Titus 2 Word Study Part 4: Discretion Advised

In this Post: Join me for a Biblical word study of what it means to be a Titus 2 wife. Today we learn why God wants Godly women (and really all believers) to be discreet.

Hello dear ones! If you’re new, pull up a chair and join us. We’ve been learning about the qualities of a Godly woman as described in Titus 2. We are focusing on what older women are to teach the younger ladies. I will give links to the previous three studies at the end.

Any who, I’ve been digging into the original Greek, which adds layers of depth to the Biblical text. You can do this easily with a lexicon or a Strong’s Dictionary. I recommend that you use both. I share what books I like my best in the first post in this series, which again will be at the end. Let’s look at God’s living word!


Titus 2:4-5 KJV

 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.”

The Greek word for Discreet (4998) is sophron  which according to Strong’s means moderate in opinion/passion, sound (safe) minded, self-controlled. 

The Complete Word Study New Testament gives this definition-

“A person who limits his own freedom and ability with proper thinking, demonstrating, self-control with the proper restraints on all the passions and desires.”

And Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament simply says it is “curbing one’s desires and impulses.” 

I know this is heavy, we’re going to break it all down in a moment. I want to look at one more place.  http://www.merriam-webster.com/ gives this definition:

“Discreet- having or showing discernment or good judgment in conduct and especially in speech : prudentespecially :  capable of preserving prudent silence”

Let’s look at Strong’s definition. This word sophron is very similar to the Greek word for Sober, sophronizo, which we studied in our first word study. It basically means to have self control. Sophron, however, deals directly with our opinions, passions, and desires. What do you feel strongly about? This is the area you may need to use discretion in. We see that moderation is key.

  • Also the Strong’s says it is to be safe minded. Tell me, when you hear the word extreme, do you feel safe? When I hear about extreme groups I think of terrorism and hatred. Now, not everyone is extreme that the media or haters paint that way. We may all have our own opinion about what is and isn’t extreme. I think most of us can agree those that bomb innocents in acts of terror, are extreme. I don’t believe their mind is safe at all. Now, you and I deal with moderation on a smaller scale. Maybe you are extreme with a passion to be healthy. There’s nothing wrong with having a passion for good health, but do you push away friends because that is all you talk about? Or maybe you own a business and that consumes your conversations? Being safe minded and moderate is something you need to pray about, because we all have different passions that need to be kept in check. Knowing when and where to talk about your opinions and passions is key.

Have you ever met a person who feels they must blare their opinion everywhere they go? It doesn’t matter if they are at a baseball game or a funeral, this person will make sure everyone has heard what they have to say. Opinions are well and fine, but this type of person does not use discretion. Now, if you’re thinking of someone else, you can pray for them, but if you are thinking of yourself do not despair. There is hope for you. God can give you discernment and wisdom if you ask Him for it.


  • Maybe you know this is you but you don’t care? Why limit yourself? I can say what I want to say, you think.  Well, I say to you, that God says in His Word, being discreet is a good thing. Not only is it the mark of a Godly woman, but it is also valued in Godly leaders, male and female. We see this in reference to bishops and older men in the next several verses.

1 Timothy 3:2 KJV

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober (4998), of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;”

Titus 1:7-8 KJV

“For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober (4998), just, holy, temperate;”

Titus 2:2 KJV

“That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate (4998), sound in faith, in charity, in patience.”

We see in The Complete Word Study New Testament that to be discreet you must

  • limit your own freedom and ability with proper thinking. Namely, think before you speak! The whole attitude “I can say WHAT I want to say, WHEN I want to say it, and I don’t CARE what you think!” is not the mark of a person of God. Even Christ used discretion. We are definitely not above God. Discretion takes humility for sure.

It is good to have opinions and values that you can stand for. God is not calling us to be intellectual wimps. In fact, the Apostle Paul and other champions of the faith were very loud about their beliefs…to the point of death. Being discreet simply means that you know the appropriate time to speak and when to be silent. You exercise control over your opinions, passions, and desires for the sake of love. Godly love which we are called to show the world, requires discretion.

  • Here is an example. Imagine your 14 year old friend made the mistake of having sex with her boyfriend. Now, she is pregnant and the boyfriend has left her. She comes to you in tears asking for advice. This is a great time for discretion. You could tell her how immoral her decision was. You’d be right, but you wouldn’t be loving. The time for advising her to be abstinent has passed. Instead you decide to use wisdom, and you lovingly pray for your friend. You remind her that God loves her. You support her and her baby as best you can. Maybe you send her to a pregnancy clinic.
  • Now, say this teenager comes to you again a year later and she has met a new beau. She says that he is the one, and she wants to have sex with him. Your friend promises she will use protection this time. You would be unloving if you did NOT speak up, and share your belief about waiting til marriage (and the right age). If a friend is about to fall off a cliff, indeed, you should shout!

We can also learn what sophron means by looking at the antithesis or opposite of it, which is the Greek word hubristes (5197).


  • According to the Complete Word Study New Testament, hubristes means “one whose insolence and contempt of others breaks forth in acts of wantonness and outrage.”

These are big words. Let’s break them down a bit, according to Webster’s dictionary.

  • Insolent:  insultingly contemptuous in speech or conduct :  overbearing . The simple definition: rude or impolite : having or showing a lack of respect for other people.
  • Wantonness–  showing no thought or care for the rights, feelings, or safety of othersnot limited or controlled.
  • Contempt– the act of despising :  the state of mind of one who despises :  disdain b :  lack of respect or reverence for something.

So the opposite of discretion is not caring about others feelings, not respecting them, and being rude. It also means to be overbearing. This is NOT Godly behavior. If you want to draw others to Christ and minister grace to your family and humankind, you’ve got to actually care about people. When you refuse to use discretion you may very well appear to be a hateful person. No one likes being backed into a corner, whatever the cause. Wives, I speak to you (and me), when you beat your husband over the head with your opinion (truth or not)and back them into a corner…don’t be surprised if they strike back (figuratively). You would do the same if you felt threatened. I can attest to this personally. I’ll admit that my discretion weakness is with my husband.

I’m usually quiet about my opinions in public unless someone asks me what I think. Even on my blog I have stopped myself from posting controversial pieces for the sake of love. It is rare that I post anything controversial on social media. But at home, well….

I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut., especially if I feel justified. I am prayerfully working on this. Sometimes my hubby will just stop talking or listening during an argument. I come from a family of talkers, and I’m used to people beating a topic in to the ground until someone has the last word. I also don’t like to be misjudged, and will defend myself like a mama bear! But Jesus is showing me that sometimes when I think I’ve won…I’ve actually lost. If my relationship with my husband suffers because I won’t zip it, then I’ve lost. Because Chris and I, are one, and when he hurts it hurts me.  Now, I won’t be surprised if I’m tested in this area again. I’ve been tested with all of these Titus 2 posts Any who…

I learned this lesson as a young bride, during a card game with a church group. We were playing cards, and Chris made a smart comment. I didn’t want to be outmatched so I volleyed with an even more sarcastic quip. Everyone at the table laughed and said “Ohhhh! She got you!” I smirked feeling victory, until I looked at my husband. He had melted a bit. I had emasculated him, and it didn’t feel good. I no longer felt the victor…no points for me, our marriage had just lost. I’m sure the devil thought it was funny.  I decided then and there that I wanted to only uplift my husband in public. So far…so good. I just need to work on this at home. Please pray for me as I pray for you.

How about you? How’s your discretion? What area needs improvement? Please feel free to leave me some comment love. Remember, that God will give you wisdom if you ask. 

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Other Titus 2 Studies

Titus 2 Word Study Part 1: Be Sober



Titus 2 Word Study Part 2: Love and Affection


Titus 2 Word Study Part 3: Motherhood


2 comments on “Titus 2 Word Study Part 4: Discretion Advised

  1. Great subject Amber! This is something I find a lot in the work force. I have had to really think on this lately. It is soooo easy to open your mouth and say something you can’t take back. I have tried to go by the Holy Spirits direction on this. Sometimes Christians still push through and grieve the Holy Spirit, by saying something they know they shouldn’t. Believe me, I know. Other times, it’s true, you need to speak up. Some people can be overbearing or take advantage of you. That’s when you may need to speak up……unless the Holy Spirit leads you to wait or let it go. God takes care of his people, so if we humble ourselves before him, he will exalt us in due time. Can I hear an AMEN! Keep up the good work Amber! We are all a work in progress! Progress being the key word.:) love and prayers, Mom

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