“The aged women likewise, that they be… teachers of good things” (Titus 2:3).
When I was a boy, I remember reading about a mother who taught her daughter to cut off the end of a roast before placing it in the oven, laying the part she cut off in the pan next to the roast. She explained that that’s how her mother had taught her to prepare a roast. When her daughter asked why, her mom wasn’t sure, so the girl called her grandmother to find out. Grandma explained that it was because she never owned a pan long enough for a roast!
Now that sounds like something that aged women don’t need to teach anyone. And life is filled with things like that! Maybe that’s why, after telling “aged women” to be “teachers of good things” (Titus 2:3), the Apostle Paul went on to talk about the kinds of things he wanted them to teach—and to whom he wished they would teach them. Speaking of aged women, he wrote,
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands” (Tit. 2:4).
Aged Christian women are to teach younger Christian women. And the first thing Paul says to teach them is to be sober. That word has different meanings in Scripture, but when Paul uses it right after telling aged women to be “not given to much wine” (v. 3), I have to believe he wanted younger women to learn not to give themselves to much wine as well. If you’re not sure why young wives might need to be taught this, it might be because Paul also says that young women should be taught “to love their husbands.” When a woman is married to a man who is hard to love, it’s much easier to give herself to wine than it is to learn to love him.
Aged Christian women should teach younger women to love their husbands by example, of course. Ladies, when you are making the often-difficult decision of whether to love your difficult husband, or drown your sorrows in alcohol instead, keep in mind that whichever path you choose, you are setting an example for younger women—and to society in general. What woman doesn’t want to make the world a better place in which to live? Well, if a young woman is married, the primary way in which she can accomplish this worthy goal is to learn to love her husband.
Another way aged women can teach younger women to love an unlovable husband is by reminding them that loving the unlovable is what the Lord did when He died for us. “Christ died for the ungodly…when we were enemies” (Rom. 5:6,10). Talk about loving the unlovable! If our sinless Savior could love sinners like us, no wife can ever say she can’t love her unlovable husband —and no husband can say he can’t love his unlovable wife, as Paul also commands (Eph. 5:25).
In marriage counseling I have often heard husbands and wives lament, “I just don’t love my spouse anymore.” My response has always been the same. I remind husbands and wives that they can learn to love their spouses. If Paul says that aged women are to teach younger women to love their husbands, that means love can be taught. And if love can be taught, it can be learned.
Many husbands are hard to love, but somewhere on the planet is the best husband on earth. You’d think that it wouldn’t be hard for his wife to love him, but the best husband on earth is still a man with a fallen sin nature that he inherited from Adam. That means he may not have the flaws of many of the other men on earth, but he’s not perfect. If you don’t believe me, just ask his wife!
But let me tell you something about her sin nature. Instead of being grateful that he doesn’t have all the flaws of other men, she’s focusing on the few flaws he does have. It’s just human nature. His flaws might seem small to you, but I guarantee they seem big to her. That’s human nature as well. But the woman with the world’s best husband must also learn to love her husband.
Loving the unlovable is good advice for us all. So if you know how, why not teach some-one else how? And if you haven’t yet learned to “walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us” (Eph. 5:2), why not determine to begin learning how today, by learning more of how Christ loved us.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.