Friday, May 18, 2007

The Makings of a Godly Wife Pt. 3

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-contolled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." Titus 2:3-5

"to be self-contolled" - The KJV says to be discreet. It means to be moderate in opinion or passions. To be self-controlled, temperate. I am a very opinionated person, but according to Scripture, I don't need to make all those opinions known! It doesn't mean that I can't be opinionated - that is the personality that God gave me - but I do need to moderate that and be selective of when I let my opinions be known. I know that for me, often the reason I share my opinion is so that people will realize how smart I am, or that I am right. :-) It is probably wise of us to think about our motivation in sharing our opinions. Have they been asked for? Do we really need to speak our mind, or should we just remain quiet?

"pure" - Or chaste. This means to be innocent, modest, or perfect. To go even further into the root of the Greek it means sacred, pure, blameless, consecrated, or holy. That is a tall order! And yet, as daughters of the King, we are already positionally all these things. Obviously, in this life we are not going to be perfect, but we certainly can be innocent, and modest. We can do our best to live a blameless and consecrated life. But, what would that look like? Realizing that I cannot give you an exhaustive list, I think that some things that would be a part of this would be refraining from participating in gossip. We've already talked about that, so I won't belabor the point, but I will reiterate that I would include listening to as well as speaking gossip. Our dress will be modest; we want to dress in a way that is attractive and beautiful for our husband, but we do not want to dress in a way that is going to cause other men to lust. We will try to avoid hurting people - physically, emotionally, and spiritually - we are to be blameless. We won't be pot stirrers. I think we probably all know at least one woman who seems to thrive on strife; do any of the above adjectives come to mind when you think of her? Probably not. We will do everything as unto the Lord, and worship of the Lord will permeate every aspect of our lives. Whether we are changing diapers, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, teaching our children or making love to our husband, there should be an attitude of worship and joy about us.

"working at home" - This has been written on by folks much more knowledgable than myself, but I know what I believe the scripture to say. Women are to be at home. This is not demeaning! We are given a high and holy calling - and one that is not fit for wimps! :-) It takes someone with strong intestinal fortitude to be a homemaker. We have to be continually defending our conviction of staying at home. We have to be able to manage our time and resources wisely. We need to be able to teach our children, and all that entails from choosing curriculum to teaching reading, writing, and arithmatic! The Greek word translated "keepers" means a stayer at home, or domestically inclined. It also has a facet to it that implies guarding. Isn't that what we do? We guard our home - during times of conflict or war, women are often the ones defending the homefront. But everyday, in many ways we guard our homes. We guard our children's hearts and minds, we guard our finances, we guard our time, we guard our husband's good name. While our beloveds are out fighting the battle to provide, we are the guardians at home.

"kind" - Here the King James translates this word "good". It means to be good. :-) Strong's Concordance gives a second word as a comparable word, and it means beautiful, valuable or virtuous, fair, honest, worthy. These words all flesh out "kind" pretty well. Someone who is kind is virtuous, fair, and honest. She is worthy of her husband's love; he believes her to be valuable. She is beautiful. Have you ever known someone who was not that physically attractive when you met them, but as you got to know them, and discovered their godly character, you began to see them as a beautiful person? I think that this is the kind of beauty that would be referenced here.

"submissive to their own husbands" - The King James says "obedient". We are our husband's subordinate. Much like a captain to a major; both are important and needed, but one has more authority, and so, more responsibility than the other. The husband wife team is made of two equally important and needed positions. However, one is higher "ranking" than the other. God has given our husband the authority and the responsibility of leading. We are to submit to him and follow. It really comes down not to whether or not we trust our husband to lead well, but if we trust God to lead through our husband. I have known many women who will tell you that they are submissive to their husband, but what they really mean is that they are submissive if they agree. If they disagree with their husband, he still may make the decision, but she will make him miserable for not choosing her way. She may talk poorly about him and the decision he has made, or she may flat out be rebellious to the decision he makes. None of that is really submission. I need to be able to joyfully submit to the decisions my Beloved makes because I trust that God is leading him in his decision making. Even for those who are not married to believers. The scripture doesn't say that God is only the head of the believing husband, but that He is the head of the husband. Period.

"that the word of God may not be reviled." - What great incentive this should be to us! If we are godly wives, it speaks well of our Lord. If we fail, the word of God is reviled. May God give each of us the strength and wisdom we need to live a godly life.