WHAT IS THE ROLE OF OLDER WOMEN AND YOUNGER WOMEN?
Let's consider the following translations of Titus 2: 3 - 5:
KJV-- (Tit 2:3 - 5) The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed
ESV -- (Tit 2:3 - 5) 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-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
(BBE) (Tit 2: 3 - 5) That old women are to be self-respecting in behaviour, not saying evil of others, not given to taking much wine, teachers of that which is good, Training the younger women to have love for their husbands and children, To be wise in mind, clean in heart, kind; working in their houses, living under the authority of their husbands; so that no evil may be said of the word of God.
Verse 3 - 4 -- OLDER WOMEN ARE TO TRAIN THE YOUNG WOMEN to love their husbands and children. My mother told me before she died that she was seeing a generation of young women who do not want to listen to older women. The society we live in today tells the young woman to do what she wants -- that she has the right to do what she wants, and that she doesn't have to give an answer to anyone. But, this is not what the Lord said.
A good example of an OLDER woman teaching a YOUNGER woman is the example of Naomi in the book of Ruth. This book was written during the period of the judges when Israel was not consistent in their service to God. It was a time when many disobeyed God and there was some violence in the land.
Ruth was not an Israelite woman, but a Gentile from Moab who had married an Israelite. Her husband was the son of an Israelite woman -- Naomi. Naomi and her husband had gone to Moab because of a famine. While there, Naomi's sons took Moabite wives. After Ruth's husband died, and Naomi's husband died, Naomi arose and decided to go back to Bethlehem in Judah. Naomi was a godly woman because when she heard that God had ended the famine and there was food in her land she wanted to go back. She wished God's blessings on her daughters-in-law (Ruth 1: 8,9), but told them to go back home to their own families in Moab.
Naomi knew God's law and quoted it to her daughters-in-law before sending them home (1: 11; Deut. 25:5).
We see that Ruth respected Naomi and wanted to let Naomi and God lead her (1:16)
When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said no more (1:18). Naomi had wisdom and knew when to hold her tongue. Older women need to know when they have said enough.
As Ruth and Naomi began their lives back among God's people, we see that Ruth had a good reputation for taking care of her mother-in-law (2:11). We see the love of the younger woman for the older woman here.
We also see (2:19) that Naomi had a genuine concern for Ruth and concern for who she worked for. She wanted Ruth to know that the man she had chosen to work for was one who would keep God's law (2:20).
Naomi gave Ruth advice concerning her safety (2:22) and Ruth heeded what Naomi said. Ruth could have said, "I'm grown, I was married for a number of years to your son, and I'll go where I want to go. . . " BUT instead she heeded what Naomi said.
Naomi looked out for the happiness of Ruth (3:1) and was concerned with her being secure. She wanted Ruth to have a husband and home. So she told Ruth how to get Boaz to keep the law of God concerning him being a redeemer . Naomi's advice was well within God's law. This is something older women need to give heed to -- making sure that their advice is within God's law.
Ruth obeyed what Naomi told her to do (3: 6). She was grown. She could have done what she wanted, but she realized that her mother-in-law had her best interest at heart and she obeyed.
Later, when Naomi saw that a legal matter needed to be settled before Boaz could take Ruth, she imparted her wisdom to Ruth on what to do (3:18).
Because of Naomi's good advice, Ruth married Boaz, God's law was kept, Ruth became a mother, Naomi a grandmother, and God's name was glorified (4: 14)!
Young women -- if you have an older godly woman approach you about something you have done or need to do, LISTEN respectfully, even if you don't want to hear it. They have years of experience, and may have found out by trial and error the best way to handle situations.
By the same token, older women need to remember what it is like to be young and experience some of life's trials.
Listen to older godly women. Be a "RUTH". You may prevent some problems down the road if you do. Realize that you have not lived long enough to know everything.
Older women have likely had more of life's experiences -- deaths of their parents, sometimes death of a spouse or even a child; they've raised children and can give good advice on what they've learned by trial and error; they've dealt with sickness -- either in themselves, their children, or in relatives, as well as other life experiences.
The second part of Titus 2: 4 is that the older women are to train the younger women to LOVE THEIR HUSBANDS.
It seems to be a terrible thing to say, but we live in a society today of women who do NOT love their husbands and children.
The word "love" in Col. 2:4 comes from the Greek word "phileo" which means an affectionate love.
John 13:34-35 (ASV)
34 A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
This love that Jesus talks about in John 13 is from the Greek word "agape" -- a love that deems others better than ourselves; an active interest in the well-being of another. Jesus loved us so much that He died for us -- He loved us with AGAPE love.
Eph. 5:25 illustrates this kind of love:
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
I heard Bro. Sewell Hall say in a sermon years ago that once a young couple came to him for marital help. The husband said, "I don't love my wife anymore."
Bro. Hall told him, "Then you'd better repent. We are commanded to love our mate." He was right! This is not an option! It is a command of God! Any married person, male or female, who decides they do not "love" their spouse anymore needs to remember God's command. His commands are not optional.
We are to want only the good for our mate. When we have that "agape" love, coupled with the affectionate "phileo" love (that we read of in other verses), then we will have a happy home, especially if both husband and wife are loving each other in this regard. Genesis 3:16 says that when God created woman her desire was to be for her husband. Are the things we do for our husbands because we love them. An agape love will not allow us to "get back" or exact revenge on them for something we did not like. An agape love will lead us to be pleasing to God, and save our marriages!