Recently I came across a web site called, “Lies That Moms Tell Their Kids To Get Them To Behave.” One mom told her kids she had a new phone app that could tell her when they were misbehaving behind her back!
Well, while children should heed Paul’s advice to “obey your parents in the Lord” simply because, as Paul went on to say, “this is right” (Eph. 6:1), the apostle Paul says that “aged men” should behave themselves for a different reason. He told Titus,
“…speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be… grave… sound in faith” (Titus 2:1,2).
Aged Christian men should behave themselves because it is becoming to the sound doctrine they profess to believe. That word means to make something look good. Officers in the military can be charged with “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman” if they misbehave and make the military look bad, but aged Christian men should want to make the sound doctrine they believe and teach look good!
And that includes being “grave,” a word that means serious—deadly serious! As men grow old, they tend to mellow, and not take things as seriously as they did when they were young. While that might be okay in some areas of life, Paul is talking about being serious in spiritual matters, and the gravity of spiritual things doesn’t diminish with age. So if you are an older Christian man, you might want to take stock of your life to determine if you are as serious about serving the Lord as you were when you wore a younger man’s clothes.
Paul says that aged men should also be “sound in faith.” The word “sound” means healthy, wholesome and strong. When Isaiah wanted to describe how sinful the people of Israel were in his day, he compared them to a diseased man’s body (Isaiah 1:5), saying of his nation, “there is no soundness in it” (v. 6). So being “sound in faith” means having strong and healthy faith.
Maybe you noticed that Paul didn’t say that aged men should be sound in the faith. That is, he didn’t say they should be sound in the body of truth given to Paul for the dispensation of grace. That’s true, but that’s something Paul expressed earlier in this epistle (Tit. 1:13). Here the word “faith” means faithfulness, as it does when Paul wrote of God’s faithfulness to the people of Israel despite their unbelief (Rom. 3:3). So in saying that aged men should be “sound in faith,” Paul is saying they should be strong in their faithfulness to the Lord.
And now that I’m getting to be an aged man myself, I think I can understand why the apostle says this to aged men. It is the same reason he tells us all, “be not weary in well doing” (Gal. 6:9). That’s challenging for believers at any age, but it is a particular challenge when a man starts getting on in years. I still love studying the Word and teaching it, but I have to tell you, I’m getting tired! So I can see why Paul would tell aged men that they should be “sound in faith,” and not let weariness or anything else affect the soundness of their faithfulness to the Lord.
So if you’re a Christian man who is willing to admit that the word “aged” might describe you, I hope that the words “grave” and “sound in faith” can also be used to describe you. If you’re as serious about serving the Lord as you were when you were young, it will surely show in your faithfulness to Him. And Paul says that these are “things that become sound doctrine.”
Of course, one of the ways to help ensure that you’ll be sound in faith when you get old is to start while you are young!
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
You’ll be eternally glad you did!
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.