I Timothy 2:8-15
8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 9 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. 11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
This chapter is where Paul gets himself in trouble with me. I don’t like verses 11-15 at all. This list is how they read to me.
• Be quiet about what you’ve learned
• Don’t question
• Don’t disagree
• Don’t be a teacher
• Don’t be in charge
• Eve pushed Adam into deception
• Having a child will validate a woman
I admit my list is pretty contrary and defensive. I have a whole different slant that in my mind reconciles my list and Paul’s writing. It goes way back to Creation and Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
This is scriptural truth about God’s Creative seven days. HE made the decision that his image required both Adam and Eve to complete. Then he created two unique and complementary individuals with no hierarchy or appropriate behavior list needed. All was right…AND God said it was good.
I don’t know how long it was from that first week until when Paul wrote these strong words about the role of women in I Timothy. I don’t like them but I do give him Godly credit for this: he put his finger on the tension and the conflict men and women have lived with since then. It began way back in that perfect place when the two perfectly created people made their choice to take charge of their own lives instead of being Godly. And so the list begins…