Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How Should we Then Act?

Yesterday we learned about the importance of praying for folks, especially those in leadership positions, and why we are to do so. Today we learn a bit more about what is expected of us as believers. Read these words from God in 1 Timothy 2:
8I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
I have to admit, this is not always an easy passage to read.
Now right up front I have to tell you...I am not a fancy dresser, or a jewelry wearer or anything like that. That is not why this passage is not an easy passage. This is not an easy passage because of how this passage is used and abused by both sides of the equation when it comes to women in office.

But I read these words over and I come to TWO things.
1. attitude is important in how we pray and worship and learn
2. God set a natural order in place and we as people have broken it.

So let us then look at this more closely
1. Attitude:
  • Men should pray with an attitude that pray is a holy thing we do. It is not something done in anger or when quarreling. Collect yourself, then pray. Be able to approach God properly, with an attitude of respect, of seeing the holiness of God.
  • Women - don't focus on showing off your latest and best in fashion. Live with the thought that you need to show your godliness in the things that you do. Be modest, have some self-control, be respectable. For instance...don't go to church showing off your best fashion. yes, dress nicely, no prohibition against that....but remember what you are there worship God and worshiping God means being respectful to those around you. In other your Christian brothers be able to worship God by not coming in revealing clothes and wearing jewelry that says "see me!". Have the right attitude, and how you dress will follow along.
  • Women - be willing to learn. Paul says with all submissiveness.... I don't know if most women are like I am...but I HATE being told what to do or what I should think. Just hate it. I like to learn in my own, way do my own thing, I have this fierceness about me sometimes. And sometimes it applies to how I do bible study...particularly in a group setting. I have to deliberately stop myself and be willing to learn from others and not just spout off with what I think. When I stop and let others teach me, sometimes I learn so much.... it's actually really cool. That is submissiveness at work...that stopping and letting others teach me. This is what God is saying through Paul. Be willing to be taught.
2. The proper order of things - it's historical fact. God made men first, women second. Women were created to be suitable help-meet for man. Man had no one that was just for him, so God made one. That's historical fact.
Historical fact... Satan approached woman first. She was deceived. She sinned against God. That doesn't change the fact that man sinned as well. He did. He didn't even stop woman from being deceived. Think about that for a moment. Woman had a teachable moment with man. Woman led man astray. Man allowed woman to do so. Women should not teach men. What and who women teach are our children. They are our salvation - if teach them in love, faith, holiness and with self-control.

I know in this day and age that's seen as sexist and anti-woman. women are being treated equally if they can't do all that men can do.

Rubbish. Equality doesn't mean being exactly the same. It doesn't. Otherwise God would have made like punched out cookies. The same in every way. He didn't. He created us to be help-meets. To be able to live together helping each other.

History does tell us and teach us much.
If in the history of mankind having women teach men has disastrous consequences...why should we want to repeat that scenario? God protects us from ourselves.

Women are not to having teaching positions over men. The past taught us the folly of that. And besides, the natural order is men, then women, then children. We do best to follow God's natural order. :) Not a popular statement nowadays, but something to give good thought to.

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