Reverent in Behavior
v. 3a “the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior” (1)
Paul first draws a word from the Roman world to capture the entire bearing of these godly role model women in Christ's church. He uses the word that meant to operate as a priest in a temple. In the ancient world temples to gods were always outside of town. People had to stop, take a bath, change into special clothes and then walk down a ‘sacred way’ often a mile or more to the temple. Then they were served by sacred priests who acted as representatives of the gods.
The Greek word translated “reverent” is used only here in the Bible, and it conveys the idea of priest-like. That word for ‘acting as a representative of a god’ is the word Paul uses to describe the devout and godly character of the Titus 2 woman. Older women are to live like holy priests serving in the presence of God. Their sacred personal devotion to the Lord has slowly come to influence every aspect of their lives.
This is the Greek word semnos meaning “august, venerable, honorable” or in the context of a local church, a woman who lives in such a godly way she can be emulated and venerated for her character. Her life is an example to the women of the flock of all ages. 1 Timothy 3:11 Likewise their wives [women] must be reverent (NKJV); 1 Timothy 3:11 Women must likewise be dignified (NAS); 1 Timothy 3:11 In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect (NIV).
Paul calls all of us who will be useful in Christ's church to the same high calling. This is the same word (in basic form) used for deacons: 1 Timothy 3:8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity (NAS); and the same basis word to describe the Titus 2 older men of renown to be followed: Titus 2:2 “Older men are to be temperate, dignified” (NAS); or worthy of respect (NIV).
Paul extends this priest-like attitude for life to be the goal that all believers should seek as it says in 1 Timothy 2:2 “in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (NAS); or holiness (NIV).
This word also shows up in the guide for what a believer is to think about in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble—meditate on these things” (NKJV). Paul was reminding the early church believers that what they thought about and allowed to stay in their minds is what they would become.
So this consecrated, godly woman heeds what Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he”. The Titus 2 woman knows that whatever she reads, listens to, watches, and allows to stays in her mind, and is what she will become.
So a godly woman (or any believer) who allows anything, whether TV, movies, magazines, and any other media to stimulate their flesh by feeding their mind with lying, profanity, illegitimate sex, gossiping, occultic images, and so much more--will slowly have their mind depart from “noble, dignified, worthy of respect, and holiness” and soon after their actions will follow their mind away from being “reverent in behavior”.
Godly older woman have simply taken Romans 12:1-2 seriously.
They have presented themselves to the Lord, they have begun to live life the way God asked them to live—as a walking temple of God, as a consecrated priest of God, as a living sacrifice, and as a bondservant of the Lord.
Godly women seek to be reverent in their behavior.
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