“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands . . . ”
Rachel already did a post on this verse, but there’s something else in here that I’d like to stop and notice – that little phrase, “not given to much wine.” This section in Titus is addressed to the older women, and it is directly related to how they interact with and teach the younger women. The younger women are obviously meant to be learning from the older women in these things, and the goal is that they too will grow into wise and godly older women who can instruct and give examples to the younger women coming up behind them. No matter how old you are, there are always younger women behind you. They may be your own younger sisters, younger women in your church, or your own daughters and granddaughters. You can’t put off the teaching of this verse, thinking that when you’re 65 or 75 then it will apply to you. The obvious implication here is that the older women are not to be given to much wine, and they are to be teaching and modeling this to the younger women – who are supposed to learn by example and also not be given to much wine.
So. What does it mean to not be given to much wine? Obviously this verse would exclude drunkenness – that’s kind of the big “E” on the eye chart. But if that’s all that Paul was talking about, he could have just said that. This is a broader command – that you not be “devoted to” much wine. That’s a little more vague, and obviously that’s why it takes wisdom to figure out how to apply it
Let me pause for a moment to just establish my “street cred” on this subject, lest anyone think I’ve launched the Women’s Temperance League 2.0. Continue reading ‘April 13, Titus 2:3′
So here’s the mania that’s been happening around here the last few days. Nana (my mom) had a big blank wall that needed something on it . . . and I thought a painting of a lot of cold and moody birds would be just the ticket. Can you guess from the painting what the weather has been like in Idaho this week?
But at the same time, Granny (Ben’s mom) is getting ready for her Kindergarten class to put on a very dramatic performance of “The Empty Pot” on Friday. They needed props. So yesterday we whizzed up a lot of rhinormous and very eccentric crepe paper flowers. They help us to forget what the weather has been like in Idaho last week.
“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.”
I love this verse. And not merely because of the fantastic phrase, “fret not thyself.” I love it because it’s one of those verses that really pegs it, sums it up, and pins the tail on the donkey.
The thing that’s so noticeable here is that we are told not to do two things.
1. Don’t fret over evildoers.
2. Don’t be envious of them.
But don’t those two things seem like opposites? We tend to picture the person wringing their hands and fretting over evildoers as being in one camp, and the person who is envious of evildoers over on the totally other side of the road. Isn’t it a bit weird that David treats those two issues like two sides of the same coin? But there is a whole wealth of wisdom in this.
Lots of times we cover our own envy with a thin frosting of faux righteous indignation. It may fool our friends, relations, and even ourselves, but it doesn’t fool God.
Have you ever gotten really wound up about another woman’s immodest outfit? Really fired up and indignant over the outrage to God and country that she was perpetrating? Continue reading ‘February 23: Psalm 37:1′
Every other third decade or so, I have an inexplicable urge to decorate sugar cookies. And then I do it. And then I remember why the last time I did it I swore off the practice entirely and vowed to stay upon the straight and narrow path of chocolate chip cookies from here on out. It’s all those little squirty bags and decorator tips and blops of icing everywhere and the high-powered food coloring that gets on your dishrag and the cookies that look nowhere near as good as they clearly ought to, given the amount of fiddly preparation that went into them. That’s the part that gets me down.
The cookies pictured above are the results of my own little baking spree. The cookies pictured at left are the ones which made me decide that it would be a good idea to make some Valentine cookies. Are you drinking in the discrepancy between the two photos?
Once, many years ago, back in the olden days, probably when I was fluffing my bangs into a swoop and spraying them put with White Rain, I saw a picture of some cast stone candlestick holders in a catalog. Don’t ask me why I was so taken with them – I was clearly not in the market for candlestick holders. I was pegging my pants and wearing Keds with no laces, not putting together my stylish Tuscan villa. (Actually, I take that back. It might have been more the Doc Martin era than Keds.) But nonetheless, I deeply loved those candlestick holders. And I figured that I could totally make them myself. That’s always been my downfall. More times than I can count. That nagging little voice that won’t shut up that says, “I’ll bet I could make that myself.” Continue reading ‘Valentine Cookies’
“But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself rather to godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7).
Have you ever wondered why Paul had to warn Christians not to be susceptible to old wives’ tales? Not to be gullible? Not to fall into funny little superstitions that are passed around through the women?
Obviously he’s not just warning the women not to fall into this trap – he’s admonishing the men too. But notice what he’s telling them to stay away from. He doesn’t want any children of God to fall prey to the silly stories that women tend to be especially good at passing back and forth to each other. This, I think, makes it obvious that it’s a temptation that might be especially strong for women – and maybe we need to examine ourselves to see if we’ve slipped into this anywhere. Continue reading ‘January 26: Old Wives’ Tales’
So anyways, I need to tell you about this sign I made. For my kids. For Christmas. Which makes no apparent sense. And also I should tell you why the couch I reupholstered is no longer in my living room, and why it has a tear in the arm (look close – it’s there), and why it’s looking generally a bit more dilapidated than it has any right to look after such a short space of time. Continue reading ‘Friendly Locals’