9-24-13 — When The Hem-Line Meets The Neck-Line

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1 Timothy 2:8-15

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise 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, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self- control.

God desires that his children be holy because He is holy. One of the ways that a man shows his reflected holiness is by not having anger or quarreling while lifting up his hands in prayer. Likewise, one of the ways that a woman shows her reflected holiness is though what she wears. This text can really get blown out of proportion but it simply teaches that a woman is to dress herself consistently with who she professes herself to be, a child of the Holy God. God has created the woman’s body to be a reflection of beauty, and he wants these beautiful women to display it in a certain way. I have heard it said that a woman is to dress in a way that frames her face and not her body; I think that is good.

Then we learn that God has an authority ordered in his children. Men are to be the teachers and women and children are to be the learners. He gives creation (the fall) as his reason for this. These commands are not cultural, they are universal (the gold, pearls etc are not universal, the principle is; the principle is universal, the particulars are cultural) because they come down to us from our first parents. This authority has nothing at all to do with value. God has authority over Jesus in the trinity in this same way. It has nothing to do with value, it is just the way that He has ordered things.

One more thing I found interesting; the words “remain quiet,” are defined as follows:

“A description of the life of one who stays at home doing his own work and does not officiously meddle with the affairs of others; desistance from bustle or language; quietness.”

I do not think Paul is teaching that a woman has to place duct tape over her mouth every time she walks though the church doors. Rather she is not to be meddling or bustling around in the affairs of others. She is to receive the word and not teach the word in the church proper (relating to being the main preacher, not meaning a Sunday school teacher in children’s ministry for example). In the same way that a woman wound expect her child to let the Word of God wash over them while they are at church; God expects the same of women.

Then Paul tells us this sweet thing; that even though sin and death came into this world because of the disobedience of a woman; women now give life and not take life though child-bearing. This is not something that a man can do. And in this area of life, women have authority over a man. For half of the time they give birth to a future man.

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