The Role of Women

The Role of Women


I.         Some people like change. It doesn’t matter if something is broken or not. They have in mind how they would like the world to work, so they proceed to change it.

            A.        One of the largest changes in the last 50 years or so has been in our view in the roles of women.

            B.        People want to see men and women to be basically the same. Sure they have different body types and they have different roles in things like reproduction. But for the most part, they want men and women to be exactly the same.

II.        Similarities and Differences

            A.        In some ways men and women are the same

                        1.         Both are made in God’s image - Gen 1:26

                        2.         Both are equal in the regards to salvation - Gal 3:28

                        3.         Men and women are joint heirs of life - I Peter 3:7

                        4.         Some stop there and say “See women and men can fulfill the same roles within the church.”

            B.        However, God has always insisted that the distinction between men and women be maintained.

                        1.         Men and women’s clothing must be distinct - Deut 22:5

                        2.         Men and women’s hairstyles are to be distinctive - I Cor 11:14-15

                        3.         Though this often a point of controversy, Paul does indicate a difference in the approach to worship - I Cor. 11:4-5

                        4.         In the Old Law, there were many difference made between men and women. Some seem to be there sole to maintain the distinction.

                                    a.         There were difference in purification after the birth of a male and female child - Lev 12:2-8

                                    b.         There were differences in the release from a vow - Lev. 27:2-4

III.       Why is this distinction important? What point is being made?

            A.        If we understand the “why” then it will make the doing more reasonable.

            B.        Some point to the fall of man, but the distinction of men and women goes back even further.

                        1.         Man was created first - Gen 2:18

                        2.         Woman was create from man - Gen 2:21-23

                                    a.         Our words “woman” and “female” both literally mean “from man”

                                    b.         It is this reason that the Hebrew word “adam” not only refers to the first man, but is also the general word for the human population.

                                    c.         This is why it is “mankind” and not “womankind”. Our language continues to acknowledge God’s order. This is why so many are trying to alter the language.

                        3.         Woman was created as a helper for man, not man for woman - I Cor 11:8-9

            C.        The fall of man did not change the roles, but inflicted punishments within those roles

                        1.         Even before the fall, woman was still the child bearer. After the fall, she was given pain in her child bearing.

                        2.         Before the fall, man was the worker (Gen.2:15). After the fall, his work became troublesome.

            D.        Even before the fall, man was placed in the position of authority - I Tim 2:12-14

                        1.         It was there because he was first formed.

                        2.         We can see it in the events after the fall.

                                    a.         When God called Adam and Eve into account over their actions, it was Adam to whom he called and questioned, even though it was Eve who first sinned.

                                    b.         We see that Adam was held responsible for the sin.

                                    c.         In the punishment, God charges Adam with two sins - Gen 3:17

                                                (1)       Eating the from the tree

                                                (2)       Listening to his wife. Not that paying attention to one’s wife is wrong, but from Paul’s statement we learn that Adam was not deceived by the serpent or Eve. Yet, he listened to his wife and chose to follow her into sin.

                        3.         This order of authority must remain, not just between husbands and wives, but in general between men and women - I Cor. 11:2-3,10

                        4.         The command that Paul gives in I Tim 2 is general. It is not just between husbands and wives. It is not restricted to the worship.

IV.      How is this order of authority shown?

            A.        Women are not allowed to hold positions of authority over a man - I Tim 2:12

            B.        Women cannot give instruction to a man - I Tim 2:12

            C.        Women are encouraged to quietly receive instruction - I Tim 2:11

                        1.         “Quietly” does not mean without noise. It is the same word used in II Thess 3:12.

                        2.         It is the idea of not complaining, grumbling, questioning.

            D.        Women are to be submissive. Willing to follow the lead of men. - I Tim 2:11

            E.        Women show the authority by how they address their husbands - I Pet 3:4-6

            F.        Women show the authority by wearing their hair long - I Cor 11:14-15

            G.        Women show the authority by following the customs that show submission - I Cor. 11:5-7

V.        The head of woman is man, and the head of man is Christ

            A.        How do you show your submission to Christ? James 4:7-10

            B.        Come out of your stubbornness, your pride, your arrogance and submit your life in humble obedience to our gentle Master.