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Scripture Reading:  Proverbs 2:1-9


Bible Question Box, May, 2005

(Teaching, Learning and Sinning)



1.  Relationship between teacher and student of God’s word must be one of mutual respect for the standard of divine truth & for each other.

  a.  Teacher should not run roughshod over students, 2 Tim. 2:24-26.

  b.  Student should give attention to Scriptural instruction, Lk. 8:8, 18.

2.  Blessings (safety & success) in wise counsel – Prov. 11:14; 15:22.


Question:  “Older women are told to teach the younger women to love their husbands and children.  Is it a sin for a younger woman to ignore the teaching of the older women?”


1.  The question, as stated, is too broad for a simple “yes” or “no” answer.

2.  Yes, it is sin whenever we ignore the word of God & refuse to obey it when we are taught it (Jas. 4:17; Lk. 6:46).

  a.  Evangelist is to teach older men:  Ignoring such is sin (Tit. 2:1-2).

  b.  Evangelist is to teach older women:  If they ignore such teaching, they sin (Tit. 2:3).

  c.  Older women are to teach younger, Tit. 2:4-5.  To ignore the teaching of God’s word from anyone, old or young, is sin.

  d.  Illus:  If it is a sin when the 20-something woman does not follow the teaching of the 40-something woman, then it is also a sin when the 40-something woman does not follow the teaching of the 60-something woman; 30-50…50-70.

*e.  When a Christian “ignores” NT teaching, our primary concern is not so much whether they sin by not listening to us…but whether they are refusing to listen to & obey God – that is sin! – cf. Lk. 10:16

3.  No, it is not sin if what is being taught amounts to giving personal advice where differences in judgment are allowed Rom. 14:3-4.

  a.  Illus.:  Teach younger women to “love their husbands”…Older woman teaches, “to love your husband you must give him a back rub every night, or you are not loving him.”  (There is no sin in following or ignoring such advice, because it purely a matter of opinion!)

  b.  It may be very poor judgment to refuse personal advice (or, it may be poor advice that is given) – but not necessarily sin – Prov. 12:15.

  c.  Ruth 1:6-18: Naomi’s counsel, Orpah & Ruth’s decisions:  Sin?  Wise?  Foolish?

4.  We should learn how to give counsel (hopefully, older women have learned to be teachers, Tit. 2:3).

  a.  Counsel/teaching must be coupled with knowledge, Job 38:2 (42:3).

  b.  Sometimes the counselor/teacher takes it personal when advice is not followed.  But, if the advice is personal opinion & not revealed truth, to react that way is a sin (Rom. 14:3).

    1)  If tensions exist between older & younger women, talk & resolve it (Matt. 5:23-25).

    2)  Our goal is to teach the truth & encourage one another in truth, not bind personal opinions or be contentious over differences in judgments – Phil. 4:2-3.

5.  We should learn how to receive instruction / counsel.

  a.  One should always listen respectfully & give due consideration to personal advice that is given out of love & loyalty to divine truth – cf. Job 32:4, 6-7.

  b.  Listen to counsel, assess it against God’s word & respond accordingly – Prov. 19:20-21.

    1)  When that counsel agrees with God’s word, gain wisdom & understanding – Prov. 1:5 (Psa. 119:98-100).

    2)  Increase in learning & wisdom – Prov. 9:9.

    3)  To refuse wise counsel brings burden – Prov. 1:24-26, 28-33.

  c.  But, wise to refuse counsel/teaching that is not the word of God.

6.  We must know & respect the difference between teaching divine truth & giving personal advice.

  a.  It is the difference between teaching wisdom of men & power of God – 1 Cor. 2:5.

  b.  When truth is taught we must obey truth, or we sin, (2 Jno. 9).

  c.  When advice is given (on how to obey truth), where differences in judgment are allowed, they are to be respected (Rom. 14:12-13).

7.  We want to be careful to teach truth, not personal opinions as if they are truth!  (And, respect differences in judgments where allowable.

  a.  Love their husbands (Tit. 2:4):  philandros (close affection of companionship).  Teach them how to be companions.  Wide range of judgments allowed in application that do not constitute sin.

  b.  Love their children (Tit. 2:4):  philoteknos (tender affection toward children).  Teach them to be mothers.  Wide range of judgments allowed in being a mother that do not constitute sin.



1.  Teaching from an older person is not automatically right (or wrong) just because it is from an older person – cf. Job 32:9.

2.  All teaching/counsel must agree with word of God; when that teaching is refused, it is sin against God.  (Matt. 7:21)