Friday, May 3, 2019

The Heartfelt Embrace of Young Womanhood, Part 2
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Titus 2:4-5 is a gloriously clear text that defines what biblical womanhood is about. In fact, these verses provide the ingredients for a wonderful ministry of older women coming alongside to deliberately teach and biblically urge the young women to live out these seven virtues that God mandates for all young women.  In a culture of confusion and outright rebellion against God and His Word, this text serves as a clarion call to the older women of God to train the younger -- that is, to intentionally teach, to regularly disciple, to faithfully ‘school’ -- women in God’s design for biblical womanhood. Here is the true path of joy, the road to happiness, and the honor of biblical, young womanhood.

As mentioned before, Paul gives these virtues of biblical womanhood in the context of the older women teaching the younger. And this teaches that these biblical qualities do not come naturally. The young women need to be taught these things.

In the previous blog, I commented on the first three virtues. God calls young women (1) to love their husbands, (2) to love their children, and (3) to be sensible (Titus 2:4-5a). In this post, I want to continue commenting on the virtues of young womanhood from this crucial text.

4. She is to be pure.  Paul calls the young women to be pure. The Greek word that Paul employs speaks of being religiously honorable, reverent, and sacred. Here is a woman who knows that she is fully devoted to God and owned by God in her life. She makes it her ambition to be pure in every area of life. The context, however, may lead to her pursuing purity in her sexuality. She is fully devoted to her husband and him alone. She is fully available and desirous of him and lovemaking with him alone. She has no flings, no emotional relationships, no fanciful desires. Rather, she is self-controlled in her body and in her sexuality. Young women need to be taught these things. Culture, the swath of young woman presenting themselves on social media, TV shows, Netflix, and in our cities does not help in promoting a biblical view of sexual purity. Far from it! Herein lies the reason why God calls the older women of God to intentionally and faithfully attend to the younger women to teach them sexual purity. This woman cares about modesty. She cares about what she wears. She cares for her brothers in Christ and does not want to wear anything that could cause them to stumble (tight clothing, high clothing, low clothing, provocative clothing). God’s design for young womanhood is to be pure in her life. In a culture of impurity and sensuality and provocative clothing, young women of God must remember that though they live in the world, they are not of the world. And God does not mandate them to do it alone! The older are to come alongside of the younger with love, with honesty, with care, with biblical truths, and with practical tips and advice.

5. She is to be a worker at home.  Literally, Paul calls the young women to be ‘home-workers.’ Talk about something that flies in the face of the cultural wave for women to go out and work, present themselves, flourish in their field, travel the world, get a job, excel at the workplace. The primary place of work and ministry for a married woman and for a mother is the home.  This does not mean that a woman cannot work outside the home. But the point that Paul makes is that her primary domain of ministry and her primary place of exertion of energy must be the home -- to her husband, to her children, and to her domestic duties of keeping the house a welcoming, warm, inviting, and hospitable place for her family and others. This, of course, does not come naturally to young women. They need to learn this. And here Paul calls the older women to teach domestic duties to young women. What does it mean to keep the house? What’s entailed in cleaning, in home decor, in hospitality, in colors and furniture, in food and preparation, in serving others? How does she make and maintain a warm, inviting, and delightful environment for her husband and for her children? Let the older women take the younger under their wing to intentionally school them in the importance of these duties and the practical nature of how to do them well as a woman of God.

6. She is to be kind. Another virtue that God mandates for young women is to be kind. The word could also be rendered good, generous, beneficial, useful, excelling in her duties.  This is the young woman who sees a need and she does all she can to attend to it and meet that need. She primarily is kind and useful to those in the context of her home -- her husband and children -- but also those who come to visit, those in her church family, those she welcomes over for hospitality, and others who may come across her path. She seeks to be generous, excellent and kind in all her words, her actions, her duties, and her responsibilities as a wife, a mother, and a home-maker. Again, this virtue does not come naturally to young women. That’s why the Apostle calls the older women of God to teach this virtue to young women and show them why it’s important and how to be kind and beneficial to those in the context of her home. The home is her domain and the young woman of God seeks to excel with grace and usefulness in the primary place where God has called her to serve.

7. She is to be subject to her own husband. Godly women are to be submissive to their own husbands. Biblical submission is the heartfelt placing oneself under the authority of others that God has placed in our lives. Biblical submission is a glorious and beautiful thing. God not only calls wives to submit, but everyone is called to submit. For instance, all must submit to God, all must submit to government, all Christians must submit to their church elders. Even Christ submitted Himself to His Father. So, biblical submission is a wonderful heart-attitude flowing out of a godly woman that seeks to honor God and fulfill her role as God has spelled it out in Scripture.  Culture is not the standard. Biblical women do not learn marriage orders and godly living from watching the secular world. The authority is the Scripture and it couldn’t be more clear. Young women must embrace the beautiful and glorious call from God to submit to their own husbands. Note they are to submit to their own husbands -- not every person or every man, but the man she’s married to by covenant. And note how Paul begins and ends the list of virtues of biblical, young womanhood by addressing marriage. She is to be a lover of her husband and faithfully submitting to her own husband. This certainly does not come naturally to a woman. This, again, is why Paul calls the older to come to the assistance of and urgently teach and biblically show what this entails and how it looks in the day to day life of a marriage.

All of this points to a great purpose. Why does Paul give these seven virtues of young womanhood?  So that the Word of God will not be dishonored (Titus 2:5b). To state it differently, Paul doesn’t want the word to be reviled, or discredited, or maligned. What a high calling God gives to young women. You can, by God’s grace and with His Spirit, live out biblical womanhood in such a way that you beautify the gospel and show the life-transforming power and joy-instilling hope of the Word of God! What a high calling that should be happily embraced by all young women of God!

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