Tuesday, July 28, 2009

To Be Sober - The Foundation Part 1

Titus 2:3-5 (King James Version) "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

The word “sober” is the last word that comes to mind when my boys are fighting, when they lolly gag with their homework, or when my husband says a careless word. I’ve asked God to forgive me from "losing it" numerous times. I'm getting better by His grace, but still a work in progress. I understand now it all starts with the mind and to yank negative thought patterns at the root. Just knowing that and praying when my mind is not in line with scripture, has helped me greatly. Believe me, I’m a very emotional person, and I need a double dose of daily mercy in this area. Being of sober mind is so much more than staying away from alcohol (not a bad idea by the way), but lays the foundation for the rest of the principles listed in Titus 2:4-5. As I read the word of God, my mind marvels at the lack of human logic that goes into the text. Only God knows us women; more than we know ourselves. Our biggest struggle is a lack of balance in our lives, and it all starts with our thought life. Here is a chart that makes that point more clear.

  • Thoughts create Feelings
  • Feelings create Actions
  • Actions create Habits
  • Habits create Character

I will use the King James Bible for the main text of Titus 2:3-5. I will be using the New American Standard Bible (NAS) for other references. If you have an NIV, the word sober is described as “self-controlled”. An NAS would define it as “sensible”, and more contemporary versions would describe it as “sensible” or “clean minded”. The original Greek word is “Sophronizo”, which means to recall to one’s senses and being self controlled. I personally like the word “sober” because it is weighty with implication. Many people are familiar with Titus 2:3-5, but you know what they say, “familiarity brings contention”. Often times we hear a text so much that it can became cliché and lose its meaning. From this point forward, when I introduce a Titus 2 principle, I will use a dictionary and a thesauruses to define the term, making sure to pick out the definition in the proper context and align it with the scripture. This has really helped me bring more reality, practical application, and conviction in my life. I’m not trying to add anything to God’s word, but with our sinful hearts, we often grow dull of the scriptures from the overuse in other applications throughout our lives.

The word “sober” means: habitually temperate, quiet or sedate in demeanor, subdued, self controlled, sane, rational, prudent and not easily offended.The “not easily offended” is what gets me. Chanting “a sober minded woman is not easily offended” needs to be my mantra throughout my day. What a concept that God has to set us free. Being offended is ultimately MY choice.

Here are some antonyms to “sober”: emotional, irrational, immoderate, stormy, upset, worried, mixed up and undiscerning. I’ve experienced all of these, and they have only done harm to me and to my family.

"Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD." Proverbs 19:14

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