The Opposite of the Titus 2 Woman

In 2011, I took my first biblical counseling class, and one session focused on the “Anti-Psalm.” The goal was to better understand what a text is saying by carefully thinking through the exact opposite meaning. It can be insightful to see the “opposite” of a text, and gives an excellent way to clarify the actual meaning.

I previously did this with Proverbs 31.

The Opposite of the Titus 2 Woman // jessconnell.com

Let’s do it today with Titus 2. Here’s that text, as written:

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.

Here’s my proposal for its opposite:

“But as for you, refrain from teaching altogether. Or, if and when you teach, teach sloppily. Say what sounds and feels good; don’t fuss with stodgy old doctrine.

“Older men should be preoccupied with jokes, undignified, careless, undiscerning, and immature in things of God. They should be cold and detached from people, inconsistent and undependable.

“Like them, older women should be insincere, jokers, continually gossiping about and judging people around them, and known as drunken women. Ideally, they should keep to women their own age and refrain from teaching the younger women anything.

“But if they teach, they should teach non-important, non-eternal things. They should laugh with the younger women about their silly husbands, and by their example and words encourage the younger women to criticize and belittle their husbands.

“They should teach them to be uncommitted to and unconcerned about the long-term good of their children, seeking self-fulfillment and self-promotion above all else. They should teach younger women to be slaves to the pleasures of life, encourage indiscretion and carelessness in what they listen to and watch, to prioritize their work outside the home and justify laziness inside of it, to be critical and cruel in their judgments toward others, and to question and buck their husband’s authority.

“They should not ever teach the younger women to connect their choices in regard to marriage, family, and home, with the reputation of the Word of God.”

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER WOMEN:

  • What are you learning from older women?
  • Are you living your life in such a way, growing in the things Titus 2 describes, so that you will be able to teach these things when you are older?

QUESTIONS FOR OLDER WOMEN:

  • What do your words and actions say to younger women?
  • Are you obeying the commands laid out in Titus 2? Are you TEACHING?
  • Do you call the same things “good” that God calls “good?”

 

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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8 Responses

  1. Jennifer S. says:

    Wow! That puts a whole new perspective on it. You’ve given me some things to think about. Thank you.

  2. Allison says:

    As I read your paragraph on the opposite of Titus 2, I thought of a particular older woman in my life who sadly seems to live out just about all of that. A few weeks ago, she made a comment that perfectly fit the description, “and by their example and words encourage the younger women to criticize and belittle their husbands.” By God’s grace I stood my ground and instead complimented the wonderful man that God has given to me. This is a woman that I am actively praying for and seeking to share Christ with, so I want to shy away from talking bad about her. I just find it significant to note that as I consider the outcome of her way of life (Hebrews 13:7), I see chaos and a broken home. In contrast, as I look to the example of, say, the wives of the pastors at my church, I see godliness and teenage children who already are, “Oaks of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:3). This just leaves me with a tremendous burden to pray for this woman and to pursue her with the gospel, while at the same time, running like crazy away from following her example!

  3. Kondwani says:

    Liked it so much I have shared it here: http://homeeducationnovice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/challenge-of-week.html

    In a really crazy season of life, your blog is a great source of clear encouraging truth. Thanks!

  4. Autumn says:

    So, when does one become “older”?

    I came to Christ as an adult. I’m quite sure there are many who are chronologically younger than I but more mature in the faith.

    I teach my children.

    I share with other women what God is doing in my life. What He has taught and continues teaching me. Particularly, the Lord brings people who may benefit from hearing of the Lord’s faithfulness as presented through my testimony. Yes, I do that.

    But am I “teaching” younger women?

    • Jess Connell says:

      Good question, Autumn. I think you’re right that it’s not just an age thing. Although I have heard it connected to the idea that an “older widow” in 1 Timothy 5 shouldn’t be enrolled until age 60…

      But then Paul tells Timothy not to let others look down on him for his youth, even while he (Timothy) was leading a church, selecting elders, etc. So I think your point about spiritual maturity is an important one.

      Two 30 year olds or 45 year olds can have wildly different maturity levels in the faith, given their discipleship and time spent walking with God. We shouldn’t rule out anyone as someone we can learn from.

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