It has been on my heart for some time to unpack a little verse in Titus concerning the role of women in the church. It is truly important for us to understand, and yet, I rarely hear it addressed. For one, it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, and two, I don’t think we entirely understand it. If we did, I believe mothers would see greater value and find more fulfillment in the privilege they have been given.
In the book of Titus, Paul gives instructions to Titus about how to teach his people to live Godly lives, and how that fits into the big picture of how the Church is to function. In chapter 2, verse 3-5, he addresses the women. Hang with me. I am sharing the whole message in context, but I want to highlight one point.
“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” NIV, emphasis mine
to be busy at home~ the King James Version says “keepers at home”, and there are all different ways that translations describe this. I always pictured “home-maker” like my mom used to write in the occupational section of her tax return, and I see her doing the house work. But there is way more to the word used in the Greek letter that Paul wrote to the church. “Keepers at home” is the word oikourgos. Interestingly, this passage is the one and only time that this word is used. It is an adjective that comes from another word which means “a guard” or be “ware”. You see, while oikourgos does pertain to taking care of household affairs, it also means to be a watchman.
“Urge the younger women… to be watchmen at home.”
In biblical times, a physical watchman was placed in a tower, often on the wall. They were responsible to see everything that was coming and going, and to sound the alarm to tell the city of impending danger so that they could take action to defend themselves.
A spiritual watchman was a prophet, or seer, responsible to carry God’s word and warning to the people in order to build up the people or tear down spiritual threats.
We have a responsibility to be not only caring for our family’s household affairs, but on the look-out for danger, teaching them God’s ways, and admonishing them (correcting and disciplining) to help them grow into deeply love-rooted, strong children of God. Are we aware and concerned about what we are feeding ourselves and our families? What influences our thought lives, beliefs, opinions, attitudes and actions?
I am reminded of the children’s song, “O Be Careful Little Eyes”. For the Father up above is looking down in love (and we want to please Him), therefore, Be careful little eyes what you see, Be careful little ears what you hear, Be careful little tongues what you say, Be careful little hands what you do, and Be careful little feet where you go.
We are a huge influence. Are we watching the kind of example are we setting? How do we spend our time? What do we think and talk about? What kind of people do we associate with and invite into our homes? What type of examples are they?
And beyond that, what are we allowing our family to be soaking in from books, movies, social media, advertisements, games, and even toys, that can be chock full of enticing images and examples designed to sell us on the world’s ideas and lull us into “Christian Complacency”. The enemy has so many sneaky weapons. We are called to be watchmen, and do not allow the enemy into our homes. He often sends his messages, like a Trojan horse, and people let them in without thinking too hard about it. The packaging looks good on the outside, but inside they are weapons with the potential to lead impressionable minds astray. Be aware.
Years ago, I memorized Philippians 4:8 in the Amplified Version with my children, and we used this verse to carefully examine our influences (movies, books, etc.) and clean out–big time.
Contemporary Disney movies usually portray single parent families with children who are rebellious, but despite their rebellion, everything works out to their advantage and they are considered heroes. Much of the entertainment out there uses copious amounts of magic. As the years have gone on, the magic in media has become less fanciful and more dark. Entertainment entices our people to develop interest in witchcraft and the demonic, which is scarily easy to access more information about online and in libraries. Immodesty, promiscuity, divorce and homosexuality is normalized, and even praised. Dads are portrayed as dumb, children are disrespectful, and Moms? It depends. What the world tries to sell us on will always be the opposite of what God’s Word praises. Sometimes it’s mixed up with something true, because “a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down, ” right? What our family sees the most, they will be most inclined to copy, even without thinking about it. I’m only skimming the surface in this post.
When my family does see a bad example, whether it is on movie or something we see in a store parking lot, we talk about it. I ask them how they feel about what they are seeing, and we discuss what God’s word says about it. Then it’s not just something parents say, but they understand what God thinks, and they are equipped to make wise choices to please Him. It has been a very beneficial practice in critical thinking.
Examining the influences we allow into our homes more carefully, and removing bad examples, can lead to changes in everyone’s attitudes and actions. What we see and hear on a regular basis gets into our hearts, and as Luke 6:45 teaches, it’s what is in our hearts that determines what comes out of our mouths, as well as what our hands find to do and where our feet take us. In these times, too many little feet are straying from the Lord and His salvation.
Women, Titus 2:5 is a call to action: Guard your homes and your families. Commit what is under your authority to the Lord. God says you are a watchman.
Image by FotoXCapture, by David Mark, by StockSnap, and by Brigitte makes custom works from your photos, thanks a lot from Pixabay.