Let the aged women likewise be in reverent behavior, not slanderers, not enslaved by much wine, teachers of good things, that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, kind, subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be blasphemed. (Titus 2:3-5)
An inscription was found in the city of Pergamum, home of one of the seven churches of the Revelation that read, "Julius Bassus to Otacilia Polla my sweetest wife, who loved her husband and children and lived with me blamelessly for thirty years." (Vincent) We can safely infer from this that the husband Julius left this behind as a memorial to his beloved wife whom he referred to tenderly as "my sweetest wife" and praises her for what the Greeks would have called philandros and philoteknous. These two words are compounds beginning with philo, one of the Greek words for love (fondness) combined with husband and children. He completes the praise saying she was blameless (faithful) for thirty years.
Otacilia Polla, based on her husband's testimony, was a model wife by any standard. She lived out the essence of Titus 2:3-5 in an age of gross immorality. What an awesome legacy. John Wesley once stated that the older women are to train the younger women to "love their husbands and children with a tender, temperate, holy, wise affection." Wesley knew first-hand what this was all about. His mother Susanna trained him up at her knee to know and love the Lord. In an age where many women are lining up to get their credentials in ministry, it would be to the churches of God a priceless service, and honor to God, to simply have these neglected verses in Titus 2 obeyed. We cannot improve on simple obedience no matter what we may aspire to accomplish.
Coming to Their Senses
What child does not long for motherly affection? How horrific it would be to seek and not find it? This is why Paul's directive in Titus 2 is so critical. In verse 4 Paul uses a Greek word that we translate as teach or train, which actually means to bring a person to their senses or into their right mind. Generally speaking, a woman who does not love her husband and children is not in her right mind. That is to say, she is not thinking in harmony with how God designed her. Paul is saying that she (whosoever it is who does not properly love her husband and children) needs to be brought to a "right mind" before God's word ends up being blasphemed.
Why would God's word be blasphemed? Because many people blame a person's religion for their bad behavior. When Christians act out in public — what do people say? They blame it on Christianity. This is why we have to be very careful. Paul said to let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. This is how God's word can be blasphemed; especially if the husband and children are unbelievers.
How a mother treats her children will have a direct bearing on whether or not that child ends up serving God. This is common sense. It is disastrous for women to act contrary to Christ in a rude and unloving disposition because it brings reproach on the Kingdom of God before the eyes of the children and husband. Contrary wise Peter gives this encouragement, “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” (1 Peter 3:1–2 ESV)
Trained to Love
It is interesting that God commands men to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, but He instructs the older women to train the younger women to love their husbands and children. They have to be instructed and shown by example. A man cannot command his wife to love him and children cannot demand it. They are completely at the mercy of the woman. If somebody does not come along and train them to love or if they refuse to follow their natural instincts, there is not hope for a family to receive motherly love. A man can learn of the sufferings of Christ and understand what God means by "love as Christ loved the Church;" young women generally must be shown by the older women.
Think of all the times you have seen men and women disrespect their spouses to friends, etc. Think about the times you have heard parents speak evil of their children or act as though they were a nuisance. This behavior is an abomination. Moreover, young people are watching this and learning from it. This is how it gets repeated and normalized.
Feminism and the Churches
In modern times feminism rules the day and has greatly impacted the churches of God in the West. As early as the first part of the 20th Century the renowned Greek scholar A.T. Robertson lamented how women would prefer to love their poodle dog to their children. This is a strange thing to consider given that God puts it in the heart of women to love their children. It is natural. To act otherwise is unnatural. This is why Paul says that young women need to be brought back into their "right mind" in this regard.
The scripture teaches that in the last days people would be astorgos a word meaning "without natural affection." (2 Timothy 3:3) We see this played out at abortion clinics every day. How can a woman be involved in ministry or pretend to worship God who does not even love her own offspring? The same can be asked of a man. Ministry begins at home. That seems like common sense, but common sense is not quite so common these days. Moreover, it is almost a badge of honor for men and women to treat their spouses disrespectfully in modern times. Sitcoms mock fathers and husbands as if it were a light thing. All these things are evidence of the spirit of Antichrist running rampant in the land. Motherhood is depicted as a plague to be avoided. God's order is under fierce attack.
In today's society in the West we have an epidemic of fatherless children. What is often overlooked is that those children also need a tender, loving mother. Not just some of the children, but all of them. There was a generation that taught the next generation to select their "pick" (favorite child) and mistreat the rest. Not in all families, but many of them. It's not uncommon today to hear of boys in prison or even dead and all they wanted was their momma to love them. I think of stories of prisoners lying in their prison cells crying for their momma. This is a reality you will rarely find depicted in this evil age.
Rejecting God's Design
Indeed, we need a generation to renounce feminism and get back to bible-based family living. We don't need a line ten miles long of women trying to imitate and aspire to being a TV minister like Joyce Meyer or Paula White. This is not what God has called women to do. We need a generation to imitate the home life of godly women like Susanna Wesley or the late Lily Burch, who like Otacilia Polla, was a tender, loving and faithful wife. "I'm not her!" says the proud and rebellious feminist generation. This may be true, but what is more sad is that there is little or no desire to be a "Otacilia" or "Lily." Few if any books are written about such godly women. And this is how the scriptures are being fulfilled. The reason why the last days is filled with people who have no natural affection (familial love) is that it is a rejected concept. Feminism overthrew the natural God-given motherly desires. Nevertheless, God knew this was coming and He warned us. Here we are.
If anyone on earth ought to love a child, it should be their mother. Who would disagree with that? It is horrific and offensive to even the hardest of evil people to hear of a mother abusing or killing her kids. I don't want to pick up the newspaper and hear of another mother killing her kids. If I never heard another story of a mother abusing her children or hating them, it would be too soon. Nevertheless, there is a more subtle behavior going on of non-love that is also destructive. Kids and husbands want their mother and wife to love them kindly and affectionately. They want to view their mother as a sweet and kind to everyone.
Consequences of Non-Love
God created men and women to love one another and love their children. When this ceases to happen the world becomes hell on earth. Satan is influencing as we speak to prevent Titus 2:3-5 from ever becoming a reality. He wants posts like these to sound chauvinistic. Nevertheless, we all are going to stand before God some day and give an account of the stewardship of our family. How did we love our kids? How did we treat them? How did we love our spouses? How dreadful do you suppose it is going to be for those who followed the course of this adulterous generation and blasphemed the word of God? Life is short. We are only here on average of seventy odd years. What after that? Hopefully those who have rejected God's counsel in this regard are coming up with a profound excuse. Not that any excuse is going to help. Because their actions risk leaving the churches and the world in total havoc; or in Paul's words, "that the word of God be not blasphemed." We have a choice to make. We are either going to follow God's blueprint or this evil world's. We are either going to be part of the solution or part of the problem. Let the aged women likewise be in reverent behavior, not slanderers, not enslaved by much wine, teachers of good things, that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, kind, subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be blasphemed. (Titus 2:3-5)
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon