Gender roles

The minister was officiating at a wedding where the bride and groom were serious believers. Again and again, he reminded the bride of what the Apostle Paul himself had said again and again, “Wives submit to your husbands.”

Apparently the minister forgot to mention what Paul said to husbands, “Love your wives as Christ loved the church.”

And how did Christ love the church?

By dying for it.

We all tend to pick and choose the verses in the Bible we take more seriously than others. Some verses resonate with our worldview; we love them. Some challenge our worldview; those we tend to ignore. One area where this happens frequently today is in gender roles.

In 1st Corinthians 14:34, Paul says that “women should remain silent in church.” If you’re the minister at the wedding I just mentioned, that verse probably reinforces your worldview. If you think “all people are created equal,” a phrase that is not in the Bible, you worldview causes you to reject that verse.

But we should all ask ourselves, if women were so important to Jesus, and so prominent in the life of the early church, (and they were) why would Paul write something that seemed to contradict what was actually going on? Women were teaching and preaching in the churches Paul organized.

The answer has to be that God is always challenging our worldview, no matter what it is. In this case, Paul was addressing particular cultural practices which interfered with hearing the word preached in church, whether the preacher happened to be a woman or a man.

If you don’t let God challenge your most cherished beliefs, is God really God to you?

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