Titus 2:1-8 says, “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. 6 Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; 7 in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us” (NASB).
Older women…encourage the young women. Older men…urge the young men.
Who are the “older women” and “older men”?
The “older women” and “older men” Paul talks about are those longERstanding disciples of Christ. In other words, they are older or mature in the faith. They have been in a relationship with Christ, having experienced His Salvation and Lordship in their lives for some time. The “older” women and men are advanced in the things of the Lord Jesus Christ– understanding His Word, discerning His Sprit, and applying His truth to their lives. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words explains, “[older] is a longer form of presbus, the comparative degree of which is presbuteros, “a senior, elder,” both of which, as also the verb presbeuo, “to be elder, to be an ambassador,” are derived from proeisbaino, “to be far advanced.” It may very well be that the person who is older in age is also older in the faith, just not exclusively. It is possible for a 75 year old to be “older” or more advanced in the faith and a longERstanding disciple of Christ than a 35 year old, and vice versa.
Who are the “young women” and “young men”?
The “young women” and “young men” are the newer disciples of Christ. In this passage, “young” comes from the Greek word neos, meaning “recently born”.  It is NOT a coincidence that coming to a relationship with Christ, experiencing His Salvation and Lordship, is described as BEING BORN AGAIN.
“3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God. 4 “What do You mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” 5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:3-7, NLT).
Therefore, it is possible for NEW disciples of Christ of any age to be considered “recently born” or “young”. The younger in the faith are to be encouraged and urged by the older in the faith.
What does “encourage” and “urge” mean?
“Encourage” comes from the Greek word sophronizo. Sophronizo connotes “to train”. “Urge” comes from the Greek word parakaleo. Parakaleo connotes “to speak to”.
Paraphrased: Women who are advanced in the faith, train the women who are newer to the faith. Men who are advanced in the faith, speak to the men who are newer to the faith.
These are responsibilities not to be taken lightly. Both women and men (see vv. 3 and 6: “likewise”) are to teach and be taught the expressed qualities (being temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance…being reverent in behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good…loving, being sensible, pure, honoring the will of God….being an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach) for the purpose of spurring one another to holiness– becoming more like Christ, exemplifying the Goodness of God.
Who must you urge and encourage today?
2. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon. Available from https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G3501&t=KJV.
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