Titus 2:1–10 (NKJV)
1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.Titus 2:1-20
6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
Paul exhorts Titus to speak things that lead to proper doctrine, instructing the people in Crete to live in a way that glorifies God. Some of these instructions are reminiscent of the instructions given to Timothy for the Ephesians as well. Paul tells Titus to teach that the older men should be reverent, self-controlled, loving, patient, and full of sound doctrine. He also instructs Titus to tell the older women to exhibit reverent behavior, speak ill of no one, be sober, and teach good things to the younger women. This teaching would include how the younger women should love their husbands and children, be discreet, true to their husbands, take care of the home, be good, and be cooperative with their husbands. In doing these things, the word of God would not be blasphemed. Paul then instructs Titus to also teach the young men, imploring them to be sober-minded, showing a pattern of good works. They should exhibit doctrinal integrity, reverence, an incorrupt lifestyle, with sound speech that no one can condemn.
The final instruction to Titus in this passage is that he teach the servants to be obedient to their masters. They should please them, not arguing or being disrespectful, not stealing from their masters, but rather showing faithfulness. While slavery is deplorable and Biblically denounced, Paul’s teaching here is meant to encourage a Godly attitude and lifestyle in the midst of a horrible situation. Paul has addressed this situation in Ephesians 6 and 1 Timothy 6, and is now reiterating the need to be a witness even in the most desperate of situations. Slavery is not endorsed here, but is addressed with a suggestion that could provide slaves a goal in the midst of their bondage. To glorify God is the ultimate goal of life.
Paul gives Titus some familiar teaching, or at least it seems so in the ears of today’s reader, for some of this teaching is found in other of Paul’s letters. What can all of this say to us today? Live a life that reflects Christ! Do not be drunk or gossipping. Do not be irreverent or disrespectful. There is a need for decorum and order in the church, cooperation and organic harmony in the body of Christ. Make people see Christ in a positive light when they observe your lifestyle. At all times, let people see the love of Christ and the joy of the Lord in your life. Whatever you do, don’t make Jesus look bad. Someone’s life may depend on it.