Conduct of a Christian Woman
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed”.
Our study today will eventually focus on several characteristics of Christian women. The Word of God has something to say to the ladies within the sphere of faith.
By way of introduction, Paul was writing to a young man named Titus who had become a trusted advisor. About the year AD 65, Paul traveled with Timothy and Titus on one of his missionary journeys.
Timothy was left in Ephesus while Paul and Titus traveled on to the island of Crete.
In Crete, Paul left Titus to provide spiritual leadership to the Christian community (1:5). Titus was to set in order the structure and discipline that was lacking in the congregation. He was to reorganize the whole work and he was to teach the people.
To guide Titus in his labors, Paul set forth some apostolic counsel. In chapter 1 he reminded Titus of his divine appointment to the work of the ministry (1:5), and then instructed him of the qualification for church leaders (1:6-9).
Strong Church leaders were necessary to combat a surge of heresy. Paul realized that The Enemy had come to Crete to sow discord in the church (1:10-16). He was determined that the messengers of Satan are identified, exposed, and stopped, lest they destroy the souls of the saints.
The primary way the false teachers were to be stopped was by re-affirming those truths that set forth-sound doctrine. To find allies in the work of the ministry Titus was to appeal to the elderly people in the congregation.
This may seem a bit shocking to our society today. While our society does not pay much respect to the elderly, other cultures do, and did. Paul instructs Titus to teach the elderly men and women, who in turn were to teach the younger. The teaching was to be done by way of exhortation, and by practical application.
By way of application the men in the Church were to be distinguished by six specific characteristics.
The men were to be sober, which means to be sensible.
The men were to be grave, referring to a sense of dignity.
The men were to be temperate, meaning they were to be moderate with respect to wine.
The men were to be sound in faith, or healthy with doctrinal understanding.
The men were to be charitable, or loving.
The men were to be patient, while persevering in the Christian life.
In like manner the women of the Church were to have distinguishing characteristics. Their behavior was to manifest the mark of holiness.
Indeed, the theme song for every Christian woman in every generation, must forever be,
“Fill thou my life, O Lord my God,
In every part with praise,
That my whole being may proclaim
Thy being and thy ways”.
With this song in the heart, Christian women are not to be “false accusers” (Titus 1:3).
The concept here is that of slander, or speaking something which is not truth.
While gossip is not unique to women, it might be a special temptation, for many have time and opportunity to talk about anything and everything.
If no mental and spiritual boundaries are established, it is easy to slip across the line of propriety so that someone’s name is hurt needlessly. Matthew Henry notes, “A slanderer is one whose tongue is set on fire of hell; so much, and so directly, do these do the devil’s work, that for it the devil’s name is given to such .”
As Christian women are not to visit in an inappropriate manner, neither are they to be given to much wine. Alcoholism was a serious problem in the ancient world among women, as it is today. In the loneliness of the house it is easy to turn to harmful substitutes that become addictive.
The larger principle here is to be careful of any form of addictive behavior, psychological or physical, that will turn the heart from holiness.
When the heart is moved from holiness. it will inevitably turn from God, or God will turn from it.
The Bible says that the Lord God is a jealous God. He will not share His glory. The great English preacher Charles Spurgeon once said, “You cannot entertain the Lord in the parlor of your heart while the Devil dwells in the basement.”
Addictive behavior of any sort will destroy by degrees, holiness, happiness, and the hope of heaven, in that order.
On the positive side, Christian women are to teach other women several golden virtues, one of which is to love their husbands.
In a society where marriages were arranged, and not freely entered into, this apostolic injunction has tremendous significance, for the question comes as to what should be done in a loveless marriage.
In countless homes today, a real, though invisible wall of separation has come between two hearts. Individuals have lost their first love.
The Word of God goes forth. Ladies, it is the will of God for you to love your husbands.
Specifically, love them with words that do not wound, attitudes that attract, and actions of constant devotion.
Concerning words that do not wound, let me suggest several phrases that you might want to use.
“You are wonderful!”
“That was really great!”
“You look mighty handsome today!”
“I appreciate all the things you’ve done for me all these years!”
“I’m glad I married you!”
“You’re the best friend I have.”
“If I had to do it over again, I’d still marry you.”
“I missed you today.”
“I couldn’t get you out of my mind today.”
“I will always love you.”
“I love to see your eyes sparkle when you smile.”
“As always, you look good today.”
“I can always count on you.”
“You make me feel good.”
“I’m so proud to be married to you.”
“What would you like?”
“What is on your mind?”
“Let me just listen.”
“You are so special.”
“I can’t imagine life without you.”
“What can I do to help?”
“I am praying for you today.”
“I prize every moment we spend together.”
“Thank you for loving me.”
“Thank you for accepting me.”
“Thank you for being my partner.”
“You make every day brighter.”
Just say one of these things a day, or from time to time, and see what might happen in the marriage.
I would suspect that there would be a change in attitudes. Where love has died, it might live again.
Another way to love one’s husband is by having a proper attitude.
Every morning we wake up with a choice.
We can choose to be in a good mood, or we can choose to be in a bad mood. Some people wake up and say, “Good morning God!” while others wake up and say, “Oh God, its morning and I don’t like it! “
Life is about choices. Every situation is a choice. We choose how people will affect us, for good or bad, and we choose how we will respond. But in the final analysis, the choice is ours how to live. However, this much is certain, attitudes that support, and attract will lead to actions of willing devotion. While women are not to be slaves to men, generally speaking, God has put into the heart of a woman a longing spirit of devoted service according to Genesis 3:16 “…and thy desire shall be to thy husband.” Love naturally longs to do things for others. And so there can be actions of devotion.
In addition to teaching the daughters of the King to love their husbands, Christian women are to be taught to love their children. Perhaps the greatestexpression of love is simply to give the children the time and attention they need, so that in later years there will be no regrets. A mother wrote,
“My hands were busy through the day;
I didn’t have much time to play
The little games you asked me to—
I didn’t have much time for you.
I’d wash your clothes; I’d sew and cook;
But when you’d bring your picture book
And ask me please to share your fun,
I’d say: “A little later, son.”
I’d tuck you all in safe at night,
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tip toe softly to the door…
I wish I’d stayed a minute more.
For life is short, the years rush past…
A little boy grows up so fast,
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away;
There are no longer games to play,
No good-night kiss, no prayers to hear—
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to”.
Besides loving their husbands and loving the children, Christian women are to be characterized by the virtue of discretion. The word sophrone, means to be sound in mind so that there is not an inordinate expression of opinion or passion.
Proverbs 2:11 says, “Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:” The daughters of the Divine should be discreet in their judgments, and proper in their affections and behavior. If there have been moments of indiscretion in the past, the blood of God’s Son can still cleanse from all sin. There are many promises in the Bible that our transgression will not be held against us, if there is repentance, and a turning to move in a new direction.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).
“…they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34).
“For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee” (Psalm 86:5).
When a Christian woman becomes discreet, she will also become chaste for they go hand in hand.
She will become a keeper of the house, and obedient to her loved one, in as far as he honors and follows the Lord, and loves her, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it.All these virtues have a common purpose, which is that the Word of God be not blasphemed (Titus 2:5).
The gospel message teaches that salvation delivers people from their sins. Matthew 1:21 speaks of the Saviour who “shall save his people from their sins.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 declares that if any person be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Either these statements are true, or they are not. Either the gospel has a profound and lasting change upon a person’s life, or it does not. According to the Bible it is an act of blasphemy to name the name of Christ, and then consistently live contrary to the ethical standards of the kingdom.
In simple but plain language, God commands Titus to teach Christian women not to blasphemy the Word of God, which is the name of God, by professing a faith that has no corresponding reality.
God’s Word is blessed and honored when a woman looks inward and upward, and then stands up to say,
“By Divine grace,
I will love my husband.
I will love my children.
I will be discreet.
I will be chaste.
I will be a keeper of the home.
I will be obedient to my godly husband
that the name of God might be blessed.