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The Church Ethic
Men and Women (Part 2)
The Importance of Family Part 1:
The Importance of Family Part 2: The
Divorce and Remarriage: Introduction
Separation and Divorce in the Law
Marital Separation in the Gospels
Marital Separation after the Gospels
Marital Separation: Objections
Marital Separation: Objections
4-6 and the Early Church
Remarriage Addendum: Exception
New Testament Protocols Regarding Men
and Women (Part 1)
New Testament Protocols Regarding Men
and Women (Part 2)
Comparative Peer Dynamics Chart
As we continue our study, our next passage is Colossians 3:18-19.
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your
own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands,
love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20 Children,
obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing
unto the Lord. 21 Fathers, provoke not your children to
anger, lest they be discouraged. 22 Servants, obey
in all things your masters according to the flesh; not
with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart,
fearing God…Colossians 4:1 Masters, give unto your servants
that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have
a Master in heaven.
As we can plainly see, Paul's comments here in Colossians
3 are basically identical to his comments in Ephesians 5,
which is slightly more detailed. Particularly of note is that
here in Colossians 3-4, Paul addresses the exact same 3 groups
that he addressed in Ephesians 5-6: wives and husbands, children
and parents, and slaves and masters. Paul even addresses them
in the exact same order as Ephesians 5-6, always starting
with the subordinate party in each group. For that reason
we will not spend much time restating everything that was
just covered in Ephesians 5.
Instead, we will simply note that our conclusions from Ephesians
5 are further supported by Colossians 3. And we will add two
small items. First, Paul mentions an additional nuance to
a husband's obligation. Husbands should not be bitter against
their wives, which simply means that husbands are not to treat
their wives in an embittered, exasperated, irritated manner.
And second, Paul mentions an additional obligation for masters.
Masters are to be fair to their servants.
This takes us to our next passage, 1 Timothy 2.
1 Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher,
and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;)
a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. 8 I will
therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands,
without wrath and doubting. 9 In like manner also, that women
adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and
sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly
array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness)
with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with
all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach,
nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam
was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the
transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in
childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness
This passage from 1 Timothy 2 contains details that parallel
two of the passages that we have already examined. In 1 Corinthians
11:8-9, Paul explains how men are the head of women because
man was formed first and woman was created from man. Paul
states the same thing here in verse 13. In 1 Corinthians 14:34-35,
Paul states that a woman is not permitted to speak up or ask
questions at weekly church gatherings. And Paul states the
same thing here in verses 11-12. So, we know that Paul has
similar ideas in mind in this passage that he did during those
two previous passages. Consequently, this adds further support
for the understanding that women are not permitted to ask
questions or speak up during church gatherings but must learn
from their husbands at home, as stated in Ephesians 5 and
Colossians 3 also.
Furthermore, modern culture has to some extent suggested that
Paul's instructions here concerning the role of women were
based upon cultural norms at that time. And, according to
this type of theory, because cultures change Paul's instructions
here were not meant to be binding in our modern culture, which
does not hold to the same norms regarding the role of women.
The basic concept in such an assertion is that Paul's instructions
regarding women are not binding today because they are based
on that particular culture and, therefore, are only meant
to be binding in similar cultural environments. Or, in other
words, Paul's instructions here accommodate his current culture
and in a culture without such customs for women, such as our
modern society, Paul's instructions need not be applied.
However, this is entirely incorrect. The whole premise of
this suggestion is refuted directly by the text itself. Paul's
instructions here are not based upon the current Greek culture
in which he lived. Nor were Paul's instructions driven by
an accommodation of those ancient societal norms. Instead,
as verse 13-15 plainly demonstrate, Paul's reason for these
instructions is derived from ancient Biblical culture and
driven by God-given scripture. In verses 13-15, Paul explains
that women are to be silent in church and not permitted to
teach men because of the biblical fact that Eve was deceived.
Thus, Eve demonstrates a difficulty in determining truth from
falsehood. Adam, in contrast, was not deceived, but chose
knowing his choice was wrong.
Thus, Paul gives these instructions regarding women not because
of Greek culture at that time and not to accommodate his cultural
environment, but instead Paul gives these instructions because
he is concerned with the ability to recognize truth from falsehood.
According to Paul's interpretation of the Genesis account
of the fall of mankind, women have a lesser capacity to recognize
truth and falsehood than men and so for a woman to be placed
in authority over a man endangers the preservation of the
truth of Christian teaching. And this is why Paul forbids
a woman to have authority over a man, because he is concerned
with preserving sound doctrine and because Paul believes that
women have a greater capacity and tendency for being deceived
or perhaps even self-deluded to accept false teaching, which
allows them to do things that are sinful.
In summary, what we learn from 1 Timothy 2 is that women are
obligated by Paul to stay silent in church gatherings and
are not permitted to have authority over men. The reason for
this is Biblical. And this simply confirms what we have read
in other passages so far.
There are three other quick points to make concerning 1 Timothy
2. First, we should take note of Paul's mention regarding
women and their attire in verses 9-10. We will see Peter make
similar comments a little later on in our study.
Second, Paul's statement in verse 15 is a reference back to
the curse of sin from Genesis 3. We have already discussed
how verses 13-14 refer back to Genesis 3's account of the
fall of man. And in Genesis 3:16, part of the curse of sin
is that God greatly multiplied the pain and difficulty women
have during pregnancy and child-delivery. Paul's statement
in verse 15 is that if a woman "continues in faith and charity
and holiness with sobriety" God will keep her safe as she
goes through childbearing and pregnancy. The Greek word for
"saved" in verse 15 is "sozo" (Strong's No. 4982), which simply
means, "to save, keep safe and sound." The Greek word for
"in" in verse 15 is "dia" (Strong's No. 1223), the primary
definition of which is "through."
So, Paul is not saying that having children is related to
a woman's eternal salvation. He is simply saying that God
will keep women safe during pregnancy and delivery if they
continue in faith and charity and holiness instead of being
deceived as Eve was in Genesis 3. Paul is simply referring
back to the fall of man and the curse on women from Genesis
3 just as he was doing in the two previous verses, 13 and
Third, with regard to Paul's statement here in 1 Timothy 2
that he does not permit a woman to teach a man or have authority
over a man, we must consider the example of Aquila and Priscilla.
Aquila and his wife Priscilla were close friends of Paul as
can be clearly seen in such passages as Acts 18:1-4, Acts
18:18-19, Romans 16:3-4, and 1 Corinthians 16:19. So, Paul
is not ignorant of Priscilla's work when he writes these words
in 1 Timothy 2.
The question arises over a quick statement made in Acts 18:24-26
in which both Aquila and his wife Priscilla are depicted as
jointly teaching Apollos. But there is no contradiction between
this incident and Paul's instructions in 1 Timothy 2. Paul's
instructions in 1 Timothy 2 prevent women from speaking in
Church, but when Aquila and Priscilla were teaching Apollos,
they were not in a weekly church gathering. They were not
in a church setting, which is what Paul is addressing in 1
Corinthians 14:34-35. They were three individuals speaking
to each other in a casual private setting. Since Paul's teaching
in 1 Timothy 2 is meant to govern the Church as a corporate
entity functioning as a body, his teachings would not be binding
on whether or not a woman can talk to men about doctrine in
private, individual settings such as one's own home.
Paul's instructions in 1 Timothy 2 prevent women from teaching
or having positions of authority over men in the church, but
when Priscilla spoke with Apollos, she was there speaking
with her husband, not on her own. As such, she was simply
working with her husband. If Aquila had not been there and
Priscilla would have been teaching Apollos on her own then
perhaps there might have been a conflict with 1 Timothy 2.
But that was not the case.
Consequently, since the situation with Aquila and Priscilla
in Acts 18:24-26 does not contradict Paul's instructions in
1 Timothy 2, Paul's instructions in 1 Timothy 2 are not modified
or nullified in any way by Aquila and Priscilla's actions
in Acts 18:24-26. Thus, Paul's teaching in 1 Timothy 2 concerning
women, teaching, and authority over men remains intact.
This brings us to our next passage, 1 Timothy 3:11.
1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave,
not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy
lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the
office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must
their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all
Here in 1 Timothy 3:8-10, Paul gives requirements for deacons.
In verse 8, Paul begins by saying that a man must be grave
in order to be a deacon. And Paul contrasts this graveness
with being "doubletongued," "given to much wine," and "greediness
for money." So, in order for a man to become a deacon, he
cannot be any of these things. But that isn't all. In verse
11, Paul states that in order for a man to become a deacon,
that man's wife must also be grave as well. Since Paul has
defined graveness in verse 8, we know all of those same requirements
for graveness also apply to the wife.
Furthermore, in verse 9, Paul says that in order for a man
to be a deacon, he must keep the teachings of the faith in
pure conscience. In other words, a deacon must keep what was
taught to him, just as stated in 2 Timothy 2:2, and he must
do so sincerely. He cannot do it for money or be insincere
or deceptive about it as verse 8 explains. Thus, when verse
11 states that the wife must also be "faithful in all things,"
it is applying this same standard to his wife. She must not
deviate from the sound teaching of Christ either. If she does,
then her husband is not qualified to be a deacon.
The reason for this is given by Paul in this same chapter,
just a few verses earlier when Paul gives similar instructions
1 Timothy 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house,
having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For
if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he
take care of the church of God?)
For a man to be an overseer, he must be a faithful and competent
ruler over his own household. For, as Paul says in verse 5,
if a man can't rule his own household, he won't be able to
faithfully guide the church of God. Now, given the fact that
we have seen both in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and Ephesians
5:22-33 that it is a husband's obligation to teach his wife
sound doctrine, this rule applies here to becoming an overseer
or deacon as well. If a man has not carried out this obligation
to be a teacher to his wife and, thus, has not been able to
keep her in accord with sound doctrine, then he is not qualified
to do so for the church.
So, this passage from 1 Timothy 3 simply further affirms the
obligation of the husband to teach his wife sound doctrine
and her corresponding obligation to submit to him in this
regard and be faithful to that doctrine. In fact, this is
so strongly upheld that a man is apparently disqualified from
being a deacon or overseer if these obligations are not met.
This takes us to our next passage, 1 Timothy 5. We will divide
1 Timothy 5 into two parts according to the two separate concepts
1 Timothy 5:1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat
him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; 2 The
elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
1 Timothy 5:1-2 is simple enough. In 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Paul
obligates men to treat older women in the church as mothers
and younger women as sisters and in purity. One item to note
is Paul's use of the word "rebuke" here in 1 Timothy 5. It
is interesting to note that this is NOT the same Greek word
as used on other occasions in the New Testament for rebuke.
The word here is "epiplesso" (Strong's No. 1969), which means,
"to strike, beat upon, to chastise with words." From the inclusion
of "striking" and "beating up," we can see that this is a
very severe form of verbal attack. In fact, the root word
is "plesso" (Strong's No. 4141), which means "to smite." In
contrast, for example, we might consider the Greek word "elegcho"
(Strong's No. 1651), which means, "to convict, refute, confute."
"Elegcho" is found in such passages as John 16:8, Titus 1:3,
and Titus 2:15. In Titus 1:3 and 2:15, Paul is actually instructing
Christians to rebuke those who oppose sound doctrine. But
there is no contradiction here. Christians are to "to convict,
refute, confute" as "elegcho" indicates even if it is an older
Christian man or woman who speaks false doctrine, but we are
not to go so far as to "to strike upon, beat upon" or otherwise
maliciously verbally attack an older Christian man or woman.
Since 1 Timothy 5:1-2 is straightforward enough, we'll move
on to our next portion of 1 Timothy 5.
1 Timothy 5:9 Let not a widow be taken into the
number under threescore years old, having been the wife of
one man, 10 Well reported of for good works; if she have
brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she
have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted,
if she have diligently followed every good work. 11 But
the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax
wanton against Christ, they will marry; 12 Having damnation,
because they have cast off their first faith. 13 And
withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to
house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies,
speaking things which they ought not. 14 I will
therefore that the younger women marry, bear children,
guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary
to speak reproachfully. 15 For some are already turned
aside after Satan.
Here in 1 Timothy 5:9-15, Paul is discussing the admission
of women into a group that remains single. In verses 9-10,
Paul lists the qualifications for a woman to enter this group.
And in verse 11-15, Paul states that young women should not
be admitted to the group and the dangers that will occur if
younger women are admitted. This does not add much to our
understanding of the roles of men and women or husbands and
wives except for two items.
First, in verse 14, Paul states that he prefers that young
women should marry, in which case they should faithfully guide
their household, which of course is in accordance with the
previous passages that we already seen concerning women in
marriage. But of course, this is not a command, as Paul states
plainly in 1 Corinthians 7:6-9. Second, notice that Paul's
primary concern here in 1 Timothy 5:9-15 is his desire to
keep Christians from falling away from sound doctrine into
error and bad behavior. This is why Paul says he does not
want these young women to "cast off their first faith," or
"turn aside." As we have seen in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and Ephesians
5:24-26, its amazing how much Paul's chief concern in his
descriptions concerning the role and obligations of women
is the preservation of sound Christian teaching. We'll see
further indications of the very same thing in the next passage.
As we move ahead, our next passage is 2 Timothy 3.
2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days
perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers
of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers,
disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural
affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce,
despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded,
lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a
form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such
turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep
into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins,
led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never
able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes
and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth:
men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
In this often-quoted passage, Paul discusses how before the
return of Christ there will arise men who hold to a form of
godliness but who really do not love God or truth. The fact
that these men at least start off in the church or perhaps
appear to be Christians is also evidenced by Paul's instructions
to turn away from these men. For, if these men were out-spoken
obvious pagans, then Paul would not have said that they have
a "form of godliness" and it would not be necessary for Christians
to "turn away from them" since they would already be outside
the church community to begin with. Additionally, similar
statements are made concerning "turning away from" or "disassociating
with" those who claim to be Christians but deviate from sound
doctrine in such passages as Romans 16:17, 2 Thessalonians
3:14-15, and 1 Timothy 6:3-5.
But concerning the rest of our study, this passage relates
well to Paul's comments in 1 Timothy 2:13-15. In 1 Timothy
2:13-15, using Eve's fall into sin in Genesis 3 as an example,
Paul states that women have a greater capacity and tendency
to be deceived by false teaching than men do. This is Paul's
reason for prohibiting women from holding positions of authority
over men or teaching men. This passage in 2 Timothy 3:1-8
simply corroborates Paul's comments in 1 Timothy 2, because
in this passage Paul describes how some women are misled by
false teachers who, although they have a form of godliness,
actually oppose the true doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Before we move on, we would like to take note of verses 6-7
and Paul's use of the phrase, "silly women laden with sins,
led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able
to come to the knowledge of the truth." A bit of vocabulary
investigation will help bring out the relevance of this comment.
The word for "laden" is the Greek word "soreuo" (Strong's
No. 4987), which means "to heap together, to heap up." The
word for "divers" is the Greek word "poikilos" (Strong's No.
4164), which means simply "of various sorts." And while the
English word "lusts" may conjure up notions of sexual desire,
the Greek word here is "epithumia" (Strong's No. 1939), which
while inclusive of sexual lust refers to much more broadly
to a general "desire, craving, longing, desire for what is
forbidden." So, we should not conclude that Paul has sexual
desires exclusively in view here. In fact, Paul's use of the
word "poikilos" to indicate a variety of desires demonstrates
that Paul is simply talking about Christian women who still
linger and cling to the desire for a variety of things, which
are forbidden to Christians.
Moreover, Paul's use of the word "soreuo" for "laden" is interesting.
What Paul has in mind here is a contrast with such passages
as Hebrews 12:1-2 and Philippians 3:7-8.
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed
about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside
every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and
let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of
the throne of God.
Here in Hebrews 12:1-2 we see a very direct contrast with
the "silly women" of 2 Timothy 3:6-7. Those silly women are
heaped up and loaded with all sorts of desires that they won't
let go of. By comparison, in Hebrews 12:1-2 Paul writes that
instead of being heaped up and loaded with desires we are
to lay aside everything that weighs us down including every
sinful desire so that we can pursue God unhindered. A very
similar sentiment occurs in Philippians 3:7-8.
Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me,
those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and
I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge
of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss
of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may
In Philippians 3:7-8, Paul says that he counts all things
as loss and counts what he has had to give up as mere dung
so that he may pursue the excellency of the knowledge of Christ
Jesus. Notice particularly that Paul counts it necessary to
give up or lose these other things in order to obtain this
knowledge. This is strikingly contrasted to 2 Timothy 3:6-7
where Paul describes these silly women as being laden down
with desires instead of giving things up. And the end result
is that because these women do not give up these things that
they desire, they are not able to ever arrive at the knowledge
of the truth.
Paul's statement in these 3 passages is simple. Christians,
including women, must not be hindered by our desires for various
sinful things that are forbidden to us in Christ. In the case
of these women, Paul makes note that they are "ever studying,"
yet their studying is fruitless and never produces sound understanding
or conclusions because the learning process is obstructed
by their desires to preserve those things, which they desire
This is very significant, not only as it pertains to women,
but to men also. These passages show a direct relationship
between our ability to learn truth and our desire to preserve
the things that we delight in. We should not rush out to get
rid of all fun and enjoyment in life. Certainly that is not
Paul's intent. For, in 1 Corinthians 7, as we have seen, Paul
commands that married couples should engage in the enjoyment
of sexual intercourse on a regular basis. But, if one is trying
to learn truth while at the same time desiring to create doctrine
that allows them to do the things that they should not, like
the silly women of 2 Timothy 3:6-7, such an individual will
be always learning but never arrive at an understanding of
sound Christian doctrine. And, according to Paul in 1 Timothy
2:11-15 and 2 Timothy 3:6-7, which we have examined above,
this tendency is especially at work in women who, like Eve
in Genesis 3, for the sake of the things that they desire
are inclined toward deception and self-delusion to accept
Paul's description here in 2 Timothy 3:6-7 may even indicate
that these women deliberately engage in learning activities
designed to prolong the process so that they don't have to
every actually arrive at conclusions, reconcile contrary claims,
or think things through to a sound understanding. This process
may be intuitive because rather than having the aim of obtaining
correct understanding, these women desire to study in such
a way that allows them to continue the things that they desire.
As such, the things that they set about learning are simply
designed to create loopholes or uncertainties that allow them
to perpetuate their behavior.
And for this reason there is an incentive to cultivate uncertainties
in Christian doctrine for where there is uncertainty concerning
right and wrong, truth and falsehood, the standard for behavior
is obscured. In short, if we cannot know truth in certain
areas, then we have liberty of action in those areas since
the standard of behavior and/or belief has not been conclusively
established. Thus, such women might actually prefer methods
of learning which perpetually obstruct reaching conclusions,
or as Paul puts it they prefer to be "ever learning, and never
able to come to the knowledge of the truth." These women (and
perhaps some men as well) actually prefer not coming to knowledge
or conclusions about the truth because where the standard
of behavior and belief is not established there is liberty
of behavior and belief in that area.
Paul speaks similarly in 2 Corinthians 11.
2 Corinthians 11:1 Would to God ye could bear with
me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 2 For
I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused
you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin
to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the
serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should
be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we
have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which
ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have
not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 5 For I suppose
I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. 6 But
though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we
have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.
In Ephesians 5:22-33 Paul states that it is a husbands obligation
to teach his wife the Word of God so that he can present her
to Christ "holy and without blemish." In that passage, Paul
presents Christ's work of purifying the Church as an illustration
of the husbands work of purifying his wife through teaching
her the Word of God, just as Christ did for his disciples
in John 15:3. Here in 2 Corinthians 11, Paul uses the example
of the husband and wife as an illustration of his desire to
keep the Church in sound doctrine so that it will be pure
And notice that just as Paul refers to Eve being deceived
in his instructions concerning women's roles in the church
in 1 Timothy 2:11-15, Paul again refers back to Eve being
deceived here in 2 Corinthians 11. In verse 3, Paul refers
to how the serpent deceived Eve with subtlety and that likewise,
through subtlety Paul fears that the Corinthian church might
be led away from the simplicity of Christ's teachings. The
Greek word for "simplicity" is "haplotes" (Strong's No. 572),
which means "singleness, simplicity" and includes the idea
of "one who is free from pretence and hypocrisy." In this
sense, we can see that Paul's desire is that there would be
no contradiction between what the Corinthians profess to believe
and what they practice.
And to a certain extent, if a person deliberately engages
in learning processes which are designed to perpetuate the
process rather than arrive at conclusions, they will inevitably
get caught up in subtle nuances, which combined with their
intentional avoidance of seeing things through to conclusion
will inevitably result in their believing contradictory things.
Thus, they will not remain in the simple and consistent teachings
of Christ Jesus but they will be seduced by subtlety, arrive
at inconsistency, and never arrive at conclusions or a sound
understanding of truth.
Lastly, we note two additional similarities between 2 Corinthians
11 and 2 Timothy 3. First, in contrast to the false teachers
who Paul discusses in 2 Corinthians 11 who deceive through
subtlety, Paul claims that he is excellent in knowledge and
that he has preached every thing. The result would be that
their knowledge of the things of God should be complete instead
of "never able to come the knowledge of the truth."
Second, in 2 Corinthians 11, Paul is concerned that the Corinthians
might be misled by false teachers and he uses the analogy
of Eve being deceived in Genesis 3. In 1 Timothy 2:11-15,
Paul also makes reference to women in general having a greater
capacity for being deceived by false doctrine, which is why
in that passage Paul states that he doesn't permit women to
teach or have authority over men. By comparison, in 2 Timothy
3, Paul expresses that women are particularly susceptible
to such false teachers, particularly if those women hold on
to desires for a variety of things which are forbidden in
Christ rather than casting such weights aside as Paul instructs
in such passages as Hebrews 12:1-2 and Philippians 3:7-8.
This concludes our examination of 2 Timothy 3. At this point,
we only have 2 more passages to examine. The next passage
is Titus 2.
Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become
sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave,
temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The
aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh
holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers
of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women
to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient
to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
This passage in Titus is very straightforward. These verses
do not say much about the obligations of husbands and wives
or the roles and authority of men and women in the Church.
But this passage does provide plain instructions concerning
the character and behavior of Christian men and women of all
ages. However, it is significant to note the reference made
by Paul to aged women as "teachers of good things."
First, this verse, of course, does not imply that women can
be teachers over men, which Paul prohibits explicitly in 1
Timothy 2:11-15. Rather, in this verse, older, more mature
women are teaching younger women. And second, one of the things
that the older women are to teach the younger women is to
be obedient to their own husbands. So, this passages is further
support to what we have already seen in such passages as Ephesians
5:22-33 and Colossians 3:18-19. So far, we have seen overall
consistency on that point, placing the husband in authority
over the wife including especially with regard to doctrine,
which the wife is to learn from the husband and submit to.
This brings us to our last passage, 1 Peter 3:1-7.
1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection
to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they
also may without the word be won by the conversation of the
wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation
coupled with fear. 3 Whose adorning let it not be that
outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing
of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the
hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible,
even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in
the sight of God of great price. 5 For after this manner in
the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned
themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose
daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid
with any amazement. 7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with
them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife,
as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of
the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
The first item that we should note from this passage is Peter's
commentary regarding Christian women adorning themselves.
Paul comments on the very same topic in 1 Timothy 2. Likewise,
in 1 Timothy 2, Paul instructs that women should be in subjection,
just as Peter begins by saying "ye wives, be in subjection
to your own husbands." So, we know that both Peter and Paul
have the same concepts in mind and that both are in agreement
on this topic.
Second, we should state up front that the presumption here
is that both spouses are Christian. This is evidenced in several
ways. First, the notion that a husband and wife would both
be Christians is most likely the expectation and the norm
at that time. This is caused predominantly by the extent to
which it was established in society at that time that men
were the head of their household. Thus, presumably, if a man
converted to Christianity his wife would also. This is also
supported by the fact that Christians were not allowed to
marry unbelievers (1 Corinthians 7:39, 2 Corinthians 6:14).
The result of these two realities is that situations where
one spouse was Christian while the other refused to accept
Christianity were most likely the rare exception rather than
Interesting also is Peter's comment in verse 2. We have already
seen from Ephesians 5:22-33 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 that
it was the responsibility of the husband to teach sound doctrine
to his wife and the wife was to submit to him in this regard.
But what action can a wife take if her husband does not obey
sound doctrine? The word for "conversation" in verses 2 and
3 does not mean a discussion or conversation as we might think
of in English. It is the Greek word "anastrophe" (Strong's
No. 391), which means, "manner of life, conduct, behaviour,
deportment." Here Peter explains that when the Christian husband
is not obeying the Word of God, then the Christian wife should
win him over, not by word, but her consistent godly behavior
and by obeying the word herself.
In this we see that the role of husband and wife was not equal
or the same when it comes to the issue of persuading each
other in sound doctrine. The husband has the obligation and
authority to teach his wife sound doctrine. The wife has the
obligation to submit to him in this regard because he has
the obligation and authority to do so. But, the husband is
not required to submit to the teaching of his wife, nor is
she necessarily granted the same ability to persuade him by
direct, verbal instruction. Instead, because the husband is
not subordinate to his wife, if a Christian husband deviates
from sound doctrine, his wife must primarily try to win him
through her conduct rather than instruction.
But, in contrast, if the Christian wife were to deviate from
sound Christian doctrine, the husband would not have to restrict
himself to winning her over by his conduct. Because he has
the authority to instruct her in doctrine and she has the
obligation to submit to him in this regard, in order to bring
his wife into accord with sound doctrine, a man simply has
to act in his authority as the head of the household and instruct
his wife concerning what is correct. And to that she is obligated
by Paul in Ephesians 5 to submit.
Additionally, in Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul plainly asserts that
the wife is obligated to submit to the husband and that the
husband conversely, has the obligation to instruct his wife
in sound doctrine. In that passage Paul describes that teaching
doctrine to one's wife is an act of love just as Christ loved
the church and cleansed it by the things he taught, both in
word and deed.
Peter does the same thing in 1 Peter 3. Having begun by stating
that the wife is obligated to submit to the husband just as
Paul says in Ephesians 5, Peter closes in verse 7 by stating
the corresponding obligation that the husband must live with
his wife according to knowledge. So, while the wife is obligated
to submit to her husband's teaching, the husband is obligated
to live and teach according to the correct knowledge of Jesus
Christ, which is directly equated with the doctrine of Jesus
Christ in such passages as Ephesians 4:13-14, Romans 10:2,
Romans 15:14, 2 Corinthians 2:14, 2 Corinthians 6:6, 2 Corinthians
8:7, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Ephesians 1:17, Philippians 1:9-10,
Colossians 3:10, 1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Timothy 3:7, Hebrews 10:26,
2 Peter 1:3-8, and 2 Peter 3:18.
Lastly, we would like to make note of one other item from
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them
according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife,
as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of
the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Having just instructed the wives to submit to their husbands,
Paul here instructs the husbands to live and treat their wives
according to sound Christian knowledge. However, what is also
interesting is that Paul connects a husband's and even a married
couple's ability to have their prayers answered with whether
or not they live together according to knowledge. The husbands
are to dwell with their wives in a manner that is in accordance
with sound knowledge and the wives are to submit to that.
If these steps are not done, it will interrupt their ability
to have their prayers answered by God.
Peter's teaching here is identical to Jesus' teaching in John
15. Peter simply extends Jesus' instructions in a way that
governs the relationship of a husband and wife.
John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I
have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the
branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the
vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine,
ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in
him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me
ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast
forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and
cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide
in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you.
Notice that this is the exact same passage from John, which
Paul quoted from in Ephesians 5:22-33 where, like Peter, he
instructs husbands to teach their wives the Word of God and
wives to submit the their husbands in that regard. In Ephesians
5:25-26, we saw Paul quoting from Jesus comments in John 15:3
and 13. In 1 Peter 3:7, by stating that a husband and wife's
ability to have their prayers answered depends on their living
together in accordance with sound Christian knowledge, Peter
is likewise quoting from John 15:5 and 7 where Jesus states
that if we do not remain in his teachings, then we will not
be able to receive what we ask for in prayer.
So, once again we see that these instructions are intended
to be truth preserving. In other words, we see the extent
to which the New Testament including even the protocols for
how a husband and wife relate to one another and the role
of women in the Church in general are intended to preserve
sound Christian teaching. It is for this reason that Paul,
in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 forbids women
to speak in church gatherings or to teach or hold authority
over men. And it is for this reason that both Peter and Paul
write in 1 Peter 3:1-7, Ephesians 5:22-33, and 1 Corinthians
14:34-35 that men are to teach and dwell with their wives
in sound Christian knowledge and the wives are obligated to
submit to their husbands in accordance with this sound Christian
knowledge. And, of course, then the husband and wife would
together pass this sound Christian knowledge along to their
children. The entire process is purposefully established to
preserve sound teaching, not only within the Church, but also
within the family and so to preserve also, God's appointed
order for how families are to operate and relate within themselves.
In this way even within married relationships there will be
as little distraction from the pursuit of God as possible.
Having completed our survey of New Testament teachings regarding
men and women and particularly husbands and wives, we have
found the following protocols and obligations are articulated
repeatedly and consistently.
General Protocols for Men and Women in the Church
1.) Man is the head of woman.
2.)Women are not permitted to speak or ask questions
in church but are required to learn from their husbands privately
3.)Woman are not permitted to teach at church or to
hold authority over men.
Protocols for Husbands and Wives
1.) Husbands are required to:
a.) Teach their wives sound doctrine.
b.) Not to act bitterly or irritably with their wives.
c.) Dwell with their wives in accordance with the sound
knowledge of Jesus Christ.
d.) Following after the model of Jesus Christ, lay
down their lives for their wives, which means meeting their
wife's spiritual needs regardless of what she necessarily
wants or understands at the time.
e.) Engage in sexual relations with their wife according
to her needs with regard to lust and sexual desire, considering
his body not to be under his own authority in this matter
but under his wife's authority. Husbands are not to refrain
from sexual intercourse unless both the husband and wife consent
and even then only for a set time and afterward to resume
regular relations according to her needs.
2.) Wives are required to:
a.) Submit to their husbands, particularly in the area
of learning doctrine.
b.) If the husband is not obeying the Word of God,
the wife is instructed to persuade him by her own behavior
in obedience to the Word of God.
c.)Engage in sexual relations with their husband according
to his needs with regard to lust and sexual desire, considering
her body not to be under her own authority in this matter
but under her husband's authority. Wives are not to refrain
from sexual intercourse unless both the husband and wife consent
and even then only for a set time and afterward to resume
regular relations according to his needs.
Apart from meeting these obligations, which are expressed
throughout the New Testament particularly by Paul, Paul goes
on to state in 1 Corinthians 7:29-35 that he would prefer
husbands and wives live as though they were not married so
that they can pursue Christ without the distractions of married
life as each spouse tries to accommodate the other in the
day to day affairs of marriage and family life. So, in other
words, the obligations summed up above as expressed throughout
the New Testament are considered absolutely required for husbands
and wives but the obligations beyond these which arise in
marriage are regarded as distracting to both parties and so
those extra obligations and accommodations should be minimized
or forgotten as much as possible in order to pursue Christ
Of course, as we have moved through this study we have also
taken note repeatedly how these protocols both for the Church
in general as well as for husbands and wives in particular
were designed with the purposes of preserving sound Christian
doctrine and godly order in mind, both in the Church and in
the family. This demonstrates once again the paramount importance
that sound doctrine had in every aspect of the early Church,
to the extent that even the protocols governing obligations
in married life were designed for the purposes of preserving
sound Christian teaching. This concludes the summary of our
findings regarding the New Testament protocols for the roles
of men and women in general and for husbands and wives in