What Paul said in 1 Timothy 2 about women was found in a letter NOT written to any GROUP of people, but to an INDIVIDUAL man ... and this man understood Paul better than anybody else. What I'm saying is that we have heard those verses quoted as if written to the general population by those who haven't a clue as to what Paul taught. This doesn't change the fact that Paul wrote these verses, but that our understanding of them has been based upon the perspective of those who teach contrary to Paul in every way.
Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says. And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Paul's comments about women in 1 Corinthians 14 were not written as general principles made to shut women up, but instead written to this specific group that was caught up in a confusion that was the direct result of following those who appeared to be spiritual. The issue of women talking in church was one among MANY problems Paul presented as proof as to how far their adherence to the wisdom of the world rather than Christ had affected their perspectives and therefore, their gatherings.
In 1 Timothy, the issue had to do with the deception factor in reversing the natural order of authority in the creation. If you'll ignore all the religious connotations and just listen to the overwhelming evidence found in the world around us, you'll see the problem screaming out. It sounds like this popular saying: If momma ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy! Counselors and psychologists make the attempt to understand and have written about the problems that emanate from the natural differences in men and women, and they have come up with numerous formulas to try to counteract what they have discovered (and many of their tips do have a temporary cure). But the religious mind of man has found a solution in the writings of Paul: we need to "put our women in subjection". This has nothing to do with Paul's statements ... nor his overall mind on the matter. All you have to do is to read his letters and also read the account of some of his travels in Acts and you'll never see such an attitude coming from him in his encounters with women. Remember, he told an awful lot of men to shut up, too!
Paul's point to Timothy about women teaching was in direct connection to their attempt at exercising authority over a man. It is the exact same tendency we have seen in all cultures, REGARDLESS OF APPEARANCE, of how women end up having the final say. Heck, why else are there so many jokes about it?
When Paul tied in the creation of Adam and Eve we still don't seem to get it. But Eve was the spiritual woman, the real woman ... if there ever was one ... and SHE had been deceived and fell into transgression because of it. Adam broke the one and only command God gave KNOWING what he was doing. Guess who got attributed with sin entering the world?
Years ago, I heard the suggestion that Adam was standing right there next to Eve during the whole temptation with the serpent. It should have been obvious because of how the whole thing played out. Eve wasn't stupid, she was the most intelligent woman to ever live ... but she had been deceived ... and Adam just stood there silently watching the whole thing play out. The problem wasn't that Eve spoke, but that Adam didn't step in and say, Don't listen to him because he is tricking you!
History has proved over and over that NOBODY wins in the struggle between men and women. Men don't know who or what they are for the same reason that women don't know who or what they are for the same reason that HUMANS don't know who or what they are. We have forgotten that who or what we are is only found in our connection to God.
When a woman speaks for a man she is trying to find HER identity as a woman apart from her origins. Isn't this the same reason all of us can't find our identities apart from God? In Christ we are IN God ... it is who we are. When a man lets a woman speak for him he is trying to find HIS identity as a man in what came FROM man. Isn't this the same reason all of us can't find our identities in this world because we are trying to find it in what we have done? This has nothing to do with men and women talking or sharing ideas or helping one another or being a support for one another or even teaching one another ... because all men who have been raised by a mother have been taught by a woman during that time in which their basic perception of the world was formed. And guess who set that up?
But women shall be preserved (delivered, saved) through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint 1 Timothy 2:15
Realize that Paul wasn't telling all women to get married, otherwise he would not have suggested elsewhere that singleness was preferable, as far as he was concerned.
Delivered or saved from what? Deception. If women are trying to dominate men then they will get tricked by the very ones they are trying to dominate. And this is what continues to take place every day all across the world. Men will watch women get deceived and are afraid to say anything about it because they don't think it is their place because they don't know that the ability to sniff it out is something inherent by the design of God ... and they end up falling into the same deception even though they didn't trust it. And then they take out the consequences of their actions and abuse the very women who are in their care. Illogical, but that's how it works.
The best that the religious mind can come up with is to say that a woman's place is found in teaching Sunday School or Children's Church, but that's pretty lame, isn't it? A woman's safety is found in pouring out her life into those in her care: her children. Do you know why men fail in teaching others? Because they think that teaching is found in the imparting of information. Do you know where they get that from? From women who were taught by men to believe that the imparting of information to people is the same as pouring your life out into them. It is a vicious cycle. Women who don't have children still have witnessed the amazing change in other women who find peace and contentment in raising children. My daughter has a nine month old boy ... she has found a life to pour her own into ... and she is overjoyed by it. It's miraculous.
When you know who you are in Christ then you know how to communicate: to women AND to men. If you see a man in bondage (and you don't have to look very far, huh?) and you desire to share the freedom of Christ with him, it is something of God. If you are looking to take him under your wing as a momma would then I would caution you against it. But I don't think that has anything to do with your desire to see others find the freedom you understand, does it? I would think that you would love to see a man who is in bondage to the law to understand his own freedom in Christ so that he would find his true place.
Be prepared for the reaction that some men might have against your sharing of life and just make sure that your words aren't suggesting that you are trying to speak FOR him but that you are speaking TO him of the life that is HIS life ... which is Christ.
My wife, Sherri, just suggested reminding you of one of Paul's statements that she finds immense freedom in regard to this whole discussion.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
Pretty strange for a man to write who had such problems with women, don't you think? :)
Any questions? :)
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle ( I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint. 1 Timothy 2
There are also issues pertaining to the culture of the day worth considering. One, is that the women used the time of their gathering to catch up on the latest news since they had little opportunity to do so otherwise. If I understand the culture, the men and women were usually segregated. Now, I doubt this was really an issue for the women as I'm sure they preferred the set up! :) But what was happening was pretty simple: the men were together in one part of the room discussing and the women were together on the other side of the room making commentaries amongst themselves and authoritatively disputing some of the things spoken by the men. They were teaching OVER men and trying to exercise authority OVER men.
Gatherings and meetings are often futile attempts between men and women to make up for the lack of real communication in the everyday. Ever noticed that? Somehow, many of us (both men and women) have very little to say in regards to the real life happening around us, but we think that if we just had a platform we would have so much to say. What has resulted from this is the obvious confusion of contemporary religion.
Men often come to meetings hoping to finally prove that they are the head of the household and the only way they can be so is to enforce it. The fact is that the head of the household is the function of a man and not a position to use or try to achieve. Men who don't understand this (like the majority of us) will merely attempt to apply this concept in an official way when it best suits them.
Women often come to meetings hoping to finally get that man of theirs to become what they want him to be. I can remember many times when a woman would ask the speaker a question for the benefit of her husband. I have also heard it the other way around, too. This is merely the attempt at communication, but it actually destroys it.
There is so much awe and mystery to the concept that meetings make things official. Real life is in the everyday ... which means that meetings are just a SMALL part of it. Meetings are not the chance to get everything out, or to finalize everything, or the chance to make a stand, they represent a small quantity of time in which a small bit of togetherness and encouragement in Christ can be enjoyed. If real issues are not being addressed at home then it will only prove to be a fiasco to try to address it all in a meeting ... especially between husbands and wives.