New parents quickly realize the fragility and dependency of the new life entrusted to them. A newborn requires protection, love, and nourishment, and a growing child will need godly parents to provide education, discipline, and leadership.
The church also needs godly leadership for healthy spiritual maturity. Paul wrote to his “true son in our common faith” (v. 4), Titus, in order to help the fledgling churches in Crete along this path of spiritual growth. After an introduction reminding Titus of “the hope of eternal life” (v. 2) and Paul’s own apostolic call, Paul’s primary concern was one of church organization: to “appoint elders in every town” (v. 5).
Paul delineated the qualifications for being an elder. In the moral realm, an elder must be “blameless” (v. 6)—not in the sense of being sinless, but of being upstanding in the public community. An elder should also be “faithful to his wife” (v. 6). In an age when adultery and womanizing were commonly accepted, Paul called leaders of the church to marital faithfulness. Leadership ability was also important. Elders’ children should “believe” (v. 6) and not lead lives of licentiousness and disobedience. One who cannot govern his own family is ill-suited to govern God’s family.
Indeed, Paul named the church “God’s household” (v. 7), and the overseer was called to similar qualities of life as the member. Morally, the overseer should demonstrate a respectable and selfcontrolled life. There was no room for a quick temper, drunkenness, violence, or selfish ambition. Instead, his life should exemplify hospitality, a love for good, and disciplines that promote holiness. The overseer should also have deep knowledge of the faith and an ability to protect it and proclaim it. With all of these qualities, God’s church can be led to spiritual maturity.