The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of September 10-16, 2017, is Titus 2:1-10. The book of Titus was a letter sent by Paul to the church of Crete, through Titus. The church in Crete was composed of mostly Gentiles and Paul’s letter addresses many issues, including how those within the church are to act. Paul’s instructions can continued to be applied today.
But [as for] you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine [the character and right living that identify true Christians]. Urge the older men to be temperate, venerable (serious), sensible, self-controlled, and sound in the faith, in the love, and in the steadfastness and patience [of Christ]. Bid the older women similarly to be reverent and devout in their deportment as becomes those engaged in sacred service, not slanderers or slaves to drink. They are to give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble, so that they will wisely train the young women to be sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited). In a similar way, urge the younger men to be self-restrained and to behave prudently [taking life seriously]. And show your own self in all respects to be a pattern and a model of good deeds and works, teaching what is unadulterated, showing gravity [having the strictest regard for truth and purity of motive], with dignity and seriousness. And let your instruction be sound and fit and wise and wholesome, vigorous and irrefutable and above censure, so that the opponent may be put to shame, finding nothing discrediting or evil to say about us. [Tell] bond servants to be submissive to their masters, to be pleasing and give satisfaction in every way. [Warn them] not to talk back or contradict, nor to steal by taking things of small value, but to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior. (Titus 2:1-10, AMP)
There are many who would take issue with this passage, claiming that it is demeaning to women and gives all power to men only. But is that really what this passage is saying? This passage assigns responsibility to both men and women. The instructions laid out by Paul are different for men and women, yet the different teachings also compliment each other, just as men and women should complement each other. Paul’s instructions also acknowledge that men and women learn in different ways and have different issues that need to be addressed. What is the ultimate goals of the teachings advocated by Paul? To live a life, and raise up children, in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, determine which group described by Paul with which you most closely identify. Then carefully read and re-read Paul’s instructions for that group. How do you measure up? Where can you begin the changes to your life today?