1 Timothy 2:8-12
I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
Both Christian men and women need to reflect on Paul’s words and examine their lives to see if they are fulfilling their God given role and staying within it. When either men or women forget their role, the Father is not pleased, and the church suffers. May we remember our roles and may God receive the glory as a result.
Men, how are we filling our role of leading and teaching everywhere we go? Are we preaching the word in season and out of season? (2 Timothy 4:2). Are we always ready with an answer to anyone who asks us of the hope that is in us? (1 Peter 3:5). Are we lighting our candle and placing it on a lampstand where all can see? (Matthew 5:15-16). Or, are we placing our light under a basket? (Matthew 5:15).
Ladies, are you making an impact for good on those around you by the way you dress and clothe your spirit as you profess godliness? (1 Timothy 2:9-10). Are silence and submission in public settings the characteristics that you are noted for? (1 Timothy 2:11). Is teaching publicly something you always refrain from, and do you always remember not to usurp the authority of man (1 Timothy 2:12).
It is with great love, care, and concern that I call Paul’s teaching in 1 Timothy 2:8-12 to our attention. I fear there are many in the kingdom, both men and women, who have lost sight of their role and have abdicated it to the other sex. Many men have chosen to keep silent and flee their role of leadership, while others are ignorant of what their role should be. As a result, men are failing to lead, and women are stepping to the forefront to teach and fill man’s vacated role.
In recent days I have experienced several situations that have prompted me to write this article. First, on an almost daily basis I see sisters in the church publicly preaching God’s word on Facebook. Though well meaning, and possibly ignorant of their actions, many sister are nonetheless preaching sermons (or sermonettes) and giving testimonials as they share their daily experiences and Bible passages. What our sisters fail to realize is that when they preach the gospel (even a small part of it) to hundreds or even thousands of their friends, they are preaching publicly. When women offer instruction or rebuke to the church, they are preaching publicly. Facebook is a public setting and does fall under the governance of 1 Timothy 2:11-12. I pray that all of our sisters will once again take Paul’s instruction to heart.
Secondly, on more than one occasion in recent days, a well-meaning sister has forgotten her role as a woman and has taken it upon herself to rebuke me for something I either said or did. Now, I may have needed to be rebuked (I am not above needing to be rebuked), but when a woman takes on the role of a leader, and rebukes another leader in the church, she is out of line. A woman can teach a man privately, but it must be done without leaving her role as a woman (see the example of Aquila and Priscilla in Acts 18:24-28) and taking on the role of a man (1 Timothy 2:12). I find it sad that those who have taken it upon themselves to straighten me out were all married women and acted without the knowledge of their husbands. Why aren’t men getting involved and correcting brothers who need to be corrected rather than allowing their wives to do so? I could not begin to document all of the church problems that have arisen as a result of men abandoning their role of leadership to their wives; such is not the plan of God and is sinful. Peace, unity, and truth can only exist when men and women recognize and fill their God given roles.
Both men and women must one day stand before God and give account of their stewardship in the role that God has given them. May we all consider carefully the grave responsibility God has placed on us, and strive to fill our role for the sake of the kingdom and our own souls in the Day of Judgment.
For further reading on this subject and the topic of public and private teaching, please download and read Brother Jerry Cutter’s tract “The Teaching” provided below.
May God bless the Kingdom and all of His children for good.