Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. 1 Timothy 2:11-15
Today’s verses are some I would just like to skip over. Whether or not women should pastor churches or teach is an issue that has strong feelings on both sides. Something that I find interesting about this verse is that Paul writes that “I (he Paul) do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. Paul could have written that God will not permit women to teach or exercise authority but he chose not to. In my opinion this is similar to where Paul writes that he believes that everyone should remain celibate but that he understood that not everyone could and so they should marry.
I see three issues in today’s verses. First should women teach? Second should women exercise authority over men and third, should women remain quiet in church? Let’s look at the third issue first, should women remain quiet. Now, no one should be disruptive but I believe that this was written to follow customs at the time. In Paul’s time women were regarded as either second class citizens or property. It is little wonder that were admonished to remain quiet. Christianity has brought about many changes in the world but they have been slow in acceptance. Today women have a voice in things the same as men and they need to voice their concerns as far as the church is concerned.
Next let’s look at teaching, should women be allowed to teach men. Were there plenty of men willing to step up and teach this might not even be an issue? However, we men have been reluctant to take up our leadership roll not only in the church but in the family. Personally I have had many wonderful women teach me. Our current Bible study on Sundays is lead by a husband wife team. Both are excellent teachers and I have learned much from both. However, Kay Arthur a wonderful teacher and woman of God limits her teaching to women. My daughter, Amy, also believes she is called to pastor women and not men.
Finally, should women execute authority over men? In the best case the answer would be no. Men have been given the roll by God of leading our families and the church. It would seem to me that men should be the head pastors of our churches. Women could then fill positions under the authority of the head pastor. However, once again, we men have fallen down in our God given roll. When we fail to do what God commands is it any wonder that women step in to fill the roll we have forfeited? Women can do these jobs just as well as men. That is not the problem. The problems arise when men decide to relinquish our roll. So, men before you start complaining about women exercising authority, take a good look at yourself. Are you doing everything God called you to do? And women, sometimes we men need a gentle push in the right direction. Sometimes it is real scary being told by God to take command.
One last thought. Let’s take a look at the first sentence in today’s verses. Paul tells Timothy as well as all of us to let women learn. Forget in all submissiveness for a moment and think about that statement. Letting women learn was not exactly high on the priority list of the first century. This was another radical idea that Christianity brought to the world. At the time education was the providence of the well to do and then mostly the well to do men. It was thought a waste of time for women to be educated. Paul however encourages women to learn about their faith. Too many people think Christianity is anti woman when actually Christianity was the first religion to place women in a status higher than property.
Have a blessed day,