CHARACTERISTICS OF A GODLY, YOUNG WIFE (By Janine Mick Wills)
What characteristics does God expect of a young wife?
We’re dropping the ball “aged women”! My daughter and I were talking the other day. She said it’s sad that the older women in church aren’t fulfilling Titus 2:3-5. We’re not teaching the younger women how to be godly wives. It’s scary because not doing so means we blaspheme the Word of God. Now, that is sobering! Are we too preoccupied with our own things or is it because we don’t know what God expects from a godly wife? To know what God expects of a young wife, we must first look at what he expects from the older women who are to teach them.
WHAT CHARACTERISTICS GOD EXPECTS OF OLDER WOMEN (According to Titus 2:3-5):
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness.
It is a blessing to be with older, godly women. They’ve weathered the storms of life with their Captain Jesus. Their faces may be lined, but more often than not, the laugh lines are deeper. They’ve learned to love life and rejoice always (Philippian 4:4). Their settled peace comes from a life that leaned on God. These women are a rare commodity. Especially in today’s society. They are in the sight of God a “great price” (1 Peter 3:4).
But God expects all of His children to be holy not just the aged women (1 Peter 1:15, 16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (behavior); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy). And if it’s expected/commanded, it is something we can do.
Not false accusers (from the Greek word diabolos – slanderer or devils). Older women, who are not led of the Spirit, have a tendency to gossip (See “Me and My Big Mouth”). Though younger women/widows can suffer from this fate as well (1 Timothy 5:13). This happens when their faith is “cast off”, “they learn to be idle,” they wander “about from house to house,” and become “tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.”
The Bible has much to say about our tongues:
- James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (Ouch!)
- Proverbs 11:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets…
- Proverbs 18:8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds…
- Proverbs 20:19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets…
- Proverbs 26:20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
Not given to much wine – Good or new wine; wine mixed with water (The wine referred to in 1 Timothy 5:23 was fermented wine; only to be used in small amounts for medicinal purposes).
Teachers of good things – What are these good things? “That they may teach the young women” the following characteristics:
WHAT CHARACTERISTICS GOD EXPECTS OF YOUNGER WOMEN (WIVES)
- To be sober – This does not mean to go around with a sour or serious face. This would contradict 1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice evermore. It means to be of a sound mind; temperate; under control (1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 1 Timothy 3:11 Even so must their (bishops’) wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things).
- To love their husbands, to love their children – We live in a “Me, me, me” society. By human nature, we are selfish. And to be honest, sometimes it’s not easy to love our husbands and children. They do things that make us mad or disappoint us. But remember. Every time we point a finger at them, there are at least three pointing back at us. That’s why God said we need to be taught to love. Because it doesn’t come naturally (Philippians 2:3, 4 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things).
- To be discreet – Safe or sound in mind; self-controlled; moderate as to opinion or passion. Even as an older woman, I have to work on this. I am impulsive. “Look before you leap” is not my motto. I generally “Rush in where fools dare to trod.” If I want something; I get it. If I want something done; I do it. I must work on acting not reacting. (Proverbs 11:22 As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression).
- Chaste – clean or pure. I love the picture of Christ’s bride, the Church, in Ephesians 5:27 (That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish). It’s a sad commentary of our society that most brides should not wear white on their wedding day. They don’t adhere to the picture Paul gave in 2 Corinthians 11:2 (2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ). True, we are responsible for our own actions, especially as adults, but many of these young women have not been taught to keep themselves pure for the man God would one day have them marry.
- Keepers at home – domestically inclined or good housekeeper. Oh, my! Admitting you’re a stay-at-home-mom can bring wrath and disdain upon your head from those who choose to pursue a career outside the home! Yes, sometimes it’s necessary, but we often do so because we want the extra things money can buy. Just make sure you’re not sacrificing your children on the altar of the immediate. They can do without designer shoes or cell phones (!), but they can’t do without the love and support a full-time mother can give! (Proverbs 7:11 She (strange woman) is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house. 1 Timothy 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully).
Does this mean you are chained to your house? Consider the industrious Proverbs 31 woman for the answer. She…
1) Seeketh wool and flax
2) Bringeth her food from afar
3) Considereth a field and buyeth it
4) Planteth a vineyard
5) Stretcheth out her hand to the poor
6) Reacheth her hand to the needy
7) Selleth her fine linen
8) Delivereth girdles to the merchants
- Good – In any sense of the word; often used as a noun. (Matthew 19:17 Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh).
- Obedient to their own husband – You submit to your husband, not because he is worthy, but because your God is worthy and He told you to submit. Someone has to be in charge. It’s been said a two-headed anything is a monstrosity. The one, who submits, displays a form of strength because submission is an act of will. Something that can only be done through submission to God. As I’ve said before, our Christianity is active. It’s something we do. We can’t sit back and think it’s just going to happen.
Submit because God is worthy.
- That the word of God be not blasphemed – If a young wife does not do the above things, she can ruin her testimony and give rise for evil to be said of her and her God. Verse 8 …that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
A good wife is hard to find because her characteristics come as she submits to God and her husband (Proverbs 31:10-12 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband (master) doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good (benefit or ripen) and not evil (harm, hurt, or displeasuer) all the days of her life).
Will you be that kind of a wife?