“Trouble-Shooting With Titus”
“The Family Context: 1:5-9
The first thing is the leader’s home (v6). He must be beyond reproach. A clean record. No one in or outside the Church who can point a finger at him, legitimately, that is. This applies to deacons also (1Timothy 3:10). In other words, the person’s life must be out in the open, transparent before men and God. This chap is to be a ‘one woman man’, literally, the text is saying ‘one wife’s husband’. That is, nothing to do with any other woman, or women. No polygamous affairs or marriages. He cannot be accused of sexual promiscuity, laxity. When we begin to understand the sexual vice surrounding Paul’s day, and our own, it becomes clear why the New Testament says so much about the Christian’s lifestyle (Acts 15:29). There were the temple prostitutes, rampant sexual impurity. So Paul says a man engaged in such affairs is debarred from leadership. Does this bar someone who has been divorced, or remarried? No, it does not, that is not what the apostle is talking about. He is pointing to loyalty within relationships.
We ask, can a man who is careless of the deep feelings of others be eldership material? Yes, the standards are very high, they need to be. What of his children? This is difficult. For there are godly men in the Scriptures who had rebellious children. What seems to me to be the important factor, is the attitude of the parents. I mean if they grieve over, love their rebellious children and pray and weep for them, that is one thing. But if they consent to their children’s waywardness, if they refuse to restrain them. Or perhaps even find some vicarious pleasure in their transgressions, that is something else (1Samuel 2:29; 3:13).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1998)