This week will conclude my four part series on roles and responsibility of women in the church setting. Over the last four weeks, I’ve been using John MacAruthr’s sermon series “God’s High Calling for Women” to help with my own analysis. As I have said in the past, I strongly encourge you to listen to what he has to say and form your own opinions.
Last week, in my conclusion, I mentioned how when reading 1 Timothy 2:8-12, there are a lot of “Do not’s” as it relates to women in the church.
And as a woman, that’s more than a little discouraging
Thankfully, verses 13-15 give an explanation as to why all the don’t exist and provide women of the one thing we can do to further God’s kingdom:
13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
Let me share with you MacArthur’s analysis of verses 13 and 14:
“But we have to keep in mind that he (Adam) didn’t fall first. First, the woman fell and her fall confirms what verse 13 said, that woman needs a head. She needs a strengthener, because when she got out from under the strength of Adam and tried to operate independently in conflict with the enemy, she was what? Deceived. And the intent of what the Word is saying here is that woman needs protection, that she has a certain vulnerability. She was designed with the need for a head. She was designed with the need for a leader. She was designed with the need for a protector and a savior. . . But woman, who is designed by God to be under a head, and a leader, and a helper, and a protector, and a savior, when she stepped out on her own and acted independently of the headship of Adam, when she acted without his leadership, without his counsel, without his protection, she became vulnerable. And it is inherent in the nature of woman that she should not find herself in that position of ultimate responsibility. For woman has a deceivability when out from under the headship of a man. . . So, the Fall then was the result of not only disobeying God’s command not to eat, but the Fall was the result of violating the divinely appointed role of the sexes, and woman acting independently of man. Woman assumed leadership, and you know what man did? He messed up his role, and then he, instead of maintaining the leadership, acted in submission to whom? To the woman. “
I had never heard this particular interpretation of these two verses before. This interpretation goes against what I know about the character of God and his dominion over satan. I was reminded of Job what God says to Satan in verse 12 “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” I also can’t help but think of 1 Corinthians 10:13 which states that “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
God allows us to be to tempted and deceived. To assume that Eve deliberately made it so she was deceived by satan, is to assume that satan is more powerful than God’s own creation, which is absolutely false.
Another thing that really frustrated me about MacArthur’s interpretation is how the whole reason Eve gave into temptation is because she was in a leadership position; he was the head of the relationship. It’s also assuming Adam would have known better which I don’t believe for a second.
I could go on and on about this, but I need some grace; which is where verse 15 comes into play.
Verse 15 states that through childbearing, women can “undo” their role in the fall of humanity if they do it to serve the Lord.. In Genesis, the Lord tells Eve that when she and all women after he have children, there will be pains to remind them of the pain of sin. What MacAruthr adds is that after the pain of childbirth, the mother now has the opportunity to teach the child who the Lord assuming that the continue to have faith, love, be holy, and have self-control.
This leads into something that I have been doing a lot of thinking about: Being a full-time mother.
It kind of started with listening to this part of the series. I got thinking about how I do want to teach and how I want to teach my future children about faith, God’s grace, and why Jesus’ love isn’t at all the world says it is, but rather it’s deeper and more meaningful. To be honest, I felt a little guilted into having the thought, as if this was the only thing I was allowed to do. And also because it felt like there wasn’t a choice, and I’m not a big fan of being forced to do things I don’t to do.
But I realized that I believe that me being a full-time mother will bring glory and honor to the Lord. And I believe my intentions are pure: This is how I want to serve my family. And I think by being a full-time mother, I want will learn to grow in faith, love, holiness, and self control.
These past four weeks have been a great learning and growing experience but I am very glad it’s all over! Come back next week as I talk about more things!