9. And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.
10. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.
11. Women should learn quietly and submissively.
12. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly.
13. For God made Adam first, and afterward he made Eve.
14. And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.
15. But women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.
1 Timothy 2:9–15 NLT
Today’s passage is an interesting one that I have heard taught many times over my time in the Church and I don’t intend to dwell on it for long in this particular commentary. I will begin by saying that it is interesting to me how individuals and organizations have taken portions of the Word to bolster their own, often warped views, attempting to prove their points by incorrectly using the Word of God.
We’ve seen this behavior throughout history from the justification of slavery to the subjugation of women, from the validation of war to the theft of land and property, all supposedly done in the name of God. However, there is One Truth, and bending the Word to fit whatever narrative you think will garner you more power over those you desire to have subjugated will end poorly for those that take that route to authority. God will not suffer His Name or His Word used for nefarious means.
That being said, this passage has been often utilized to justify the poor treatment of women throughout the years and I’m pretty sure that was not what Paul was going for in this passage. We see in Verse 9 that he begins his instruction to Timothy with modesty. This is often the first place that sin enters into our lives; through the “eye gate”.
If we allow for the world’s standards of “modesty” (or really the lack thereof) we have already lost control of the Church and the results can be seen in churches around the world. As moral standards loosen, sin begins to grow. Where sin grows and is allowed to prosper, death follows.
Paul is addressing an issue that can become the first symptom of a Church’s downfall before it is an issue. We do not know for sure what problems the Ephesian church was encountering but we can assume, seeing that Paul is bringing it up in this letter, that modesty was one of them.
Drawing attention to one’s body whether they be male or female especially in the church, takes away from where the focus should actually be, which is on God. We know that God is “Jealous” and as such will not take kindly to having His Glory undermined by His creation, especially when it is done for reasons of lust and immorality.
If your actions are beautiful and reflect God’s Love then there will be no need to bring attention to yourself through physical means at all. God will provide His Perfect partner to you through the means of your actions, not your looks. So, showing them off, particularly in the church is not only a distraction but shows a lack of character, seeing that the focus is not on God or His Standards but on the sexual attraction of the creature.
Paul goes on to give his views on learning and leadership as it comes to the role of women in the Church. I won’t really touch on this part of the text apart from saying that he gives his reasons for his opinion. This is the part that I mentioned earlier that has been used for the subjugation of women over the years but there is a Biblical Principal hidden in here we should not ignore.
The Principal is that of Proper Authority. Paul mentions that Adam was Created first and Eve was the one deceived by Lucifer. The Principal here stems not from the power of men over women but the Authority God intended for Leaders. There is a hierarchy in Christian Leadership that cannot be undermined without disastrous consequences being experienced.
There is a head of the Church just like there is a Head of the Body. God is the Head of the Body and the pastor is the head of the Church. Obviously, there had been some issues in Ephesus with this otherwise Paul wouldn’t have brought it up. Had Eve not taken the reigns the sin resulting in man’s fall may not have even occurred. It was a failure in leadership that caused man’s original sin and is it that same failure of leadership that still causes rifts in the Church today.
We must be aware of the Plan of God for Leadership of the Church and neither be offended by His Wisdom nor twist His Word for our own purposes. Either path will lead to our destruction and the failure of the Church in its commission, which is to lead God’s people to Him. Rightly dividing the Word of Truth is one of the first and most important steps in this process. Knowing and sticking to your roll in the Body is another.
We cannot lead ourselves to Heaven nor should we try and take Authority that has not been given to us. As Matthew 15:14 tells us when the blind lead the blind they will both fall in the ditch. We need Strong Christian Leaders and the realization that we are not those leaders and knowing what our roles are in the Church goes a long way in keeping the proper hierarchy in place to ultimately get us all to where God wants us in the end, which is worshiping before His Throne.
Have a Wonderful Wednesday and Stay Safe out there!