August 2, 2013
Making a Home
By Skip Heitzig
In Titus 2, Paul instructs older women to “admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (vv. 4-5).
You might think, “Oh, Paul, you’re going to get yourself in trouble!” But I don’t think Paul is down on women who work, or who are in the professional world. Frankly, I admire women in the professional world. And many women are forced to work because they’re single parents, and they have to support their kids. Unfortunately broken homes due to divorce are a malady of our society.
But Paul is speaking of a different circumstance. He’s saying that by and large the older women should be training the younger women, coming alongside them to teach them how to be housewives and how to mother their children, to give them insights from their own experience.
I have a policy: “Why reinvent the wheel?” There are a lot of other people who have done things that I may be planning—some new venture or different area of ministry. So I call the people who have done it, and I ask them some of the best methods that the Lord has shown them. And I learn from their mistakes. Some of them will say, “Oh, Skip, stay away from this, whatever you do!” or “This is something I’ve found that works well.” I get as much as I can from people who have gone before me.
And so the older women who have been through it all can teach the younger women. And the younger women are to be “obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”
Husbands, before you get too carried away with this and underline it and point it out to your wives, know that the word here for “obedient” in its root form means to respond. That means the husband is doing something that would cause the wife to respond in obedience. It is not a blank check for a husband to become a tyrant to his wife. Every time she has a different opinion, you can’t play Ralph Kramden from “The Honeymooners” and tell her, “It says ‘obey’!”
And because it means to respond, when a husband comes to me and says “My wife is not being submissive,” my first question is this: “When was the last time you adored your wife, and told her how special she was, and spoiled her, and poured out your love to her?”
When a woman senses that kind of love from her husband, she feels secure. She’s never afraid that he will change; she’s had sufficient experience to know that he will always be there giving out that love unconditionally. And when a woman is secure in that kind of love, husbands, it is easy for her to submit. When her husband is truly loving her as Christ loved the church (see Ephesians 5:25), there’s no problem; she’ll want to submit.
Likewise, when a woman has a problem with the “wives submit to your husbands” part (see Ephesians 5:22), I remind her that these are God’s rules, not mine!
God’s roles for us are uncomplicated: Husbands, love your wives unconditionally. Wives, submit to your husbands as unto the Lord. God didn’t say to worry about his part or her part; just do your part. You’ll have all you can handle just doing that!
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