We’re living in days of revolution. Many are trying to start a revolution, to change the nation and even the world. So far, the effects appear to have been mainly destructive. They’ve made the world a worse place.
I invite you to join me in another kind of revolution. A revolution that will turn the world upside down – which will actually put it the right way up?
The context of verses 11-15 is right order in the church that will promote salvation. Here he limits public teaching roles to men. In chapter 3, he further limits it to a certain kind of men – gentle shepherds and loving servants.
THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S ROLE IS CLEAR
“Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet” (11-12).
NB: Men and women are essentially and spiritually equal, but physically and functionally different.
Learn quietly: In a culture that viewed women as intellectually inferior to men and therefore only educated men, these were liberating and dignifying words. Learning for women is in, but certain kinds of teaching are out; specifically the teaching of men by the authoritative proclamation of God’s Word in a public worship service. Men have much to learn from women but there’s one forum where that is not to take place, and that’s public worship in the church.
Submit humbly: “Submission” means to yield to God-given authority, which here is the elders of the church. To submit to God-given authority is to please and honor the Lord by cooperating with the way God has designed and ordered society.
Teaching and ruling may please us, but learning and submitting pleases God.
“Is there any reason to this?”
THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S ROLE IS REASONABLE
“For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (13-14).
The order of creation: “Adam was formed first, then Eve.” In the Bible, being firstborn was not about superiority, but authority and responsibility. When God made Adam first, he wasn’t just setting up our first parents but male-female roles and relationships for all time. God wants the creation order to be reflected in church order.
The order of sin: Eve was deceived first. Look what happened when the creation order was reversed, when Adam gave up his God-given role and Eve took over a role that was not hers.
Male and female roles are based on timeless truth not cultural considerations.
“Is there any encouragement to this?”
THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S ROLE IS BLESSED
“Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control” (15).
Continue in godliness: Continue in faith, love, holiness, and self-control is shorthand for following God’s order.
Saved through child-bearing: Childbearing is shorthand for giving, protecting, and sustaining life. If you follow God’s order you will not only be much happier, you will be much more influential as well. Women will exert godly influence from the bottom up by Christ-like influencing of children. Woman can re-create world order by re-creating the creation order.
Revert to God’s order and you’ll revolutionize world order.
LIVING THE BIBLE
Accept your God-appointed role and responsibilities and you will massively influence children, and therefore the church and the world, for good. To be a godly mother is to be a revolutionary.