I hope you had a fabulous week. I am so excited to start our first lesson in the Godly Living in an Ungodly World series! Our first lesson will be on Titus 2 verses 3-5. I am so excited for this study. Have you read these verses? They give the characteristics of what a Godly woman looks like. Over the next few weeks, we will break each characteristic down and really study them. I plan to not only write a blog post, but also record a video and provide a study guide for you. Like I said last week, I am on this journey with you. I certainly have not arrived yet. I am facing the same challenges and struggles that you are, but I believe there is strength in community and we can walk through this journey together.
Right now, I have the study broken up over the next 6 weeks, but we will kind of play that by ear as we go along. Maybe there is something we feel the Holy Spirit is moving us to spend a little more time on, and I want to have the ability to expand a lesson if we choose to.
I have three different versions of the verse to share with you today. As we study the characteristics of the verses, we will look at multiple verses because I think it is a great way to fully understand the meaning behind them.
Standard English Version:
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips or enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good so that they may encourage the the young women to love their husbands, to love their children to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their husbands so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
This version is actually the version of my Bible, the Life Application Study Bible. I love this Bible. It provides a lot of commentary and the wording is very easy to understand.
Contemporary English Version:
“Tell the older women to behave as those who love the Lord should. They must not gossip about others or be slaves of wine. They must teach what is proper, so that the younger women will be loving wives and mothers. Each of the younger women must be sensible and kind, as well as a good homemaker, who puts her own husband first. Then no one can say insulting things about God’s message.”
One of my favorite Bible versions to compare verses to are the Contemporary English Version and the Common English Version. Sometimes, the Bible has too many thees and thous that it gets a little confusing or hard to understand. I love that these versions really break it down in today’s language.
The Message Bible:
“Guide older women into lives of reverence so that they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s message because of their behavior.”
This is actually the first time I have used The Message Bible, but I really like it. If you have never heard of this version, it reads like a novel. It helps bring the Bible to life. I think I will be using more of this version in the future.
This week, you have a two part assignment.
The first part is to evaluate yourself. We can’t fix a problem we don’t know we have. When you read these verses, what stands out to you? Is there a characteristic that makes you cringe? Is there one that you almost wanted to skip over? That is usually a good indication that we need to work in that area.
For me, the first thing that stood out to me was not to gossip. I struggle with this, and almost not intentionally even. When something happens, I naturally want to tell someone. It may not even be that I want to talk about a certain person or situation, but just that I want to tell you what happened to me just now. That was the phrase that made me cringe because I know I have a lot of growth to do in that area.
Now that we have evaluated where we stand, your next part of the assignment is to be aware this week when you are breaking these characteristics. I think it is important to just be aware of our words, actions and thoughts. I just want you to be aware of when you are snappy with your husband, or you say something about someone you shouldn’t have, or you drink too much alcohol, or even you don’t pick up after yourself, recognize it. I want us to be aware of what is going on.
Now, I will say that I don’t want this to be a negative assignment. I once prayed that God would show me all the times I sinned that week. Sometimes, I find myself comparing my sins to others…Well I only said a little white lie and he is full blown lying. God doesn’t view sins in tiers of severity. To him a sin is a sin. So, I prayed that God would convict me every time I sinned so that I would see how much I needed His grace. By the end of the week, ya’ll, I was a mess. I couldn’t even pray because I just felt like such a mess up. I don’t want you to feel that way at the end of the week. Because you are reading this, I know you are committed to living a Godly life. I just want you to be aware that you have fallen short and then in the next coming weeks, we will learn how to improve in these areas.
With that said, have a wonderful week! We will meet back here on Monday to discuss the first part of the study!