In this Post: Join me for a Biblical word study of what it means to be a Titus 2 wife. What does it mean to keep your home? Is it all about housework or is there a deeper meaning?
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 a link to the previous five studies at the end.
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 best in the first post in this series, which again will be at the end. Let’s look at God’s living word! Make sure you have a Bible (or look one up online) because we will be looking at several verses.
Titus 2:4-5 KJV
“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
It’s been awhile since my last Titus 2 post. I’ll admit that this particular study is controversial and I’ve prayed about how to approach it with balance. First, you know I am a stay at home mom that homeschools. I feel called to this and I love my life. Secondly, you need to know, that I was raised by a hardworking single mom and later a hard working single dad. Divorce has touched my family several times, and I’ve experienced different types of family life. When I studied this passage I really looked at all the different angles and searched for what God says on the matter (despite what I or anyone else says). I also strive to take verses into context and use common sense. My only “agenda” is to help people. Although I’d like to say “whatever floats your boat” to people and get back to my own life, I believe that is selfish. I believe I am called to minister. A good truth seeker shares what they find. So without ado, the Bible study.
- Keepers at home (3626 Grk. oikouros) ~ A keeper, one who looks after domestic affairs with prudence and care. From oikos (a house, household, family, and/or lineage. Also used for a temple). (The Complete New Testament Word Study)
- Oikouros also comes from ouros (or oupos) which means a guard (Strongs), a keeper, the watch (Thayer’s).
Above we see the Greek word comes from two root words “oikos” and “ouros”. When I first did this study I was amazed to see that a keeper also means a guard. There’s this beautiful word picture of a mother guarding her family. Are you surprised? Maybe like me, you were picturing a house-keeper, or a barefoot mama with a pile of laundry. There’s nothing wrong with either, but oikouros seems to depict something deeper too.
We see this image of the mother guardian in creation. There’s the mother bear that attacks any threats. We see mother birds guarding their nests from predators. Why should we be surprised by human mothers guarding their homes? I believe the world has cheapened what it means to be a stay at home mom or a housewife. We are supposed to guard our families. I’m not saying that we don swords and take down the school bully or that dude that cut our husband off in traffic. By no means! I grew up watching Xena Warrior Princess and I admit, being a physical warrior is slightly appealing to me. No, mamas…wives, we are called to a quieter form of guardianship. We are called to pray for our family.
- We are called to watch what comes into our homes (media choices, friendships, what they eat). Maybe this seems like a small task…maybe even a demeaning one. But think of this:
- The books and movies our family consumes will shape their worldviews. Their worldview will determine how they vote, the job they get, and how they treat others. We can influence the citizens our family members become. Citizens affect the country they live in. Truly, the one who rocks the cradle…rules the world.
- Your family’s friends will influence who they become as well. I’m not just talking about children. Husbands can be drawn away from God and a healthy lifestyle because of their buddies too. It’s like riding with a drunk driver although you are sober. Their bad decisions can ruin your life. Your family needs healthy boundaries to keep others from wrecking your lives. There are predators and seducers out there (physically and spiritually). It’s important that you guard your family from poisonous influences.
- Guarding what our family eats or uses physically may seem dull, but when you’ve had a family member suffer because of food then it gets real serious. Our food is tied to our health. If you control what your family eats you can help them or hurt them. You can give your family diabetes and obesity, or you can give them good health which helps them function in society. Obviously, your realm of guardianship can only go so far. You can’t help everything that causes ill health. But you can control certain areas. Pregnant mamas can give their babies brain damage by what they take. So yes, guarding what your family eats or takes into their bodies is important work.
- Lastly, prayer is huge. Prayer is our greatest weapon (along with God’s Word) in guarding our families. There are spiritual threats daily. Also, God can change any circumstance. Your husband needs a job? God can bring that about. I’ve seen God do amazing things through prayer. When my hubby was in war, all I could do was pray for His safety. God answered my prayers, and brought my hubby home safely. There were times that our family should’ve been without, but God provided. He kept a roof over our heads. My prayers (and that of others) touched the heart of God.
Strongs also says oikouros means “a stayer at home, domestically inclined”. Thayer’s says “caring for the house, working at home”.
- I’ve looked and it is what it is. To keep the home you have to be home some of the time. But one must note, that this verse is the only verse in the Bible that uses the word oikouros (Keeper at home). And staying home is only mentioned twice in the New Testament (Titus and 1 Timothy 5:14). So I can gather that this isn’t a make it or break it issue. If staying at home was a command of great theological importance it would be backed up by more verses and in both testaments. We don’t find details on what managing the home looks like in these verses, and I believe there is a good reason for God’s silence. Not all households should be managed the same. The exact way you manage your house is a matter of prayer and between you and your husband.
- Proverbs 31 is often used as a command for how wives should be…well some aspects of it. I’ve yet to read a self-help book that tells wives to imitate the Proverbs 31 lady in every single way. Instead, they pick and choose what they like…the sewing…the cooking. I wouldn’t mind the hired help. The book of Proverbs is not a book of law or promises. It is called proverbs for a reason, and you will find seemingly contradicting verses in Proverbs because it is a book of sayings that apply in some situations but not in others (example answer a fool & don’t answer a fool Proverbs 26:4-5). I mentioned this in my post on spanking. Anywho, the articles below say it much better than me. When you read the Bible you need to take it in context and consider what type of literature you are reading. Is it poetry, a parable, prophetic, historical, a proverb, or a letter? There are cults because of Bible twisting.
“Proverbs are not necessarily to be taken literally, and they are not promises; rather, they are an acknowledgment of a common reality.” ~Gotquestions?.org
- We can, however, learn a few lessons from the Proverbs 31 wife. Most of us may not have servants. Not all of us can sew or even cook. Some of us are night owls and some of us go to bed early. Proverbs 31 is not a direct how-to list, but we can see several character traits in the imagery of the Godly woman in Proverbs 31.
- An interesting fact real quick. Proverbs 31: 10-31 is an acrostic poem in the Hebrew. Also, Jewish tradition says King Lemuel was Solomon. His mother (who taught him this oracle) was Bathsheba, a woman who wasn’t always a Proverbs 31 lady. God in His grace redeemed her and brought Jesus out of her bloodline.
Proverbs 31:10-31 Amplified Version (bold emphasis mine)
“10 An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her?
Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.
The heart of her husband trusts in her [with secure confidence],
And he will have no lack of gain.
She comforts, encourages, and does him only good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She looks for wool and flax
And works with willing hands in delight.
She is like the merchant ships [abounding with treasure];
She brings her [household’s] food from far away.
She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And assigns tasks to her maids.
She considers a field before she buys or accepts it [expanding her business prudently];
With her profits she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
She equips herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task]
And makes her arms strong.
She sees that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out, but it burns continually through the night [she is prepared for whatever lies ahead].
She stretches out her hands to the [e]distaff,
And her hands hold the spindle [as she spins wool into thread for clothing].
She opens and extends her hand to the poor,
And she reaches out her filled hands to the needy.
She does not fear the snow for her household,
For all in her household are clothed in [expensive] scarlet [wool].
She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry.
Her clothing is linen, pure and fine, and purple [wool].
Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes [fine] linen garments and sells them;
And supplies sashes to the merchants.
Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure;
And she smiles at the future [knowing that she and her family are prepared].
She opens her mouth in [skillful and godly] wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue [giving counsel and instruction].
She looks well to how things go in her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired);
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying,
“Many daughters have done nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness],
[f]But you excel them all.”
Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised.
Give her of the product of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city].”
Wow, this is long. Let’s go over the parts I put in bold.
- Her husband trusts in her. She encourages and comforts him. People speak well of her husband because of her. We see a Godly woman is kind and encouraging. She does good and not evil. She watches how she talks.
Proverbs 14:1 says “The wise woman builds her house [on a foundation of godly precepts, and her household thrives],
But the foolish one [who lacks spiritual insight] tears it down with her own hands [by ignoring godly principles].”
Obviously, this Proverb doesn’t mean a literal house made of bricks. We as women have great power in what we say and how we act. We are like the heart of the home. We can radiate love and warmth, or we can fill our home with hate and coldness. Our words can build up our husbands and children, or they can tear them down. A woman who constantly puts down her husband and/or children shows herself to be ungodly. Please hear me: God is full of grace, and His grace can hold you despite your mistakes. We all have those days. But if you find most of your words are poison then you need to look at the source. How is your heart? Are you spending time with Jesus? I find I am the meanest when I stray from God’s Word. I desperately need to make the time for Jesus, even just a couple moments, or I won’t be a nice person. I can not function without Christ. Everything starts to crumble when I drift away. Are you drifting? Jesus is just one step back, and His arms are open wide.
- Moving on, the Proverbs 31 lady is a hard worker who prepares ahead. She makes sure her family is taken care of. She looks after her family. They are fed and clothed. She isn’t lazy or idle.
Not all of us are rich and there are some amazing mamas in third world countries who can barely feed their babies. These verses aren’t saying that poor folk aren’t Godly. Rather we see that a Godly wife and mom has her family at heart. She will do whatever she can to care for them. A mama that walks miles to get water for her family is definitely Proverbs 31 in my book! There are rich mothers who stay at home but have no concern for their family. Their hearts are wrapped up in selfish endeavors. And there are moms that work outside the home who always put their families first.
Is your heart in your home? Is your family under God and above everything else? Or have you pushed your family to the side for other things? Whether we stay at home all the time or only some of the time…God made women to be the heart of the home. There’s a reason that women are called to pregnancy and breastfeeding. We have certain intuitions and we are made to nurture. This is not a weakness! It is a strength. Depression and strife comes when we fight our nature. There is peace when you embrace who God created you to be.
- The Proverbs 31 lady is generous. She helps those in need.
- The Proverbs 31 lady takes care of herself so she can take care of others. She knows that she needs to be spiritually and physically fit. So ladies, take care of yourselves. I’m preaching to the choir, here.
- She respects God and spends time with HIM. We see that the ultimate secret of the Godly woman’s dignity and honor is that she reverences God. God is her strength.
A good article on the subject of staying at home: http://www.gotquestions.org/stay-at-home-mom.html
I pray this study has shown you the great responsibility and privilege we have as wives. I’ve noticed that when my attitude stinks, the atmosphere of my home stinks. I affect everyone around me. Even if my hubby and kids are unhappy, my attitude can cheer them up and bring balance. I’ve seen this principle at work so many times. I truly feel that women are the heart of the home.
God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover
You can find the rest of my Titus 2 posts here: http://amberdover.com/category/homelife/my-family-rocks-sundays/marriage-my-family-rocks-sundays/the-joyful-wife-project/