10 Things I Believe: Number 7: Biblical Roles for Women

I believe that men and women are equal yet men and women have different roles. Scripture teaches different roles in the family and in the church. When the men do their job properly, then women can fill their biblical roles without problems.

1 Timothy 2:12-14 states, “And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” This command which applies to the local church states that women should not teach or have authority over men. It means that women should not serve as preachers. Although not all believe as I do, I also believe that women should not teach a Sunday School class that has men in it. Scripture does not speak to Seminary education which is different than a church, but I would avoid females teaching men in pastoral track degrees based on the principle of modeling the example you desire to produce.

I don’t want to focus on the few items Scripture says women should not do rather than the many things they should do. Many women have what I consider to be the highest calling on earth of being a mother. Women may train other women and especially younger women as indicated in Titus 2:3-4 in the church. Women may also train children and serve in important counseling ministries in the church. Women serve an important role in Seminary education. Christian Universities, which are in a different category than Seminaries, need great women teachers in non-pastoral classes and great female administrators that will lead and teach well, inspiring greatness with the message of the Gospel while standing firm on the inerrant Scriptures and teaching biblical truths to the next generation. One of the most meaningful teachers in my life was a female English teacher at a Christian University, and I continue to be grateful to God for her impact on my life.

In order to elaborate on all of these issues would take a series of posts, which I hope to do at some point in the future. For now, I will only elaborate on two items related to service in the local church.

First, the most popular argument against biblical roles states that this command was cultural and does not apply to our day. This dog won’t hunt because Paul himself appeals to creation for establishment of his argument. God created Adam first and then Eve from Adam developing the pattern of male headship in the very beginning—before the fall and in a different cultural setting.

Second, a pastor of a church does not have the right to authorize any woman to act contrary to Scripture. This is what happens in churches which state that women teaching men do so under the pastor’s authority. Pastors, in my opinion, will have to provide an answer for this action in the future and have no right to go against Scripture. More to come in the future on this topic…

I also believe that God has designed a role for women in the home. Consider Ephesians 5:22-24, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” I admit that the command given to husbands in the following verses is more difficult. Nevertheless, the role for women exists, and in the following verses you have three examples of submission and then requirements for the authority figure. 1) Wives submit; husbands love, 2) children obey; parents do not provoke, and 3) bondservants obey; masters treat them well. Some argue a cultural argument which states that because slavery no longer occurs then female submission should also not occur. However, I believe that misses the point of the passage. Every person is under submission to some authority, and must learn to live under authority in order to submit properly to Christ. In addition the cultural argument does not answer whether children are still under the command to obey their parents or was that cultural too? More to come on this topic in the future…

I believe that our society is quickly becoming a matriarchal society. Females now outnumber males in college applications by 57% to 43% and the Chronicle of Higher Education documents this fact. I believe we are watching a reversal of roles to an unbiblical state. Men become more passive while women assume unbiblical roles of leadership both in the home and in the church. Stay-at-home moms are ridiculed and the title of “mother” is no longer the most blessed name in the world. Parents neglect the obligation to rear their own children delegating this responsibility to a daycare in the name of multiple incomes and materialism more often than necessity. Until our society returns to a biblical understanding of satisfaction in the roles God has designed and submission to His authority, I do not believe we will experience revival. This is why I believe it is essential that we recover biblical roles for women.

Editorial Note: This post has been updated since its original posting. My views have not changed, but the changes in this post more clearly articulate my position.

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7 Comments

Filed under 10 Things I Believe, Culture

7 responses to “10 Things I Believe: Number 7: Biblical Roles for Women

  1. millerscreek

    It really isn’t about what you or I would say about this subject. You have just shared what God’s Word has said. Thank-you for be willing to state what many are afraid to state in my generation.
    drj

  2. Charlie Wallace

    My wife and I 100% agree.

  3. Sexist, unsounded biblical bias
    Try to shut your wife up in church, Bible says. Do it see how she reacts. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
    Make her cover her head. 1 Corinthians 11:4-16
    BEST WAY TO STIR UP A REVOLUTION

  4. I am a 33 year old mom in South Africa. I have two small children (2 and 4). I used to have a busy career, but have chosen (with my husbands support (emotional and financial)) to be with my children at home. It is hard and taxing most days, but very very rewarding ass well. ALL research (secular as well as Christian) show that children who are reared by their own moms are much better off. Ask ANY teacher and she will corroborate! I serve in my church and community and give love and support to cancer patients, I go to ladies bible study and …yes, cook home cooked meals. I love Barbara Hughes book on DISCIPLINES OF A GODLY WOMAN and our local church also follows all the theologies as discussed by Thomas White above. I agree that our society is being turned upside down due to women trying to fill roles that yes, WE CAN FILL, but that are NOT our God ordained command and callings. I have a love-hate relationship with Oprah as I love feeling empowered as a woman…but I have to keep reminding myself that that is also the curse of woman…TO WANT TO RULE HER HUSBAND (and these days in all other realms of society too)…so true!! No wonder so many men are backing down from their traditional roles!! Good luck to all other women living in the 21st century trying to be a Godly mother, wife, daughter, employee and business owner (I am all)…ONLY WITH GOD’S HELP WILL WE BE ABLE TO DO AND BE WHO GOD INTENDED US TO BE!!

  5. While I agree that there must be order, and subsequently various roles in which men and women must partake, I am a bit perplexed by the clear omission of the roles of very influential women in the Old Testament. Specifically, I think of Deborah the prophetess and judge of Israel. She was married and served in a role that superseded that of most men, at least in the judicial and spiritual sense.

    So then, how is it that such a role can be so easily dismissed in the New Testament? Is it possible that much of the context for which scriptures have been interpreted is left to one’s imagination and not a correct exegesis? Certainly there are no contradictions when once the historical context is considered.

    When in a society men have refused to do their parts, does God not compensate on behalf of his female children? Or is it more accurate to say that modern Christian society has failed its women, and thus its children, due to the complacency of men … the supposed true leaders. Since God has clearly chosen to use a woman such as Deborah for leadership and spiritual purposes, why then will He not do that now?

  6. Yvonne,
    Please read 1 Timothy 3:1, 8; Titus 5:7. These scriptures provide clear and unmistakeable instructions to the Church regarding who should be in leadership. You mentioned Deborah as an example of a woman in a leadership role. It is a biblical fact that Deborah was judge and prophetess in Israel for a span of time, but you should do a little biblical research to find out why. Moreover, it is a biblical fact that Deborah was not a priest. Priests and Pastors, Bishops, Overseers, were and are the spiritual leaders of Israel and now the Gentile church and the bible is very specific about who qualifies for this leadership role. The Holy Spirit informed me that no woman has been or will be called to lead the Church of Christ because it is not God’s will. More importantly, the Holy Spirit asked me one question and made one statement. Do you believe God is intelligent. I answered yes. If you believe, the act of having women in leadership is such a controversial idea that if He wanted women to lead He would have plainly said so, as He plainly stated that an Overseer or Bishop must be the husband of one wife. The failure of modern society doesn’t simple fall on the complacency of men, it also falls on the disobedience of women. I too believed when I was first saved that a woman could do anything a man could do in the church until God corrected me. If you have a personal relationship with Christ simply ask Him what is right and true, He will commune with you and guide you into all truth. Yours in the Love of Christ Sandy B.

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