By Heidi Fulk
Love your husbands. Love your children. Be self-controlled. Be pure. Be busy at home. Be kind. Be submissive to your husbands. Why these seven things? Why were these the focus of what Paul told Titus to tell the older women to teach the younger women?
Of all the areas we as women could concentrate on, of all the goals we could work towards, these must be the most influential—the most foundational. Some are specific and some are more general, but these are clearly things that affect every part of our lives. Susan Hunt explains “why” really well:
“These particular characteristics were not merely from the mind of Paul; they were divinely inspired by our Sovereign Lord and intended not just for the women in Crete but for His daughters throughout history. These are the virtues that God said would give clarity and distinction to the lives of Christian women living in ungodly surroundings.”
So why these seven? Because they’ll make us stand out. That’s the goal, right? Remember that last phrase of Titus 2:5—we’re doing all this to show the truth of God’s message. Loving our husbands and submitting to them shows our commitment to them and to living out a Christ-like life. Loving our children and concentrating on our home demonstrates a selfless attitude that’s certainly not the norm in our culture. Self-control—controlling ourselves, not expecting ourselves to control everything else—is what we need. Then add to those purity and kindness and you’ll be set apart for sure.
But let’s be honest—this is a pretty tall order. (Like do we need to all of these things at the same time, or can we just pick a couple and rotate some more in later?!) Showing all this love and kindness and purpose can seem overwhelming at best. We’ll dive into how God prepares and equips us more in the next T2 post, but for now, when you’re overwhelmed, here are some things to remember…
You’re not alone. This command is given in the context of a relationship and connection—between an older woman and a younger woman. Hopefully you have at least one real-life, one-on-one relationship like this. But thankfully you may find this kind of modeling and teaching through other kinds of wise, godly sources too. And you’re not alone in your search and need for growth in the seven areas either! Find some trustworthy friends to search, learn, and share with along the way.
God’s given us lots of instructions and support. As Believers, we have two huge sticks of dynamite equipping us for this call—God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t just tell us what to do. He gives us instructions and examples of women who lived out these things in His Word. Then God gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us as we act, speak, and live this out. How can I forget this so often?! I have the Spirit of the Living God inside of me! When we grasp this, we’ll realize, “You know what, I don’t have the energy or strength or wisdom to do all these things. But I have One in me who does.”
There is a great purpose. We don’t have to wonder what it is or search for meaning. It’s right here in Titus. We’re showing and sharing the Gospel—the good news of Jesus and a life lived following and serving Him.
Do you have an “older woman” in your life teaching and modeling these things for you? Are you seeking to grow in these areas even if you don’t?
HEIDI JO FULK is passionate about encouraging woman and girls to love and live God’s word. She is wife to her high school sweetheart, Dan, and mom to their four young children — Emma Jo, Gretchen, Tucker and Brock. Heidi leads a women’s Bible study and an elementary girls’ ministry at her church.