“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.”(1 Corinthians 14:33–35, ESV)
Right now in American evangelical churches a war is raging regarding the place of women in ministry. For me, passages such as the one above and 1 Timothy 2:12 make it clear that there are definitely limitations to the roles women can hold in regard to teaching in the Church.
First Corinthians 14:25 is Paul’s response to the women in the Church of Corinth who were disrupting the worship of the church with questions, introducing confusion. His solution? Ask your husband at home.
But here is the rub. In many Christian homes, the husband couldn’t answer many of his wife’s questions because he knows less Bible and theology than she does. Many men are not readers, and even less study–unless it’s sport’s scores. Traditionally, many men have left the “religious instruction” of children to their wife, and the largest sector of church attendance across almost all denominations is female.
So, as we think about the battle of the sexes in church, and how those of us that are complimentarian desire to follow the instructions of male leadership we believe the New Testament teaches, we need to work on beefing up ministry to men and expect more from them. We need Christian men to man up. Men who will open their Bibles and read them. Men who will dig deep. Men who are working to be equipped to defend the faith. Men who are willing to sit down with their wife and children and teach them from Scriptures–and not be fearful of those hard questions our wife might bring to us.
Men, our wives and children deserve better. Our churches deserve better. The Lord deserves better.
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”(1 Corinthians 13:11, ESV)
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”(1 Corinthians 16:13, ESV)