23-26). Isaac, however, was determined to give it to Esau. As soon as Rebekah discovered what was brewing, she took matters into her own hands. She coached her favorite son, Jacob, in a course of deception. The results were calamitous. In the end, Isaac's eyes were opened to his own wrongdoing. He confirmed the fact that the blessing belonged to Jacob and refused to change his mind to please his favorite son, Esau. Esau threatened to murder Jacob, who was thus forced to flee from home. On his mother's advice, Jacob headed to distant Padanaram to try his "success" with his grasping, squeezing Uncle Laban-and a miserable twenty years he had of it. "Now therefore, my son," Rebekah said, "obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away" (27:43-44). The few days turned out to be a long and unhappy time. As for Rebekah, she never saw her dear son again. Her story would have had a different ending if she had been in subjection to her husband and had presented the matter of the birthright to him in a straightforward way and along spiritual lines.  (Exploring the Pastoral Epistles)

THAT THE WORD OF GOD MAY NOT BE DISHONORED: hina me o logos tou theou blasphemetai (3SPPI)

  • 2Sa 12:14; Ps 74:10; Ro 2:24; 1Ti 5:14; 6:1
  • Titus 2 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

so that God’s Word may suffer no scandal” (Kelly)

Then no one will be able to criticize the teaching God gave us" (ICB)

a good advertisement for the Christian faith" (Phillips)

in order that the word of God may not be reproachfully spoken of." (Wuest)

that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited)" (Amp)

Then no one can speak evil of God's word" (GWT)

Then no one will be able to criticize the teaching God gave us" (ICB)

that the word of God may not be evil spoken of" (Darby)

Then they will not bring shame on the word of God" (NLT)

so that no one will malign the word of God" (NIV)

Then no one will be able to criticize the teaching God gave us (NCV)

so that no evil may be said of the word of God" (BBE)

so that the word of God may not be discredited" (NAB)

so that the message of God is not disgraced" (NJB)

Then no one can say insulting things about God's message" (CEV)

so that the Christian teaching may not be exposed to reproach" (Weymouth)

Related Passages:

2 Samuel 12:14  “However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.”

Psalm 74:10  How long, O God, will the adversary revile, And the enemy spurn Your name forever

Romans 2:24+  For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written. 

1 Timothy 5:14 Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach;

1 Timothy 6:1 All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against.

Discredited - "disbelieve, give no credit to," from dis- "opposite of" + credit (v.). Meaning "show to be unworthy of belief" is from 1560s; that of "injure the reputation of (ED: THE MEANING OF BLASPHEME), make less esteemed or honored" is from 1570s. As a noun, "want of credit or good repute," 1560s, from the verb. Related: Discredited; discrediting.

THE HIGH PURPOSE OF
THESE SEVEN QUALITIES

Beginning in Titus 2:4 Paul lists seven qualities that should "adorn the doctrine of God" (Titus 2:10+) in the life of a young woman who is a follower (disciple) of Jesus Christ. Now he introduces this last phrase with the Greek word hina which is usually used to introduce a purpose clause. In short, the purpose of the seven fold godly traits just mentioned is to exalt the Word of God and the God of the Word. Living like Jesus is a like a flashing sign that points others to Jesus. Of course we should not be surprised that not everyone "applauds" these Christ-like qualities in a young woman, but may even seek to impugn them with names like "prude," "up tight," etc. Paul alludes to this difference of response when a young woman puts on the "eau de cologne" of Jesus...

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? (2Cor 2:14-16+)

You are writing a Gospel, a chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do, by the words that you say;
Men read what you write, whether faithless or true.
Say—what is the Gospel according to you?

The word of God - Clearly this has reference to the entire Word of God and especially to the Word of the Gospel (Acts 15:7+, cf Col 1:5+). 

Word of God - 46x in the Bible - 1 Sam. 9:27; 2 Sam. 16:23; 1 Ki. 12:22; 1 Chr. 17:3; Prov. 30:5; Matt. 15:6; Mk. 7:13; Lk. 3:2; Lk. 5:1; Lk. 8:11; Lk. 8:21; Lk. 11:28; Jn. 10:35; Acts 4:31; Acts 6:2; Acts 6:7; Acts 8:14; Acts 11:1; Acts 13:5; Acts 13:7; Acts 13:46; Acts 17:13; Acts 18:11; Rom. 9:6; 1 Co. 14:36; 2 Co. 2:17; 2 Co. 4:2; Eph. 6:17; Phil. 1:14; Col. 1:25; 1 Thess. 2:13; 1 Tim. 4:5; 2 Tim. 2:9; Tit. 2:5; Heb. 4:12; Heb. 6:5; Heb. 11:3; Heb. 13:7; 1 Pet. 1:23; 2 Pet. 3:5; 1 Jn. 2:14; Rev. 1:2; Rev. 1:9; Rev. 6:9; Rev. 19:13; Rev. 20:4

Dishonored (987) (blasphemeo from bláx = sluggish, slow, stupid + phémē = rumor, fame) OR MORE LIKELY (derived from bláptō = to hurt, injure, harm + phémē from phēmí = to speak) means literally to speak to harm and in general therefore means to bring into ill repute and so to slander, to defame (to harm the reputation of by libel or slander), speak evil of, to rail at (revile or scold in harsh, insolent, or abusive language and rail stresses an unrestrained berating), to speak calumny (noun form = a misrepresentation intended to blacken another’s reputation = the act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to damage another’s reputation), to calumniate (verb form = to utter maliciously false statements, charges, or imputations about - calumniate imputes malice to the speaker and falsity to the assertions)

In short blasphemeo means to be spoken of slanderously. In this case if the young women failed to live as Paul has outlined, the message their lives proclaim is one that slanders the reputation of the Word of God. Those opposed to the Gospel of grace are quick to spot the inconsistent lives of those who profess to be influenced by the Gospel and don't hesitate to point out the inconsistency. Genuine conversion ought to produce the virtues listed here by Paul and when their walk does not match their talk, the Word of God and the transforming power of the Gospel is impugned as no better than their Cretan paganism. In sum, the evil things we say and do and good things we fail to say and do, dishonor God and His Word before everyone.

No believer should not do anything
that would give unbelievers
an excuse for defaming the Word of God.
(Are you as convicted as I am?)

Blasphemeo - 34v - be spoken of as evil(1), blaspheme(4), blasphemed(6), blasphemers(1), blasphemes(3), blaspheming(4), dishonored(1), hurling abuse(3), malign(2), maligned(1), revile(3), reviling(1), slandered(1), slanderously reported(1), spoken against(1), utter(1). Matt. 9:3; Matt. 26:65; Matt. 27:39; Mk. 2:7; Mk. 3:28; Mk. 3:29; Mk. 15:29; Lk. 12:10; Lk. 22:65; Lk. 23:39; Jn. 10:36; Acts 13:45; Acts 18:6; Acts 19:37; Acts 26:11; Rom. 2:24; Rom. 3:8; Rom. 14:16; 1 Co. 10:30; 1 Tim. 1:20; 1 Tim. 6:1; Tit. 2:5; Tit. 3:2; Jas. 2:7; 1 Pet. 4:4; 2 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:12; Jude 1:8; Jude 1:10; Rev. 13:6; Rev. 16:9; Rev. 16:11; Rev. 16:21

J. H. Jowett rightly said that "Fine living is not only a fine argument, it is also an effective silencer of bad men."

As Phillips paraphrases it we are to be "a good advertisement for the Christian faith!"

The Holy Spirit says it this way...

Matthew 5:16+  “Let your light shine (aorist imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. 

Philippians 2:14-15+  Do (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey - and see the immediate context of how this is possible in Php 2:13NLT+) all things without grumbling or disputing; 15so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,

Unbelievers judge the genuineness and value of our faith more by our life than by our theology. In doing so, they judge the truth and power of the word of God by the way in which we live, and especially how we respond to trials. The fact is that anyone can look ''happy'' when everything's coming up roses!. The world judges the gospel, the heart of God's word, by the transformed character of those who say they believe.

The 19th-century German philosopher Heinrich Heine said, “Show me your redeemed life and I might be (emphasis on "might") inclined to believe in your Redeemer.” It is doubtful Heine would have believed based on the rich man's words to Jesus and Jesus' reply in Luke 16:30-31+ "But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets (NB - the Gospel is in the OT - Gal 3:8+), they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

For a person to be convinced that God can save him from sin, he needs hear the gospel for that alone is the power of God (see note Romans 1:16) but his "hearing" might begin by his observing a believer who has been saved from sin and who lives a life relatively separated from sin, someone who has hope where there was once despair, someone who now radiates Christ in them the hope of glory.


Steven Cole offers a few words about Developing a Beautiful Body

Younger women must be godly homemakers so that the word of God will not be dishonored (Titus 2:4-5).

Many younger women have no understanding of how important the job of homemaking is. Also, they lack practical training in how to do it. Frankly, sometimes they are undisciplined, sitting around watching TV soap operas or game shows when they should be cleaning or organizing the house or shopping for family needs. I am so glad that Marla has made our home a refuge for me. It is a pleasant place to be because she is pleasant and because of her work and creativity. Paul says that the older women are to make the younger women sensible in seven areas:

(1) The younger women are to love their husbands. This implies that love is not automatic. It takes deliberate effort. The word that Paul uses implies the love of friendship. A husband and wife should cultivate a close companionship. Love for your husband begins in how you think about him each day. If you grumble about his bad habits and run him down all day in your thoughts, you are not loving him. You must begin by thanking God for him and by thinking about his needs and how you can meet them. The love of friendship requires time together, sharing your thoughts and feelings.

(2) The younger women are to love their children. Again, it doesn’t come naturally, especially when they try your patience by their disobedience. You are sinning against God and your children if you slap them around or angrily call them derogatory names. Write down the qualities of biblical love (1 Cor. 13:4-7) and read them over daily so that they begin to describe how you relate to your children. The Greek word here also implies the love of friendship. While you are always your children’s mother, as they grow older you should also cultivate a friendship with them.

(3) The younger women are to be sensible. There is that word again! It means to be in rational control of one’s impulses and passions.

(4) The younger women are to be pure. This refers to sexual purity. You should not watch TV shows or read magazines or novels that feed your imagination with the supposed pleasures of illicit romance. Usually women are tempted to sexual immorality when their emotional needs are not being met. If that is true of you, talk to your husband about those needs. An adulterous affair will not meet your needs in the long run.

(5) The younger women are to be workers at home. Yes, this sounds outdated and sexist, but it is God’s design and wisdom. No woman gets to the end of life and says, “Ah, I’ve had a satisfying life as a corporate executive!” Seeing your family walking with God and loving one another brings true joy. You have to work to make your home a beautiful and pleasant place for your family.

(6) The younger women are to be kind. The Greek word literally is, “good,” but in the context it includes kindness. It means to be a nice person to be around. The kind or good woman thinks of the needs of others and goes out of her way to meet those needs. When a family member is upset or discouraged, she responds with sympathy and kind words.

(7) The younger women are to be subject to their own husbands. This is about as out of sync with American culture as it could be, but it is still God’s word of truth. You have a choice: God’s way or the world’s way. The world’s way asserts self; it stands up for one’s rights. It makes demands on others in order to get one’s own way.

God’s way submits first of all to Jesus as Lord. It judges selfishness. It seeks the good of others ahead of self. God’s way is (Phil. 2:3+), “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” God’s way of submission grates against our fallen, selfish human nature. Submission does not imply inferiority or becoming a doormat. “To be subject” is a military term, to put oneself in rank under another. Although Jesus is equal with the Father, He voluntarily put Himself under the Father to carry out the divine plan of salvation. Christian marriage is to reflect the image of God. Husbands and wives are to be an earthly picture of Christ and the church, with husbands loving their wives sacrificially and wives respecting and submitting to their husbands (Eph. 5:22-33+).

The reason that Paul gives is, “so the word of God will not be dishonored” (Titus 2:5). This probably applies to all of the qualities that he has just listed, including submission. A wife who claims to be a Christian but who does not demonstrate love for her husband and children, moral purity, and being a godly homemaker, is not a good advertisement for the gospel. But a wife who practices these things stands out from the world’s ways. Like the woman in Proverbs 31:1-31+, she will be praised, and when she is praised, she will deflect the praise to the Lord, giving Him the glory.

Conclusion - God wants all of us to focus on becoming His beautiful people—not the outward, fading beauty of the world, but the inner, lasting beauty of a heart that is obedient to Him. We refer to a beautiful person as attractive, because beauty attracts. A beautiful place, like the Grand Canyon, attracts people to it. The body of Christ should be so beautiful that those who do not know the Savior are attracted to Him through us. So, get to work on helping this church develop into a beautiful body for His glory! (Lesson 6- Developing a Beautiful Body – Part 1 Titus 2:1-5 - Bible.org)


THE TATTERED RUG

... teach the young women to . . . love their children, to be ... keepers at home ... that the word of God be not blasphemed.  Titus 2:4, 5 

A preacher tells how he was once entertained by a teacher and his wife who had two boys in their middle teens. He writes, "Immediately on entering, I felt the home atmosphere. They were evidently a fine Christian family. However, I noticed that the carpet in the living room was tattered, and that there were actually holes in it. Nevertheless, the family was without doubt self-respecting. Before I left, the mother told me a story that helped me to understand about the rug. She said that one day when she was ready to sweep and dust, half a dozen boys were in her home. `Now,' she had said, `you fellows will have to go out for a while for I have some things to do in the house this morning.' `But where shall we go?' they had asked. `How about your aunt's?' she then suggested to one. 'Do you think she would have us in her place? Not much!' the boy had replied. Then she said to an-other, `Why don't you go over to your house?' and he had answered quickly, `Oh, Mother would never allow six of us in her fancy home!' A few more questions and she found that hers was the only place where the boys were allowed to come in at will and have fun. She confided that now they always gathered at her place, and that was why they would soon have to buy a new car-pet. After hearing her story, her tattered rug was transformed in my estimation! It became to me the most beautiful one I had ever seen — for it was worn out in keeping and making good boys."
 
We all like to see a house that is neat and well cared for, but not at the expense of human values. Mothers, if it is not absolutely necessary for you to go out to work, think twice before you do. Your first duty is to be good "keepers at home." Only thus can you honor the great privilege that God has given you of being a companion and friend to your children. If you have a "tattered rug" in your house, it may well be more of a badge of honor than an eyesore!  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

O blest the parents who give heed
Unto their children's foremost need,
And weary not of care or cost;
That they to Heaven be not lost.
— C. Von Pfeil 
 
How much above good housekeeping is good homemaking!


Titus 2:1-10 Surprise and Astonish Them -

MARK Twain took delight in exposing the follies of human behavior. He once said,"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."

People are often surprised when someone does what is right. That's why it made national news a few years ago when a high school basketball coach turned in his state championship team after discovering that he had unknowingly used an ineligible player. He and his team had achieved the dream of every coach and every prep athlete—one that carries with it a lifetime of cherished memories. But they gave it all back—the trophy, the glory, the pride. They gave it back so they could keep something more important—their integrity.

Doing what's right is not a new idea. David realized what it took to walk in integrity. He knew that to do right he would have to avoid hypocrisy and dishonesty. Integrity was worth more than anything he could gain by sacrificing it.

Doing right has a price tag. It may cost money if we refuse to cheat; it may cost time if we refuse to cut corners; it may cost plea-sure if we refuse to compromise a moral standard; it may cost rela­tionships if we refuse to support unethical behavior.

But none of these is worth more than integrity.—J D Brannon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


Nancy DeMoss - SOMETIMES THE BIBLE is most intriguing by what it doesn’t say—like when it reports on Mary’s visit to her older relative Elizabeth, soon after the angel’s stunning appearance, merely by saying that she “remained with her about three months and returned to her home” (Luke 1:56).
I wonder what these two talked about in their extended time together? In addition to the obvious, wonder-filled conversations surrounding their surprise pregnancies, I can imagine the picture of an older woman counseling and mentoring a younger woman, sharing with her how to love her husband and family well, how to be “self-controlled, pure, working at home” (Titus 2:5)—all those things designed to occur in woman-to-woman discipleship.
We do know that upon first sight, Elizabeth had spoken words of blessing and encouragement to Mary, inspiring a response of praise, thanksgiving, and worship (Luke 1:43–55). So I’d be surprised if those next months weren’t taken up with even more opportunities for the two women to edify each other with words of wisdom and grace, encouraging each other with God’s promises, and rejoicing in the unfolding of His great redemptive plan. Wouldn’t you think?
All of which leads me to ask: How alert are you to seize the chance to speak words of significance, love, and challenge to those around you? We waste so many of our words. We throw them away on weather observations, movie reviews, and idle gossip. What would happen if you committed to speak of more important things when interacting with your family, friends, and coworkers, even going so far as to seek out those who need a caring mentor in their lives? Don’t leave your best words unspoken when they could accomplish so much in those around you.
Who has God placed in your life (younger or older) who could benefit from spending time with you, and from hearing wise words from your heart? Ask the Holy Spirit to direct and use you in those one-on-one encounters and opportunities.
 

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