I was reading the blog of a woman who is an Internet “Titus 2 teacher” and she posted this commentary from Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible as an authoritative execution of how women should live out the Titus 2 mandate (I’m picking a nit with the section I have bolded):
To be discreet,…. Or temperate in eating and drinking, so the word is rendered in Titus 2:2 or to be sober both in body and mind; or to be wise and prudent in the whole of their conduct, both at home and abroad:
chaste; in body, in affection, words and actions, having their love pure and single to their own husbands, keeping their marriage bed undefiled.
Keepers at home: minding their own family affairs, not gadding abroad; and inspecting into, and busying themselves about other people’s matters. This is said in opposition to what women are prone unto. It is reckoned among the properties of women, by the Jews, that they are “gadders abroad” (x): they have some rules about women’s keeping at home; they say (y),
“a woman may go to her father’s house to visit him, and to the house of mourning, and to the house of feasting, to return a kindness to her friends, or to her near relations–but it is a reproach to a woman to go out daily; now she is without, now she is in the streets; and a husband ought to restrain his wife from it, and not suffer her to go abroad but about once a month, or twice a month, upon necessity; for there is nothing more beautiful for a woman, than to abide in the corner of her house; for so it is written, Psalm 45:13 “the king’s daughter is all glorious within”.”
And this they say (z) is what is meant by the woman’s being an helpmeet for man, that while he is abroad about his business, she is , “sitting at home”, and keeping his house; and this they observe is the glory and honour of the woman. The passage in Isaiah 44:13 concerning an image being made “after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house” is by the Targum thus paraphrased:
“according to the likeness of a man, according to the praise of a woman, to abide in the house.”
Upon which Kimchi, has this note.
“it is the glory of a woman to continue at home, and not go abroad.”
The tortoise, which carries its house upon its back, and very rarely shows its head, or looks out of it, was, with the ancients, an emblem of a good housewife.
To be frank, this is the craziest thing I ever heard of! It is patently unworkable in 2016 suburban America and more than that, completely dismissive of the primary directive to the wife, which is to be submissive to her own husband.
There are plenty of good, God-fearing, loving Christian husbands who simply do not desire this template of wife-hood. Mine is among them, for the record. He doesn’t want me to stay in the corner of the house, never leaving, never interacting with other women, families, or without any church responsibilities.
In fact, for the -very brief- period of time in our marriage when I attempted to walk out an extreme and limiting version of the “godly wife”, it resulted in my husband not liking it or me very much.
We had always had a great relationship because for the duration of our marriage (even during the early years when I was mostly clueless), I kept it simple, and rather than give in to the raging legalist lurking inside of every one of us, doing it this way has served me -and our marriage- quite well. Besides, unlike all of that other extemporaneous commentary, this is actually IN the Bible:
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.Ephesians 5:22
As an aside, I have absolutely no idea how my taking my kids to co-op or basketball practice threatens the sanctity of or defiles the marriage bed.
Like I said, let’s keep it simple, eh?