Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Men and Women, Older and Younger

Paul instructs Titus and his community in Titus 2:1-8.

Are you an older man? Paul insists that you must be:
  • SOBER-MINDED (exercising mastery over your appetites; cf. 1 Tim. 3:2, 11)
  • DIGNIFIED ("generally denotes an observable bearing or demeanor that commands respect"; cf. 1 Tim. 2:2; 3:4; etc.)
  • SELF-CONTROLLED ("having mastered not only their sensual desires but also their emotions"; cf. 1 Tim. 2:9; 3:2; etc.)
  • SOUND IN FAITH, IN LOVE, AND IN STEADFASTNESS ("sound" in the sense of "healthy"; cf. 1 Tim. 1:10; 6:3; 1:9; etc.)
Are you an older woman?
  • REVERENT IN BEHAVIOR ("She must be someone who lives in the awareness that she is always in the presence of God and must bring honor to him in what she does, what she says and what she wears.")
  • NOT SLANDEROUS (It is noted that this and the following requirement are often linked.)
  • NOT A SLAVE TO MUCH WINE (Cf. 1 Tim. 3:2, 11)
  • TEACHING WHAT IS GOOD (Can women teach? Cf. 2 Tim. 1:5 and 3:14; Acts 18:26; etc.)
  • TRAINING THE YOUNGER WOMEN ("denoting teaching in the sense of bringing people to their senses, showing what sound thinking is")
Are you a younger woman?
  • TAUGHT BY OLDER WOMEN (teachable; explicit from the instruction to older women)
  • LOVING YOUR HUSBAND (Literally, "husband-lover")
  • LOVING YOUR CHILDREN (Literally, "children-lover")
  • SELF-CONTROLLED (See above)
  • PURE (Cf. 1 Tim. 5:22; etc)
  • WORKING AT HOME ("This does not prohibit working outside the home (cf. Prov. 31:16, 18, 24) but it does indicate that Paul expects wives to carry the primary responsibility for the day-to-day care for their homes and children.")
  • KIND (Cf. 1 Tim. 1:5, 19; 2:10; 5:10; 2 Tim. 2:21; 3:17; etc.)
  • SUBMISSIVE TO YOUR OWN HUSBAND (Cf. Eph. 5; Col. 3; 1 Pet. 3)
Are you a younger man?
  • SELF-CONTROLLED (See above)
  • SHOWING YOURSELF IN ALL RESPECTS TO BE A MODEL OF GOOD WORKS (Cf. 1 Tim. 4:12)
  • SHOWING INTEGRITY IN YOUR TEACHING (Literally, "incorruption; pure doctrine")
  • SHOWING DIGNITY IN YOUR TEACHING (Literally, "seriousness; gravity; etc."; cf. 1 Tim. 3:4, 11; etc.)
  • SHOWING SOUND SPEECH IN YOUR TEACHING (speech that cannot be condemned; cf. 1 Tim. 1:10; 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:3; etc.)
  • LEAVING YOUR OPPONENTS SPEECHLESS (E.g. "with nothing evil to say")
Are our lives marked by these things? Older men, are you dignified or careless? Older women, are you actively teaching and mentoring younger women or are you busy with projects and retirement? Younger women, are you self-controlled in your speech, in your spending, in your attitude? Younger men, are you in all respects a model of good works or are your days marked by indecision, pleasure-seeking, and mismanagement?

Let's ask ourselves: What needs to change?

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