As we have seen from Titus 2:4,5, the young wives must be taught to love their husbands and children. That love comes to concrete expression by their being discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good. But there is one other thing that young wives must be taught.
Obedient to Their Husbands
The older women must teach the young women to be obedient to their own husbands.
This is the calling sounded repeatedly throughout the Bible’s teaching on marriage: the godly wife is to be in subjection to her husband.
That refers, first of all, to the attitude of her heart. She must know in her heart that God gave her husband to her as the head of their home. To live in subjection to him is to live in obedience to God Himself.
The reason is stated in Scripture, in Ephesians 23, 24: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”
We recognize, of course, that husbands sometimes are most difficult to deal with. That is why Scripture also addresses the husbands very pointedly concerning their calling to treat their wives as Christ treats His Church, nourishing and cherishing her, giving honor to her out of the deep spiritual love of the regenerated heart. For the young men who read these articles, that is your calling as a husband, for which you will also answer to God. And therefore also you may not ignore your wife, nor refuse to allow her to talk or express her feelings. Marriage is communion, fellowship between husband and wife.
But turning again to the text before us we see that, without exception, the wife who will live in obedience to God must live in subjection to her husband.
You should remember, at the time this epistle was written, the church was full of new converts, many women whose husbands were unbelieving and ungodly. Peter addressed that issue specifically in I Peter 3:1, when he wrote: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.”
It makes no difference if the husband is unreasonable and disobedience to his calling as a husband. The wife is to show her love for God by living in subjection to her husband.
There is nothing more disruptive to the home than a rebellious wife who will not submit to the rule of her husband.
There is nothing that gives a more disastrous testimony to the wicked world, than a woman who claims to be a Christian, but lives in rebellion to her husband.
What a horrible testimony to the truth of God’s Word, when a wife in the church rules in the household of her husband, contrary to her husband’s desires!
What tragedy, when the wickedness of the world’s women is manifest in households of the church! You wives must be in subjection to your husbands, says the Word of God.
The Instruction of the Older Women
Again, I remind you older women: It is your calling to exhort earnestly the young women concerning these things.
Of all these things that we have heard from this text, not one of them comes naturally. And you young women, as well as you older women, having heard these virtues and characteristics of godliness set before you, recognize very clearly that these things don’t come naturally for you, do they.
It takes the grace of God and the fellowship of the Spirit of Christ to enable us to walk in godliness. In all spiritual virtues we must be taught of God. And God uses means to teach us.
It may be difficult for a young woman to receive this instruction from a man. It may also be difficult for you to approach your daughters and other young women in the church concerning these matters. We are often of a mind to let things be, and hope that they somehow turn out well. But we may not live that way.
You, as godly women in Zion, are to exhort the young wives and remind them that what we have here is not merely the instruction of a self-seeking man. This is the very Word of God, the God Who is all-wise, Who knows what is best for us and for our families and for the Church, the God Who loves us so much that He gave His Son for us, and now shows us how to enjoy the fellowship of His covenant love. We must walk in obedience to Him.
The instruction of this text is as much the teaching of the Bible as is the truth of total depravity, the virgin birth of our Savior, Christ’s death and resurrection, and any other doctrine of the faith. And as important as is God’s truth and His revelation concerning those doctrines, of the same importance is the instruction given us in Titus 2:4, 5.
This is the life of a young wife that is consistent with the truth of God’s Word and the life of a Christian.
A Spiritually Fruitful Obedience
Godly obedience to this high calling is indeed spiritually fruitful.
That is evident from the last part of verse 5, where the focus is on the fruitfulness with respect to God’s honor and glory.
Women are to live such a life of godliness, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.
That shows that the way you live reflects upon God.
For one who claims to love God and His Word, and yet who lives contrary to it, that person shows reproach to the Word of God, that it is not in his or her heart.
And when a person walks uprightly, that person shows that the Word of God reflects in his or her life. This brings a seriousness to your calling, doesn’t it.
The Word of God is blasphemed by the world when we Christians speak so much about the covenant of God with us and our children, when we claim that our children are God’s gifts to us, and then we forsake our calling as Godly parents. We give occasion for the Word of God to be held in contempt. So that those who oppose us say, “The Word of God? It has no power. It doesn’t make a real difference in your life, does it!” Sometimes we hear that, don’t we. It only takes one member of the congregation living wickedly, and we hear, ‘You PR.’s; you claim to have the truth, but it sure doesn’t make any difference in how you live, does it!”
But we must remember that this inspired instruction is given to young women who have been born again by the Spirit of Christ. You who are God-fearing know that there is nothing worse than to live in such a way that we cause God and His Word to be blasphemed. You don’t want that! You love the Lord God! And therefore—I know of you—you want God’s Word to be praised.
That is why you hear this Word of God. You find your strength and fulfillment in the way of obedience.
Isn’t it so?
These matters pertaining to the life of young wives are the things that become, that are consistent with, sound doctrine. And God is glorified in those virtuous young wives and mothers who walk in obedience to His Word.
But in addition, when God is glorified, He also gives His blessing.
Look once again, beloved, at those characteristics manifest in the God-fearing young woman. She loves her husband; she loves her children. She is discreet, chaste, a keeper at home. She is good, obedient to her own husband.
It is those kinds of characteristics that make the women of the world rage. To them such characteristics spell male-domination and bondage, drudgery and suppression. What do those things spell to you?
According to God’s Word, those things spell BEAUTY, spiritual beauty. Such beauty is possible only by your freedom in Christ Jesus, freedom to walk in the way of God’s will. For we are partakers of God’s glory and grace in Christ Jesus.
The young woman who strives to live in obedience to this Word of God certainly rises above the degrading principles of sin and wickedness. That is not to say that obedience is found to be easy. Nor is it to say that such a life will not result in certain sacrifices and hardships. But when you live according to God’s precepts, your life is seen as one of beauty and nobility. It is seen as such by God Himself. But it is also seen as such by God-fearing husbands and children and brothers and sisters in Christ.
When you walk in the way of this Word, though you are so conscious of your weaknesses and sins, you set examples before your husband and children and neighbors that are worthy of emulation. They will know that your life is hid with Christ in God.
And so you also shield your children from the evils and errors, sins and wickedness that surround them. By your own example of godliness, you warn them against the ways of the world, and show them the higher, more beautiful and worthwhile things of life: obedience to God and His Word, and partaking of the fellowship of His love.
Of the woman who lives in such a way, the writer of Proverbs 31 speaks, “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her…. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:28, 30). Hear this Word of God, my young sisters in Christ. Walk in His way. And May God Himself so grant you His blessing. ♦