The fact that we can actually reflect the dynamics within the God-head by living-out our God-ordained roles as men and women is a VERY COOL thing! We are not only blessed by God as we seek to live according to His Word, but we also have the opportunity to reveal His character to others as well. For a watching world, this is one of the greatest tools of evangelism. In fact, the way we live day-in & day-out can have a huge impact on the way others perceive the the Lord, the Gospel and Christianity at large. Paul points this out as he writes to his young protege, Titus, with regard to the roles of men & women in the church:
“But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers of slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their own husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive, to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”-Titus 2:1-5
Paul begins this passage by addressing the men; specifically, men in official leadership roles or positions. He describes the type of character that is to under-gird their conduct in the church. Then, Paul moves onto address the women in like manner. This is just as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago when Paul penned this passage. Regardless of our official roles or positions within the church, we should all strive to attain our respective character traits anyway (as my husband pointed out, each character trait listed for those in leadership is also listed elsewhere in God’s Word for every believer). But what I really want to draw our attention to is the reason that Paul gives for such character: “… that the word of God may not be reviled.”
As Carolyn Mahaney puts it in her book Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother (an excellent book, by the way 🙂 ):
“[Women] are not commanded to love our husbands and to love our children so we can have strong, happy families like those from a previous era. To be sure, we experience enjoyable and fruitful family relationships when we follow God’s instructions. But there is a far higher call… The commands found in Titus 2 have been given to us for an all-important reason that transcends time and culture. That reason is the gospel of Jesus Christ. These virtues are not about our personal fulfillment or individual preference. They are required for the sake of unbelievers–so that those who are lost might come to know our Savior…
Our conduct has a direct influence on how people think about the gospel. The world doesn’t judge us by our theology; the world judges us by our behavior. People don’t necessarily want to know what we believer about the Bible. They want to see if what we believe makes a difference in our lives. Our actions either bring honor to God or misrepresent His truth….
How sobering it is to realize that our behavior has the potential to discredit the gospel. But how exciting it is to think that we can actually commend the gospel!” (p. 26-27)
Mrs. Mahaney says it all! As a famous preacher once said, “Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” Ladies, let’s not discredit, but commend the gospel through our attitude, speech, actions, and conduct toward the men in our lives… then, look for what the Lord may be doing through it in the lives of those around us! 🙂