Not preaching from the pulpit and not being the leader in the home. Whew! I said it. If any of those statements don’t sit well with you, then take it up with God. He started it.
First up, women as pastors or teaching elders. It would be an easier task, biblically speaking, to convince you that polygamy is acceptable to God than that of a woman being a pastor is. I don’t think women aren’t competent enough or capable of following through with the many duties that the Bible lays out for teachers of the Word (1 Timothy 3:2-7 is one of those lists), but they are not called to. Never. Not even if they think God called them. He didn’t. Perhaps the culture around us that has embraced feminism dialed their number, or maybe it’s their heart’s desire (which is deceitful above all things says Jeremiah in 17:9), but it was not a call from God.
How can I say that with such conviction? God’s clarity on this is blatantly obvious. If you’ve explored this topic of division among Christians, you’ll already be familiar with those passages and verses that lay it out (i.e. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, 1 Timothy 2:12-15). The most commonly used method of reasoning to combat this is that the culture was different in ancient times and doesn’t apply to us today. Hebrews 13:8 is all over that one.
Is Jesus so out of touch with eternity that He may not have been aware that 2000 years into the future women would be where we are, in comparison to then? Did He neglect to choose a female as one of the Twelve because He was a male chauvinist, or because He wanted to be politically correct and not offend anyone? Did God send His daughter to die on the cross? We imply such ridiculous logic when we attempt to malign God’s Word.
Next up, that the place of a woman is one of submission under the leadership of her husband (Ephesians 5:22-33). Take note though, Paul addresses the role of a husband towards his wife with noticeably more fervor and explanation. It is important to add here that our fallen flesh makes the ideal communion unattainable, but that this is how God created, and in turn, cursed us relationally (Genesis 3:16-17). Our emotions and feelings about how unfair and unjust this is are superseded by our final authority, God with His Word.
Scripture beautifully weaves women into God’s story. Our gender is there from the beginning. Our place also is. In Genesis 2:22, God made the woman from the man and brought her to the man (proper attribution is given to Pastor Voddie Baucham for that correlation). Obviously, as the fall of man story unfolds, we see that Eve played a major role. So it’s not as if women are to be ignored, put down, treated disrespectfully, abused, or seen as less than human because of our God given gender qualities. God threw Eve into the fold and the woman has been an integral part of humanity from then, and still today.
While growing up, my dad had a foundational influence on my worldview. He encouraged me to be a strong person, but I don’t remember him ever focusing on me being a strong woman. All my life, I’ve worked and lived around men and never did I feel the need to justify my gender “inequality” to them. God sees women the same way (Galatians 3:26-28). We already are, and always have been, equal to men before our Holy Father. It’s in our roles that we differ. We are meant to complement eachother, not compete.
Lastly, I’d like to add that knowing fully that your identity is in Christ, it becomes less of a struggle to be comfortable in “a woman’s place.” When He says a woman is not to teach a man, that she is to submit to the authority of her husband, try to rest in that confirmation because you can rest in His place for you.