Confusion over the roles of men and women is epidemic in our society.

A growing number of adult men are shirking responsibility, playing video games, and letting women do all the work.

And likewise, a growing number of women have open scorn and disrespect for men in general.

Neither scenario brings honor or glory to God. 

We need a biblical reformation of gender roles in our day. Understanding God’s Word is the only remedy for the confusion of the roles of men and women.

God’s Word to us on the conduct and responsibilities of men and women is correct. It is the root of joy and ultimate fulfillment; even though the opinion of culture and society says the opposite… and sadly, that happens to be the loudest message in our world.

God’s counsel to us is always for our benefit and our blessing.

It isn’t to diminish our fruitfulness or our capacities, but rather to direct them through eternal channels for the maximum good of the greatest numbers. 

The key to reforming the roles of men and women in society begins with our spiritual design intended by God. This effects both the church as well as society in general. 

In First Timothy 2:8, God addresses this situation through the Apostle Paul. This verse begins with the words, “I desire…” This is a strong word for desire. 

The word is boulomai – it’s a word for desire as in a command. Since this is the first word in the Greek translation of verse 8, it controls this whole passage.

In other words, verses 9 and 10 are still functioning under this verb; “Likewise also [I desire or I intend] that women…” and it still functions under that strong verb Boulomai mentioned at the beginning of verse 8.

I mention this grammatical marker to remind you that these words of instruction are not cultural preferences by the apostle Paul; these are divine orders for how the church is intended to function in every age and every culture.

In verse 8, the application of God’s desire for the lost to be saved through the evangelistic witness of His people is that “in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling.” 

Men are intended by God to be spiritual leaders, both at home, in the church, and in society. It’s a responsibility not to be taken lightly. 

The word translated “men” in verse 8 is from anēr; this doesn’t refer to mankind in general, but always refers to males as opposed to females. Men are to take the lead when the church gathers for corporate worship. This word can only refer to men.

When prayer is offered for the lost during those times of corporate worship, the men are to do the praying; their heart for the lost is to set the tone for the church.

The women and other men who are not leading are to corporately unite their hearts in submissive agreement as prayers for the lost and for rulers and those in high positions are being offered by the men who serve as overseers in the church.

Of course, both men and women are to pray for the lost. But in the public gathering of the church for corporate worship, only biblically qualified men are charged with leading the way in prayer for the spiritual needs of Christ’s church.

Are women permitted to pray? Of course! By all means.

However, in the context of the public gathering of the church, only men are to take that responsibility in the worship service of the church. Anyone can and should pray in a group Bible study, a Sunday school class… or anywhere else.

Are women permitted to teach the Bible? Of course! By all means.

However, they are to teach the Bible to other women and to children both within and outside the corporate worship of the church. Women aren’t to lead men spiritually as Bible teachers, pastors, elders, ministers, etc. 

Men are held responsible by Christ for teaching His Word, for reading the Word, and for praying in the public gathering of His church; and every man is held responsible by God for the spiritual oversight of his own household regardless of his occupation.  

The phrase “in every place” occurs four times in Paul’s writings (cf.. 1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 2:14; 1 Thess. 1:8). All four times it refers to the official gathering of the church. So this instruction has to do with the public assembly of the local church in every place.

Women are permitted to pray and proclaim the Word, but not “in church”—that is, when the church meets for its corporate worship services.

This in no way marks women as spiritually inferior (cf.. Gal. 3:28). Not even all men proclaim the Word in the assembly, only those so called and ordained by God. 

Men are to be disciplined spiritual leaders, servant-hearted, and honorable. And women are to respect the men in their lives and whenever possible, to speak well of them. 

This is pleasing in the sight of God and better reflects His design for men and women.

For His Glory,
Pastor Kevin

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