Life-Study of 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon, by Witness Lee


In verses 3 and 4 Paul speaks concerning aged women: “Aged women likewise are to be in demeanor as befits the sacred, not slanderers, nor enslaved by much wine, teachers of what is good, that they may train the young women to be lovers of their husbands, lovers of their children.” Paul’s use of the word “likewise” indicates that the behavior of the aged women should be similar to that of the aged men. In demeanor they should be as befits the sacred. Demeanor means deportment and includes gesture and habit. The word sacred refers to those who are engaged in sacred things. This may be a special term referring to our service in the church. Any service in the church is sacred, and our demeanor should match this sacred service. Demeanor includes everything we are in our attitude, appearance, and deportment. All this should befit that part of the church service in which we participate. Especially the elderly sisters should have a demeanor which befits the sacred things, the things related to the service of the church.

Paul also says that aged women should not be slanderers. The Devil is a slanderer (Rev. 12:10). To slander is to practice the nature of the evil slanderer. An elderly sister should flee slander, the evil act of the Devil.

In verse 3 Paul also mentions not “enslaved by much wine.” This word enslaved can be compared to the word addicted used in 1 Timothy 3:8. To be enslaved may be worse than to be addicted. The aged women certainly should not be slaves of wine.

Paul also says that the aged women should be “teachers of what is good” and train the young women. To be teachers of what is good is to give good instruction.


In verses 4 and 5 we see that the young women are to be “lovers of their husbands, lovers of their children, of a sober mind, chaste, workers at home, good, subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” The aged women should train the young women to love their husbands and their children. In the church life we strongly emphasize the need of a proper married life and family life. According to Paul’s word, we desire that the sisters love their husbands and children in an absolute way. Furthermore the young women should be sober, chaste, workers at home, kind, and subject to their own husbands so that the word of God may not be blasphemed. The word of God properly and adequately taught in a local church should be testified to by the sisters’ submission to their own husbands. Otherwise, the word of God may be blasphemed, ill spoken of, reproached.


Verse 6 says, “The younger men likewise exhort to be of a sober mind.” Paul’s use of the word likewise indicates that the charge to the younger men is similar to that given to the others. In particular, Paul tells Titus to exhort the younger men to be of a sober mind. We have pointed out that in 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus Paul emphasizes the need for all the saints, young and old, male and female, to be of a sober mind. Everyone in the church life needs a sober mind. This is especially needed during the decline of the church. To guard against any decline, all of us in the local churches need to be of a sober mind.


In verses 7 and 8 Paul issues a charge directly to Titus: “Concerning all things show yourself a pattern of good works: in teaching with uncorruptness, gravity, healthy speech that cannot be condemned, in order that the opposer may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” The apostle first charged Titus to speak things fitting to healthy teaching (v. 1). Now he further charges him to show himself a pattern of good works. In his teaching, which should be healthy, he should show three things: uncorruptness, nothing corrupted or corrupting, but everything pure, genuine, and sincere in content, presentation, and motive; gravity, dignity worthy of respect; and healthy speech, discourse given with healthy words (1 Tim. 6:3) to minister healthy things, speech which is uncensurable, irreprehensible (v. 8). Such speech will cause the opposers to be put to shame. The Greek word rendered opposer in verse 8 means the one of the opposite, contrary, side; that is, the heathen or Jewish opposer. The healthy teaching with the healthy speech of healthy words is the most effective antidote to the opposer’s evil speaking. Such light-shedding and life-imparting teaching of the word of the truth always stops the mouth of doctrinal opinion instigated by the old serpent.

(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon, Chapter 23, by Witness Lee)