What does "having faithful children" of an elder mean?

What does "having faithful children" (Titus 1:6) involve?

1 Timothy and Titus give us God's spiritual and moral standard for elders. The requirements in Ephesus and Crete are similar, yet the circumstances differ. In Ephesus, elders already existed (Acts 20:17). Timothy was to teach how to add to their number. The man aspiring to the work (1 Timothy 3:1) must evaluate himself by the necessary qualifications Paul lists; he must also have the respect of the believers, being "above reproach" and superintending his own home well.

Titus, with spiritual discernment, was to appoint elders, who must be blameless. As in I Timothy 3:4-5, his home life will indicate much about his character and suitability to be a leader in the assembly. The phrase "faithful children" in this context (Titus 1:6) probably means that they are believers. The word may "pista" mean either mean trustworthy or believing. In any case, they are to be of good reputation, "not accused of riot or unruly." This contrasts with the Cretians who are "always liars, evil beasts, gluttons" (Titus 1:12).

If the assembly disciplined his child, an elder would not necessarily be disqualified on that basis. The circumstances would have a bearing. If the elder's child is no longer in the home, then he is not directly under the "rule" of the parent. The elder should examine himself in the fear of God; by prayer and the counsel of other godly elders, he could expect wisdom from God (James 1:5) to make the best decision.

J. Abernathy