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Women Teaching Women

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The role and need for women teaching women in the church.

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Introduction

With every controversy that arises within the church, the need for the church to hear from God is great. There is a controversy that has risen in the last few months that I have been slowly made aware of. The subject surrounds something that I believe wholeheartedly in, and yet am perfectly fine to allow for people to find their own way. The issue in question is the concept of a “woman’s ministry”.
Let me briefly go over what the women do typically once per month as they gather together. They read the Scriptures together, they pray, and they sing, not necessarily in that order I’m sure. What they do once per month is what I try to lead in my home every day. Read the Scriptures, explain it and answer any questions that arise, we pray together, and then we sing. Jenna’s favorite song without a doubt is Holy, Holy, Holy, and I think Adam’s is a toss up between the Doxology and Trust and Obey.
Regardless, this is what the ladies do, and this, I believe is a beautiful and helpful uplifting time for the older women to bring perspective and assistance to those who are younger.
The teacher, or leader of this ministry within our church is my mother. One might think that this could be a conflict of interest. Some might think that Josh wouldn’t be able to be objective concerning his own mother’s position in the church and therefore it might not be good that she is the one that is teaching and leading such a monthly Bible study. Yet I ask you to think about that for just a moment. The woman that God used to raise the man that is the overseer of your souls is the one that is seeking to bring insight and encouragement to the hearts of your wives and daughters.
I am not the man that I stand before you this morning because of her. I am the man who you have all gathered under as your spiritual under-shepherd because of Christ. And yet who was it first that pointed me to Christ? Who was it that quit her job when I was a sophomore in high-school so I could be taught by her my junior and senior years? Who was it that, with my father, lovingly encouraged me to pray with them every morning before I went to work, most days getting me up at 5am to pray as a family?
When my mom and dad joined the church, it was a quick and wise decision for me to ask my mother to bring her guidance to the younger and less equipped ladies at this church. I placed my wife in her care which for me makes a great deal of sense, since I trust my mother explicitly when it comes to intentions. I trust that my mother loves Jesus and seeks to place all other things in her life beneath the Lord.
But I also understand my role in this church as well. I understand my roll is not that of mother defender, but spiritual overseer. My mother will tell you that she has sent me her lessons, not all of them, only the ones that I’ve asked for and the ones that she’s asked my input on. I don’t micromanage the teaching that happens here at this church. I just don’t––not as a general rule. I have now since these things have been cropping up.
One more word about this and then to the text of Scripture. Please do not misconstrue my statements here about my mother. For though she raised me, I taught her how to study the Scriptures and how to dig into the truth to understand the meaning of the passage. I am the one who instructed her on how to exegete the Scriptures and then also how to deliver those lessons. If you ask my mother who is in charge of this church she might accidentally say, our Pastor––Christ is the one who is in charge, but she’s right in the sense that Christ’s choice of Joshua Bishop rules on the communication of truth from this pulpit to your ears and hearts.
My mother understands and walks the line as it related to not only who is ultimately responsible for the teaching that happens here, she is also the first to say she wants my input.
With that introduction given let’s turn our attention to the Word of God.
Titus 2:1–4 ESV
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 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,
Titus 2:1–4 ESV
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 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,

This Letter is for Us All

Paul didn’t write a letter wherein only Titus would receive instruction. The Holy Spirit’s intention was for the churches down through the ages to read these words and to act then accordingly. This letter therefore is for us. We have the right to take up this passage and claim it’s instruction for our church. The demands and imperatives that are contained within it belong to us just as much as they belong to Titus and any church reading this in the first century. There is a point that must be made however. That point is that the context of these commands and statements cannot be divorced from the text, and visa versa. So as we delve into this passage let us not merely see the words and terms used, let’s also see the manner and in the culture in which they were shared.
Titus 2:1 ESV
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
There is a point however that must be made however. The point is that the context of these commands and statements cannot be divorced from the text, and visa versa.
This letter therefore is for us. We have the right to take up this passage and claim it’s instruction for our church. The
So as we delve into this passage let us not merely see the words and terms used, let’s also see the manner and in the culture in which they were shared.

teach what accords with sound doctrine.

The statement here is unmistakable isn’t it? Paul is addressing Titus and says to him, Titus, didactically teach, systematically teach, doctrine. Wait, but that’s not exactly what Paul said though. Rather, Paul uses a word that speaks of happazard blurting out things. Paul is saying here communicate the truth / that is, communicate that which accords to sound doctrine.
This distinction is going to be vital in just a moment so hold on for a second.

…teach what accords with sound doctrine.

Now Paul could have said to Titus, teach sound doctrine couldn’t he have? Of corse. Paul is explaining that when you come to the Bible you don’t merely have a particular doctrine that therefore must be explained. Rather, Paul is saying that he is charging Titus to communicate the truth and you’ll know it’s truth since it is in accordance or “conspicuous” with that which is considered “sound”.

… teach what accords with sound doctrine.

And that “sound Doctrine” stuff isn’t merely what feels good to you at the time. It’s that which is consistent and is therefore concrete truth from God. Interestingly enough the word doctrine is the word “didaskalia”. You know what you can hear in that Greek word? The english word “didactic”. Merriam Webster’s defines the term “didactic” in these two ways;
1: designed or intended to teach b : intended to convey instruction and information as well as pleasure and entertainment didactic poetry
2: making moral observations
As with before, the significance of this we’ll see in a moment.

This Letter is For Our Instruction

Titus 2:2 ESV
Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.

Older Men

The Older men, which means not older, but those who have proved themselves. And how have they proved themselves? Well, Older men, or “Approved Men” are those who; are sober minded, dignified, self controlled, sound; in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
The Approved man is the one who has sober judgement and not quickly jumps into schemes without considering the cost. A sober-minded man is one who is characterized by clear thinking and not poor judgement. One who generally speaking sees plainly and clearly the right choice and chooses that course of action.
The Approved man also lives a dignified life. A dignified life is a life of majestic awareness. It’s mentally and spiritually dwelling in a sort of euphoric trust in God so as not to be effected too deeply by the world.
The Approved man is controlled not by those things outside of him like his circumstances. He is not controlled either by those nefarious desires that are within Him either. He is temperate, and controlled.
The Approved man is also sound. He’s sound in faith, love and steadfastness. Sound means to be rational and inteligent about something. So the approved man is one that is rational about his faith. He is rational also concerning his love and is rationally steadfast in the positions that he holds.

Older Women

Titus 2:3–4 ESV
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,
Likewise the women we’re talking about are those who have proved themselves to be reverent in their behaviour, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
But these things are not where the controversy lies. No, the controversy lies with the statements concerning her teaching. So, let’s unpack that.

They are to teach what is good…

Here is a place in Scripture where one word becomes almost and entire English sentence. This entire phrase in Greek is but one word. Now it is I will admit, a long word which is a conjugation of a couple of words, but still it’s a single word that used specifically to convey something specific.
καλοδιδάσκαλος - kala-didaskalos - This word is never used outside of Christianity in it’s historical etymology. What’s more difficult about the etymology of this word is that it’s only used here in this passage and no where else in the entire New Testament.
So how about attacking this word one piece at a time? You see this word is literally the conjugation or maybe better stated, the jamming together two greek words in order to make one.
καλοδιδάσκαλος
Kala - is from the word Kalos. This word when used to reference metals it carried the notion of being genuine. In reference to people it grants a picture of heroism. When used to reference a place it spoke of things like a safe harbour.
didaskalos - well, we’ve already seen this word before in this very same text. It has to do with what Paul told Titus to do. Titus was called to communicate that which accords with didaskalos or doctrine. Here now, the women are to be, as it seems from breaking down this word; good, sound, safe, doctrine. There is a didactic lesson to be given by the older women, the approved women.

This Letter is For a Specific Purpose

We have to understand though that this was written not to just have the unapproved women listen to the approved women instead of their husbands or their elders. This is obviously in addition to. I want to say that if you can’t see the common sense reading of this text you’re blind but since there’s a clear and simple way to communicate that common sense statement here in the text I’ll withold that diatribe and just point you to the “outcome” of the “good teaching”
Titus 2:4 ESV
and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,
The outcome of this didactic teaching is that the love their husbands more.
Titus 2:5 ESV
to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Another outcome of this good teaching this didactic teaching is that they will submit to their own husbands better.

Why?

The question that remains for us is why. Why would God set it up this way? What about when things don’t go according to plan and the women rise up and revolt against their husbands because of the bad false teaching going on from the older women?
Um, that’s why there’s oversight by the elders of the churches as to who is to be considered “approved” and who isn’t. This is why Paul gives Titus this charge concerning these older men and older women. This is something that Titus is going to have to be watchful concerning and look out for.
To answer the question of why. I’d first like to point out that asking that question could easily be above your pay grade. It could easily have an answer like, because I said so. Which by the way, this text doesn’t really explicitly say why. I will say though that if you have just an ounce of curiosity and another ounce of observation, you’ll see something interesting in this passage.
Titus 2:1–5 ESV
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 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.
Titus 2:1–6 ESV
1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.
Titus 2:1–4 ESV
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 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,
Titus is called to teach the older men, likewise the older women, and likewise the younger men. Is the elder supposed to spend his time personally or small group discipling young women? Nope. Why do you think that is?
I’ve come up with a list:
She should be learning to lean on her husband as her pastor and not the pastor.
She should be guarded from a power relationship
She should be instructed by someone who they can watch live out the instruction that they are given - someone who can model it for them.
The elder needs to be guarded from the young women who are discontent.
The elder needs to be guarded from wandering or straying because of the tendency of younger women to become codependent.
The elder’s wife needs to be guarded from having to share her husband with those who are younger and possibly more clingy than they should be.
In short: I see this structure as a means to guards the church, the elders, the hearts of the younger women, and to encourage togetherness and strength in the body.
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