Doctrine for Older Women

19 October 2014 PM – Titus 2:3-4a – Tit 14 – Scott Childs

Introduction: So far in Titus 2, we have learned that doctrine is teachings. We learned that sound doctrine is healthy or health-giving doctrine. We also learned that doctrine is not just information but application; it is not just learned but lived.

After addressing the older men, the Holy Spirit turns his spotlight on the older women. Though men are to be the leaders, women are not to be loafers. They likewise have practical doctrines to put into practice. Each of these address areas of life that are often a challenge for Christian ladies.

Transition: As the Holy Spirit highlights practical doctrines for older women, he tells them what they need to do and then why they need to do it.

1.        God First Identifies Doctrines for Older Women

a.         1st, Have behaviour as becometh holiness

1)         Behaviour speaks of one’s demeanour, ones whole bearing, the way he acts.

a)         It is the way we conduct ourselves before others.

b)         Ellicott states that it “includes dress, appearance, conversation, manner.”

2)         The phrase “as becometh holiness” means suitable for sacred ones. It comes from two words meaning sacred and to stand out. To get a better feel for what this means, let me read what Bible teachers say about it.

²  ‘Exhort the older women in the church to behave in clothing, speech, conduct and spirit as is becoming the character they bear and the name of Christ which they profess.’ Henry Mahan

²  “That they deport themselves fittingly with the reputation they bear for being consecrated characters.” Preacher’s Homelitical Commentary

²  “The sanctification of the inner life must shine forth in the whole arrangement of our daily walk and conduct.” Philip Lange

3)         So we see that the first practical doctrine for older women is that their entire conduct must match the holy life to which God has called them. The way they dress must reflect God’s holiness and never corrupt men’s thoughts. Their speech must be holy. Their conduct and attitude must display holiness to all who know them.

v   Ladies, this is a difficult high calling, but the one that God placed at the top of His list. God never asks us to do something that He will not enable the submissive Christian to do. Ask God to make your life reflect His holiness.

b.         2nd, Be not false accusers

1)         The word the Holy Spirit used here is “diabolos”. Perhaps you have heard the word before. It is one of the names of Satan.

2)         The word describes one who slanders or falsely accuses another. When an older woman (or anyone for that matter) slanders or gossips she is doing the devil’s work.

3)         Saying hurtful things about others, whether true or not, displeases the Lord.

a)         Speaking disrespectfully to or about your husband is wrong.

b)         Speaking disrespectfully to or about authorities is wrong.

c)         Using your tongue like a sword is evil.

  • (Proverbs 12:18) “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.”
  • (Proverbs 18:8) “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”

d)         Spreading gossip is like breaking open a feather pillow on a windy day. You will never be able to regather all the harmful words you said.

4)         Consider James 3:1-10.

v   Because many women have a lose tongue, God tells older women to abstain totally from this evil vice. If you have an uncontrolled tongue, beg God to help you change.

c.          3rd, Be not given to much wine

1)         Wine was the juice from grapes, whether fresh, fermented, or rehydrated from concentrate. William Patton, an authority on the subject of Bible wines, states:

²  There is abundance of evidence that the ancients mixed their wines with water; not because they were so strong, with alcohol, as to require dilution, but because, being rich syrups, they needed water to prepare them for drinking.

2)         The phrase in our text literally says, “not having been enslaved to much wine.” The grammar emphasises action in the past with present results. Titus’ job is to set in order things that were lacking in the new churches on Crete. Older women, who before their recent conversion had purposefully sought out strong drink and become addicted to it, were now to break that addiction for the sake of their Christian testimony.

3)         When we test drinking alcohol with Bible principles, we will find that it fails the association principle, it fails the offence principle, it fails the wedge principle, it fails the doubt principle, it fails the edification principle, it fails the expediency principle, it fails the distinction principle, and it fails the glorification principle. It does not pass any of them.

v   The Lord requires that older women break the bad habit of addiction to alcohol. Anything that can lead others astray, get worse, or be a bad testimony for the cause of Christ must be stopped.

d.         4th, Be teachers of good things

1)         There are many good things that older women may teach. With age comes experience. They have learned through failure and success, and now from the indwelling Holy Spirit, many good things. Experience is a valuable textbook.

2)         The Holy Spirit goes on to tell us that their students are the younger women. He was not implying that older women should teach men. God gave that job to men.

3)         They are to teach with their lives as well as their lips. It is not enough just to be a good example.

²  Charles Ellicott states: They should, by here and there speaking a kind warning word, and, better still, by the golden silence of a useful honoured life, teach their younger sisters lessons of truth and faith and love.

v   The world is full of bad examples and teachers of evil. God wants Christian elderly women to teach good.

2.        God Next Describes the Reason for These Doctrines

a.         They must be a godly example

1)         If good is not part of their own lives, it would be hypocritical for them to try to teach good to others.

2)         The best teachers teach from their hearts. Those who are passionate about a subject teach it with a passion.

b.         That they may teach the young women (Tit 2:4)

1)         Titus 2:4 continues the thought. The word “that” is literally “in order that”.

2)         The phrase “teach … to be sober” means to bring someone to his senses.

²  TDNT states, This word means “to bring someone to reason or to duty,” but it may also mean “to exhort,” “to spur on.”

3)         Older women then are to teach the younger women to think clearly about their duties.

v   This is awesome. Preachers ought to encourage both genders of all ages to do right, yet God has specifically appointed older women to mentor the younger women. Godly older ladies can do this job much more effectively than the preacher.

Conclusion: Ladies, the Bible does not specify an age for older women, but if you have children that are married, you are probably part of the generation that ought to be teaching the young married women. With God’s help, be a godly example and caring teacher.

Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337