By Pr. Lek Aik Wee
The more spiritually mature lady members of the body of Christ are exhorted by Titus, the pastor, to teach the younger women to be sober. “To be sober” has the sense of being self-controlled and temperate, possessing the tenacity and strength in the heart towards godliness. It is to discipline, train, think and act soberly, discreetly, and in moderation. She has cultivated and developed a habitual devotion towards Christ her Lord and not be compromised by ungodly indulgences. This word translated “sober” rightly brings across the sense of one who has put herself under subjection in obedience to the laws of God. One who is quiet or sedate in demeanour, not intoxicated or drunk, her life is marked by seriousness, gravity, solemnity in demeanour and speech, godliness that shines through in her contact with others.
Though young, she carries herself with dignity by her temperate new nature in Christ, setting herself as an example. The fact that they have to be taught such sobriety speaks of a lack of this virtue among the younger women. The impulses of youth perhaps still rule her heart and dictate her devotion. Therefore the exhortation that the young women be taught to be sober is a responsibility that more mature members of the body of Christ are being entrusted with. What better way to teach than to be an example and what example can we be except we are sober ourselves?
May the Lord help you to take a little time to examine your own lives if such a spiritual virtue of sobriety rule your heart, speech and actions. If so, may you bear the yoke of teaching this virtue to the younger women, in deepening their spirituality! The prevalence of a social circle in the pubs and places of drunkenness can be a lure to the unguarded lady who may have just stepped into the workforce. It is a norm to indulge in social drinking of alcohol as a release from a hard day’s work. There is pressure to conform so as to find friends and favour. The temptation and the lure are very real and there is an urgency to say “no” to such indulgences. Living a life of holiness and abstinence can mean at times ostracisms from ungodly company with persecutions but it is the safe way. The sober-minded Christian will be able to discern good and evil and to be able to have the strength to do good.
Are you true to your calling as a Christian to be sober? This is the question to consider before you. This question is not only for the women but also the men. And there is also the student in the school, perhaps in schools of higher learning where there is a culture of freedom to do what comes naturally. Will you let loose and let down your guard and fall into sin in such a lax culture skewing toward immorality?
And there is the homemaker in the home who lacks sobriety because she felt that her time at home is so claustrophobic, she needs some breathing space and indulges herself in sinful pleasure once in a while, a little here and a little there. A godly homemaker will not allow the stress of house work to cause her to complain and murmur but is able to take them with God’s help. She will be discreet, wise and prudent in her conduct toward her husband and even her father- and mother-in-law. She is able to show forth patience and not youthful impatience and temper. Can it come naturally? Certainly not! It comes as a result of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in her life.
How often does she fail to control that destructive temper that causes hurt to loved ones hurling sinful words when she did not get things her way? How she needs to be shaken and awoken to her waywardness and come to sorrow for her intemperance. How many broken families result because of a fiery uncontrolled temper? It is so sad when father and mother gets into quarrels leaving the children devastated to learn these destructive ways.
How can true change be effected except she first partakes of the benefits of the gospel? Dear brethren, do you know that God’s greatest gift to mankind is His only begotten Son Jesus Christ! Jesus lived a sinless life and was crucified on the cross to die as a sacrifice for the sins of man. Because Jesus died, He won for all who believe in His finished work on the cross the forgiveness of sins. If you realize that the nature of sin in you is so heinous, come to Jesus for cleansing. Three days after Jesus died, He rose again from the dead giving victory over sin and its penalty which is death. Because Jesus rose from the dead, He gained for all who will believe in Him eternal life and the freedom from the bondage of sin. The ability to exercise self-control is the power of the gospel in breaking the stronghold of sin in your life. And this is the beginning of God’s blessing. If you are not a Christian and you are facing much trouble with self-control, come to Jesus today. He has the power to help you overcome the nature of sin that is in you.
If you are a Christian, this virtue of self-control or temperance is to be cultivated so that it becomes your way of life. How can this be possible except she spends time with the Lord in prayer and in the study of His Word to receive godly wisdom that enables her to mortify the desires of the flesh! This aspect of cultivation can take time and much patience. It is not overnight that virtue exists but it involves times of self-examination and soul searching to know and curtail the motions of sin in one’s life. How can she succeed except by the grace of God? But it must begin with the desire for change! It is the co-labouring of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s heart that prompts the need for holiness. The call for the women of God to be sober-minded is a solemn charge that this generation of ladies make an impact in this world of loose morals and sinful self-indulgences. This injunction does not exclude the men.
It is the prayer of Titus, the concerned servant of God, that there is the practice of sound doctrine in the lives of the ladies in the church by this virtue of sober-mindedness. May the Lord bless this devotion to the blessing of your heart to the glory of Christ precious Name! Amen!