There is a lot of debate and controversy around women being allowed to preach and teach in church. Given the fact that I like to discuss controversial issues and misconceptions, this seems like a good topic!
Let’s start with:
1st Timothy 2:12: “I do not let women teach men or have authority over men. Let them listen quietly.”
(This was a letter by Paul written to Timothy) Paul is prohibiting woman to teach or to usurp authority over man, and that would be in spiritual things and in spiritual issues. Yet in writing to Titus, Paul said let the older women teach the younger women. There is a place of teaching for women. Teaching the younger women how to love their husbands, how to keep their homes and to talk in godliness and righteousness.
Now some people theorize that Paul told these particular people this because their particular women were uneducated. This could be true, I’m not going to say that there is no way it could be, because it certainly could.
Additionally, Paul mentions to Timothy how he was taught in the Scriptures by his mother and his grandmother. And so the teaching of the children was largely the responsibility of the mothers. The only thing that is prohibited here by Paul is the teaching of men and usurping authority over them in spiritual things, he is not prohibiting woman sharing with men. Paul in writing to the Corinthians mentions as well that the women praying or prophesying in a public assembly and he doesn’t say that that’s prohibited.
Personally, I do not believe this was meant in a way to degrade or demean the purpose of the woman in the church, but it was meant more in a way to coincide with God’s plan for men also. Men were addressed many times as being the head of the house and the ones responsible for setting the example for his families walk with God.
The Christian father should set an example for his family as he earns a living, directs the household with concern for each member, and as he fulfills his role as head of the house. He should see to their spiritual development by the life he lives and the direction in which he leads his family.
1 Timothy 5:8: “But if any man does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
While it was in God’s plan for men to be the head of his house hold many times we women have to pick up the slack. And does God rebuke us for that? I am sure it only makes Him love us all the more!
Some of us women have ungodly husbands, and perhaps there are church’s out there that are in need of a leader where a man simply won’t step up. Should we stand by and watch as our family in Christ struggles in need of a Godly leader? If God puts it on our hearts to BE that leader, He would not call us to do something unless He intended for us to do it!
I like to think about the story of Mary Magdalene. She met Jesus just after He had risen from the grave and He told her to go and tell the other disciples what had happened. Wow, one of the most important events in the Bible, and a woman had the privilege of making the announcement!
For us, we know the end of the story, but the disciples were living in great fear during this time. They were thinking to themselves, “what if we’ve been following around a mere man all this time and been made a fool out of!” The fact that Jesus had risen was a matter of great confirmation that they had truly been living for God! This was huge. And when Jesus came across Mary, he didn’t say, “Well, Mary is just a woman, so I’ll wait until I run into Simon Peter or James, or you know a MAN, and I’ll tell THEM to go send the message.”
17. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God.
18. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and [that] he had spoken these things unto her.
I have brought up the movie “Courageous” before, and I just wanted to share this quote:
“In my home, the decision has already been made. You don’t have to ask who will guide my family because by God’s grace, I will. You don’t have to ask who will teach my son (and daughter) to follow Christ because I will. Who will accept the responsibility of providing for and protecting my family? I will. Who will ask God to break the chain of destructive patterns in my family’s history? I will. Who will pray for and bless my children to boldly pursue whatever God calls them to do? I am their father…I will. I accept this responsibility, and it is my privilege to embrace it.
I want the favor of God and His blessing on my home. Any good man does. So where are you men of courage? Where are you, fathers who fear the Lord? It’s time to rise up and answer the call God has given you, and to say I will, I will, I will!”
Ah, if only every man lived by these words! I believe this is God’s will for man, and if EVERY man lived by these words, it would be ideal that women allowed themselves to be guided by man’s strength in God.
Ephesians 5:23: For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.
But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, and women have to step up and do the guiding and do the right thing, what God calls them to do.
The important thing is that WHATEVER God puts on your heart: listen and obey. If you do this, you can never go wrong.
2 Timothy 1:6: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
I wanted to bring up 1 Corinthians 14:34 also since it is another controversial verse on this topic (also written by Paul) “34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.”
This sounds bad to us in the culture we live in today, but we have to understand what life was like for the people this was written to. They did not have churches like we do. They sat in a large room where the women were on one side facing the men on the other side with their “preacher” preaching on the floor in the middle. This was only meant in reference to how wives should not be shouting across to their husbands during service. Same as how when we go to church today, it is sort of common knowledge to be quiet and to try and keep our children quiet out of respect.