Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that . . . (Titus 2:3–5 NASB)
I was skimming through, about to turn to another passage, when these words stopped me . . . so that . . . I had been running through the “biblical womanhood” checklist of Titus 2 when these two little words connected all the dots for me: so that.
So that . . . these two words let me know I needed to stop and see what preceded them . . . they are conditional words. Letting me know I needed to apply myself to the instructions right before this conditional statement (the womanhood checklist) . . . so that this next part doesn’t happen.
What I saw next took my breath away.
Are you sure you want to know what followed the so that of the checklist?
The King James Version reads a little stronger and more in your face. It says we need to do all the good stuff in the checklist (the not gossiping, teaching younger women, loving children and husband stuff) . . .
so that . . .
the Word of God will not be . . . blasphemed.
Did you read that? Did you get that . . .? Blasphemed.
The NASB is a little gentler “. . . encourage the young women to love their husbands . . . to be subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” (Emphasis mine.) The ESV charges wives to be submissive so that the word of God will not be reviled.
That was it.
My death knell.
I came undone and have never recovered.
When I read those words I clearly saw what I’d been doing for years. I had been blaspheming, reviling, bringing dishonor to the word of God. By professing to love God, claiming to have the indwelling power of the Spirit, upholding Scripture as God’s revealed Word to others . . . while living like a shrew at home . . .
I was making God’s Word of no effect in my witness for Christ. By dishonoring my husband, I was bringing dishonor to God’s Word and the power of the gospel.
What a serious indictment.
From a little girl I’ve lived with one driving passion. I’ve lived wanting others to know my Savior. I believe all of creation is to participate in filling God’s earth with His glory. The rocks will cry out His praise if our lives fail to reflect His glory. I live and breathe to let others know how much He’s done, how worthy He is, how much I love Him. I want all to know that He alone is God—there is no other like Him.
But at that moment, while reading Titus 2:5, the reality came crashing in that rather than filling the earth with His glory—in my marriage—I had blasphemed the Word of God.
I finally got it.
My treatment of my husband is directly linked to bringing God glory.
My world was rocked.
I was broken.
Completely humbled. I cried out for days in repentance. I felt so totally undeserving of a glimpse, a look of forgiveness from the Holy God whose name I had impugned with my hypocritical actions. I finally connected the dots and the picture it formed was sickening.
How could I claim there was power in the gospel to transform lives—when I treated my husband in such an untransformed and ugly manner? How could I testify to grace, receive and revel in grace—when I withheld it from my husband?
This is a portion of our story from the book Fierce Women: The Power of a Strong Warrior. I hope you’ll check out the book, but more than that I hope you’ll spend some time considering the implications of Titus 2:3–5.
Have you connected the dots yet?