For many days we talked about selfless love. To love someone means to give your heart, mind, body and soul to that person. First to God, then to your husband. Day 19 marked day 1 in scouring Scripture to determine the kind of wife God is calling us to be. Scripture always seems to start with that S word: submission. To submit means we obediently give our life to serve God and also our husband, whatever that be. Day 20 was all about respect and how in a man's world respect and love are so closely intertwined that they see little difference between the two.
Today we're going to talk about another S word that requires selflessness. It's a piece that Paul challenges older women to teach younger women in the process of discipleship: self control. When we looked up the original meaning of this word this is what we found: there are two different definitions for men and women in the Titus 2 text. For men it means they are to be vigilant. They are to carefully watch for danger or difficulties. Which makes sense when you go back to the purpose of Titus: "... for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness..." (1:1) In other words the teachers (Elders and Discipleship teachers) must teach what accords with sound doctrine so the faith of the elect does not waver. If they have knowledge of the truth, their faith stands strong. Men were to be vigilant in keeping watch over their church and smother anything that does not accord with Scripture. Men protect, remember?
Hold on to your seats because our job as sober minded, self-controlled women means something completely different. Women are to be moderate as to opinion or passion. Our opinions and passions are to accord with sound doctrine, with teaching what is good, in other words, Scripture. If we don't Paul warns us that our faith will waver! There's nothing in Scripture that tells women to be obnoxious, gossiping, prideful, arrogant, slanderers. We are to teach what is good. Everything I listed above is what women in today's society are guilty of doing. Scripture tells me that I am to be moderate in opinion or passion? Welp, I'm going to post my opinions all over Facebook. I'm going to spill my guts, my opinions, my obnoxious gossip to my husband as soon as he walks in the door.
This one is the hardest one for me to accept because I am a passionate soul. I've been ever so guilty of lacking self-control. Ugh, I'm still guilty of it every day. Just ask my sisters! Or my poor husband.
Why is God asking us to have self-control? Because the faith of God's elect depends on it! Because without self control are we exuding our knowledge of the truth? Why does He find a gentle and quiet soul beautiful? Because our trust is in God's sovereignty in our lives. If we are at peace, we have no reason to complain. If our trust is in God, we have no reason to worry. If our hope is in Christ, what fear have we of tomorrow? We can smile at tribulations because our trust is in HIM. We don't have to complain, or worry, or gossip, or slander, because we trust in God's plan! What is God's plan for our lives as women? To rest in HIM and trust our husbands to protect and provide for us! Isn't that a WONDERFUL bubble? There's no DRAMA! We are free from the crap of this world when we submit to GOD'S plan.
If you couldn't already tell from this blog, I LOVE talking, so I don't see this as a command for all women to shut up and be quiet all.the.time. So I'm constantly asking myself, "What am I talking about?" I'm finding that if it isn't about God and His Word, it's nonsense. I find that if I don't talk about the wondrous works of God, I'm just talking crap. HE is the only good in me. I find that if my soul is truly at rest with JESUS CHRIST, my opinion, my passions are Him. I find that if I renew my mind according to Scripture and focus my mind on the things of Christ, I do not lack in self-control because the Holy Spirit is constantly working in my life.
How are you going to exhibit self control in your life? How do you see that changing your relationship with your husband? Trust me, if you are simply talking crap and nonsense, he'll appreciate this part of the challenge immensely!
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