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Summary: A Mothers Day message adapted from an article by Jack Hayford

A Woman's Place in Christ

A Mothers Day Message Adapted from an article by Jack W. Hayford

For too long, the church has devalued the role and the ministry of women. Are you ready to step up to the place Jesus has prepared for you?

The Bible says in Galatians 3:28 that because of what Christ has done, there are no longer any differences among us. "There is neither Jew nor Greek" (no ethnic or national difference); "neither slave nor free" (no economic difference); "neither male nor female" (no gender difference), "for [we] are all one in Christ Jesus." This verse refers to the equality we have in God.

But if we are all equal, how is it that the Church has so often been guilty of sanctifying a chauvinistic system in which women are put (and not always gently) in second place?

I believe it is time for us to revisit the issue of what a woman's place is according to God's order of things.

My purpose is not to incite women in the Church to rise up to assert their individuality, authority, and rights. It is to examine what the Bible says a woman can be so that women are free to move into all the things that God has for them.

Casting Off Old Ideas

I want to begin by declaring that my view of women is not a radical feminist nor anti-traditional Church view. It is a solid biblical view. This view holds that God has a high destiny for every one of the redeemed-whether male or female-and that this destiny is the blossoming of who people are in the created being of Jesus Christ.

But discovering who we are in Christ can be made difficult by the old ideas we cling to that originate from the culture around us, by imposed systems of thought such as human or religious philosophy, or by our own ignorance or misunderstanding.

We must allow the Lord to deliver us from all preconceived notions in order to discover His true call on our lives.

One way to do that is to examine closely the Scriptures that many people use to dispute the role of women in the Church and try to determine what God is really saying through them. To that end, we will look at 1 Timothy 2:8-15:

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

First, let's see what the different verses in this passage do not mean.

That the women adorn themselves in modest apparel (v. 9). "All women should dress as crummy as possible to verify their holiness."

Let a woman learn in silence (v. 11). "Women should keep their mouths closed in church and have no input on spiritual matters."

With all submission (v. 11). "Women should do as they're told."

I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man (v. 12). "Women are allowed to teach only other women."

Adam was formed first, then Eve (v. 13)."God likes men more than He does women."

Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression (v. 14). "Men are smarter than women."

She will be saved in childbearing (v. 15). "The only thing a woman is good for is having babies."

Are you guilty of interpreting any of the verses this way?

Understand the culture

What was it like for women in Paul’s day? When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, women were seen as second class citizens. Women’s behavior was extremely limited in ancient times, much as the women of Afghanistan during the recent Taliban oppression.

- Unmarried women were not allowed to leave the home of their father.

- Married women were not allowed to leave the home of their husband.

- They were normally restricted to roles of little or no authority.

- They could not testify in court.

- They could not appear in public venues.

- They were not allowed to talk to strangers.

- They had to be doubly veiled when they left their homes.

2. Understand that Jesus had set them free - but did they understand how to use that freedom?

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