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Godly Women

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  • Godly Women

    by Jeremiah Johnson

    What are the fundamental elements of successful evangelism? Obviously we must clearly proclaim the truth about God, sin, Christ, faith, and repentance. But in addition to faithfully preaching the gospel, is there anything else required of us?

    In his commentary on Titus, John MacArthur highlights another vital element that believers too often overlook: the evangelistic value of their own, transformed lives.

    For a person to be convinced that God can save him from sin, he needs to be shown someone who has been saved from sin and who, as far as possible, lives a life separated from sin. For a person to be convinced of God’s hope, he must be shown someone who has hope where there was once despair. For a person to be convinced that God can miraculously provide us with love, peace, and happiness, he needs to be shown someone who now radiates those blessings. [1]

    In a world that’s hostile to God’s Word and His people, we must give evidence of the transforming, sanctifying work of God. We need to be living testimonies of the grace that saved us and the Spirit that refines into Christlikeness.

    To help us understand what our transformed lives should look like, we’ve been studying Paul’s instructions to the churches in Crete. In his letter to Titus, the apostle exhorts specific groups of believers—divided by age and gender—to exhibit character qualities befitting their transformed lives, for the purpose of adorning the gospel through their testimonies.

    Last time we began to look at Paul’s instructions to young women (Titus 2:4-5), starting with their duty to love and submit to their husbands. But Paul’s exhortation doesn’t end there—he also instructs young women who are mothers to “love their children” (Titus 2:4).

    Here’s how John MacArthur explains the kind of love Paul commands:

    Whether the children are born to the couple or are adopted, they are to be loved with a love that, like the love of spouses for each other, should be selfless and sacrificial. As with love for their husbands, love for their children is not an option. It is not based on the children’s physical attractiveness or personalities or intelligence but on their need. The most important responsibility of love for believing parents is to lead their children to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. But Paul’s admonition here is inclusive. Young mothers are to love their children in every way—practical, physical, social, moral, and spiritual—with a love that has no conditions and no limits. This love, to be fully expressed, is extremely demanding as the mother seeks to fulfill her obligation to raise godly children (see 1 Timothy 2:15). [2]

    Children can be a source of tremendous joy and blessing, as well as great frustration, disappointment, and heartache. In that sense, godly mothers are able to exemplify God’s love for His people—love that isn’t earned through faithfulness or destroyed by rebellion, but is unconditional, steadfast, and sacrificial.

    Next, Paul highlights two godly qualities that aren’t specific to wives or mothers. He exhorts all believing young women to be “sensible” and “pure” (Titus 2:5). John explains the spiritual value of those two characteristics.

    This is the same quality that should characterize elders (Titus 1:8), all older men (Titus 2:2), and, in fact, all believers (Titus 2:12). Common sense and good judgment should improve with age, but they should be evident even in early adulthood. . . .
    Hagnos (pure) refers primarily to moral purity, and, especially in this context, to sexual purity, marital faithfulness. Like older women, in fact like all Christian women, young wives are “to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments; but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness” (1 Timothy 2:9–10). “Modesty” refers to a healthy sense of shame at saying anything, doing anything, or dressing in any way that would cause a man to lust. “Discreetly” refers to moral control, to keeping passions, especially sexual passions, subdued. [3]

    In a culture that bombards young women with salacious influences and perverse morals, sensibility and purity stand out. In that sense, godly young women exhibit a bold and clear testimony to lives transformed by the Spirit—lives that contradict the immoral values and priorities of their worldly contemporaries.

    Paul’s next exhortation for young women also contradicts the trends of modern society. In a short phrase that infuriates feminists and defies the political correctness of our culture, Paul says young women are to be “workers at home” (Titus 2:5). John MacArthur explains how the world has twisted Paul’s simple instructions in an attempt to turn housewives and stay-at-home moms into victims.

    The greatest pressure on young wives today is the saturation of our culture by the ungodly precepts of radical feminists, who believe that wives being homebound is an egregious form of bondage by males, from which all women need to be freed. They unequivocally insist that women should be as free as men to work outside the home at whatever job and to whatever extent they want. [4]

    Instead, John writes,

    The true female victims today are not women who are willingly bound by love to the Lord, to their husbands, and to their children. The true victims are rather those women who have been deceived by unbiblical and satanic feminist ideas about being liberated from God and from the home.

    The home is where a wife can provide the best expressions of love for her husband. It is where she teaches and guides and sets a godly example for her children. It is where she is protected from abusive and immoral relationships with other men and where, especially in our day, she still has greater protection from worldly influences. . . . The home is where she has special opportunity to show hospitality and devote herself to other good works. The home is where she can find authentic and satisfying fulfillment, as a Christian and as a woman. [5]

    Finally, Paul exhorts young women to be “kind” (Titus 2:5). In his commentary, John MacArthur explains the various qualities bound up in that simple instruction.

    They are to be gentle, considerate, amiable, congenial, and sympathetic, even with those who are undeserving and unkind to them. To be kind is to be godlike, “for [God] Himself,” Jesus said, “is kind to ungrateful and evil men” (Luke 6:35). Similarly, Paul admonishes believers to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). [6]

    The reason for Paul’s exhortation is simple—he wants young Christian women to live godly lives “so that the word of God will not be dishonored” (Titus 2:5). John MacArthur explains how our living testimony effects the credibility of the gospel we preach.

    Paul’s point is that not only the evil things we say and we do, but also the good things that we fail to say and do, dishonor God and His Word before the church and before the world. Unbelievers judge the genuineness and value of our faith more by our living than by our theology. In doing so, they judge the truth and power of the Word of God by the way in which we live. The world judges the gospel, which is the heart of the Word of God, by the character of the people who believe and claim to be transformed by it. . . .

    The positive concern that corresponds to living so as not to dishonor God and His Word, and thereby put a barrier between the unsaved and the gospel, is that of living so as to attract the unsaved to our gracious Lord.

    Jesus commands His followers: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Paul said of believers in Corinth, “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3). Whether they intend to be or not, Christians are “living letters” of Christ and sometimes are the only testimony to the Lord and to His saving gospel that the world has. . . .

    The only platform from which Christians are to so preach and witness is a transformed life marked by godly virtue. We are to live in a way that will “prove [ourselves] to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom [we are to] appear as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15). [7]

    The world is watching how we live—perhaps now more than ever. In their eyes, the day-to-day aspects of our lives can build up or tear down the reputation of the gospel. In light of that scrutiny, we need to faithfully live lives that adorn the gospel and display the transforming work of God.

  • #2
    Originally posted by William View Post
    by Jeremiah Johnson


    Paul’s next exhortation for young women also contradicts the trends of modern society. In a short phrase that infuriates feminists and defies the political correctness of our culture, Paul says young women are to be “workers at home” (Titus 2:5). John MacArthur explains how the world has twisted Paul’s simple instructions in an attempt to turn housewives and stay-at-home moms into victims.

    The greatest pressure on young wives today is the saturation of our culture by the ungodly precepts of radical feminists, who believe that wives being homebound is an egregious form of bondage by males, from which all women need to be freed. They unequivocally insist that women should be as free as men to work outside the home at whatever job and to whatever extent they want. [4]

    Instead, John writes,

    The true female victims today are not women who are willingly bound by love to the Lord, to their husbands, and to their children. The true victims are rather those women who have been deceived by unbiblical and satanic feminist ideas about being liberated from God and from the home.

    The home is where a wife can provide the best expressions of love for her husband. It is where she teaches and guides and sets a godly example for her children. It is where she is protected from abusive and immoral relationships with other men and where, especially in our day, she still has greater protection from worldly influences. . . . The home is where she has special opportunity to show hospitality and devote herself to other good works. The home is where she can find authentic and satisfying fulfillment, as a Christian and as a woman. [5]
    I agree with most everything you wrote.

    I do not consider myself a feminist, but I suppose most men would consider me one. The problem with demonizing feminist ideas is we no longer live on farms in agricultural societies, where an unwed woman has the option of living and working of the family farm for the rest of her life. Some of us live in very modern societies, with high costs of living, in the hustle and bustle of towns and cities.

    I understand what you are describing is the ideal, however not every life situation falls into that ideal. For that reason it is a necessity women are educated and given the same rights as men in the workforce, and it took "feminism" to get women those rights.

    I know two unwed Christian women in their late 40's. Their one main dream in life was to fall in love, be married, and have a family. Unfortunately neither one of them found that, and thankfully both went to college, and one works as a teacher, another as a social worker, and both bought and own their own homes. They love the Lord and wanted an "ideal" life as a wife and mother, but the Lord instead chooses to use them to reach a multitude of children in their classroom and case work.

    I know another woman who is a doctor, had a child in her mid 30's, and now continues to work. Not because she wants to, but because she was raised and lives in an area with such a high cost of living that it is a necessity she continue to work. She would want nothing more than to stay home with her child, but her income was much higher than her husband's and made her the main breadwinner. Her situation is not the 'ideal" but this is the life she was given.

    So while I absolutely believe in what was written as an ideal for women who love the Lord and want a traditional life, I also believe we should be careful not to entirely pigeon hole feminist ideas as satanic. Society has changed and the Lord can use women in many ways.
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    • #3
      I think that its key to realise that life and society these days has changed, and we can't say she should do this and he should do that, and if they don't then this will happen, without first knowing that persons circumstances.

      No matter what those circumstances are, is it really down to us to sit and judge a person and how they live their life anyway? I think all we can do is make sure that our own life is in order, and try and help the world surrounding ourselves to be a better place. Let others live their life how they see fit, and know that at the end of it, whatever happens then we'll be judged by something more powerful than our own opinions.
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      • #4
        I do think that the Lord would want that women to live their happiest and most fulfilled life.

        Sadly not so often, a lot of woman could not do what they want (have children, go to collage, leave their abusing husbands or boyfriends or family) but I think that the life a woman enjoys and makes her happy is the one that also fills the Lord with joy.
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        • #5
          Nothing about the Proverbs 31 woman looks like a stay at home mom to me.

          I used to hate her. That Proverbs 31 woman. She's darn near impossible to emulate. (And that was before I was married and had kids and bills!)

          But I've come to realize a few things. First, the apostle Paul, God bless him, isn't my first source for life advice. The dude was single. He also had a blinding experience by Jesus himself (remember, the horse incident) which made him a complete radical. Understandable. But not necessarily a down-to-Earth, life like mine kind of guy.

          He writes in extremes. He was an extremist.

          But I'm just an average human, walking this Earth, and trying to live a life of joy and hope and commitment to Jesus.

          It looks different for everyone. And the Bible isn't necessarily a literal rule-book.

          I've been a working woman and now am a stay-at-home-mom of 4 kids under the age of 10. I've never felt more fully like I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, than I do right now. But I also know that this isn't the end all be all for me. I still have plans that go beyond raising my family.

          Everything in season.

          And I'm married to a complete and utter feminist, which is great. We have 3 daughters, and I love that they are being raised by a man who loves them unconditionally, but empowers them also.
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          • #6
            And that's why I said that none of us should take a person's situation and sit in judgement on them and how they handle things.

            While we all I'm sure have our own opinions on what's right and wrong, what for would want and what he wouldn't, its not up to us to push our views and opinions on others.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by pwarbi View Post
              its not up to us to push our views and opinions on others.
              Not being facetious, but...isn't that precisely what Proverbs does?

              ;)


              God bless.
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by clairebeautiful View Post
                Nothing about the Proverbs 31 woman looks like a stay at home mom to me.

                I used to hate her. That Proverbs 31 woman. She's darn near impossible to emulate. (And that was before I was married and had kids and bills!)

                But I've come to realize a few things. First, the apostle Paul, God bless him, isn't my first source for life advice. The dude was single. He also had a blinding experience by Jesus himself (remember, the horse incident) which made him a complete radical. Understandable. But not necessarily a down-to-Earth, life like mine kind of guy.

                He writes in extremes. He was an extremist.

                But I'm just an average human, walking this Earth, and trying to live a life of joy and hope and commitment to Jesus.

                It looks different for everyone. And the Bible isn't necessarily a literal rule-book.

                I've been a working woman and now am a stay-at-home-mom of 4 kids under the age of 10. I've never felt more fully like I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, than I do right now. But I also know that this isn't the end all be all for me. I still have plans that go beyond raising my family.

                Everything in season.

                And I'm married to a complete and utter feminist, which is great. We have 3 daughters, and I love that they are being raised by a man who loves them unconditionally, but empowers them also.
                Dear Sister Claire;-been reading yer views,ya got 'moxie' kid. Reading Paul kept me away from GOD for 40 yrs..He convinced me I was doomed no matter what I did.Professional assasins might get struk by Gods power but they still think like the bigots they were that made it possible for them to become the murderous monsters they became.(I got a C- in Eng. 101 & that was a gift)Paul sort of redeemes himself one time when he admits that something he pontificated upon was his own opinion & not GODs.& if U think that was the onl;y time that happened ,I applaud yer childlike faith.. pastor marty
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                • #9
                  To me, being a Godly woman means that I embrace my authentic femininity, and look to please God in all of my actions, and thoughts. The cultural narrative of feminism leads many astray, men and women, alike. Feminism really isn't about equal rights for both genders, it has morphed into teaching women to be more like men. It's proving disastrous for marriages, for parenting, for everything. But, that's what happens when we follow the world, and not God.
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pastor marty View Post

                    Dear Sister Claire;-been reading yer views,ya got 'moxie' kid. Reading Paul kept me away from GOD for 40 yrs..He convinced me I was doomed no matter what I did.Professional assasins might get struk by Gods power but they still think like the bigots they were that made it possible for them to become the murderous monsters they became.(I got a C- in Eng. 101 & that was a gift)Paul sort of redeemes himself one time when he admits that something he pontificated upon was his own opinion & not GODs.& if U think that was the onl;y time that happened ,I applaud yer childlike faith.. pastor marty
                    Reading Paul's teachings does not keep one from God, that is an internal issue.

                    And rejecting the Word of God does not help one draw near to God.


                    God bless.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by S.T.Ranger View Post

                      Not being facetious, but...isn't that precisely what Proverbs does?

                      ;)


                      God bless.
                      The book of proverbs tries to show us how Gods mind works, and does that by using situations and examples that people will know and be able to understand.

                      If a person choose to believe it or not is their own decision, and for me, proverbs is meant to be just a guide as to how God would deal with everyday matters that we have to face.
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pastor marty View Post

                        Dear Sister Claire;-been reading yer views,ya got 'moxie' kid. Reading Paul kept me away from GOD for 40 yrs..He convinced me I was doomed no matter what I did.Professional assasins might get struk by Gods power but they still think like the bigots they were that made it possible for them to become the murderous monsters they became.(I got a C- in Eng. 101 & that was a gift)Paul sort of redeemes himself one time when he admits that something he pontificated upon was his own opinion & not GODs.& if U think that was the onl;y time that happened ,I applaud yer childlike faith.. pastor marty
                        HAH.

                        I believe it. My husband and I both were raised in the church - both went to Christian colleges... for the most part, we've both ATTENDED church of some kind for the majority of our lives (save the occasional year here or there where traveling or jobs prevented a regular Sunday off). But we've both had our qualms with Paul, off and on, for a couple of decades.

                        I think the biggest thing killing the church is THE CHURCH - and the people inside. It is really easy to take a hard line on everything and preach, perched atop this "Biblical foundation" - by itself, fine. But attached to the ever-present Christian smugness, yeah, you got a recipe for poor attendance, disillusionment, and a whole lot of unproductive conversation going on.

                        When it comes to salvation - I'm good. I've done drunk the kool-aid. When it comes to faith, and believing the Bible is the Word of God, again, I'm on it. But I'm not about to be one of the Christians who is afraid to ask the hard questions. I'm also okay with not receiving answers in this lifetime. I think too many Christians want to have hard and fast black and white answers to everything, and I'm just not one of them. I'm totally okay to say that there are plenty of things we're not going to fully understand in this lifetime. And I'm also okay with saying that Christian A and Christian B are allowed to disagree, and we might still end up next-door neighbors in Heaven.

                        According to my friend Jesus (you know, THE reason we're all here discussing this) there are just two great commandments: love God, love people. We're called to be salt and light, not the judge and the jury (OR the legislature trying to rework all the laws).
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                        • #13
                          When it comes to salvation - I'm good. I've done drunk the kool-aid. When it comes to faith, and believing the Bible is the Word of God, again, I'm on it. But I'm not about to be one of the Christians who is afraid to ask the hard questions. I'm also okay with not receiving answers in this lifetime. I think too many Christians want to have hard and fast black and white answers to everything, and I'm just not one of them.
                          Relying on the easy answers or "the google answers" as I call them, is actually a modern epidemic in all things intelligence related.

                          Also when one was faith in the greater plan of God it becomes less daunting to have some questions unanswered. All you need to do is trust in His Wisdom and leave some things to His hands. Many people falter in this matter when faced with very physical-real problems and lose the confidence in God and in themselves too.
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by StarryNight View Post

                            Relying on the easy answers or "the google answers" as I call them, is actually a modern epidemic in all things intelligence related.

                            Also when one was faith in the greater plan of God it becomes less daunting to have some questions unanswered. All you need to do is trust in His Wisdom and leave some things to His hands. Many people falter in this matter when faced with very physical-real problems and lose the confidence in God and in themselves too.
                            SO TRUE.

                            And so sad. I fought it, as a high school English teacher - this cultural phenomenon to get the the shortest answer possible as quickly as possible. Now, I'm working on raising children of my own who are in the habit of enjoying the journey more than the destination. We have become a society of easy answers, quick answers, and finality. We're all about winning, even when we don't fully understand the fight.

                            What happened to the mindsets of the ancient philosophers... those great men (and I'm sure women too) who just wrote pages and pages of stream of consciousness.

                            It's boring. Right? We're bored.

                            Hard to re-learn how to slow down after moving quickly for a while. Hard to hear, "It goes by too fast," when we are constantly running and feeling behind. A good reminder in our spiritual walks as well as everything else.
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