Page 7 - May 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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the context of first-century Christianity   not make it an essential prerequisite. The
        would mean far more than inviting believ-  benefit to marriage is that by ministering
        ers to your home for a meal, but it certainly   to his wife in their marriage, he is able to
        embraces an open home, heart and hand.  learn a woman’s sensitivities and makeup.
          “Apt to teach” is the only item which   This will enable him to serve the needs of
        suggests “gift.” Ephesians 4:11 does say   the sisters in the fellowship more capably.
        that  the  “pastor-teacher”  himself  is  a   Also, learning to blend firmness and love
        gift to the Body. But the linking of “apt   in raising his children will serve him well
        to teach” with hospitality in 1 Timothy 3   in dealing with the believers in the as-
        tends to suggest that this is not so much   sembly. What is vital is that he be a man
        a gift of public teaching but of being able   who is able to be faithful in his affections
        to give personal instruction to the saints   – whether unmarried, married or remar-
        of God. Titus’ requirement that he be able   ried – and balanced in his approach to
        to exhort the believers and muzzle the   leadership. “Ruling his own house well”
        gainsayers further supports the thought of   will serve as a training ground for “taking
        a more personal approach to teaching. He   care” of the church of God. He cannot save
        also adds to the list the awareness of the   his children, but he must be able to display
        leader’s role as a steward of the people of   authority in the home, having “faithful”
        God (Titus 1:7), a lover of good men, just,   children who own his authority, if he is
        pious and temperate.                  going to wisely handle authority in the
          Titus  lists  five  negative  and  seven   assembly.
        positive traits. There is the balancing of   The Truth of God
        the natural tendency of assertiveness and   He is a man who is marked by faithful-
        aggression. He is not controlled by aggres-  ness: “Holding fast the faithful word as
        siveness, alcohol, anger, abuse or avarice.  he hath been taught” (Titus 1:9). In his
        Training in the Home                  address to the Ephesian elders, Paul com-
          The  matters  of  marriage  and  fam-  mended them to God and the Word of His
        ily have generated the most controversy   grace. Here is the material with which the
        among some believers and teachers. Does   leader must occupy himself, and with
        a man have to be married? If his wife is   which he must lead and feed the people
        taken home to heaven, can he remarry?   of God. The writer to the Hebrews concurs
        What does it mean to be a “one-woman   with this principle when he reminds the
        man”?  Must  he  have  children?  Must   believers of their past leaders “who have
        those children be saved? And what hap-  spoken unto you the word of God” (Heb
        pens if one of his children who was once   13:7).
        in fellowship drifts away into the world?   Those who lead the people of God must
        Should he step away from leadership?   be men of the Book, men who are able to
        What does it mean to “rule his own house   feed the people of God, whether privately
        well”? Are his children expected to be per-  or publicly. Each admonition to shepherds
        fect? You can probably add permutations   begins with a call to “feed the flock” (Joh
        and combinations to these if you have   21:15; Act 20:28; 1Pe 5:2; Isa 40:11 and, in
        moved amongst assemblies for any time.   contrast, Eze 34:2).
          While it is valuable for a man to be mar-  The Test of Experience
        ried and have a family, the wording does   “Not a novice” is mentioned because
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