Sharing My Heart’s Desire: Having a Passion for Discipling Other Women

Janet Aucoin April 19, 2013 Titus 2:3-5

This is Session 3 from The Desire of a Woman's Heart (2013 Spring Retreat).

Titus 2:3-5:  “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be dishonored.”

“Older Women Are to Be . . .”

1. Reverent in Their Behavior

  • Older women are to be godly examples of holiness.
  • Anna illustrates such virtue (Luke 2:37). Because she had lived so faithfully in the Lord, the Holy Spirit enabled her to immediately recognize the infant Jesus when Joseph and Mary brought Him to the temple.
  • Women who are reverent in their behavior "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,” and they “quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness” (I Tim. 2:9-11).

2. Not Malicious Gossips

  • They refuse to listen to, much less propagate, slanderous or demeaning words about others. Just as men are more inclined to abuse others physically, women are more inclined to abuse others verbally, which can be even more destructive.
  • Paul is not simply referring to unfavorable idle chatter about a person, bad as that is.
  • Malicious gossips translates diabolos, which means "slanderer, or false accuser” and is used thirty-four times in the N.T. as a title of Satan, whom Jesus describes as "the father of lies" (Jn. 8:44).

3. Not Enslaved to Much Wine (Temperate)

  • Older women do not turn to controlled substances as a means of easing pain and trouble.  As many of them had done throughout history, older people on Crete sometimes turned to drink as a stimulant and a means of ameliorating the pains, frustrations, and loneliness of old age.
  • They are controlled by the Spirit, not enslaved to substances.  Someone who is not self-controlled and is instead enslaved to a substance, in this case wine, brings dishonor to the Lord's name, sullies the reputation of the church, and , more often than not, leads others into following his or her ungodly example.

4. Teachers of good things

  • This refers to teaching that which is holy and godly
  • Having taught their own children well, older women now have the responsibility for teaching younger women in the church and encouraging them to also be righteous and godly wives and mothers (vv.4-5).

Why Should the Above Four Things Be True of Older Women? “That They May Encourage the Younger Women to. . .”

to “encourage” literally means "to cause someone to be of sound mind and to have self-control."

  • It refers to helping others cultivate good judgment and sensibilities.
  • NOTE: Although it is forbidden to teach or have authority over men (I Tim. 2:12), they do have the God-given responsibility to formally and informally teach children, especially their own, and younger women in the church. When godly Christian women do not infuse the younger generation with the things of God, the church comes to dire straits.

1. to love their husbands

  • Paul is not speaking of romantic or sexual love, which certainly have a proper place in marriage, but of a committed love that godly wives choose to have for their husbands, just as godly husbands choose to have for their wives.
  • Here Paul refers to willing, determined love that is not based on a husband's worthiness but on God's command and that is extended by a wife's affectionate and obedient heart.
  • Even unlovable, uncaring, unfaithful, and ungrateful husbands are to be loved.  This sort of love of husbands and wives for each other involves unqualified devotedness and is a friendship that is strong and deep.
  • There are no conditions or exceptions. It is not simply that love of husbands is a virtue but that not loving them is a sin.
  • A new generation of young women has been brought up in our society, including an education system and media that touts feminism and belittles biblical standards for men and women. In many cases, young women even in evangelical churches have not had the benefit of careful "teaching [of]what is good" (v.3) or the godly example of older women in the church, including that of their own mothers. Nor have they been exposed to the clear teaching of Scripture in Sunday School, in youth group, or from the pulpit.

2. to love their children

  • The love they should have for their children is selfless, sacrificial--based on their need, not on appearance, intelligence, or personality.
  • This love is not an option
  • The most important responsibility of love for believing parents is to lead their children to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

3. to be sensible

  • Common sense and good judgment should improve with age, but they should be evident even in early adulthood.

4. to be pure

  • This refers to moral purity and marital faithfulness
  • Like older women, in fact like all Christian women, young wives are “to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly. . .” (I Tim. 2:9-10).  “Modesty” 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, especially sexual passions, subdued.

5. to be workers at home

  • The point here is not so much that a woman’s place is in the home as that her responsibility is for the home.
  • The home is a wife’s special domain and always should be one of her highest priorities.  That is where she is able to offer the most encouragement and support to her husband and is the best place for extending hospitality to Christian friends, to unbelieving neighbors, and to visiting missionaries or other Christian workers. 
  • In consultation with their husbands, they must use good judgment in deciding how much time can justifiably and wisely be spent outside the home, whether at a paying job or in some form of service.

6. to be kind

  • They should be gentle, considerate, amiable, congenial, and sympathetic, even to those who are undeserving and unkind to them (Eph. 4:32).

7. to be subject to their own husbands

  • They should be taught Ephesians 5:22-24:

“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 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. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.”

  • A wife’s submission to her husband is a direct reflection of her submission to Christ.  If she refuses to submit to her husband, her rebellion is against God. 
  • She is to submit in everything, as long as it does directly violate God’s Word.

Study Guide

Paul Tripp:  People in need of change helping people in need of change

I.         You cannot give what you do not have.

            A.        Titus 2 Character Qualities

                       

Asks:  How can this situation help me grow in character qualities that better reflect Jesus?

            B.        Eternal Focus

Asks:  What is God up to? How important is this in light of eternity? How will this impact eternity?

            C.         Servant’s mindset

Asks:  How can I represent God in this situation? How can God use this?

            D.        Your Goal

Asks: How can I please God and reflect His character accurately?

II.        What now?

            A.        Goal of the first meeting

                       

1.         Offer hope.

                       

2.         Get to know her as a person by asking LOTS of good questions.

            B.        Biblical worldview

Who is a better master? Me or God?

            C.         Common hindrances

INPUT: What are concerns you have about starting this type of relationship?

                        1.         I don’t know enough.

                        2.         Getting overwhelmed.

a.         We think we need to have all of the answers.

                                    b.         We only want to do things we think we can handle.

                                    c.         We’re afraid they will be come over dependent.

Resources:

Paul Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands

Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer

Martha Peace, Becoming a Titus 2 Woman

Janet Aucoin

Janet is the wife of Pastor Brent Aucoin. She serves as the Director of Women’s Ministries, speaks at conferences and retreats, and assists Brent in the college ministry.