“Trouble-Shooting With Titus”
Senior Citizens (2:2-3)
Now it is the aged women v3. Reverence is what the apostle is looking for. The original Greek word used denotes a priestly function, as the high priest in the holy place. The demand is for the older women folk in the congregation to be reverent in their demeanour. Not a garrulous gossiping, excessive talking about trivial matters, exchanging the latest scandals with their neighbours over the garden fence. The elderly Christian woman has something more priestly to be about. Her entire deportment is meant here. It refers to her dress, her speech, her general attitude, becoming holiness, priestliness. Neither is she to be a tale-bearer, falsely accusing folk of wrong-doings, a scandal-monger. Not addicted to alcohol. Again this would be an area for moderation, not necessarily abstinence. The Bible does not call for abstinence from alcohol however much we might like it to. We must not handle the word of God deceitfully, misrepresent God in way at all (2Corinthians 4:2). However, we may question, with all the Scripture has to say about the dangers of strong drink, is it wise for a Christian to even go there? Does a Christian woman, or man for that matter, even need to be consuming such beverages?
What Paul is advocating for these aged women I think reflects the atmosphere, the kind of lifestyles from which these Cretans have been converted from. So the wise counsel for them, and for many in our own day who have been likewise rescued from like addictions, stay away from it altogether. You can be a slave to alcohol and never get drunk. I recall a man I once worked with for a time, he confessed he had to have his two units of alcohol every night, otherwise he couldn’t sleep. You see, he was dependent upon the stuff. The same man would never have been seen in a state of drunkenness, but still a slave to it. These ladies are to teach good things. Not publicly, as part of the churches instituted ministry. Rather privately, teaching perhaps the younger women, and children (1Timothy 2:12). This of course would not be pleasing to the women’s liberation movement, but it is God’s standards and ways we are looking for, not theirs.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1998)