The Measuring Stick

“…The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things–that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5

In Paul’s letter to Titus he directs Titus to “set in order the things that are lacking.” Paul gives specific instructions about what is needed to establish and maintain a healthy, God-centered church. The behaviors Paul describes, although directed toward leadership, are a good measuring stick for anyone who desires a life that reflects a deep relationship with Jesus.

Paul instructs the older woman to conduct herself in such a manner that she will be a positive example for younger women. She is to demonstrate holy living by: not engaging in gossip, being sober, loving her husband and children, exercising self-control, exhibiting modesty and purity, taking care of her home, being a good person, and respecting and honoring her husband. By modeling these behaviors, the “Titus Woman” as she is often called, is used by God to teach the younger women. You see, possession of these qualities is intended for all women, young or old, but the woman whose life has been forged by the trials of growing into a Titus Woman is marked by God-given wisdom gained through her journey. By God’s design she is to be a “teacher of good things” and encourage the younger, less experienced woman. In that way everyone’s behavior will glorify God so that “the Word of God may not be blasphemed.”

It can feel a bit overwhelming to use the Titus Woman as a measuring stick to gauge our lives, however, 2 Peter 1:3 assures us that “…His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…” and verse 4 tells us that we can be partakers of the divine nature through His exceedingly great and precious promises. We have this confidence, “that He who has begun a good work in [us] will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 Becoming a Titus Woman is not done in our own strength, but in His.

Clearly, the Christians in Crete were carnal and “lacking” the godly behaviors needed to be spiritually healthy and to thrive. According to Wiersbe, “set in order” is a medical term; it was applied to the setting of a crooked limb. It is encouraging to remember that God doesn’t cast us away when we fall short; He desires to make the crooked straight. When we measure ourselves by His Word and find that we fall short, we can stand on His many promises. Not least of which is the promise that Scripture is given to us by God and it will correct and instruct us so we can be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work; even the good work of a Titus Woman.

-Jacque B.