Ask Your Preacher
MEN & WOMEN
1 Corinthians 14:34-35: I do not understand what this means.
Paul says that women are to keep silent in the church assembly … it is the public teaching done in the church assembly that is being dealt with in 1 Cor 14:34-35. Women are not supposed to serve as public teachers in the worship service because men have the responsibility to lead the church in public teaching. Elders (Tit 1:5-6), deacons (1 Tim 3:12), and preachers (2 Tim 2:2) are all required to be men. 1 Tim 2:12 specifically prohibits Christian women from teaching Christian men in a congregational forum.
However, just because women don’t lead in the public assembly, that doesn’t mean they just take up pew space! The Bible is chock-full of examples of active and vibrant godly women. Lydia was a Christian who took Paul and gave him lodging, food, and financial support (Acts 16:14-15). Priscilla and Aquila were a married couple that taught the gospel to Apollos (Acts 18:24-26). That same Apollos went on to become a mighty preacher… something that would have never happened without Priscilla. John Mark’s mother opened her home for a prayer meeting that saved Peter’s life (Acts 12:11-12). Older women are supposed to be teachers and train the younger women to be faithful wives and mothers (Tit 2:3-5). Younger women have the immensely important task of raising godly children… the next generation of Christians (Tit 2:4). Women have children’s classes to teach, women’s classes to teach, hospitality to provide, others to encourage, and evangelism to do. On top of all those very important and pivotal duties within the church, during the worship services, women have the task of singing and praising God (just like the men – Col 3:16) and joining in the public prayer… just because one man leads the prayer doesn’t mean we aren’t all praying together. When the church assembles, we all are worshipping God, edifying each other, and studying His Word (Heb 10:24-25).
"She shall be saved in childbearing” – does this mean a woman needs to deliver every child God will give to her?
Dear Maternity Ward,
The verse you are referring to is 1 Tim 2:15 and it has to do with the role of women in the home, not the amount of kids a family chooses to have. Paul is addressing that women are not to be the leaders in the church (1 Tim 2:11), but the public teaching and leadership is to be done by faithful men (1 Tim 2:12). The reason for this is the same reason that the husband is to lead in the home – it is how God designed us. Eve was made to be Adam’s helper (Gen 2:18). Eve’s glory was that she was the mother of all living (Gen 3:20).
A man’s glory is to lead and provide for his family – even to the point of sacrificing his life to protect them. A woman’s glory is to raise godly children and transform a house into a home (Pr 14:1). God designed women to be the glory and heart of the home (Tit 2:4-5). When Paul talks about her being saved in childbearing, in this context, it is addressing all the things involved with rearing children and the domestic existence.
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ How is homosexuality against these laws?
Love For All
Dear Love For All,
If you love God, you will do what He says, and God says that homosexuality is wrong (Jude 1:7). Jesus told His disciples, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jhn 14:15). We can measure our love for God by our willingness to keep His commandments. Someone that says they love God, but disregards His Word – doesn’t truly love Him.
I am engaged to be married, but I have a lot of friends of the opposite sex. Should I stop my relationships with men I have known half my life, so he does not question my faithfulness to him? What does the Bible say about opposite sex friendships… friendships that are purely platonic?
The Bible never says that men and women can’t be friends, but it does give some warnings to remain above reproach. Being above reproach is a qualification for an elder (Tit 1:6) and something we should all strive for. To be ‘above reproach’ means to make sure that your behavior is clearly appropriate and honorable in the sight of all (2 Cor 8:21).
When Christians interact with others of the opposite gender, we are to behave in a way that shows all purity (1 Tim 5:1-2). When you are engaged, your relationships with others of the opposite gender change because your stage of life has changed. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still do things with men… but you need to be looking at how to have those relationships in a healthy way that incorporates your soon-to-be husband – that may or may not be possible. If it does come down to choosing between your marriage and others… your marriage will always come first (Eph 5:31).
Was there a woman in the Bible that taught men the Word?
Teacher At Heart
Dear Teacher At Heart,
We have the example of Priscilla teaching and converting (Acts 18:24-26). There is nothing wrong with a woman trying to teach and convert a man to Christ… but we must also remember that she does not have the authority to teach or have authority over men in the public church setting (1 Cor 14:34-35). 1 Tim 2:12 specifically prohibits Christian women from teaching Christian men in a congregational forum. Women are not supposed to serve as public teachers in the worship service because men have the responsibility to lead the church in public teaching. Elders (Tit 1:5-6), deacons (1 Tim 3:12), and preachers (2 Tim 2:2) are all required to be men.
The world has been changed by godly women standing up for the truth and living godly lives. Paul mentions women ministering to others’ needs in Php 4:3, Rom 16:1, and Rom 16:3 – just to name a few. We have the example of Lydia being a servant to the church (Acts 16:14). We don’t know exactly what the women of Php. 4:2-3 were doing to help Paul, but we know they were working hard. The church is full of women that are faithful, zealous, and valued servants.