Summary: the role of women in the church today
The Film ‘King Arthur’(Walking on the ice)
We saw last week how the role of women has changed over the years, we looked at the role of women today. We looked at the position of women in society in the centuries before and leading up to the coming of Jesus, we saw from scripture that the life of a woman was not always a happy one, and the expectations on them were immense and not always pleasant.
But let us not dally this morning, let us move on to the verses that we have before us this morning, and our third main point.
What is Paul saying about women in this passage?
Far from belittling women, he actually elevates them to new heights in the society of the day.
We see from the opening words of Verse 9, that Paul is tying this instruction in with that given to men, about lifting Holy hands in prayer, without anger or dispute, we have already seen that he is talking in verse 9 about propriety in worship, in a church setting.
I don’t believe that he is saying here that women should dress in a dowdy fashion, but he is saying, that their outward appearance should not be such that it draws attention to them in any way shape or form, that will detract from the worship of God. Sadly often when this issue is addressed from the pulpit, it is sometimes taken in the wrong way and some of the female of the species see it as a personal affront and take umbrage, I pray that will not be the case this morning.
Surely what Paul is surely concerned with here is the well being of the women of the church and the Glory of God.
It may be helpful to look at this in two ways:
As we prepare to come to church, both men and women, what should the bulk of the preparation time be spent on, is it the outward appearance or the inward preparation of the heart, surely it must be the latter.
[Going to see the Queen]
The day and time that Paul is writing into was a time of Adornment as far as women of the day were concerned, and many would spend hours braiding their hair with Gold and Pearls in order to be noticed by the male of the species, in the same way, much money would be spent on the latest fabric in order to attract the male of the species, we can today so easily fall into the same trap with our designer clothing and our weird and wonderful hairstyles.
Gents, a word of caution here, we may think that this only refers to the ladies, but we like-wise are not to be like strutting peacocks about the place.
The fashion of the world that bares virtually all and leaves very little to modesty, is not the way for a Godly man or Woman to dress, when coming to the house of God or at any other time for that matter.
It is with good deeds that we should be dressed; it is with a heart prepared before God that we should seek his presence, having prepared ourselves in an appropriate manner.
We, that is humans are unique, in that we are the only part of God’s creation where the female of the species is in general more attractive than the male, the male being left to be more dowdy, now in and of itself, this is of no problem, however we are also the only part of God’s creation that covers itself with clothing, thus producing a level of modesty that is both acceptable and appropriate and I find myself wondering if in applying this passage today, and in particular verse 9 we also need to bear in mind, and the ladies perhaps more so than the gents here this morning, that the way that you dress can have a direct effect on the ability of the men in the congregation to focus on worship and the things of God and not on the female that they see before them.
Your desire, ladies, should be that the men of this church behave in a Godly way, you have a responsibility not to tempt them to do otherwise by the way you dress.
Paul here is not having a downer on women, he is simply telling it as he sees it, whilst in other places in scripture, Paul tells us that we are all equal, in Gal 3:28 for example we read:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus
Peter in 1 Peter3: 3-4 has a similar message for women of the day where he wrote of wives,