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This is the third of a four-part series on “everyday faith,” based on the instructions Paul gives in Titus 2:1–6. Gospel-centered folks are often allergic to “instructions,” so it’s important to keep in mind that Paul lays these out as our response to the gospel—not as a way to gain acceptance. “Because of what God has done for you,” Paul says, “your lives will look different.” Be sure to read part one (older men), part two (older women), and part four (younger men).

What does Paul say to younger women? They should “love their husbands and children, be self-controlled and pure, be busy at home, be kind, and be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:4).

This is one of those verses that skeptics of religion love to trot out to prove how backwards the Bible is. The assumption is that Scripture teaches male dominance, that women are somehow second-rate. But is that what Paul means?

We’ll pass on that little phrase “be subject to their husbands” … for now. We’ve dealt with it elsewhere, so if you’re really curious, read on. But that still leaves plenty of controversy. For instance, “Be busy at home.” Many read that as Paul’s way of saying that women should stay at home and not work. The only biblical mom, they say, is the stay-at-home mom. But that interpretation ignores multiple places in Scripture where we see examples of women commended for their work outside the home. So this can’t mean that working moms are living in sin.

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This is the second of a four-part series on “everyday faith,” based on the instructions Paul gives in Titus 2:1–6. Gospel-centered folks are often allergic to “instructions,” so it’s important to keep in mind that Paul lays these out as our response to the gospel—not as a way to gain acceptance. “Because of what God has done for you,” Paul says, “your lives will look different.” Be sure to read part one (older men), part three (younger women), and part four (younger men).

Yesterday we tackled Paul’s instructions to older men: don’t give up. Today we ask, What does Paul point out for older women? “Teach the older women to be reverent [or respectful] in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good” (Titus 2:3).

Years ago, one of my seminary professors, Dr. Keith Eitel, said something about this verse that my wife and I have never forgotten. He was talking about that word “reverent” (or “respectful”), and he said, “Older women can sometimes quit caring what people think, so they lose their filters on speaking their mind or talking badly about people.” He went on, “When you’re young, you have two things that can mask quite a bit: your natural physical beauty and your filters. But when those two fade—as they do with age—then the masks are gone, and if you have an ugly spirit, it’ll show.”

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This is the first of a four-part series on “everyday faith,” based on the instructions Paul gives in Titus 2:1–6. Gospel-centered folks are often allergic to instructions, so it’s important to keep in mind that Paul lays these out as our response to the gospel—not as a way to gain acceptance. “Because of what God has done for you,” Paul says, “your lives will look different.” Be sure to read part two (older women), part three (younger women), and part four (younger men).

First up: older men. Paul says, “Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance” (Titus 2:2).

What exactly counts as an “old man” in Paul’s book? Since the life expectancy of the ancient world was so much lower than today, the threshold for “old” would have been quite a bit lower, too. I like to think it was around age 42. (And yes, I’m 41 years old.) Regardless of the actual age, Paul is aiming at temptations particular to those with much of their life behind them.

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