I love to teach. I have taught Sunday School for years to adults, both men and women. While I loved it, teaching that is, it made me totally uncomfortable. Totally. I taught men and women alone, and have been in partner/teacher teams with men, once with my husband. We would alternate Sundays. On my Sunday to teach, when the women were not there or late, I would feel compelled to explain that I stood before them under the authority of the Pastor, not that they protested. It was solely my level of uncomfortableness.
Why was I so uncomfortable? Hasn’t God gifted me to teach? Didn’t God want me to use my gifts for his glory? Yes and yes. So what was it? It was this:
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I |permit| not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding, she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith, and |love| and holiness with sobriety. I Timothy 2:11-15 KJV
Yes, this scripture has haunted me, convicted me. For me, there was no getting around it, it is clear. In the church, I should not be teaching men. I am forbidden to teach men, for that would be exercising authority over men which was not given to women. That is why I can never be a preacher or pastor, not that I have ever desired that role. I have not.
But although I know many women who may protest this, I don’t see it as an indictment against women. God does use women. I don’t believe this diminishes the value of women as I stated in my last post.
Women have been used in very significant ways all throughout the Bible. There is Esther, Abigail, Rahab, Jael, Ruth, Naomi, Deborah, Hannah, Mary and so many more both in the Old and New Testament. Women are equal to men spiritually, but we have different functions, roles.
Now I know that equality hasn’t always been; just in America, women used to be denied the right to vote. But God has always counted us as equal.
…there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:28b-29 KJV
Pastor John MacArthur did an excellent sermon series on this: God’s High Calling On Women. The sermon I’ve included is part 3 in the series that specifically looks at women’s role in the church. In this, he lays out through the scriptures how God has always viewed women, and used women. (Did you know that in the Old Testament that women were able to take the Nazarite vow? I didn’t.) In Part 4 of his series, he addresses the arguments that have been used for women as pastors and demonstrates through the scriptures how it fails the support of scripture.
I recognize that in today’s culture we view women as being capable of doing anything a man can do. I believe that women can do a lot of things that men can do. We currently have a woman who is running for President of the United States. But in the church, for whom Christ is the head, God ordained a specific order. God had a purpose in his design.
So, did God gift me with a gift to teach? Yes, and there is room for me to teach. Titus II calls the older women to teach younger women. Our gifts are not wasted. My gift is not wasted. When I was a young mom, I tried to raise my children by the Word of God. I have been able to share with women my journey and share the gospel, and have tried to live out my commitment to God.
I believe that how I live, and how I respond to what God says in his Word will speak louder than my gift.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17 KJV
We, I need to esteem the Giver of the gift, more than the gift itself. The way that I do that is to use the gift in the manner he has ordained; in other words, obedience.