Women’s Roles in Church

(1 Corinthians 14:26-40) So as read the topic title for my devotions this morning I thought “Ah, something good today about worship”, but as I got to the third paragraph I couldn’t believe what I was reading. This is what is says:

“(33b) As in all the congregations of the saints, (34) women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. (35) If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”

As I read those words I found a passage that seems to be used in many church, even my own historically. The thing that bothers me the most is how that can be right. How can women be required to be silent in church? This begins to touch on a topic that was brought up at youth group on Wednesday. How do you interpret what you read in the Bible? Are somethings metaphorical, are they literal, are they only significant for the time period they were written in?

Here is where the very fact that our minds are so unable to comprehend all that God would want to teach us. I have a hard time believing that God would have women take a place lower then men. The very fact of how God started out with Adam and Eve would disagree with that. God created Eve as a helper for Adam, not as a servant. The video that was shown at youth group on Wednesday revealed an interesting concept that I hadn’t heard before. The very fact that God used one of Adam’s ribs to create Eve could be seen as a symbol of Eve being someone that is there as a side-by-side partner, not as above or below Adam. God could have gone with taking a piece of Adam’s head, perhaps signifying that Eve was above him, or taken a piece of his foot, implying that Eve was below him. God chose as symbol of partnership. It even states in Genesis, that in marriage, a man and women become one flesh. As I think of that it seems to me that as “one flesh” you are as one person, in a way, and therefore there is neither that is greater than the other but as partners, helping each other, being that one flesh.

Well, it still amazes me how much there is that God has spoken to us. I really don’t know that even in eternity we will begin to understand all that is God. There is a part of me that believes when we enter His presence that all of our questions will go away, we won’t even have a need to know.

I’m curious, what are other thoughts on the roles of women?

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  1. Cooking…j/k.

    But really, I don’t even know on this one. It confuses me. On one hand, it seems like the Bible was written at a time that was very man-oriented, while woman stayed in the background, but times certainly have changed since than. I wonder if perhaps the Bible is a little outdated in this respect

    But at the same time, I worry that claiming that this part of the Bible is untrue is walking on thin ice. Once you start to question certain aspects of the Bible, the entire book becomes questionable.

    So I don’t know. That didn’t really add anything to the topic, since we both dont’ know, but its my two cents. Or 27.

  2. As I was reading this entry just now, my spirit just shuddered. I think you MUST be very careful with this one Tim. Yes, in marriage you become one flesh, but as such, God has still intednded the husband to be and ALWAYS be the head of the house. Too many things that have gone wrong with society has been women thinking they were equal. As you stated, all our questions will be answered in His presence and NOT before. Women’s Lib movement began the fall of marriage and as such as started a major problem with our youth and future. Woman were created to be a helper not an equal,our roles are quite different for life. We are to be the primary caregivers to our families, not a slave, but caregivers. We have relinquished that role to men, and as we all know, most men can not multi task,and that is what mothers need to do. Husbands were to be the providers and take care of their families. Since the Women’s Lib movement, salaries have decreased for men, which means we need the woman to also work. Is that what God wanted? I don’t believe so, we cannot handle a job and a family well at the same time. We are focred to do the best we can today, because we need to. Again it goes back to our sin nature, we want more things, but not all things are what God wants us to have. Being there when the kids come home from school, making sure they have manners and morals, since most parents both work, when does a child learn that? AS we can see from our society, we relegate that to our schools, but since the decline of values there, our society is in trouble.

    God’s Word, the Bible, is not outdated in any way shape or form, and i think when we start to think it is we are in trouble. It is usually because we are doing something we want the Bible to approve of, when we know it doesn’t. The Bible is the absolute truth and absolutely written by God, His omnipotence is mighty and He already knew in advance that this time we live in would be just as it is. He calls us to stand firm against what satan is telling us, that His Word isn’t for us today, but for 2000-5000 yrs ago, a very scary edge to be on. What God says, He said for our best, not to make anyone feel bad or make them second class. He has given us each a job, the husband is to be in charge of the spiritual leadership of his familya dn provide for the family needs, adn the wife is to be the nuturer for her family and be there to support her helpmate that God has provided for her. Men are relinquishing their role as spiritual leaders of their families and not following God’s laws, and women want to be the head of the house. Believe me, i have tried it, and it is much better when we follow His will for our life.

    When we look at the verse about submission of wives to their husbands, women get up in arms, but people read further. The husbands are to love their wives, as themselves. You do that, and your wife will gladly submit the leadership role to you. The problem is today are there are so many people living outside of God’s law, that it is a mess. Divorce is another issue that causes problems when we change God’s Word to fit ours. It isn’t that it is such an unpardonable sin, all sin is equal, but it is a tough one for sure. Theere is a reason He doesn’t want us to be divorced. First, if 2 people become one, how can we seperate ourselves. There is always going to be a bond there. Whether we see it or not, it is there. There are hurts, their are issues, it takes 2 to marry and 2 to divorce. They carry into the next relationship, and that is what there is so many repeat divorces amongst divorcees. I am counseling quite a number of them at this time, and i am constantly reminded of the issues that arise, even when they don’t want them to surface, they do. The Bible is very clear, and unchanging about this. The only reason for divorce is adultery, and no where does it say remarriage after that.

    To me, it seems when we question the relevance of one part of God’s Word, we are questioning it all, and not the place i feel any of you should be at this time. Be careful, I care about each of you reading this, well i care for all of you, but some of you i truly love as a friend and dont want the doubts to enter in. God’s is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He knows your doubts and can help answer the prayers for wisdom and discernment in abundance.
    I am sorry if i offended anyone, but like i stated in the beginning, when i read this, my spirit shuddered.

    God bless. Love Ginny

  3. Ginny,

    I whole heartily agree. Actually after further looking into that chapter, and some additional study notes, it came about that there were some culture aspects to what Paul was saying.

    We live in a culture today that has the idea that everything is relative. And I think that we can probably find failure in most church beliefs, as it would pertain to that. I do not think that it is right to question the relavence of anything in scripture. I think the hardest thing can be finding what God’s truth is and not just our interpretation. It can be a very fine line between questioning the Word and just not understanding it. It can be easy for us to let the first thought be a question of what’s right, rather than a thought of I don’t get it. That is really where I meant to take this topic. I wasn’t so much questioning what I read, but rather trying to see what God’s truth was on this subject.

    As far as women and men being equal, I wouldn’t agree that they are. However, I do not see it being that men are more important than women, or that they are above women. That is where I really was going with husbands and wives being partners. Partners does not mean identical equals. Men and women are very different in how God made them. They need each others help, that is what God intended. That is where single parent homes, whether lead by just a mother or just a father, are so unhealthy for children. God has placed the responsibility of spiritual leadership on the husband and He did not intend for the wife to do this. I think society has been trying to make men and women equal and that has done huge damage to families and has broken down what God had designed for them. Men and women led away from the roles God has called them to.

    Ginny, I also want to make clear that my thoughts as they began were not intended to be words to follow. I really feel that many times as Christians we are made to feel that we can’t share our thoughts and struggles with our lack of understanding of the scripture. If we can’t openly talk about our questions, so that we can be corrected with God’s truth, then how can we continue to grow spiritually? If we can’t ask questions, how can we learn? I know that I have felt like I can’t ask certain questions because it might make me look like a “bad” and maybe even faithless Christian. I don’t think the answer would be to just keep it to yourself, not when you truly want God’s truth.

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