for the uninformed, Titus 2 is a place where Paul lists “sound doctrine” for older and younger men in the church, slaves, older women, and, obliquely, the younger women.
for younger women, he says for the older women to
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. (Tit 2:4-5 NAS)
All young, married women are plunked into one basket, as such–and sure, it’s a general letter to several churches, so Paul wasn’t into writing huge, detailed lists, just hitting the basics with a broad brush.
These things were first written in a letter to one young guy, and it was probably passed around, copied, read, re-read, etc. And nowadays, all young women can read all these instructions and pore over them extensively. I doubt we’re that different from the ladies of long ago. And one hard thing about recieving these instructions is that it requires a huge level of maturity to not immediately start comparing, judging, feeling yourself better or inferior, being proud or just self-focused, yada, yada.
It’s a trap we can constantly step into, especially when we’re in the thick of things, making decisions, forming who we are as individuals and as individual families.
Women compare too much (from Alana L on youtube)
It’s strange because I don’t think the other groups mentioned in this chapter are that prone to comparison. Are older men that tempted to compare who is more temperate, dignified, or sound in faith? I think they compare other things maybe. Are younger men prone to compare themselves to each other to see who is more sensible? Are slaves (by extension, employees) tempted to compare who is more “not argumentative”?
I think it’s perhaps because young women feel that their entire life, meaning, existence is wrapped up in these spheres. Just having a husband, children, and a home takes up enormous amounts of our time, energy, so much of who we are …
that it’s easy for these instructions to become almost the whole of who we are. And I’m not sure that is what was intended here. But this is why we become so personally invested in this and why we tend to sin in comparing ourselves, or feeling condemned by these verses that have instructions that can have endless applications–and hey buddy, i’m right there with the rest of us!
I don’t think that Paul was intending these verses to become the end-all of femininity, the end-all of the married woman. It’s just sensible guidelines God has given us as we grow in Christlikeness and godliness, these are the ways it will be manifested.
As we grow in Christlikeness, older women won’t gossip, they’ll be reverent, not drunken. Older men will be dignified, temperate; younger will be sensible. And the naturally busy younger women will be encouraged to stay on track with what they need to be busy with at that phase of life with the sweetness of Christ.
I needed this reminder and perspective.
P.S. I think I’ll sign up for an online homemaking class soon, put my love to study to good use!
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