Janet told Evi about how she is a Titus 2 woman, how she shuns feminism and fulfill her Biblical role, as told in Titus 2: 3-5. And how it is the plan of God for all women, even the unmarried and those whose grown children left the home, to stay at home, and commit themselves to home and husband and children exclusively. While they speak, Janet’s 7 year old son comes in.
“Mum, my plane don’t fly right,” he say. In his left hand he holds a light glider-like toy airplane, in the right the other part of the toy, a slingshot designed to launch the toy plane with. His mother is still talking to Evi, so she tells her 10 year old: “Pete, teach your little brother how to fly his plane.”
“So, you want him to fly toy planes every day for the rest of his life, and have no other domain except toy plane flying?” asked Evi. The Titus 2 keeper looks at her puzzlingly. “No, of course not. Why would you think that?”
Well, said Evi: “teach your little brother how to fly his plane” is the same kind of statement as “teach younger women to be keepers at home.” And from the latter, you get “women should stay at home, look after their family, and have no other domain.”
If the point is not obvious enough, I’ll spell it out: Titus 2 does not tell women to be Titus 2 women, focused firstly or exclusively on Titus 2 duties. The wording simply doesn’t lend it to the “Titus 2 keeper” explanation.
Titus’ congregation was the bad neighborhood, the “liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”(Titus 1:12) Even the older women had to be told not to drink too much. (Titus 2:3) It was so bad, that mothers had to be taught to love their children!
Paul was seemingly giving advice for social work among the Cretans. Social workers don’t inspire ordinary people to become missionaries, or Olympic champions or wealthy business tycoons. They help the down-and-out to leave drugs, or teach them how to meet the needs of their much-neglected children a bit better than before.
As such, the Cretans had to be taught the very basics – which included, in the case of the women, not being alcoholics, keeping their home* (which perhaps doesn’t even refer to domestic work, but to guarding it) and loving their children. A spiritually mature woman should not be fixated on Titus 2, any more than a healthy, trustworthy adult should be fixated on following the rules of a rehab center for drug addicts.
Note: *The terms “shopkeeper” and “housekeeper” probably have the same origin. “Shopkeeper/ keeping a shop” does not refer to the activities of cleaning the shop, but of managing it. Similarly, “housekeeper/ keeping the house” would probably not have referred, when first used to translate the New Testament, to doing manual work, but to managing the house.