3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
In keeping with the theme of speaking sound doctrine, Paul now turns his attention to the women, young and old. It’s interesting that he addresses these two groups back-to-back, yet he addresses the aged men first and saves advise for the young men until after he gives his words to the women. I think that has to do with family structure and cultural ways of the time. All of this sound doctrine is important for us to take heed to. Our world would be a much better place if we would.
Behavior as becometh holiness. I don’t think there is anyone in this world who would say we have strayed a long way from this little piece of advice. Women today are sexualized more than ever before. It has been happening for decades right before our eyes. It used to be you had to hide in a closet and look at the Sears catalog to see shapely women in underwear. Today, we see it march across our TV screens in primetime. There is no more discretion at all, and the result is devastating. The decline of holiness in our world is staggering. I must admit in this area, the Muslim world does a much better job at keeping holiness alive, although I do not believe they do it correctly. The demand holiness and demean their women, making them more like property than companions. But at least they cover op! A burka is a little much (well, it is a lot too much), but dressing in a holy manner is followed by very few, especially in the younger generation. This is one of the many things I love about my wife. Her appearance is that of a woman of God. This world is headed in the wrong direction and soon nudity will be on prime time as well (It is already on premium channels). The loss of holiness has also led to the glut of pornography, which has more than half of men and 25% of women entangled in its grasp according to most figures. It is alarming, to say the least.
Not false accusers. Appearance is only one aspect of holiness. The second one is not gossiping, backbiting and complaining. Now, I know that men gossip just as much as women do, and men are great at spreading false rumors and conspiracy theories, so they need this admonishment as well. We have a whole world full of false accusers these days, and they are on the network news in many cases. We don’t know the truth from a lie. What is true seems to depend on which political affiliation you have, conservative or liberal. The truth is different in both their eyes, and both sides spread false accusations all the time. Who am I to accuse? Do I really know the situation? Do I really know what that person is going through? That person who is giving me a hard time, or who just left their spouse, or who says mean and terrible things about me or someone else. Who am I to start falsely accusing them when I don’t know their situation? I have no right to do that. My speech must be seasoned with grace, and must minister grace to the hearer. Falsely accusing is the opposite of being graceful. I have fallen into this trap lately, and need to walk out of it. Let us not be false accusers.
Not given to much wine. I think we all agree that too much wine is not a good thing. It leads us to make bad decisions and causes us to put others in danger. This is a simple admonition that I am surprised Paul doesn’t also address to the men. Of course, he does say they should be sober, so I guess in a way he does address it. But this is a little more specific than just being sober. It is more about not giving oneself to the pleasures of life. I like a good glass of wine. My favorite is a White Zinfandel, while my wife likes a sweeter wine. I can do the dry ones, but they are not my favorite. But a glass is enough to help the digestive system and has been proven a health benefit by many sources. We all just need to be careful not to overindulge in any of the pleasures of life. Paul talked to the men about temperance. This mimics that. There are so many good things in this world we could easily overindulge in. Don’t be given to too much of any of them.
Teachers of good things. I believe this speaks of a mother to their children. Bring them up right. Teach them the way they should go. In Jesus day, the care of the children was pretty much left up to the mother until they reached an age of apprenticeship. The father worked and made a living while the mother would take care of the kiddos. Paul admonishes her to teach them good things. This would include things like manners. Remember Emily Post? Many of you may not. It was about manners and etiquette. Yes, ma’am. yes sir. Please. Thank you. Open the door. Help with the load. Take care of one another. Be pleasant at all times. So much falls under the headline of teaching good things. Today it seems to be lost in many families due to the demand of having two jobs to make ends meet, one-parent households and a lack of time together. Our children spend their time playing video games, texting on their phones, and watching TV. I am always so thrilled to see parents outside playing with their children. It seems a lost art these days. This task of teaching good things really falls to both parents, but the godly woman always has more influence on her children, See Proverbs 31 to really understand how much a woman is to be treasured. And this godly woman should teach their children to follow in these ways. I had a pastor who sued to always say “What you do speaks so loudly that what you say I cannot hear.” We teach by example in everything we do, not just with our mouths. There are plenty of bad examples out there in the world. Let’s make sure we are a good example! That’s it for the first part. We all head to the sound doctrine for young women next. It is quite a list, so buckle your seatbelts!