But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. —Titus 2:2-6
When I write here or speak in person against women’s blogs or women’s ministries featuring women teaching other women, this passage is my critics’ most commonly used ammunition.
I think that’s fair.
But, I’ve gotten so used to the verse being used disingenuously by people I’ve spoken to in person–people who will use it to try to give cover to women “pastors,” “priests,” and “bishops,” that I tend to assume that anyone who appeals to it is a charlatan.
That’s not fair.
This passage deserves to be taken as seriously as any other passage of scripture.
It gives cover to whom it says.
Which means we pay attention to what it actually says. Let’s see what it would take for a women’s blog or women’s ministry to be within the command above.
First, we see that it in no way gives cover to blogs or ministries where women teach men. “That they may teach the young women.” The covered blog or ministry then, must speak specifically to young women, and be specifically silent towards men.
Second, to be given cover, the teachers must be aged women. Based on other writings by Paul, I would set that age at 60. At this point, you can probably see why I simply categorically condemn women’s blogs and women’s ministries. Perhaps you know of some where teaching is directed only at women below 60, and given only by women above 60. I haven’t run across any of these, but perhaps they exist.
These aged women are to teach the young women specific things:
- to be sober
- to love their husbands
- to love their children
- to be discreet
- to be chaste
- to be keepers at home
- to be good
- to be obedient to their own husbands
Do women’s blogs and ministries teach young women to be sober, or encourage them to be vivacious? Do they teach them to love their husbands, or tell them they should respect their husbands and their husbands should love them? Do they teach them to love their children, or to nurture others’ children? Do they teach young women to be discreet, or do they encourage indiscretion? Do they teach chastity or give cover to fornication?
I don’t just mean that they say they teach discretion and chastity. What are their fruits?
Do they teach young women to be keepers at home? Or do they teach that going to Starbucks for a cup of coffee is “a matter of life and death?” Do they teach them to be good, or tell them to stop trying to be good?
But perhaps the last one tells the most. Do these blogs and ministries teach young women to be obedient to their husbands, or do they they teach things like this:
Submission does not mean that the men in authority, whether in the church or in the home, are always right. They aren’t. They’re sometimes and often wrong. They sin, as do we. Submission does not mean blind obedience. It does not mean that we sin in order to submit. It doesn’t mean that you overlook sin in the authority. (emphasis in original)
Now, what if he asks her to participate in a threesome, abort her baby, or help him commit robbery by stealing from a bank? Should she submit in these instances? NO!
Personally, I think the specific things that Titus 2 gives cover to aged women to teach younger women can only be taught in person. That is nothing more than my opinion. Maybe, somewhere, there is a sexagenarian lady running a blog that fits the description. Regardless, you–my male readership–should not be looking to women’s blogs of any flavor for your teaching.