A couple of short snippets from St. Paul’s letters make up today’s post. We begin with the Second Letter to Timothy:
10 Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at Ico′nium, and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.
(2 Tim 3:10-13)
For too long we Christians (at least in the West) have forgotten that part I put in bold. Indeed, we have done everything in our power to forget or ignore this. But the time will come, and in fact has already arrived, when we can do so no longer. We cannot hide from the fact that the world will persecute us for trying to live a godly life. The servants of the Adversary grow less subtle day by day. We all of us will have to make a choice soon- whether to flee persecution by abandoning our faith, or accept it by keeping fast to the Lord.
The next passage is from the Letter to Titus:
3 Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.
It never ceases to amaze me how many Christian women grow up without being taught what is explicitly commanded here. I know very few young women, Christian or otherwise, who cannot even manage themselves much less a household. There is no excuse of Christians to fail in this, yet we do all the time. In fact the long-standing pattern has been for Christian parents to teach their daughters anything and everything but how to manage their household. Instead, young Christian women go pursue an education and a career. And when they marry, if they marry, and if they still claim to be Christian, many if not most will try to keep up with that career and work away from home even after having children. This is a clear sin, and yet it embraced wholeheartedly by almost all Christians. They are “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it.” (2 Tim 3). There is a lot more that can be done with that passage, but time constraints require me to stop for now.