Bible Question:

Also, in Titus 2:4 older women are to teach the younger women to love their husbands. The word is “philandros” according to Young's concordance. What is meant here?

Bible Answer:

Here is Titus 2:3-4,

Older women likewise are to . . . encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children . . . (NASB) Titus 2:3-4

The English phrase “love their husbands” is one Greek word “PHILANDROS.” That is what you found in the Young’s Concordance. The Greek word literally means “husband lovers.” PHILANDROS was a common word used on grave stones. It was commonly used in epitaphs. Here is one of the epitaphs.

Julius Bassus
to Octacilia Polla,
his sweetest wife.
Loving her husband,
and loving her children,
she lived with him
unblamebly 30 years.

J. H. Moulton and G. Milligan
Vocabulary of the Greek Testament
Hendrickson Publishers, 1997. p. 668.

Titus 2:4 is a command for Christian wives to love their husbands. The first part of the Greek word comes from PHILEO which refers to a love that has emotion. So the verse is telling Christian women to love their husbands with emotion, to like their husbands and care for them.

The wife’s first priority is her husband, and not her children. She is also to submit to him according to Eph. 5:22-24. Wanting to have sexual relations with her husband is another important way that a wife can show her husband that she loves him (1 Cor. 7:1-5). God also calls a wife to be a worker at home in Titus 2:5. This passage of scripture means that the home is the wife’s primary responsibility.


The verse is a command to wives to love, like and care for their husbands. God asks us to love Jesus in the same way in 1 Cor. 16:22.

If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha. (NASB) 1 Cor. 16:22

We are encouraged to love Jesus from our hearts with PHILEO and not AGAPE. AGAPE does not necessarily have emotion, but PHILEO does! God wants us to have the same kind of relationship with Him. His greatest passion is that we will love and seek Him.