As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. - 1 Corinthians 14:33-35This text has been debated over and over again by many pastors, theologians, lay persons, bloggers and just about everyone else. I don't want to spend the time now discussing the complete hermeneutics (current day application) of the text, but rather, I want to highlight something that I think is very important. It comes from this line in the passage:
If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home;
One of the things that has bothered me recently about the topically-driven preaching of many seeker-based church models is a lack of deep theological understanding and roots in the lives of people who attend. I know that this is a broad generalization but I'm willing to write it based on the fact that I listen to quite a bit of preaching from these kinds of churches (right now I have at least 15 different podcasts that I listen to while I drive).
"Why is this a big deal?" you might ask.
It would seem like getting people in the door and introducing them to Jesus is all that really matters, and on one level that is true. I am all for more people hearing about Jesus and making Him the Lord, Savior and Treasure of their lives. But we get into trouble when the only consistent teaching our people hear is on marriage, and parenting, and dating. When all our sermons consist of 'Steps to this and that' our people simply end up living in the shallow end of the pool for Jesus.
Let's be honest, most people don't have large libraries filled with commentaries and Bible dictionaries to help them understand the different nuances and genres and complexities of the Bible. In fact, the only thing in most libraries is DVD's of last seasons Lost episodes, the DaVinci Code, and the South Beach Diet book. Therefore, most men have no leg to stand on when their wife comes to them with a question. And the same is true when their kids need something.
Far too many men are ill-equipped to lead their families in theological and spiritual truths because they simply don't do the study and prayer and reading themselves. Plus, their church is not offering them any sort of challenge of in-depth teaching. So, we have churches filled with men who like, and actually probably love Jesus, but don't know much about Him, and would have a real hard time teaching anybody else about him. We also end up with women who are dependant upon women's ministry Bible studies for their theological training instead of the person God ordained to guide them - their husband.
Men, we have to step it up and lead our families. And we can't just use our churches as the excuse. We have to watch less TV and read more deeply. We have to find a way to listen to Godly, spiritually gifted teachers of the Bible. We have to take control of our homes and love and lead our lives as Christ loved the church, regardless of the cost to ourselves, remembering that Jesus gave up His life for His bride all the while knowing that she would continually rebel against his sacrifice.