You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
The second chapter is all about what Titus should teach. The first verse caught my attention.
You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. I almost missed that. I always glanced over it and thought he was teaching sound doctrine. My husband teaches doctrine at Westmont college, and it’s quite a bit of work: taking the deep things of God and making sure, systematically, that students understand so they can live their faith.
However, chapter two doesn’t deal with the tenets of the faith but the living out of the faith.
Accord, what agrees with. How to live so that your life agrees with your sound doctrine. Not enough to know the truth, we must live it out. This is to be taught, too.
How? Titus 2 starts with instructions for Titus to teach older men, older women, young men, and slaves. Then comes the encapsulation of doctrine in my favorite verses, 11-14.
Older men, what is he to teach them?
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self controlled, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.
I imagine it was just as hard in that day as now to teach someone older than you. First you must win their respect, then, as you speak to them you must remember always to speak respectfully. First model these things, then act as if you are reminding them of something they already know, and affirm their practice of godliness as seen in:
These are character qualities we all should grow in, of course. Perhaps they are especially compelling in older men, those who live rightly because of their faith. I know that their lack, in older men, causes the younger generation to distrust and even disregard them.
How blessed then, for the older men (and thereby all of us) to be taught the worth of temperence, respectfulness, self-control, faith, love, and endurance. Having been taught the worth, then, to live it out by grace, under the Spirit’s power.
All thanks and praise to God!