3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—
Verse three sets forth the standards for how older women are to function, suitable to sound doctrine.
3 the older women likewise,
God has standards for older women just like older men (v. 2). However, they have different temptations than men.
that they be reverent in behavior [deportment],
Culture of the first century used “reverent” for conduct appropriate for the temple. The Greek word for “reverent” comes from two words: temple and fitting. The idea is do what is fitting for the temple. The New Testament uses this word for doing what is appropriate for a godly life. Take seriously the idea that we belong to God. “Look at your inner deportment because it reflects on God.”
Malicious gossip is not fitting for godly older women. It was customary in Cretan society for women at home to slander others. The biblical standard is not to pass on gossip. Slander is also a title for Satan.
not given [enslaved] to much wine [drunkenness],
The Greek for the word “given” carries the idea of enslaved. Substance abuse can lead to addiction. Older women were to be careful not to allow themselves to become addicted to “much wine.”
Alcoholism was a problem to older women in the church. They used alcoholic drink to alleviate pain and frustration. Addiction to alcohol sullies the reputation of our Lord.
teachers of good things—
Teaching here is not formal but informal. The “good things” are acceptable characteristics or norms within biblical principles. Biblical standards are holy, noble, and lofty.
God has a purpose for older people in the church.
The idea that older people have had their day and have no role in the church is unbiblical.