Would Society Be Better If Girls Married as Soon as They Menstruated?

A Christian mother and regular reader of my blog asked “Would society be better if we returned to the standard that girls could marry as soon as they menstruated and were capable of having kids?” To ask such a question in America in the year 2019 seems patently absurd. Of course, society would NOT be better off if girls could marry as soon as they menstruated! Before we go further to address the obvious absurdity of this woman’s question here is the full email from her below.

Here is the complete email I received from a woman calling herself Rebekah:

“Long time reader, first time writer. First, I want to thank you for your trenchant insights, observations, and monologues. It’s great to find a man with such a passion for Christ and a traditional way of life. I’m a married mother with 3 daughters (12, 13, and 16) and (15) one son and my hubby and I are raising them to be good Christians and to abide by traditional gender roles.

I recently had a discussion with my husband about the expectation for marriage and we wondered, would society be better if we returned to the standard that girls could marry as soon as they menstruated and were capable of having kids? My two eldest daughters are certainly capable, and they are very motherly already.

What is your opinion?”

Why do such statements as the ones above evoke such a sense of righteous indignation from most of us in modern America and Western culture?  We will discuss these reasons next.

Why Modern Society Disapproves of the Pubescent Marriage of Women

Ancient and medieval historical records can attest to the following statement that was made in an article entitled “Child Marriage – Rationale, Historical Views, And Consequences” :

 “Child marriages involving only one marriage partner below the age of 18, usually the female, are also quite common. Throughout history till the 20th century, child marriages were the norm in most parts of the world. With the average life expectancy during such times being only 40 to 45 years of age, child marriages were the faster way to reproduce. Girls were usually married off as soon as they reached puberty or sometimes even prior to that.”

In the same article they mention in addition to shorter life expectancies that there were often economic reasons as well:

“Over the years, a large number of reasons have been suggested as triggers behind the practice of child marriage. Economic problems have been one of the primary factors that have forced parents to marry off their young girls. The system of dowry prevailing in many countries where parents of girls have to bestow hefty sums of money or expensive goods and ornaments to the in-laws’ families of their daughters have led to the consideration of the girl child as a burden in such households. However, the high demand of young girls in the marriage market have helped parents marry off their girl child to an older man, often receiving money in return, allowing them to overcome the burdens of dowry and even economically benefiting from the process.”

But in the same article we then find the reasons for our modern Western society’s disapproval of marriage for women of pubescent age:

“Child marriage is associated with scientifically established adverse effects to the young female child’s health. Pregnant girls below the age of 15 have a 5 to 7 times higher chance of dying during childbirth as compared to pregnant women in their twenties. Child mothers are also more susceptible to develop obstetric fistula, cervical cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and other health problems. Infant mortality rates are also 60% higher in case of children born of mothers who are below the age of 18 years. Child marriage usually deprives the female child of educational rights, leading to the loss of financial independence of the child in her future. Child brides are also susceptible to domestic violence, marital rapes and sexual abuse as they are not mature enough to protest and not independent enough to escape adverse situations in their conjugal life.”

So young mothers under 15 having 5 to 7 times higher of a chance of dying from their pregnancy should be enough for all us to oppose pubescent marriage for young girls, right?

And then what about the fact these poor young girls may be deprived of education rights which will lead to a loss of financial independence from their future husbands? And their higher susceptibility to tolerate future abuse from their future husbands?

Is this not an open and shut case against the marriage of pubescent age women?

Well before we can totally wrap up our conclusion, we need to tie up a few “loose ends”.

Putting Maternal and Infant Mortality Rates in Perspective

Two of the “loose ends” we need to tie up are maternal and infant mortality rates. Previously we were told one of the reasons we should oppose the marriage of pubescent age women is because women in this age group have higher chances of dying from child birth and their infants have a higher chance of dying after birth within the first year.

The maternal mortality rate (MMR) is the number of women who die each year at any stage of pregnancy.  According to the World Health Organization(WHO) 211 million women get pregnant each year.

The sad news for us as Christians and those who value human life is that 46 million of those pregnancies are ended by the murderous act of abortion.  That means 165 million women continue with their pregnancies.  Of those 165 million pregnancies, 123 million will be “successful”, meaning that the mother gives birth and the child survives.

Of the children that survive in these 123 million births, 2.51 million, or 2 percent, will die before reaching their first birthday (this is the global infant mortality rate).

About 302,950 women die each year worldwide from pregnancy.  That means women worldwide have a 0.2 percent chance dying from pregnancy related health problems or on the other hand they have a 99.8 percent chance of dying from pregnancy.

To put these numbers further in perspective, of those 302,950 women who die from pregnancy each year 99 percent of pregnancy related deaths occur in the developing world.  And even in sub-Saharan Africa, which has the highest MMR in the world, only 500 women out of 100,000 died from pregnancy related complications.

The key numbers to take away from this section on maternal and infant mortality rates are that in total 0.2 percent of women who get pregnant and do not murder their unborn children later die as a result of their pregnancies.  A total of 2 percent of infants worldwide will die before they reach their first birthday.   And statistically speaking the vast majority of these deaths that occur in both these categories occur in Africa. The saddest number of all these numbers is of course the worldwide purposeful murder of 22 percent of children in their mother’s womb by the act that modern civilization calls abortion.

The Societal Impact of Economic and Social Independence for Women

Another “loose end” we need to tie up has to do with women’s social and economic independence from men.  After all that is good thing, right?

For most of the history of mankind, with few exceptions, women were economically and socially tied to their fathers or their husbands and were considered the property of their fathers or husbands.  Women could not own property and if they did inherit property it would come under their husband’s authority upon marriage.  In divorce fathers retained full custody of the children.

The fact that women could not own property, could not easily divorce their husbands and when they did divorce, they had to leave without their children and without any property or income was a strong incentive for women to stay with their husbands.

This all changed in the mid-19th century with the rise of feminism.  It began with women suing in the courts for the right to own property as men did.  Then in the late 19th century the historic custom of fathers retaining full custody of their children was reversed and full custody was given to the mother.  Fathers did not gain back at least joint custody rights until almost a century later in 1960s.

Now the incentives that brought women to marriage to men, and kept women in marriage to men had been all but destroyed.

It was also during this time that women began to throw of the authority of their fathers in courting and began the new practice of “dating”.  Men and women entering marriage based on the historic principles of faith, duty, honor and economics gradually was replaced with men and women entering marriage simply for “love” – which was really just infatuation.

And since women had come to gain alimony, child support, and property rights there was little incentive for them to stay in marriage to a man once the infatuation wore off.   This caused divorce rates to sky rocket from 3 percent before the rise of feminism in the mid-19th century to 13 percent by the time woman’s suffrage was ratified in 1920 in the United States.

Anna Howard Shaw, one of the champions of first wave feminism made the following statement in the February 25th, 1915 edition of the New York Evening Post:

“I believe in woman suffrage, whether all women vote or no women vote; whether all women vote right or all women vote wrong; whether women will love their husbands after they vote or forsake them; whether they will neglect their children or never have any children at all.”

Anna Howard Shaw summed up the goals of the political feminists’ movements of the 19th and early 20th century.  The total liberation and independence of women from men no matter what the costs to society.  Country, marriage and motherhood and children could all be destroyed to meet their goals.  The only thing that mattered was women having complete and utter control of their lives.

And what cost did we pay as a nation? Well Anna Howard Shaw’s words came true.  Women gained the right to vote and even gained the right to force men to hire them for any positions they wanted.  And in 1973 they gained the right to murder their unborn children under the guise of total bodily autonomy.

The social and economic independence of women in America has directly led to rampant sexual immorality, the decline of marriage, over 60 million divorces and over 60 million abortions.

The Arguments Against the Marriage of Pubescent Women Are Faulty

Well it seems that in our effort to tie up loose ends regarding opposition to pubescent women marrying we have instead unraveled the entire ball of yarn.

Before I show how the arguments against pubescent women marrying are faulty, I want to explain some terminology I have been using.  The way we label something or someone can very much affect how we view that something or someone.  For instance, those of us who oppose abortion as a right for women call ourselves “prolife” while those who believe abortion is a right for women call themselves “prochoice”.   Prolife advocates such as myself call the child a “baby” from the moment it is conceived while Prochoice advocates will refer to the child based on his or her biological stages of development with such words as “zigote” or “embryo”  or “fetus” in an attempt to dehumanize the human being growing inside his or her mother’s womb.

In the same way when having this argument about the age of marriage for women those who oppose marriage for women before the age of 18 will call all marriage before the age of 18 “Child Marriage”.  But is 16 or 17-year-old female or male human being for that matter, a child? The answer biologically speaking is no.

Human beings go through a transition phase from child to adult and this transition phase is called puberty.  Children are human beings in the prepubescent stage of development.  Adolescents are human beings that are at some stage of puberty. When the changes of puberty are complete the human adolescent becomes a human adult.  Girls typically start puberty around the age of 11 while some start as early as 9 or 10 and they typically complete puberty by the age of 14. Boys start a little later than girls typically around the age of 12 and they finish puberty around the age of 16 or 17.

Those who say a female human being who has experienced the major changes of puberty which are the development of breasts, pubic hair and the start of menstruation is a child are stating a biological falsehood.  Such a female human being is no longer a child (prepubescent human being), but rather she is either an adolescent (pubescent human being) or an adult (postpubescent human being).

This is why I have consistently referred to this argument as one being about the “the marriage of pubescent women” because a female human being who has experienced the changes of puberty is no longer a child.

When we acknowledge the fact that worldwide a total of 0.2 percent of women die from pregnancy related deaths, and that includes pubescent mothers, then the even if they represent a higher proportion of that 0.2 percent it does not make a strong case against pubescent women marrying.  Instead we can respond with that fact that at least 99.8 percent of pubescent women worldwide will survive their pregnancies.

When we acknowledge the fact that only 2 percent of all infants worldwide die in the first year of their life and even if children from pubescent mothers make up more of that 2 percent than children from postpubescent women, we can rightly say pubescent mothers have at least a 98 percent chance of their children surviving their first year of life.  A difference somewhere within the 2 percent range between two groups of women having their children survive is not a strong argument against pubescent women marrying.

Some may respond that these are numbers that mix the developed world and undeveloped worlds.  But let me remind you of the WHO numbers which stated even in sub-Saharan Africa, which has the highest MMR in the world, only 500 women out of 100,000 died from pregnancy related complications in a given year over the last decade.

Then we come to other social reasons for opposition to marriage for pubescent women.

One of those reasons is that these pubescent women will have a “the loss of financial independence” from their husbands most likely because they do not finish high school and the college and get careers before marrying.

But based on the stats I just showed which correlate the granting of economic rights to women with the destruction of marriage by disincentivizing women to seek and stay in marriage to men is “the loss of financial independence” for women a bad thing? The answer if we believe that lasting marriages form the bedrock of a stable civilization must be NO.

And finally, what about the assertion that pubescent brides are more “susceptible to domestic violence, marital rapes and sexual abuse as they are not mature enough to protest and not independent enough to escape adverse situations in their conjugal life”? Is this a strong enough argument on its own for us to oppose pubescent women marrying?

Are there some men that truly do abuse their wives, whether they enter marriage as pubescent women or as postpubescent women? Absolutely.  But again, we must put things in perspective.  Just as we cannot toss out women getting pregnant because a tiny fraction of women may die from pregnancy so to, we cannot throw out marriage for pubescent women because of the sad fact that a higher fraction of a tiny percentage of pubescent women will be truly abused.

Now that I have shown the arguments against pubescent women marrying to be faulty and weak, we will now present strong arguments for the marriage of pubescent women.

Why We Should Support the Practice of Pubescent Marriage

I have previously shown from a biological perspective it is incorrect to refer to a human being that is going through puberty or one that has finished puberty as a child.  Therefore, it is utterly wrong to label it as “Child marriage” when a pubescent woman enters marriage.

Before the last century human societies recognized three primary social classes of human beings.  Men, Women and Children. Once children entered puberty, they were basically considered either men or women.  The concept of a “teenager” is a more recent invention over the last century.

Boys were considered men around the ages of 12 to 13 and this is why it was the norm for these young men to begin their trade in their early teen years so they could save their money, buy their own land and build a home.  Once they did this, usually by their late teens or early 20s, they would seek out a wife for marriage. For girls, as soon as they developed breasts and began menstruating, they were considered women and ready for marriage and child bearing.

Many will argue that just because a young woman is biologically ready for marriage and child bearing, does not mean she is mature enough mentally for marriage and child bearing.

So how do we answer the question of when a person is ready for marriage? Is it by looking to how civilizations have done things in the past? Is it by looking to current studies?

The answer, first and foremost for us as Christians, is to look to the Word of God.

“But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.”

1 Corinthians 7:36 (KJV)

The phrase “the flower of her age” refers to when a woman has her period.  The Apostle Paul is telling us here that the minimum of age of marriage is when a woman has her first period.

However, we must take the complete witness of the Scriptures together to determine when is the acceptable “time of love” for a young woman – as in marriage and sex.

“7 I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.

8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine.”

Ezekiel 16:7-8 (KJV)

So, it is not until a young girl demonstrates all the signs of puberty, the growth of breasts, pubic hair and having a period that she is ready for marriage.  With most young women, their first period comes after the development of their breasts and pubic hair while in some rare cases the period may come first.  But the Scriptures show us that all three of these elements are required.

In fact, in another Scripture we read that if a woman was completely flat chested and had no breasts, she would have a difficult time marrying (even if she had her first period):

“We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?”

Song of Solomon 8:8 (KJV)

The point here is that God tells us when a woman develops breasts, grows pubic hair and has her period she is ready for marriage by God’s law.

But we must also recognize that God gives a father discretion as to when his daughter is ready for marriage:

“Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”

Jeremiah 29:6 (KJV)

“16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”

Exodus 22:16-17 (KJV)

The passages above show us that fathers have the responsibility to prepare their daughters for marriage and be looking for suitable husbands for their daughters while at the same time they have the right of refusal for their daughter for marriage as well.

Early Teen Women Are Very Fertile

Carolyn Butler wrote an article entitled “Ovaries have not adjusted to many women’s decision to delay having children” for the Washington Post back in 2010.  In that article she stated the following inconvenient biological facts for women:

The biological reality that female fertility peaks in the teens and early 20s can be difficult for many American women to swallow, as they delay childbirth further every year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. In the District, the average age of initial childbirth was 26.5 years in 2006, up 5.5 years since 1970, the highest jump in the country…

While we may not be mature enough to conceive at a young age, nor should we, that is still when the body is most adept at conception and carrying a baby,” says Claire Whelan, program director of the American Fertility Association. “Our biological clock has not kept pace with our ability to prolong our life spans.” Stillman agrees, pointing out that research about advanced maternal age and motherhood today is clear: The older you get, the more difficult it is to get pregnant and the higher the chance of miscarriage, pregnancy problems such as gestational diabetes and hypertension, and chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome, among other concerns…

“Society has changed, ” says Stillman, “but the ovaries will take another million years or two to catch up to that.””

Notice how she has to preface her acknowledgement of the biological reality of when women are “most adept at conception and carrying a baby” with her value judgment that “While we may not be mature enough to conceive at a young age, nor should we”.

As Christians we know that the Bible says in Genesis 1:27 that “male and female created he them”.  And we know God is not going to change a woman’s ovaries to match our societal changes.

Instead our society must turn back to God so that our society matches the way he designed us as males and females both physiologically and psychologically. And the way we begin that change is in one Christian home at time.

Early Teen Women Are More Moldable

In the Scriptures we read the following passage from the Book of Jeremiah:

“1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. 3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.”

Jeremiah 18:1-6 (KJV)

In the above passage God is speaking to Israel as his wife.  The phrase “O house of Israel” is used in other passages like this one below when God refers to Israel as his wife and he as her husband:

“Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.”

Jeremiah 3:20 (KJV)

Just as God sought to mold his wife Israel to be the person, he wanted her to be, so to for a marriage to be successful a woman must be very moldable just like clay in the hands of a potter.

When women are in their early teens, they typically are more moldable but as they get older into their late teens and especially early 20s, they become much harder to mold or change in their person and habits.

And make no mistake this is EXACTLY why most people today oppose women marrying very young because they know they are so impressionable or moldable at that age.  They don’t want men being able to mold young women so they want to delay marriage as a long as possible pushing it into the early and mid-20s.

Christians who follow this false philosophy that young women need “find themselves” and “be their own person” before marriage are going against God’s design.

Remember that God says marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church.  Does Christ mold his church? You bet he does.  And he tells men to love their wives as he does:

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

We are often told today that if a man attempts to mold or change his wife’s behavior at all that he is “controlling” and this bad.  We are told that if a man truly loves his wife, he won’t try to change anything about her.

Well I can tell you based on the authority of the Scriptures above that if a man does not attempt to mold and shape his wife to present her to himself and to God as a glorious wife in the same way Christ does his church then he is not loving his wife as Christ loves the church.

And yes, it takes a sacrifice on our part as men and courage on our part as men to “rebuke and chasten” (Revelation 3:19) our wives as Christ does his churches. But when done in the correct spirit, such rebuke and chastening by husbands is called “love”.

Conclusion

Rebekah so here is the answer to your question – “Would society be better if we returned to the standard that girls could marry as soon as they menstruated and were capable of having kids?”

The answer first from the Bible is “YES”.  But the like many other times we can see how God’s design plays out when we follow it and also when we disobey it.  No one can argue with the cold hard facts that giving women independence from men in general and their fathers and husbands in particular has been good for the institution of marriage which God designed.

By taking away women’s dependence on men we have allowed women to dominate marriage and our society.  Society is now ordered around how people feel rather than duty to God, family and country.

And the invention of the “teenager” as an extension of childhood has not been good for our society.  It has led to rampant immorality and a complete lack of responsibility among our young people today.

I don’t think you were actually asking if your husband could do this but just if society would be better if we all turned back to this custom of marriage for young women.

However, if your daughters have demonstrated the signs God says that mark “the time of love” for a woman in that they have developed breasts, pubic hair and have begun menstruating and if your husband feels they are mature enough and ready for marriage there would be no sin in allowing them to marry.

Believe it or not there are still 15 states that allow marriage below the age of 14:

 California
 Colorado
 Idaho
 Louisiana
 Maine
 Massachusetts
 Michigan
 Mississippi
 Nevada
 New Mexico
 Oklahoma
 Pennsylvania
 Washington
 West Virginia
 Wyoming

Also, several states allow 14, and 15-year old people to marry as well.

You can find the complete list of marriage by age by state here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_marriage_in_the_United_States

Answering the Scoffers

One of my favorite scoffers, Suzanne Titkemeyer, wrote a piece the other day about my review of the Handmaids Tale.   I always chuckle a little when I read her stuff.

I will cover just a few areas that I think apply to this article in regards to the age of marriage.

Suzanne wrote:

“Why is it always these creeps, like Vaughn Ohlman,imaging young burgeoning breasts and periods as a marker for readiness? Notice that none of them view young boys of that age as ready for marriage. When they talk of men marrying it’s always men over the age of 21, while saddling them with a much too young girl.”

Suzanne, it is not me imaging breasts and periods as a marker for readiness, but rather the word of God which clearly states it as I showed above from Ezekiel 16:7-8 and 1 Corinthians 7:36.  You may reject the Bible but it is my basis for truth.

And before I knew and understood these Scriptures and studied the history of the world, biology and marriage I probably would have agreed with you that early teens is too young for marriage for women.  But back then I would have been going by what you are – my feelings and my culture. Instead of looking at marriage first through the lenses of the Bible, then history and biology.  All of which support young marriage for women.

Also, on your view of boys.  I don’t think they have to be over 21, although I think in most cases it would be wiser for them to wait.  Why? Because they have to lead a woman and their family and they have to be able to provide for and protect their family.  Especially on the provision front, for most young men it takes well into their early or mid-20s until they are ready to provide for a family.   My 19-year-old son who is plumber is an exception.  He makes over 60 K a year and could support a family.  But he has to get some other things in line first.

I know you struggle with this concept, but young men and young women are different. They are designed by God for different roles.  A young woman does not have to lead a home or provide for one.  She simply has to manage it, therefore she can marry much younger than a man.  Besides it is a biological fact as I showed above the early teens to the early 20s are “when the body is most adept at conception and carrying a baby”.  I also showed that studies arguing for higher pregnancy related deaths or other health problems are using statistically insignificant differences between pubescent mothers and postpubescent  mothers.

Suzanne wrote:

“In the United States this age can come at a very young time in a girl’s life. Menstruation ages have dropped, meaning what Larry is proposing here is that girls as young as 9 could be married.”

No not really.  I have said on multiple occasions that I like the Jewish rule of minimum age of 12.  The truth is that is extremely rare for a 9-year-old to have a period but then you are leaving out several other key factors in order to build your straw-man argument.  I said the minimum age of marriage requires ALL of the following things – not just a girl having her period. She must have developed breasts, pubic hair, had a period AND her father must determine she is ready.

Suzanne wrote:

“My own cycle started at 11 years old, and I can tell you I was nowhere near ready to marry. I was still playing with my Barbies, riding my horse, going to Camp Fire Girls meetings, and giggling over how cute Donny Osmond was. My only adult actions and responsibilities revolved around caring for my horse.

Little girls should be free to ride their horses, or play with their dolls and coloring books, not forced into lifetime relationships and sex.  We’ve talked about this so much here that I’m not even going to cite the statistics again that show how early marriage harms girls in every way, physically, emotionally, financially.”

Do you know why you were no nowhere near ready to marry at age 11 including manage a home and take care of children? Because you were raised in a culture that has vastly extended childhood far beyond what cultures in the past did.  If you were raised in pre-modern times, especially medieval or ancient times you absolutely would have been preparing for marriage at 11 and most likely be married by 12 or 13.

You see that is one of the many differences between your world view and mine.  You believe the purpose of little girls and by extension women is to live for themselves.  Have fun and do whatever makes you happy (at a particular moment, because we know that changes every five minutes).

But other people who believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, such as myself, believe we were put here for more than riding horses and playing with toys.  We believe life is about duty and honor and serving God.  Sure, we can have happiness along the way, but if that is our central focus, we will not serve God.

And speaking of happiness.  We understand a truth that utterly escapes most secularists and you as well.  We understand that happiness is not simply a feeling, but it is also a choice.  We can choose to be happy in whatever circumstances life brings us.  This is special kind of joy that few people know or understand. We can choose to let God and his Word lead our hearts, instead of letting our hearts lead us.

I pray one day you will come to know these truths and accept Christ and his Word as they are and not as you would have them be.

 

Why Christian Women Should Wear Head Coverings

The photo above features a veil like the one that I bought for my daughter a while back from the site VeilsByLily.com. So the question is why did I purchase this veil for my daughter? Was it simply a fashion accessory? Or something more?

For all of Christian history up until the 1960s with the advent of second wave feminism women wore some type of head covering whenever they went to church for worship. The practice of women wearing head coverings is not simply a Christian tradition, but it is actually commanded in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 11:4-5(KJV):
“4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.”

Many Christians today argue that Christian women do not have to wear head coverings any more. And believe it or not, there were Christians even back during the Apostle’s time that were arguing against the requirement of women wearing head coverings as is seen in I Corinthians 11:16 (KJV):
“But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”

And the great irony is that many Christians today have taken Paul’s rebuke of those who were arguing against women being required to wear head coverings and they attempt to use his rebuke to say women don’t have to wear head coverings! It really is enough to make your head explode if you let it.

In I Corinthians 11:2-16 Paul answers three very important questions about head coverings for women. He answers WHY women must wear head coverings, WHAT head coverings are, and WHEN head coverings should be worn.

Click here to listen to my 3 part podcast series “Why Women Should Wear Head Coverings”

WHY God Wants Women to Wear Head Coverings

Paul gives the reason why woman must wear head coverings as an introduction to the conversation on head coverings in I Corinthians 11:3 (KJV):
“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

So, the reason women must wear head coverings is because “the head of the woman is the man”. Head here refers to man’s authority over woman.

Egalitarian Christians claim that “head” in verse 3 refers to man as the “source” of woman. The problem with that interpretation is it would then make God the father the source of Christ and that is heresy according to John 1:1-3 (KJV) which tells us the following:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

The context of I Corinthians 11:3 is not the source of man or woman, but rather the authority structure God has created.

But after showing the Egalitarian argument to be faulty, we must now address the Complementarian argument. Complementarians believe in male headship but they limit it to the home and the church. They do not believe male headship over women extends to all areas of society.

The problem for Complementarians is that nothing in the language of verse 3, or the entire discussion of male headship in I Corinthians limits the man’s headship to just the home and the church. It is a broad and sweeping statement of man’s headship over woman.

Is God the Father the head of Christ in all things? Is Christ the head of man in all things? How then can Complementarians claim that men are only the head of women in the home and in the church but not outside those two areas?

And then we must consider the practical implications of the Complementarian attempt to limit man’s headship over woman to just the home and the church. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:24 (KJV) “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. So, this presents a problem for Complementarians who believe women may take authority over men as long as it outside the home or church.

Let’s take a man and his wife. His wife runs for mayor of their town and she wins. So that means if he were to go to a town hall meeting where his wife is presiding, she now becomes his authority in that sphere. But yet God calls her to submit to her husband in everything. That means in every part of her life. The only exception to her submission to him is the rule the Apostle Peter gave us in Acts 5:29 (KJV) that “We ought to obey God rather than men” if our earthly authority is violating God’s law in what they are asking us to do. The same would go for if his wife was his boss at work.

This is the conundrum the Complementarians run into when they attempt to limit the headship of man over woman to just the home and the church.

For a larger discussion of why women should not be in politics see my article “Does the Bible allow for a woman to be President of the United States?

But I Corinthians 11:3 is only one part of the Apostle Paul’s answer as to why women should wear head coverings. Later in this passage Paul actually dives into a deeper “WHY” question.

WHY is Man the Head of Woman

God does not always tell us why everything is the way it is. But sometimes he does tell us why some things are the way they are. And in this case of head coverings God caused Paul to fully explain why man is the head of woman in all areas of this life.

Paul writes the following statements just a few verses down in I Corinthians 11:7-10 (KJV) after telling us man is the head of woman and he now explains why man is the head of woman:
“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.”

I can’t tell you how many times I have been in Complementarian churches’ where they basically take the attitude of “Well God had to put someone in charge, so he picked the man and we just have to accept that”. God did not flip a cosmic coin to decide if man was the head of woman or woman was the head of man. Man being the head of woman was God’s design before he ever created man or woman!

This passage I have just shown from I Corinthians 11:7-10 tells us why man is the head of woman.
Man is the head of woman because man is “the image and glory of God” and “neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”. This is a simple and yet profound truth that will change the direction of every man and woman that reads it if they will only accept it and apply it to their lives.

Man was created to image God by living out his attributes and thereby bring him glory. Woman was created by God for man to serve man and bring man glory and in doing so she serves God and brings him glory as well.

And it is “For this cause”, because man is God’s image and glory and because of that woman’s head, that woman ought “to have power on her head because of the angels”. The “power on her head” is the head covering Paul is talking about in this entire first half of I Corinthians 11.
When a woman wears a head covering, she is proclaiming to the world that she fully accepts God’s authority over her life and the fact that God has placed her under man’s headship in all areas of life whether that be in the home, the church or elsewhere. Such a woman who fully accepts what her head covering means would never seek to be in any position that would place in her in authority over a man.

Now that we have fully covered the Apostle Paul’s explanation of why women should wear head coverings, we will now dive into what the head covering is that he is referring to.

WHAT is the Head Covering for Women?

Paul gives his answer to what the head covering is in I Corinthians 11:5-6 (KJV)
“5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.”

The English word “uncovered” in verse 5 and the phrase “not covered” find their root in the negative form of the Greek word “Kalupto” which means “to hide or to veil”. So, Paul is saying when woman does not veil her head, she dishonors her head.

Paul goes on to use a cultural norm that the Corinthians would understand. For a woman to have her hair cut short (shorn) or have her head shaved would be for her to dishonor herself. Paul then goes on to explain where this cultural norm originated in I Corinthians 11:13-15 (KJV):
“13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.”

Man did not invent this cultural norm, but rather it came from the human nature God designed in man and woman. God put this knowledge into our original nature as human beings to know that long hair on a man is a disgrace, but long hair on a woman is her glory.

Paul talks about this original human nature, our original programming, which tells us right from wrong in Romans 2:14 (KJV):
“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves”

In the garden of Eden God created Adam with a perfect male human nature and he created Eve with a perfect female human nature. These nature’s had God’s law directly written into them. Their original human natures told them things like assault, murder and theft were wrong. Adam’s original masculine human nature instinctually told him he needed to lead, protect and provide for his wife. Eve’s original feminine human nature told her she needed to submit to and serve Adam as his subordinate helper.

But both Adam and Eve did not listen to the perfect natures God gave them which told them what to do – instead they went against the perfect human natures they were given and they sinned against God.

From that point forward both human natures, the masculine and feminine, became corrupted by sin. Yet even in its corruption, our human nature can still tell us when something is right or wrong according to God’s law.
Now before anyone misunderstands me – I am NOT saying our human natures (either masculine or feminine) are always right and that we can always trust them.

To know where our natures are right and where they are corrupt, we must look to our owner’s manual which is the Word of God. It tells us where our nature is wrong and has been corrupted by sin and where our nature is functioning as God designed it to.

The same thing goes for our culture. If what our culture condemns matches up with what God condemns and if what our culture promotes matches up with what God promotes then we can follow those things in our culture. But if what our culture condemns God approves and what our culture approves God condemns then we must disregard what our culture teaches in that area.

A Woman’s Long Hair is NOT the Covering

The woman’s long hair is “a covering” but it is not THE covering God requires when women pray or prophesy. Let’s apply the “long hair” argument to the passage we have already looked at below:
“5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth without long hair dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman has not long hair, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her have long hair.”

Now let’s apply some basic logic.

A woman without long hair = a woman shorn (with short hair) or a woman with a shaved head.

Now let’s apply this to the passage again:
“5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head shaven dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be shorn, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her have long hair.”

You can’t make a comparison by comparing something to itself. It is like saying “Eating ghost peppers is like eating ghost peppers”. But rather if you wanted to tell someone what eating ghost peppers is like, you might say “Eating ghost peppers is like putting gasoline in your mouth and lighting it on fire”. The comparison of lighting gasoline in your mouth might be a little exaggerated – but it communicates the point of what it is like when you eat ghost peppers.
This is why we can confidently conclude that the veil that Paul exhorts women to wear while praying and prophesying is NOT a woman’s long hair. Paul is speaking of two coverings. One is the natural covering (veil) God wants women to wear which is their long hair and the second is the additional physical covering (veil) God wants women to wear over their natural covering when they are praying or prophesying.

Now that we have discussed why God wants women to wear a head covering and we have shown it to be a separate veil in additional to their natural veil we will now show according the Bible when women are to wear this second veil as a spiritual symbol.

WHEN Does God Want Women to Wear a Head Covering?

Before we give the answer as to when women should wear head coverings we need to have a discussion about prophesy since this along with prayer is a central theme of this passage on head coverings.

The English word prophesieth is a translation of the Greek word “Propheteuo”.

Propheteuo is one of those words that you really have to pay attention to the context it is used in. In certain contexts, it refers to someone supernaturally foretelling the future like Christ did in the Gospels or the Apostle John did in the book of Revelation and like the Apostle John these prophets were also ordained by God to speak and write his Word.
But in other contexts, propheteuo simply refers to someone teaching, reproving or admonishing others based on the truths of God’s Word.

The Apostle Peter spoke of the prophecy of Joel being fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was first poured out on Christians in Acts 1:16-18 (KJV):
“16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy”

Peter is addressing both types of prophesy in this one statement. He talks about the young men seeing visions and old men dreaming dreams. That is exactly what happened to the Apostles and they wrote about the visions they had in the New Testament. But he also talks about “daughters” and “handmaidens” prophesying. So, what does he mean by this?

In I Corinthians 14:3 (KJV) we read the following statement about prophesy:
“But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.”

Before I explain this passage, I want to make two points. The first thing I want to say is that I love the KJV because even though it has a very old form of English, it is often the most literal rendering of the original text. But like any other translation of the original texts, it sometimes is either confusing because of the old English or it is not as precise as it should be. The second thing I want to say is that I can’t stand all these gender-neutral translations of the Bible. The fact is that the Bible is written in a very masculine tone because God’s nature is represented by the masculine human nature and translations should be faithful to that tone.

But sometimes in the Bible the language used is gender neutral and I Corinthians 14:3 is actually one those passages.

First, where the King James version says “he” as in “he that prophesieth” the Greek Word which is “ho” is actually gender neutral and it would be more accurately translated as “the one”.

Secondly when the KJV refers to hearers of the prophesy it calls them “men” but that is not as precise as it should be when used together with the gender neutral “ho”. The Greek word that is translated as “men” is “Anthropos”. This word can be translated as “man”, “men”, “mankind” or as “people” or a “person” depending on the context it is used in. It is a less precise word than the Greek word “Aner” which is specifically used to refer to male human beings in the Bible or to “gune” which specifically refers to female human beings in the Bible.

With all that being said I believe in this rare case the NIV actually is actually closest to the original meaning with one minor correction:
“But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.”

Where I think the NIV is wrong is in their use of the word “strengthening” where the KJV and other translations like the NASB translate the word as “edification” which is a better translation of the Greek word “Oikodome”. Even Thayer’s Bible dictionary states that Oikodome which literally means “the act of building up” also is used metaphorically to mean edifying or edification. The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of edify means to “to instruct and improve especially in moral and religious knowledge”.

So, what is I Corinthians 14:3 saying? It is saying that “the one” (man or woman) that prophesies speaks to people (men or women) using the Word of God to instruct them, exhort them and comfort them.

The next verse, I Corinthians 14:4 (KJV) actually mentions the church:
“He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.”

Again we have the gender neutral “Ho” for which is translated as “He” and the gender neutral “Heautou” which can be translated as “himself, herself, itself or themselves” depending on the context it is used. And since it is used with the gender neutral “Ho” once again the NIV is the most accurate translation of this verse where it says:
Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.”

And on this subject of prophecy I want to mention one more verse which is found in Acts 21:8-9 (KJV):
“8 And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. 9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.”

So here is the point I have been building to with all these passages on prophesy. We who believe in the doctrines of Biblical gender roles cannot deny that God gifts some women with the gift of prophecy. And I do not mean the “foretelling of the future and writing God’s Word” kind of prophecy. I mean the kind of prophecy that edifies, exhorts and comforts people and edifies the church as the Scriptures say.

Acts 21:8-9 shows this to be true and the central passage we are talking about here – I Corinthians 11:5 which exhorts women when they prophesy to wear a head covering proves this to be true.
I know that many Christian wives have been led astray by false female prophets of God only to see their marriages destroyed. I have had many men write me emails testifying to this fact. Far too many. And it would be easy to say women can never prophesy in any form or venue because we are afraid of false teachings. But gentlemen let me remind you all that women don’t have a monopoly on being false prophets. There are many male false prophets out there today as there have always been.

The Scriptures tell us that God gifts some women with the gift of prophecy so the question then becomes where can they use this gift to edify, exhort and comfort?

Some would wrongly say because I Corinthians 14:4 (NIV) says “the one who prophesies edifies the church” that women can instruct and exhort men in the Church. But such an interpretation ignores clear prohibitions against women teaching men in the Church such this one found in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 (KJV):
“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.”

And in the same chapter of I Corinthians that we have just mentioned with gender neutral language about people prophesying to the church we find this restriction on women once again in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV):
“34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

So how do we explain this? We are told in the Scriptures that prophesy edifies, exhorts and comforts all people and it also edifies the church and we are told that God gives this gift to both men and women. He even tells women when the prophesy to wear a head covering. Yet he tells women to remain silent in the church and learn from their husbands at home.

The answer my friends is found in Titus 2:3-5 (KJV):
“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.”

When we combine the fact that Bible says some women have the gift of prophecy which includes edification, exhortation and comfort along with this passage we have a clear picture of God’s vision for women.
God gifts some women with the ability to be able to edify and exhort other WOMEN “to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands” and to comfort them when they are in difficult situations.

Before I show you the final answer as to when a woman must wear a head covering according to the Scriptures, we need to understand one more point. When the Scriptures say “the one who prophesies edifies the church” this is not limited to a local church assembly of men and women together in a worship service.

The church, the body of Christ, is both universal and local. When you go down the street and see a physical church building and see Christians meeting there on Sunday mornings for worship that is a local manifestation of the body of Christ coming together for worship and instruction in the Word.

But then we have the universal body of Christ which includes all saints. There are many ministries which minister to the church on a universal level. A Christian radio show is an example of a ministry which ministers to the universal church. This blog ministry, BiblicalGenderRoles.com, is another example of a ministry which ministers to the universal church. And in this same way Christian women can have blogs which minister to the universal church and are specifically tailored toward women. Even on a local church level woman can have ladies Bible studies or ladies Sunday school classes where women with the gift of prophecy can exercise their gift within the bounds of God’s law.

But as I have said before on this blog – all ministries which are conducted by women, even by those women who have the gift of prophesy, must be done under the headship of man. If it is a single woman with no family that might mean she operates under the authority of the Pastor of her local church. If it is a woman with a Christian father and no husband then she operates under the spiritual authority of her father. And certainly, if a woman has a Christian husband then she operates her ministry to women under the spiritual authority of her husband.

And now we can finally answer the question of WHEN women are scripturally required to wear head coverings.

A woman should wear a head covering, a veil of some sort, during worship services because she certainly should be silently praying together with her local church during worship. Secondly, if a woman is prophesy to other women such as through a podcast or in person in a Sunday school class or a ladies Bible study, she also should wear a head covering.

Now prayer unlike prophesy, can occur within or totally outside any type of church ministry setting. But because the commands for women to wear head coverings for prayer are not qualified by a statement saying something like “in the church” or “the house of God” then it must therefore be treated as an absolute command for all occasions. See my note at the end of this article explaining my change or “sharpening” on this position about head coverings for prayer.

The “All Times” Argument

Before I conclude I wanted to address the “All Times” argument as to when Christian women should wear head coverings. There are some Christians like the Amish, Mennonites and Anabaptists and others outside those denominations that believe women are to wear head coverings at all times.

There argument is that the prayer Paul is referring to is not limited to that which occurs in the context of church ministries like worship services or other women’s ministries outside the worship service setting. And they point to 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV) which exhorts all Christians to “Pray without ceasing” to say that since Christian women should be in a constant state of pray that they should always have their head coverings.

The Biblical command to “Pray without ceasing” is like the Biblical command for us as Christians to be “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” in Hebrews 10:25 (KJV). In the same way the call to not forsake assembling within our local church bodies does not mean we must be at church 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so too the call to pray without ceasing does not mean we must pray 24 hours a day 7 days a week at all minutes of the day.

Taken together these commands are telling us not give on the regular practice of meeting together in our local churches or of praying. We as Christians should have regular habits of praying and going to church. This the command of the Scriptures.

Otherwise if we took “pray without ceasing” the way some of these groups have tried to portray it – we could never talk to anyone else because we would be constantly talking to God and if we applied that to forsaking not the assembling of ourselves in the church we would never leave the church building or stop praying. That is not God’s will for our Christian lives. God simply wants prayer and church attendance to be a regular habit for all Christians.

Conclusion

I hope this study has been a blessing to you, I know it was for me as I studied this out again. I have believed in women wearing head coverings within the context of church ministry for many years but God really fined tuned this for me as I studied his Word on this subject once again.

So, we answered here from the Scriptures the three important questions when it comes to Christian women wearing head coverings. We answered the why, the what and the when.

The reason why God wants a woman to wear a head covering is because it is a public acknowledgement by that woman that man is the image bearer of God and man has been designated by God as the head of woman in all areas of this life. It is a testimony to all the people who see her as well as the angels who are watching that she acknowledges the male headship that God has placed her under and she would never seek to take authority over a man.

What is the head covering which God requires when women pray or prophesy? It is the second veil which God requires women to cover their heads with when praying or prophesying. The first veil God requires women to have is the one he naturally gives them the ability to have – and that is their long hair.

When should women wear their head covering or a second veil? Any time a woman prays or prophesies including if she prophesies outside a local church setting like with a podcast or having a ladies Bible study group at home. And she should wear a head covering any time she prays even outside a ministry setting.

As I conclude I just want to give one more “why” answer.

Why did the church abandon the teaching that women should wear head coverings? Why have so many pastors and other Christian teachers and writers gone to great lengths to say it was a “temporary cultural requirement” Even if they agree it is still required, they make the argument I have shown to be logically false that the woman’s long hair is the only covering Paul was talking about.

The answer is that Christian men over the last century or so gradually abandoned their God given headship over the women in their lives. And this leadership vacuum allowed for a poisonous ideology called Feminism to form. And Feminism since its inception has decimated God’s institution of gender roles and marriage and it brought the divorce rate from 3 percent to 45 percent causing more than 60 million divorces. Feminist ideology has also led to the deaths of over 60 million babies in abortion.

Whether it is their wives, their daughters or the women under their ministries in their churches most Christian men have neglected their duty in this regard. They now seek to appease women in their churches or marriages. They are more concerned with making the women in their lives happy than pleasing God.

If you are a God fearing, Bible believing Christian man or woman I ask you to pray for the men around you that God will give them the strength and courage to lead the women in their lives even it that may cause some momentary or even long-term unhappiness for them. I also ask you to pray for the women in your lives that they will have the courage to take a stand and if they do not have the two head coverings God requires for women (long hair and a veil for church ministry) that they will make this right before God and start doing what is right.

Update 5/5/2018 – My Change or “Sharpening” On When Women Should Wear Head Coverings For Prayer

Since originally publishing this article the Lord has led me to make a change on my position on head coverings. And “change” might not be the right word, as that might imply to some a 180 degree turn, which is not the kind of change I am referring to. I think a better word might be “sharpen” as in God has led me to “sharpen” my position on women wearing head coverings.

Let me just say before I introduce this change that no Christian should ever think they have arrived and perfectly interpret or apply the Scriptures. The Scriptures tell us as much in the following passage:
“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”
Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV)

We will never be perfect in this life in how we live or in our interpretations or understanding of the Word of God. But Christ gives us the Holy Spirit of God and also brothers and sisters in Christ to help us along the way. While we may never be perfect, or even perfectly unified as believers in our understanding of the Scriptures – we are to progressively strive for that each day of our lives.

This means we should always be willing to entertain the possibility that we can be wrong in either our interpretation or our application of the Scriptures. Sometimes the Holy Spirit can show us something all on our own but other times the Holy Spirit may use other Christians to show us his truths. It might be something our Pastor says in a sermon on Sunday. It might a something we hear from a preacher on a radio. It might be something we read from a Christian writer in a book or blog. And sometimes it might be from a comment that someone places on your blog.

The Scriptures tell us in Proverbs 27:17 that Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” and that is what Tyler Bryant has done for me on this subject of women wearing head coverings.

For all of my adult life I have believed in women wearing head coverings for worship since I attended a Plymouth Brethren church with my parents when I was a teenager for about a year before we returned to a Baptist church. My mother for a time started wearing a head covering while we attend that church and my father showed me from I Corinthians 11 why the church believed women should wear head coverings.

I have since that time held the position that since prophesy can only be exercised in a church ministry setting (either within the local church or in some parachurch or universal church capacity) that the absoluteness of the statement was applying only to prophesy and the prayer portion was pertaining to that which was done with prophecy which is done in church ministry.

Tyler is 100 percent sure that the prayer mentioned is NOT limited to that which is done within the context of church ministry (either in the local church or outside as a universal church ministry).

The struggle I have had since Tyler’s comments is that I am not 100 percent sure that the prayer mentioned IS limited to just that which is done in the context of church ministry (like alongside of prophesy). But before I give my change or “sharpening” on this subject of women wearing head coverings for prayer I want to give a little background on qualifications about things done “in the church” which Tyler alluded to in his comments.

There are some passages like I Corinthians 14:34-35’s admonition for women to be silent that specifically qualify the statement with “in the church” so I can 100 percent say this is not applying to outside of church ministries. And then I further 100 percent know it is talking about mixed gender settings because women are exhorted to teach other women and we are told women can prophesy to other women (Acts 2:17 ,1 Corinthians 14:3-4 & Titus 2:3-5).

There are other statements like this one from 1 Timothy 3:15 which qualify all of chapter three that came before it as well as half of chapter 2:
“14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

In this passage above Paul is end capping his discussion on general behavior rules within the assembled church as well as the qualifications for church officers – he started this discussion in the previous chapter in I Timothy 2:7 where restates his authority as an Apostle of Christ and then he starts telling men and women how to conduct themselves within the assembled church. He mentions a very similar statement about women being silent in verses 11-12 and this is qualified later by his statement that this is “how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God”.

My point I am trying to make is that sometimes the qualification does not occur right alongside the command but it occurs later in the discussion as an end cap to many commands. But with this case of women wearing head coverings while praying – there is no qualifying endcap anywhere related to the discussion of head coverings.

I Corinthians 11 is an interesting chapter because Paul begins with speaking about prophecy which is a church ministry, but it is one that can be exercised toward the church either on a local church level or universal church level and then he switches gears and begins speaking of a church ministry, that of communion, which can ONLY occur within the local church with them all coming together in I Corinthians 11:17-18 (KJV):
“17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.”

So here is my change or “sharpening”

Since the discussion of head coverings for prayer is not qualified with the command itself like I Corinthians 14:34-35 and it also does not qualify the command about head coverings for prayer as part of a list of many commands like 1 Timothy 3:15 then we cannot know with a 100 percent degree of confidence that it is only speaking of prayers done in the context of church ministry. Therefore, I believe in the absence of either of these types of qualifications we must regard the command for women to wear head coverings for prayer as absolute. This means women should wear head coverings for prayer whether it is during a a church ministry or even in a private setting outside of church ministries.

Water is Wet and Women Don’t Belong in Combat

There are some things that are just common sense and this is one of them.

Heather Mac Donald, in her article for the Wall Street Journal entitled “Women Don’t Belong in Combat” wrote a blistering condemnation of this “Obama-era policy”:

“The Obama-era policy of integrating women into ground combat units is a misguided social experiment that threatens military readiness and wastes resources in the service of a political agenda. The next defense secretary should end it.

In September 2015 the Marine Corps released a study comparing the performance of gender-integrated and male-only infantry units in simulated combat. The all-male teams greatly outperformed the integrated teams, whether on shooting, surmounting obstacles or evacuating casualties. Female Marines were injured at more than six times the rate of men during preliminary training—unsurprising, since men’s higher testosterone levels produce stronger bones and muscles. Even the fittest women (which the study participants were) must work at maximal physical capacity when carrying a 100-pound pack or repeatedly loading heavy shells into a cannon

Lowering these physical requirements risks reducing the American military’s lethality. A more serious effect of sex integration has become taboo to mention: the inevitable introduction of eros into combat units. Putting young, hormonally charged men and women into stressful close quarters for extended periods guarantees sexual liaisons, rivalries and breakups, all of which undermine the bonding essential to a unified fighting force.

The argument for putting women into combat roles has always been nonmilitary: Combat experience qualifies soldiers for high-ranking Pentagon jobs. But war isn’t about promoting equality. Its objective is to break the enemy’s will through precise lethal engagement, with the lowest possible loss of American life. The claim that female combat soldiers will perform as lethally as men over an extended deployment entails a denial of biological reality as great as the one underlying the transgender crusade.”

Heather Mac Donald’s is absolutely right that putting women into combat units and pretending that it good for increasing the lethality of  America’s military “entails a denial of biological reality”.

But let’s just remember that modern progressivism is actually a denial of the reality of human nature in general.  Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that if you take the average 10 men and put them up against the average 10 women in any athletic event the men will win every time.  That is why we have Olympic teams, and professional sports teams segregated by gender.  Now will you get outliers where a woman is as big and muscular as a man? Sure. But exceptions do not negate norms.

And you cannot build something as important as the military around exceptions.  You must build it based on norms.

Heather MacDonald also brings up what she calls the “taboo” subject of sexual affairs happening between male and female military members.  Again, this should be a common sense issue.  When you put a man and woman together, especially in emotionally intense situations bonds will form and those bonds often lead to sexual intimacy.  This is by the design of God and yet progressives want to pretend we can just reprogram human nature and say it isn’t so.

Rob Moll, wrote the following in his article for Focus on the Family entitled “The New Workplace Romance”:

“Today’s workplace has become the No. 1 spot for married individuals to meet affair partners. More men and women are breaking their marriage vows by engaging in office friendships that slowly become romantic relationships — relationships that would have been socially impossible just 30 years ago. As the boundaries that once separated the sexes crumble, so do the boundaries that protect marriage.

In her book Not ‘Just Friends’, Dr. Shirley Glass says, “The new infidelity is between people who unwittingly form deep, passionate connections before realizing that they’ve crossed the line from platonic friendship into romantic love. Eighty-two percent of the 210 unfaithful partners I’ve treated have had an affair with someone who was, at first, ‘just a friend.'” From 1991 to 2000, Glass discovered in her practice that 50 percent of the unfaithful women and about 62 percent of unfaithful men she treated were involved with someone from work. “Today’s workplace has become the new danger zone of romantic attraction and opportunity,” Glass writes.

Today’s careers offer more opportunity for extramarital affairs. Group interaction in coed workplaces, frequent travel and long hours create more opportunity and temptation than ever. Glass writes, “all of these changes and others allow individuals to mix freely where once they were segregated and restricted.” Studies published in the American Sociological Review and the Journal of Marriage and Family show that before 1985, divorce rates were about equal among working and homemaking women; however, “between 1985 and 1992, the annual probability of divorce among employed wives exceeded that for nonemployed wives by 40 percent.””

As any of my regular readers know, I am not a huge fan of Focus on the Family because of how much they pretend to be for the traditional family, yet they utterly gut Biblical gender roles with many things they teach.  But in this instance the author of this article is absolutely right that As the boundaries that once separated the sexes crumble, so do the boundaries that protect marriage.”

One of the many reasons I have argued against careerism for women is that mixing men and women together in a workplace for 40 to 50 hours a week, especially in fast paced or high stress level environments will inevitably lead to extramarital affairs.  And the stats as Focus on the Family has shown prove that.

The only men that women can be close friends with are close blood relatives or their husbands.  That is, it.  Otherwise you always run the risk of that friendship turning into something it should not.  Yet our progressive friends living in their pretend little world want to deny this basic tenant of human nature even though evidence to contrary surrounds them each and every day.

Whether it be socialism or egalitarianism, the only way these systems survive is on the backs of the capitalist and patriarchal systems they so detest.  The capitalists make all the money for the socialists to spend and the Patriarchal families produce the children for egalitarians to later indoctrinate.

So, at some point when enough of the capitalists and patriarchal families get tired of supporting those who detest their way of life and values and actually band together then these horrible social experiments will finally come to an end.

But until that day of reckoning comes, we as Bible believing Christians need to follow the command God gave to parents in Israel:

 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” – Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Whitney Houston, like Focus on the Family was often wrong in her life’s philosophies.  But she was right in her song that “The Children Are Our Future”.  That is Biblical.  The struggle for the future is a struggle for the hearts and minds of our children and young adults.

Conservative Christian families in America have far more children than secular progressive families do.  We just need do what Deuteronomy 6:6-9 admonishes us as Christian parents do and heavily indoctrinate our children with the Word of God.

We don’t need to shelter our children from the world, but rather we need to expose each and everything they see in the news and around them to the light of the Word of God.  We need to show them why God’s way is right and the world’s way is wrong.

But at the same time, we need to reach out to a generation of young adults whose minds are still moldable.  Many of these young people came from homes where they have never been exposed to the teachings of the Word of God.  We need to share these truths with them and expose the lies of socialism, egalitarianism and secularism humanism.

We can actually use ridiculous notions like this idea of putting women into combat units with men to open up conversations with young people.  We can show them how a Biblical world view that teaches the reality of gender differences and why they exist is far superior to these views that deny the real and stark differences between the genders.

 

 

Are women who want to submit to and serve their husbands mentally ill?

“The normal love that a woman feels for a man was seen as some sort of mental illness, any desire to submit to the natural authority of a man within a marriage was seen as ‘oppressive patriarchy’. ” This is how Emma, a young student from Australia, described what was taught to her in a gender studies course at a university in Australia.

What Emma is describing is  a sad but true reality in universities and colleges across not just America, but also the entire western world. See the rest of her comment below.

Emma’s Story

I just wanted to say how glad I am to find this site.

The reason I am moved to write to you is that I probably come from a ‘strange’ background for many of the people here.  I am a single, 23 year old woman, studying for an undergraduate degree at a liberal University in Australia.  I even did a unit of study in ‘genders studies’ last year !

Although almost all the students were women my age or younger who were vaguely interested in questions of gender and feminism, a large minority of us felt like quitting the course as we were amazed at the anti-male nature of the course.  The normal love that a woman feels for a man was seen as some sort of mental illness, any desire to submit to the natural authority of a man within a marriage was seen as ‘oppressive patriarchy’.  Some of the tutors even went so far as to say that ‘every woman’ was ‘raped’ whenever she had sex with a man:  the reasoning was that as women are oppressed, women cannot meaningfully consent, and therefore any sex is rape.

The other women who felt like me were in a minority, but not as few as you might think.  We know that women want to serve their husbands – everything from cooking nice food to pleasing him sexually.  Some of us had had premarital sex (not everyone is perfect) but we wanted our future husbands to be submissive to the will of Our Father, just as we will submit to the will and guidance of our husbands.   I have read everything on this website (although I knew most of the quotes already) and my feeling is that you are a Bible-believing Christian or you are not.  If you do say you are a Bible-believing Christian – the Bible is pretty clear on women submitting to their husbands.  Otherwise, it is a permanent battle for power that makes both people unhappy.

I am not married and am not even engaged.  But when I do, it will be to a man who is obedient to Our Father, as I will worship our Father by being obedient to my husband.  In my experience the women I know who have done this have been the happiest women I have seen, and live fulfilling and wholesome lives.

Emma

Australia

My Response to Emma

You are proof that God has reserved for himself a faithful remnant of women who who desire to remain faithful to God’s Word.  It is not a matter of us being perfect, but it is a matter of us recognizing that he is perfect, his Word is perfect and his design of men and women is perfect.  It is sin that has corrupted God’s design.

God speaks of those who would call good(women submitting to and serving their husbands) evil and evil(women’s rebellion toward their husbands) good:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

Also we need to realize that the attack on men and masculinity in our culture is an attack on God himself as God says that men are the image and glory of God:

“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

The rebellion against man’s authority over women is an attack against God’s authority over all mankind because the relationship between a husband and wife is symbolic of the relationship between God and his people:

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

Just remember Emma that we are not to be conformed to the wicked pattern of this world but rather we are to measure our lives by God’s Word:

“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Luke 4:4 (KJV)

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:2 (KJV)

I pray God will give you the courage to continue to live according to his Word and his design and that you will be an example to the women around you.

 

Does the Bible forbid Christian woman bloggers from teaching other women the Bible?

Does God allow women to teach other women the Word of God or does he only allow men to expound on the Word of God? Anyone who has read my blog for any amount of time will know that I believe that God has given different roles to men and women and he has given men headship over women in the home, the church and society.

Man’s headship over women in the Home

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

Man’s headship over women in the Church

“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.”

I Timothy 2:11-12 (KJV)

“34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

I Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

“2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;”

I Timothy 3:2-4 (KJV)

Man’s headship over women in the Society

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

I Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)

But what about women teaching other women the Word of God?

The Scriptures are clear that women are not to take authority over or teach men in the church. They are also clear that women are to ask their husband’s about spiritual things and to follow his spiritual guidance.

But while the Bible commands that women are to follow their husbands spiritual leadership, ask him questions about the Scriptures and they are not to teach men in the Church what about women teaching women? The Bible answers this question.

“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.”

Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)

The Bible is clear that women may teach other women what it means to be holy, truthful, not drunkards and what it means to love their husbands, how to be discreet, pure, how to keep their home and how to be obedient to their husbands.  And what should be the source of what they teach? Christ told us what the source is:

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Matthew 4:4 (KJV)

So when women are exhorted to teach other women how to live godly lives – they are exhorted to teach them the Word of God.

Some Christians teach against women teaching women

I have just shown from Titus 2:3-5 conclusive proof that women may and should teach other women how to be good, holy wives and mothers and they could only do this by expounding upon the Word of God on these subjects.  Yet surprisingly there are some Christians that use Scripture passages on male headship (which I deeply believe in) to attempt to deny the truths taught in Titus 2:3-5.  If they don’t completely deny it they try and limit it literally by women’s age groups.

I am often an ally of some of these fellow Christian bloggers in our fight against feminism and it’s poisoning of the home, the church and society. We often stand together in our defense of male headship.  So it saddens me when I have to sometimes take my fellow Biblical male headship brothers to task but if the Apostles who were inspired of God had disagreements(Galatians 2:11) then it would follow that those of us who do not write by direct inspiration of God would probably have many more disagreements.

It is somewhat ironic that I find myself in the position of defending Christian women’s rights when I am so often accused of teaching women have no rights and must silently tend to the needs of their husbands, their children and their homes and do nothing else.

But the truth is when it comes to intelligent women who are well read in the Scriptures and spiritually mature I have consistently taught on this blog that they should be encouraged to use their spiritual gifts by their fathers and husbands in ways that compliment rather than contradict God’s roles for men and women.

With that being said here are some areas where I stand against these men on this subject of women teaching women.

Disagreements with Deep Strength over his post “Women teaching women in Church”

In a post entitled “Women teaching women in Church” Deep Strength writes:

“Dalrock rightly points out that exegesis of the preaching and of the Scripture is delegated to husbands in the 1 Corinthians 14 passage. When you combine this with the wording of the passage in Titus 2, it’s obvious that older women are to encourage wifely submission to their husbands. Therefore, it is the case that older women should not be “teaching” what the Scriptures mean to wives but rather encouraging wives to ask their husbands about how they would interpret it.”

Both Darlock and Deep Strength are wrong on this.  I constantly teach on this blog that we must take the Scriptures as a whole. We cannot take those passages that don’t fit what we think God was saying and simply dismiss them and this is exactly what Darlock and Deep Strength are doing.

Here is Darlock and Deep Strength’s logic in a nutshell:

Since women are to be silent in the church and ask their husbands at home about spiritual matters women are therefore forbidden from EVER expounding on the Word of God in any situation.  God only allows men to teach and expound upon his Word in Darlock and Deep Strength’s view.

Darlock and Deep Strength have errored because they have gone beyond “that which is written” (I Corinthians 4:6).

When the Scriptures tell us that women should follow their husband’s headship and ask their husband about spiritual matters at home it does not mean that the only source of spiritual teaching a woman can ever have is her husband.  It does not automatically mean women are forbidden from reading various books or blogs on line about the Bible or even marriage.  And it certainly does not mean women are forbidden from expounding on the Scriptures to other women especially as it relates to about to be good godly wives and mothers.  Titus 2:3-5 proves this to be the case beyond any doubt.

There are two references to women teaching in this passage from Titus.  The first is found in Titus 2:3.

“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;

Titus 2:3 (KJV)

The phrase “teachers of good things” is a translation of the Greek word “Kalodidaskalos” which means:

“teaching that which is good, a teacher of goodness”

http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/kalodidaskalos.html

The NASB translates this phrase as “teaching what is good” and the NIV also translates this phrase as “to teach what is good”.  The consensus among commentator and translators is that this word literally means “to teach what is good”.  But the key concept is that women are in fact to be teachers.  This cannot be denied.

The second instance teaching is found in Titus 2:4:

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”

Titus 2:4 (KJV)

The word that the KJV translates as “teach” in Titus 2:4 where it says “That they may teach the young women” is a translation of the Greek word “Sophronizo” which means:

“restore one to his senses

to moderate, control, curb, disciple

to hold one to his duty

to admonish, to exhort earnestly”

http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/sophronizo.html

This word is only used in this particular passage of Scripture.

The NASB translates this word as “encourage” but puts in the foot notes that another word for it could be “train”.  The NIV translates this word as “urge”.

Even if this word means encourage we still have the first instance of women being commanded teach in verse 3.  And this is all part of one thought by the Apostle Paul and women teaching other women.  So even if it means “encourage” Paul is telling women “Be teachers of good things by encouraging women to do these things…”

How can women both teach and encourage other women to be good, to be holy, to be discreet, to love their husbands, their children and be obedient to their husbands without teaching them the standard for all these things which is the Word of God?

So while Darlock and Deep Strength want to deny the meaning of this passage because the Greek word  Sophronizo could mean encourage they cannot deny that the Greek word “Kalodidaskalos” found in verse 3 of Titus chapter 2 clearly involves teaching, not just encouraging.

And even if Sophronizo was the only word used in this passage it would be absurd to think that women could exhort other women to Godly living, to be good wives and mothers without ever referencing the Scriptures.

What about proper authority to teach?

We have proven that God’s Word does command women to teach other women how to be good wives and mothers from the Word of God from Titus 2:3-5. But what about the authority to teach the Word of God?

Deep Strength writes:

“All of this stems from as couple of things. Generally, In the Scriptures “teaching” and “preaching” are validated by “authority.” Authority is given in the Scriptures to specific roles such as husbands, pastors and elders, governments, and the like in order to love, shepherd, or maintain order and law.”

I agree that God has established various spheres of authority such as the family (which is headed by the husband) churches that are headed by Pastors and elders and of course civil government.

There are two types of authorities in the Bible – worldly authorities and spiritual authorities.

Worldly authorities would include Presidents, Governors, mayors, employers and school and college teachers and any other authority outside the home or the church.

Spiritual authorities would include people like our pastors or elders of our local churches and then husbands and fathers.

The uniqueness of the father/husband authority role

The father/husband is the only human role to which God has given both worldly and spiritual authority.  The husband and father roles are actually very similar to one another but the husband role is the most powerful human authority because a husband has authority to have sex with his wife but he does not have authority to have sex with his children.

The husband and father have responsibility for both the worldly affairs and spiritual affairs of their family. This is why husbands and fathers must teach their wives and children as well as discipline both their wives and children.

Each sphere of authority has its responsibilities, rights and limits. So for instance while civil government has some authority over family it does not have complete authority over the family.  For instance my local police department has the right to enter my home if they get a 911 call from my wife stating that I am trying to kill her.  But my civil governments (whether they be local, state or Federal) have no business telling me how to operate my marriage or what I teach my wife and children.

The authority of the Church also has it responsibilities, rights and limits.  All of the ministries of my church fall under the authority of my Pastor.  So if I were to teach in my church I must teach things in accordance with my Pastor’s interpretation of the Scriptures while participating in any official church activity.   However in my home I have the full right to teach my children Scriptural interpretations that are contrary to those taught in our church.

Let me illustrate with some examples.

A mother teaching her children

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;” – Proverbs 1:8 (NASB)

If a mother teaches her children the Word of God, she does so under the authority of her husband and their father.  This means that whatever his interpretations and applications are of the Scriptures this is what she must teach the children.  It does not necessarily mean that she agrees with all of them herself, but she must submit to his Spiritual views in how she conducts her life and how she teaches her children.

A woman teaching a woman’s Sunday school class

In the case of a woman teaching a woman’s Sunday school class she would first be doing so under the authority of her husband (if she is married) or else her father if she were unmarried.  But since she is teaching within an official ministry of the church she also falls under the authority of the church. So when she teaches she must teach in accordance with her husband or father’s interpretations as well as her church’s interpretations.  If the church would require her to teach something that conflicts with her husband’s teaching then she would have to resign that position in deference to her husband’s authority.

A woman has a Christian blog

When a woman has a Christian blog she is operating that blog under the spiritual authority of her husband or father. This means even if she disagrees with her husband or father on some interpretations and applications she is to teach what is in accordance with her husband’s interpretations and applications of the Scriptures.

Deep Strength is wrong that the teaching women is ONLY under the jurisdiction of their fathers or husbands

Deep Strength writes:

“Thus, in no situation is a woman “free unto herself” and thus given a voice within the Church in a position of authority whether over men or over other women. Daughters and wives are under their fathers or husbands authority. Likewise, older women are encouraged to teach younger women to obey the authority they are under and act in a godly manner.

Women teaching other women

As of now it should be quite clear that [older] women do not have the authority to teach or preach the meaning(s) of Scriptures to [younger] women because it is under the jurisdiction of their fathers or husbands. The Bible does not contradict itself on this front.”

Again let me reiterate from his statement the absurdity of what he is saying. He is saying older women should teach younger women to obey authority but why? Just because? Or is it because God’s Word says so? Do we live by our opinions or by the Word of God? So she can say “Ladies obey your husbands but I can’t quote the Scriptures that tell you to do that – only your husband can.”  Do you not see the absurdity of such a view?

I proved from the Scriptures that women do in fact have the authority to teach both their children (Proverbs 1:8) as well as other women(Titus 2:3-5).  The authority they have to do this comes from their husband or fathers first and secondarily from their church authorities if their husband or father allows them to do so.

Does God only allow older women to teach younger women?

Let’s look at Titus 2:3-5 again with the emphasis on ages of the women in question:

“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.”

Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that a Biblical literalist. I believe in interpreting the Bible as literally as possible unless it something like symbolism in prophecy or poetry.

But there are times when the Bible places an age restriction on something, and other times when it simply mentions age as an assumption.

We see an example of age restrictions when it comes to the church taking in widows that it would support and they would serve the church:

“A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man”

I Timothy 5:9 (NASB)

So a widow could not be brought in to be supported by the church and to serve the church full time until she was at least 60 years of age.  So here the age mentioned is not just an assumption, but a specific command.

But it is an error to connect this verse from I Timothy 5:9 with Titus 2:3.  They are talking about two different subjects.  One is talking about widows serving in the church and the other is talking about older woman teaching younger women how to be good wives and mothers.  Might some of these widows who were supported by the church does this very thing? Yes.  But Titus 2:3 does not restrict the ministry of women teaching other women to this group of women.

Paul’s command about aged women teaching younger women does NOT restrict teaching only to older women to younger women.  It was only an assumption that in most cases older women would be teaching younger women. The point of his statement was to allow women to teach other women how to be good wives and mothers according to the Word of God.

Yes God does restrict the exercise of the office of Pastor or elder to men who are not novices:

Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.”

I Timothy 3:6 (KJV)

This is talking about the position of Pastor or elder – official positions in the church.  Also being a novice has nothing to do with age but rather spiritual maturity.  In either case this would not stop a young teenager whether they be a young man or young woman from sharing the Word of God with their friends.  In fact they ought to and we should encourage our young people to do so.

But God does not restrict his gifts or his callings by age as Paul states:

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

I Timothy 4:12 (KJV)

Are we to believe that while we are not allowed to despise the exercise of spiritual gifts by young men that we are allowed to despise the exercise of spiritual gifts by young women? I think not.

My 14 year old daughter expounds upon the Scriptures all the time at school to her fellow teenage girls.  She teaches them about the Gospel and how God wants women to live their lives. I would never dream of despising her for exercising her spiritual gifts.

Now as I have stated here and elsewhere throughout my blog men and women need to exercise their spiritual gifts within the bounds of God’s commands for each gender.  So that means women cannot teach or take authority positions over men in the church.  Women must exercise their spiritual gifts under the authority of their father or husband.

What about conflicts of authority?

The Bible never says we can only learn about the Bible from one source whether be men or women.  The Catholic Church taught this doctrine for centuries there was only once source for understanding the Bible and that was the Church.  They forbid anyone but the clergy from reading and interpreting the Bible for themselves.

I thank God every day for the brave men of the Protestant reformation that stood against the spiritual tyranny of the Catholic Church. If they had not we might not be having these discussions about the Bible – we would not even have Bibles unless we were clergy.

But what about when spiritual authorities conflict? Really it is very simple. If you are a wife or daughter and your father does not want you listening to a certain blogger, author, or Pastor  on a certain subject or if they do not want you listening to them or reading things from that all you obey your spiritual authority.

But what Darlock and Deep Strength are essentially arguing for is a spiritual “lock down” approach to how husbands and fathers teach their wives and children.

They are teaching that a father or husband must not just teach their wives and children the meaning the Word of God – but they are the ONLY people that can teach their wives and children the Word of God.  I have shown here in this article that their position is contrary to the Scriptures.

Think about it in practical terms and let’s take gender out of the equation. If my wife is sitting in a church service at my church and my Pastor teaches something that is contrary to what I teach her from the Bible (and he does from time to time) – should my wife and children have to stick their fingers in their ears or leave the room? Of course not. To do so would be utterly absurd.

Instead after the service when we get home I will take the Scriptures and explain to my wife and children where I disagree with the Pastor on the subject and why I do.  This is an exercise in maturity for my wife and children in learning that good Bible believing Christians will have disagreements on interpretations and this is the right way to handle it.

Why women don’t belong in politics

Do women belong in the political arena? Should we encourage our daughters to emulate the lives of women like Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin? Some Christians believe examples of women like the prophetess Deborah in the Bible answers this question with a resounding “Yes!” This was the position taken by a young Christian woman named Justice Forte who recently wrote a comment on my post “How to Help Women Learn Their Place”.

But does the example of Deborah and other prophetesses and prominent women in the Bible show us that God wants women involved in the political arena?

Before we seek to answer this question let me share Justice’s story.

Justice Forte’s Story

Larry Solomon,

While scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across your intriguing post. Though I usually do not take the time to read articles shared by my friends, as I am a pre-law college student with hundreds of pages of reading assigned to me each night, the striking words “How to Help Women Learn Their Place” piqued my interest. I visited your blog and read the biographical information you provided and several of your comment threads. As a Catholic, made in the image of God, I share many of your beliefs and I have read most of the passages that you listed in your article during my years attending Catholic institutions. I have been fortunate in that I have had numerous mentors that have guided me in my faith, including my father, mother, and several teachers. I have had the opportunity to analyze philosophical and theological works, including those of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas with the great educators I encountered in my time at Pope John XXIII High School in Sparta, New Jersey. I have studied these topics with fervor, and I have strengthened my faith through constant inquiry, as my religion is not something that I take for granted.

However, I believe that your article reflects not only the loving messages given to us by God, but also several sexist attitudes embedded in our society. While it is clear that God created men and women with differing characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses, I do not think that it necessarily follows that the two genders must adhere strictly to narrow roles. While the Bible includes passages that guide women to be reverent and respectful to men, it also offers direction to men to love women and to treat them with kindness and understanding, and to acknowledge them as companions and partners in life.

As an 18 year old woman, I have struggled throughout my lifetime to discover exactly what your article claims to offer an answer to. I have struggled to learn my place in this world with this life that I have been given. The wave of feminism that you readily criticize has afforded me the ability to explore the vast possibilities of who I could be. It has allowed me to receive an education, and to read the works of insightful minds who have contemplated and established their places in life.

Through this education, I have found role models such as Deborah the fifth judge of the Old Testament referenced in Judges 4 and 5 and Hebrews 11:32-34. A thoughtful and effective leader, Deborah lifted the spirits of the downtrodden Israelites as she prophesied the word of the Lord under her famous palm tree. A courageous warrior, she led her army of 10,000 against the 100,000 Canaanites and proved victorious. The mother of Israel, the wife of Lapidoth, and the prophetess of God, Deborah serves as the ultimate example of a woman using her specific gifts to lead and to change the world in which she lived.

My education has also allowed me to ascertain and to ruminate on various attitudes and viewpoints regarding sexuality and gender roles that exist in the present day and to solidify my position on these crucial topics. Before beginning my studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I had always referred to myself as a “traditionalist feminist.” I viewed myself as equal to my male classmates, as I had continually been able to interact and compete with them academically. However, I did not feel that I could properly call myself a feminist and all that this term has come to mean, as I agree with many of the roles set out for men and women. This internal conflict continued until I came across a page in my international relations textbook during my first semester at college which separated feminism into two distinct categories.

The definition of liberal feminism was familiar to me; it was an idea that I had heard recurrently, an idea that I could never bring myself to agree with. The theory of liberal feminism claims that there are no fundamental differences between men and women and that any perceived distinctions are merely the result of societal stereotyping.

To me, this theory seems entirely unrealistic, as I have experienced the inherent differences between the genders in countless situations, specifically during my time playing for the men’s ice hockey team at my high school. It is indisputable that I was not physically equal to the men on the ice, as I was mentally equal in the classroom. But, Authors Joshua Goldstein and Jon Pevehouse offer the definition of another strand of feminism, difference feminism, which focuses on “valorizing the feminine…valuing the unique contributions of women as women.” Difference feminism provides a way for a woman like me to both accept many gender roles and to work to compete academically and intellectually to shape their societies and to learn their places within them.

In your article, you stressed the need for parents, teachers, and pastors to teach young women how to behave as daughters of God and you argued that feminism has resulted in disrespectful behavior by women to their fathers and their husbands. Throughout my life, I have looked to my mother and father for guidance and they have been the measure against which I have evaluated myself. My mother is a devoted wife and homemaker, and she has worked tirelessly to instill in my brother and me values of compassion, kindness, and honesty. However, my mother has also served as my greatest advocate, and she has consistently demanded that I be afforded the same opportunities as my brother. She has taught me to be ambitious, and to embrace every task with passion and diligence.

My father, for whom I have immeasurable respect, has provided me with every possible chance to both better and challenge myself. He supported me throughout my eight year long career as a hockey player, understanding that this activity, though male-dominated, was important to me and would present many occasions for self-growth. It was my father who pushed me far beyond my own perceived limitations and encouraged me to apply to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a school 1,250 miles from my home, and it was him who all but forced me to accept my full tuition scholarship to attend this institution of higher education. While my mother and father have taught me what it means to be a daughter of God, bringing me to mass, showing me how to present myself in word, deed, and dress, and providing examples through their own lives, they have never allowed my gender to inhibit my desire to learn and participate in my society.

In concluding your article, you offered a list of Bible verses to be used by women to guide their behavior. While I disagree with the connotations of several of your brief summary headings, as I feel you have misinterpreted some of the text due to the gender biases that our society poses, I have tried to model my life based off of teachings and verses such as these. I work hard to be trustworthy, to show discretion when it is necessary, to speak with wisdom kindness, and love, to dress modestly, and to look to my parents and grandparents for guidance when I have needed it.

Though I have copious aspirations, including earning a college degree, attending and graduating from law school, and using all I will have learned to pursue a career in politics, I also hope one day to be a wife and mother.

Like your daughter, I look forward to fulfilling my role in God’s design and I intend to embark on that endeavor with the same ambition that I have put into my education, the same ambition that has been fostered for 18 years by my parents and teachers. I will treat my husband with respect and I will gladly support him in all that he does, and I will expect that he show me the love and kindness that God commands.

However, right now, I am an 18 year old woman, and I am subject and accountable to no one but my parents, educators, and myself. Right now I am a student and I intend to learn all that I can so that I may one day change my world, because my ambitions stretch far past the nuclear family unit and home. I urge you to contemplate my viewpoint, because I have combated attitudes similar to the one you expressed throughout my life. I have had boyfriends who claimed I showed them disrespect by simply having conversations with other males. I have had young men on opposing hockey teams cast disparaging remarks at me such as “make me a sandwich, bitch,” in an effort to help me learn what they think should be my place. I urge you to reflect on the possibility that there is more than one way for a young woman like myself, and like your daughter, to fulfill her role as a daughter of God and to learn their true place. I ask you to cogitate on my position because I feel it is imperative for today’s young women to understand that their faith does not have to stand in contrast with their aspirations, and you and I both have the power to spread this message. I respectfully ask you to take the time to read and respond to my post, as I would be interested to hear more about your perspective.”

My Response to Justice Forte

First and foremost Justice – I want to commend you for what I believe is a genuine faith in Jesus Christ and your belief in his Word.  I also want to commend you for your respect and admiration for your parents as this is something highly lacking in many young people today. I also commend you for listening to wise teachers and being curious about and studying schools of theological and philosophical thought. Being a critical thinker is never a bad thing but unfortunately in most generations there have been few of us that are critical thinkers.

What I want to do next is to zoom in on a few statements that you made and respond to them from the perspective of Christians who believe in a patriarchal view of society and marriage as well as more “strict” Biblical gender roles.

Prominent women in the Bible

First let’s take a look at some female characters that are often used by feminist Christians to assert that God encourages women to take active leadership in political and church arenas and see if any of these women resemble a modern feminist.

Miriam – prophet. – It never specifically says she exercised authority over men.

Deborah – prophet; judge; led the army of Israel into battle with Barak, their commander. She was a spiritual and moral leader. She did not seek to lead with Barak, he begged her to. She shamed him by telling him God would hand their enemies into the hands of a “woman”. It is interesting the Bible says she sat under a tree, and not at the city Gates as leaders typically did.

Hulda – prophet during the reign of Josiah. She served at a time when Israel had forsaken God, one of their darkest hours. Josiah sought to restore worship and the Word of God and sent messengers to her to seek the will of God.

Anna – a widow who became a prophet and pronounced Jesus to be the redeemer of Israel

Lydia – business woman in the Philippian Church, but the Bible never refers to her as a leader or a Pastor.

Priscilla – helped Paul while he was establishing churches at Corinth and Ephesus; with her husband Aquila, corrected Apollo’s preaching and helped him to learn of the new way in Christ.

Junias – contrary to feminist teachings, she was not an Apostle, but she was honored by the Apostles for her work in the Lord.

Phoebe – a servant in the Church at Cenchrea, She was not a deacon as feminists assert.

There is absolutely no Biblical evidence that any of these women sought to raise the social status of women or to challenge the role of a woman in the home and in her relationship with her husband.

Is Deborah a feminist role model for women?

Your Statement:

“Through this education, I have found role models such as Deborah the fifth judge of the Old Testament referenced in Judges 4 and 5 and Hebrews 11:32-34.”

I challenge you to present any Biblical evidence that Deborah was a “warrior”. She was nothing more than moral support and reluctant moral support at that.  If you look at the passage from Judges 5 Deborah only went with Barak because he asked her to and he refused to go if she would not go with him.  She was not the proud feminist that she is portrayed as.   In fact she said God would hand their enemy into the hands of a “woman” and this was not said in a proud way, but to shame Barak for refusing to go without her.  God did eventually give the honor of killing Sisera to a woman (Jael) to shame the men for their cowardly behavior.

The truth is this.  We have no evidence that Deborah neglected her duties to her home in her role as prophetess.  In fact we have no idea how old she was when God called her to this position. She may have been barren or raised her children and taken on this role much later in life after her children were grown and gone.

Women in leadership positions were the exception to God’s design not the norm

In no way does the Bible EVER paint women in leadership roles as a positive thing, but it is something God uses to shame the men into action.

“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” -Isaiah 3:12 (KJV)

God is allowed to make exceptions to his own rules

God made these exceptions to his own design at limited and specific times:

God allowed a donkey to speak to a Balaam in Numbers chapter 22.

God tells the prophet Isaiah to go and prophesy naked for 3 years in Isaiah chapter 20.

God tells the prophet Hosea to go marry a prostitute (something clearly forbidden for priests) in Hosea chapter 1.

God took Enoch (in Genesis 5) and Elijah (2 Kings 2) directly to heaven without them first experiencing physical death.

In the same way that God made these exceptions to his rules God has sometimes allowed women to occupy positions of spiritual authority in an effort to shame the men of their society into action and obedience to God.

Are “sexist” beliefs always wrong?

Your Statement:

“However, I believe that your article reflects not only the loving messages given to us by God, but also several sexist attitudes embedded in our society. While it is clear that God created men and women with differing characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses, I do not think that it necessarily follows that the two genders must adhere strictly to narrow roles. While the Bible includes passages that guide women to be reverent and respectful to men, it also offers direction to men to love women and to treat them with kindness and understanding, and to acknowledge them as companions and partners in life.”

Let me first address the term “sexist”.  This term is often used synonymously with “misogynist” but the two words really mean two different things.

The truth is that while all misogynists (haters of women) are sexists not all sexist people are misogynists.

If by “sexist” you mean a person who believes that one gender may typically excel in certain tasks over the other gender than I and those others who believe that men and women excel over one another in different areas could be labeled as sexists. For example, men generally speaking are better at most physical sports than women and women generally are better at tasks that require nurturing and empathy than men.

This is why if you take the typical woman and throw her in a sports game with men she will get beat.  It is also why if you put a man in a room with toddlers and infants he will not do as well caring for their needs as the typical woman.  Are there exceptions to these norms? Of course there are.  But exceptions do not negate norms.

But based on your belief in “Difference Feminism” I would guess that this is not something you are including in what you think are “sexist attitudes embedded in our society”. You accept these types of differences between genders.  However, you do seem to believe though that it is “sexist” for a person to believe that a woman’s place is in the home.  If that is what you mean by “sexist” then I plead guilty.

To be fair to your position – I recognize that you are not condemning women who choose to be homemakers as your mother was.

But you seem to feel that it is “sexist” for a person to believe God did not give women a choice but instead directly commanded that a woman should spend the majority of her time, talents and energy in direct service to her husband, her children and her home.

Coed Sports force men to violate their natural God given instincts toward women

You reference the fact that you played hockey – a sport you readily admit is dominated by men. The reason that hockey is dominated by men is because it is not only physically demanding but it also a very aggressive sport not unlike football although football is even more aggressive.

I have allowed and even encouraged my daughter to play basketball on a church league in our area – but it was not coed.  They have a separate league for girls and a separate league for boys. I would not encourage my daughter to do what your father encouraged you to do and play hockey with men.  There are two reasons I would not have done what your father did.

The first reason is that men will often instinctively hold back and do not play as aggressively when women are involved.  The second reason is that coed sports can also bring out frustration in men as they realize at a conscious or unconscious level that God meant for men to protect women and not to physically compete with women.  This is why I am firmly against any type of coed sports leagues because I believe anything that causes men and women to go against their God given gender specific design, nature or instincts is not something we should encourage.

This is also one of the reasons women do not belong in the military as men will instinctively afford more protection to female unit members which affects unit cohesion and effectiveness.

The Bible does not call a man’s wife his partner

You talked about a wife being her husband’s “companion and partner”.  While the Bible does refer to man’s wife as his companion it never refers to her as his partner – despite the NIV Bible translation which tries to use “partner” in some verses with no textual support for doing so. I dive into these passages in great detail in these posts.

https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2014/05/20/is-marriage-a-partnership-or-patriarchy/

https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/03/03/is-christian-marriage-a-master-servant-relationship/

7 Questions for young women with political ambitions

Question 1

How do you explain Biblical characters like Deborah as any more than an exception to God’s design and purpose for woman in light of the fact that God calls it a shame for women to rule over men (Isaiah 3:12), he calls it a shame for women to speak in the church (I Corinthians 14:34-35) and he says the head of the woman is the man (I Corinthians 11:3)?

Question 2

How can a woman occupy a position of political authority which would most like make her an authority over her husband when God calls women to be in subjection to their husbands in “everything” as the Church is subject to Christ in everything? (Ephesians 5:23-24, I Peter 3:1-6)

Question 3

How can a woman be the “keeper of her home”(Titus 2:5) and serve the needs of her husband, her children and her home while being gone 40 to 70 hours a week as most political jobs require?

Question 4

Do you think God is ok with other people raising your children and experiencing all the special firsts those children will have(like walking and talking) while you are gone pursing you political career 40 to 70 hours a week?

Question 5

If a woman pursues a career and her husband must dutifully stand behind her and support her in this career is this not a reversal of the creation order that woman was made for man, not man for woman (I Corinthians 11:9)?

Question 6

Could you honestly say if you pursue this course of action that you would be dedicating the majority of your time, talents and energy to serving your husband, your children and your home if you pursue this course of action?

Question 7

Are you willing to sacrifice seeing your child walk for the first time, talk for the first time and all those other special firsts as you most likely will if you are gone so much from your home?

I would invite you to read a recent post I did “Don’t fall for the feminist lie that women can “have it all”. In that post I show a comment I received from a woman who used to think as you do.  She believed she could have it all and found out years later that she was sacrificing her family and her marriage as well as not fulfilling the role God gave her by following her selfish ambitions. I encourage you to read her story.

Conclusion

Justice – there is nothing wrong with you having a love for studying the Bible and also other great writers in history. You could use your love of reading and desire to impact the world by teaching other women in your local church as Paul exhorts women to do (Titus 2:3-5). You might even consider having a Christian woman’s blog.

Neither of these uses of your talents would contradict with the primary mission God has given you.

For a man PART of his mission from God in this life is to lead, protect and provide for his home.  If he fails to model the love, leadership, provision, protection, teaching and discipline that God does for his people he will fail his mission.  But for a man the other part of his mission is to do what you are presuming to do and make an impact his world through his career.

For you as a woman your husband, your children and your home are not just a part of your mission as they are for a man. Your future husband, your future children and your future home ARE your mission.  Anything that takes away from your service to your husband, your children and you home must be put aside or you will fail your mission.

I encourage you to read my post “Young ladies – If you pursue a career you may fail the Christian race”.

Also see Does the Bible allow for a woman to be President of the United States?

Photo Sources:

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Is International Women’s Day a time for Christians to celebrate or a time to mourn?

Have divorce rates risen or decreased as a result of women being given social equality with men? Have children been better taken care of by their mothers as a result of women being given social equality with men? The answers to these two questions are unequivocal NO.

The ugly truth is that the woman’s rights movement has decimated God’s institution of marriage and the family.

Is this something we should be proud of? A society in which women mock and ridicule the role for which God designed them?

In the book of I Corinthians we read about a situation of immorality in the Church.  A man took his father’s wife (his step mother) as a wife and they were proud of this immorality.  The Apostle Paul said this to them:

“you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning”

I Corinthians 5:2 (NIV)

Are we not doing the same thing as a Christian people today in regards to feminism? Are we proud of what feminism has done to marriage and the family when we should be in mourning?

This is why for us as Christian’s International Women’s Day should not be a time for us to rejoice, but rather a time for us to mourn for our nation and our culture.  It should be a time to confront this sin in our homes and in our churches.

But doesn’t the Bible honor women?

Absolutely! The Bible honors women and encourages us as men to honor women. Children are to praise their mothers and husbands are commanded to praise and honor and their wives.

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” – Exodus 20:12 (KJV)

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” – Proverbs 31:28 (KJV)

“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.” – I Peter 3:7 (KJV)

Holidays like Mother’s Day and our wedding anniversaries call us to honor our women for the position of wife and mother – the roles for which God designed woman.  Christians should be honoring the women in their lives on these days for these roles that they play.

But honoring women for their roles as wives and mothers is NOT what International Women’s Day is about.

International Women’s Day is about women celebrating their rebellion against God and his design for them.

But hasn’t some good come from giving women equal rights with men?

I will not deny that some good has come from giving women equal rights with men.  In the areas of protecting women and their children from real domestic abuse it has helped. It has also helped in making sure that if women were wrongly tossed aside by their husbands that they could still see their children and get some financial support. It has also helped in allowing women to be able to be educated which is something the Bible never forbids.

But the good that has come from granting women social equality has been far outweighed by the damage that it has caused.

Instead of women just being able to divorce their husbands for real physical abuse and also being able to protect their children we have seen these new rights used for evil purposes more often than righteous purposes. We see women divorcing their husbands because their husbands refuse to bow down and worship them.  In fact the vast majority of divorces today occur not because of physical abuse but because of emotional reasons on the part of the woman.  Nearly 70% of all divorces today are filed by women.

Instead of women using their new found right to be able to be educated in the service of teaching their children and other women they now use it for their own selfish ambitions. They walk out of their responsibilities to their husband, their children and their home and they do it with PRIDE!

Instead of women regarding their bodies as belong to God and their husbands they see their bodies as belonging only to themselves. They go out and have promiscuous sex and then if they get pregnant they just go and have an abortion. Does this sound like something we ought to be celebrating or mourning as Christians?

The woman’s equality movement has warped marriage into something that would be unrecognizable to people just a few generations ago.

God’s original design of marriage as a duty based Patriarchy and a model of Christ’s relationship with his Church has been tossed aside for a feelings based equal partnership relationship which bears little resemblance to what God intended.

Opposing feminism and women’s equality is not equivalent to misogyny

“You Bible believing Christians are just a bunch of misogynists”

“You just want to control women and make them the slaves of men”

Let me tell you something in all honesty and sincerity and I know I speak for many of my Bible believing Christian friends. If God had stated in the Scriptures that men and women were to be social equals and equal partners in marriage that is what I would strive for. It is not about what I want or you want – it is about what God says he wants in his Word.

Christians who love the Word of God and practice the patriarchal form of marriage which models the relationship of Christ and his Church do not do so because of our hatred for women.  We do so because of our love for God.

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” – I John 5:3 (KJV)

“You don’t view women as equal human beings”

This is another false accusation hurled at Bible believing Christians who embrace the Biblical patriarchal form of marriage. This is because our American and Western culture teaches us that all human beings (adult human beings that are not incarcerated) should have equal rights. If one set of human beings has any less rights than another it said the human beings with less rights are being treated as “less than human”.

But this thinking does not line up with the Scriptures. The Bible shows us God commanding that women have less rights than men:

“2 If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth;

4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand.

5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.

6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul;

7 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.

8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the Lord shall forgive her.” – Numbers 30:1-8 (KJV)

“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…

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.” – I Peter 3:1 & 5-7 (KJV)

The Bible clearly shows us that a daughter is under the authority of her father and a wife is under the authority of her husband. Women did not have equal social rights to men under God’s design. Yet men were called to honor their mothers and wives.  Women were not considered less than human in God’s view, but rather they were humans that occupied a different social status.

Conclusion

International Women’s Day should not be a cause for celebration for Bible believing Christians. Rather it should be a day for mourning and reflection on the sinfulness of our society. It should cause us to compel our nation and our culture to repent.  It should give us renewed reasons to preach what God’s word says even though it is extremely unpopular in our sinful culture.  We would do well to heed the words of the Apostle Paul to a young pastor named Timothy:

“2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” – I Timothy 4:2-4 (KJV)