From an older woman...

3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled  Titus 2:3-5




I am officially an older woman.
And I take this exhortation seriously.
So I want to share my heart on how I see these principles applied in the lives of women today...

First, for us older women:


1. Reverent behavior - While there can undoubtedly be some variations in how "reverent behavior" manifests itself in different women, there is no doubt that reverence will be displayed as dignity,self-control, and respect.  Action and attitudes that are obnoxious, narcissistic, or demanding are not appropriate (for anyone but especially not one who should bear the grace of maturity)
2.  Not slanderers - Slander: malicious injury to the reputation of another.  There are lots of ways to accomplish that.  Outright false stories or subtle insinuations...all intended to tear down another person.  Isn't it interesting that Scripture prohibits "slander" with the same weight as that against "slave to much wine"?  Sadly, much damage has been done to The Church, The Body, and the cause of Christ as a result of unwise tongues.  And, let's be honest, girls, most of the time, the slanderous talking has come from our gender. 
3.  Not enslaved to much wine - pretty straightforward. 
4.  Teaching what is good.  And then those good instructions that are to be transmitted to the younger generations are explained...


Younger women:
1.  Love husband, love children.  I personally found it not merely encouraging but actually a huge relief that this trait is to be taught, ie it doesn't come naturally!  But it can be learned.  Hallelujah!  So I am not an abject failure if there are times I feel like I'm struggling in practicing love towards the folks I actually love the most!
2. Self-controlled - in our words and our ways.  Just because we feel it doesn't mean we have to say it.  And just because we think it doesn't mean we have to do it.  Self-control. A multitude of problems - for ourselves and our families and everyone around us - can be avoided if we women would practice self-control.
3  Pure - unpolluted, free from impurities.  In our dress, our speech, and our mannerisms.  What we look at, listen to, where we go, and what we do.  Not vulgarity.  Nor coarseness.  Nor indecencies.  Purity.
4.  Working at home - I don't think this prohibits women from having a paying job outside the home but with all my heart I do believe that Scripture clearly lays out for us married women that home is the #1 priority.  Taking care of our home  (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) takes precedence over work, recreation, other relationships and even ministry.  I feel this so strongly that I cannot overstate it.  If we women are so busy pursuing friendships, fun, or even faith-based activities that we neglect our homes, then we are failures
5.  Kind - wow.  Of all the Christlike adjectives that Scripture could've used, "kind" is the word of choice.  That's powerful.  Kindness is powerful.  It's the kindness of God that leads men to repentance. If a woman wants to wield some power, this trait is the most effective weapon.  Kindness.  Not assertiveness.  Not argumentation. Not manipulation.  Kindness.
6.  Submissive to their husbands - I know that word rattles some cages but I think it's because we don't know what it means.  It's a term that means "to place in an orderly fashion" . Scripture doesn't tell husbands that they are to require submission - instead, we wives are told to subject ourselves.  Big difference.  Submission doesn't mean unilateral rule at all.  It means I voluntarily arrange my priorities around my husband.  I employ my gifts and talents to complement his and together we form a united team. I lay down my life to serve Christ by serving my family - that's submission.  And that brings joy. 


Make no mistake about it - the powers and principalities of this world have launched an all-out assault on this type of woman.  From all points, we are lured into mirages that deceptively promise happiness and fulfillment and satisfaction.  We are brainwashed to think that such things are our "right".  But these don't deliver what they promise. And when we follow them, we become discouraged.  And exhausted.  And disillusioned. 


And God's Word is misunderstood and disparaged by those who observe our lives.  


But
when we wives and Mommies find our joy in loving our families well, when our energy and talents are prioritized into making our homes a place of refuge and happiness and security, when our lives are characterized by moral purity, integrity, and kindness....well, then the Word of God will be read accurately in living color by everyone we meet.