When it comes to this series of blog posts, I want everyone to understand that becoming a godly woman isn’t about following a list of do’s and don’ts. There is no checklist for being a godly woman.
Becoming a godly woman is about character. It is not so much about what you are doing as about who you are being. It is about who you are becoming.
Now before anyone jumps down my throat about this: Our actions are important, but our actions are important because they are a reflection of our hearts, a reflection of our character. (Faith without works is dead.)
I believe that when we approach verses like Titus 2:3-5 and Proverbs 31 we need to be looking at the character of the women that they are describing, not the list of things that they do. There are many characteristics or virtues to be found in these verses that all women should be developing in their lives.
What character traits do we see in the Titus 2 woman that we should see in our own lives?
1) She is reverent.
“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.” (Titus 2:3 NIV)
What does it mean to be reverent? According to Dictionary.com, the word “reverent” means being deeply respectful. A reverent woman is a respectful woman. A respectful woman is the opposite of a rude woman. She treats people the way that she wants to be treated.
2) She is loving.
“Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children…” (Titus 2:4 NIV)
I know it says “to love their husbands and children” but love is the key word here when it comes to looking at the character of the Titus 2 woman. Older women are to train younger women to love. Yes, specifically the apostle Paul is talking about loving husbands and children, but shouldn’t we love whomever we meet?
3) She is self-controlled.
“to be self-controlled…” (Titus 2:5a NIV)
This one is quite evident, and this is not the first or last place that Paul talks about self-control. He lists it as one of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. He obviously thought that being self-controlled was important. Self-control is something that we have to learn. It has to be taught to us. None of us are born with self-control, but self-control is needed if we are to live a godly life.
4) She is pure.
“…and pure…” (Titus 2:5b)
Purity is a hot topic these days. Everywhere I turn lately it seems like I’m seeing someone posting about purity. The topic of purity is usually addressed to singles and teens, but here Paul is actually addressing married women. Purity is a characteristic of a godly woman, and it takes a lot of self-control to remain pure. Purity is about more than keeping yourself physically pure before marriage. Purity is about learning to control our thoughts and emotions, and purity is ultimately about loving Jesus more than we love ourselves.
5) She is kind.
“…to be kind…” (Titus 2:5d)
(Yes, I know I skipped one. I will address it in a bit.)
Being a godly woman means being a kind woman. Being a kind woman means giving a helping hand to someone in need (and sometimes this includes you).
6) She is submissive.
“to be subject to her husband…” (Titus 2:5e)
Submission…The world hates this word, but I think that is because the world has a twisted view of the word. To submit to something or someone means to yield to that thing or person. Think about when you are out in your car. You come to a corner, and you are getting ready to make a right turn. You see a sign that says “yield” and when you look around you see another car turning and you yield to that car. You give way to that car and then pull in behind it and follow it. Well, submission is supposed to be like that. It is allowing someone else to lead.
When we are single, we have a tendency to look at the word “submissive” and think that it doesn’t apply to us. (Or at least I did.) Recently though I was challenged by the Lord to rethink this. Submissiveness isn’t something that magically happens when we are married. It is something that has to be taught, and we first learn to be submissive as children when we learn to obey our parents. As a single woman, I am still to be submissive
I am to be submissive to the Lord. I’m to be submissive and walk in obedience to the Lord. It is as simple and as difficult as that.
But I don’t have a husband! How am I supposed to work at home and love him?
“Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (Titus 2: 4-5 NIV)
But I’m not married! I don’t have a husband to love, and how am I supposed to work at home when I have bills to pay? How in the world does this apply to me?
1) You can love your husband even before you are married.
You can love your husband before you ever meet him. How? By being a loving person in general. By praying for him, not just about him. By learning about yourself and by learning about how to serve others. By keeping yourself pure until you are married. By learning to how to take care of a home. (Notice I said a home, not just a house. I believe that there is more to taking care of a home than simply taking care of the building that you live in.)
2) You can and should be busy at home even if you have to work outside the home.
When I was younger, I used to wish for the times when young women lived at home until they were married, but those times have passed us and the majority of single women today have to work outside the home in order to support themselves. There are few young women who are blessed enough to have the choice of staying at home and not working outside the house until they are married. (I know a few who blog about it, and I was not given that choice when I was younger although now I live at home in order to take of my grandmother.)
But even if you work outside the home, you have to learn how to take care of a home and I believe that is what Paul is talking about here. Don’t neglect your home. Even when you are single…No, especially when you are single it is important to take care of your home. It is more than just a place to sleep at night. It is a reflection of you and when you take care of it, you can open it up and make it a place of warmth and welcome that reflects not only who you are, but it can reflect God’s light. Your home can and should be a place of worship and light and life, a place where you can rest in God and a place you can use to serve God. Don’t neglect it.
As I have read through and studied the character traits of the Titus 2 woman, I have begun learning more about the woman I want to be whether single or married. Even if I never marry I want others to see the characteristics in me that I see in this woman that the apostle Paul describes. I want to be seen as a loving, godly woman who take care of the things that the Lord has blessed her with.
What characteristics do you see in her?
Now it’s your turn….