Learning From the Older Generation

June 16, 2018 0 Comments

Editor's Note: This Bible Study is one of the "Daily Devotional" readings from my new book: Strength For Today (The New Testament)
Titus chapter two deals with the Christian character qualities of every age group in the church. Paul divides his remarks into the following five categories:
1. The older men (vs. 1).
2. The older women (vs. 2).
3. The younger women (vs. 3).
4. The young men (vs. 6).
5. The servants (vs. 9).
The entire emphasis of Titus 2 is on the older generation setting a good example for the younger generation; being their role models and teachers. The “Titus 2 principle” is just as valid today as when it was written in the first century of the church, though our culture has changed dramatically.
First, the older men are to be “sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience.” There is no place for “grumpy old men” in God’s family. They are to be dignified, disciplined, and demonstrative in their faith, love, and patience. Second, the older women, likewise, are to be “reverent, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things.” They are not to be known as gossips or alcoholics. They have a valuable role in the church as teachers—specifically teachers of the young women in the church—a very important “generational mentoring” process. Third, the young women are instructed to display seven character qualities (all handed down from the older women). The first six of these can be paired as follows:

(1) To love their husbands and (2) to love their children, (3) To be discreet (self-controlled) and (4) chaste (pure), (5) To be keepers at home and (6) kind,
(7) To be obedient to their own husbands.

This “older women training younger women” formula is much needed today. Like foolish King Rehoboam who sought the advice of his peers (the inexperienced young men of his own age) instead of the wise counsel of the older men, many young women today are getting their advice from other young women.
As a Pastor I saw this trend and its adverse effect upon the church. Any time the younger generation thinks they know more than the older generation, you have a big problem. God is clear that this “Titus 2 principle” be implemented in the church. “The verb translated train (admonish in the NKJV) is the Greek word “sophronizosin”, which literally means “to bring someone to his or her senses.” Note, the entire list reflects a young woman’s relationships at home. She is to stay at home, keep the home, and make the home her God given ministry.

Fourth, the young men are to follow the example set by Titus, the pastor, himself. What a great ministry for pastors—to be the mentors of all the young men of the church! Titus was to be a “pattern” of good works, and sound speech (vs. 7-8).

Fifth, and finally, the servants (nearly every home in Bible times had at least one servant) were to be obedient to their masters and avoid the following two common temptations: (1) talking back, and (2) pilfering. To be a good servant was to “adorn”, literally to beautify, the doctrine of God. The way we live, as Christians, has an “adorning” effect upon what we preach, it makes our Christian profession a beautiful thing.
Titus 2 closes with a wonderful tribute to the saving grace of God. Verses 11-13 outline the three tenses of our salvation: past, present, and future.

PAST: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”,
PRESENT: “Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age”,
FUTURE: “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
It was grace that saved us, it is grace that gives us the power to live godly lives, and it is grace that will one day lead us home.

Richard Seefried
Harrisonburg, VA
Richard Seefried has a Master’s Degree in Christian Ministry, and is licensed & certified by the NCCA as a clinical pastoral counselor.