Monday, August 18, 2014

What Women Can Do For the Kingdom

"I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet." -1 Timothy 2:12

     In my previous article I said that I would write an article about what women can do for the church instead of what women can't do, and today I would like to honor that promise. So what can women do for the church? What can women do to further the kingdom of God when we can't even get up and preach a sermon if a male being is present? Today, I will be answering these questions.

     1 Timothy 2:12 says, as we can see at the top of this article, that a woman is not to teach or have authority over a man. However, this does not mean that we cannot teach men at all, rather we don't teach over men, or have authority. What do I mean by this? How can we possibly teach if we are not in authority? Ladies, it is not wrong to have a biblical discussion with a male. In fact, in Acts 18:26 it talks about how Apollos was preaching in the synagogue, and Priscilla and Aquila took him aside and talked to him about the Lord. It says, "He (Apollos) began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately." Now I am not saying that we need to pull aside our preachers every Sunday and tell him everything that he has done wrong because that is not very encouraging. However, if we see someone teaching something that is incorrect, it is our job to show them in a loving way a scripture or scriptures that help them to see the issue more clearly and more accurately.

     Also, we don't just have to show people where they're wrong. Sometimes we can just have a simple Biblical discussion. Now, we can't start preaching a sermon to whoever we are talking to, but we ought to be speaking about matters of the Bible often, and use it to uplift and enlighten those around us as we see in 2 Timothy 3:16. But if you go to your friend John and you ask him a Bible question, and he answers it and then next thing you know you're discussing the ten commandments, is there anything wrong with that? No. Merely talking about the Bible and having authority over someone are very different things altogether. Now, I don't want to confuse anyone. I don't believe that it is right to go up to a man and have the conversation with the intention of preaching a sermon. There is a fine line between having a Biblical discussion and preaching to someone, and we have to be aware of that line.

     Third of all I'd like to talk about teaching by example. I have said this several times before, and I will continue to say it until the day I die; we cannot not teach by example. Whether we are sending a positive or a negative image, we are still teaching. We have to make sure that we are following God's word completely and wholly so that in our actions we can teach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). I'm not saying that we should do things to be noticed, but to do things that, when they are noticed, people can learn and see what kind of a life Christians should be living.

     Last of all, I'd like to talk about encouragement. One of my goals is to be a modern day Barnabas. Barnabas literally means "Son of Encouragement" as we can see in Acts 4:36. When Saul was baptized and no one believed him, who was there to vouch for him? Barnabas! Who was there when the church at Antioch needed teachers In Acts 11:19-30? BARNABAS! We can learn from Barnabas and encourage those around us. We can give words of encouragement to our preachers, Elders, Deacons, teachers, mission workers, and all Christians in general. Have you ever done something that took a lot of work, and then a bunch of people told you that you did a great job and it instantly feels like the weight on your shoulders from it has lessened at lease a little? We can help lesson the load of others by being an encouragement and just telling them that they're doing a good job, or just by telling them that you appreciate what they're doing. It can really go a long way.

     There are several other ways that we as women can teach. We can teach Bible classes, ladies days, girls days, go to any service events that our congregations are doing, aiding in Bible studies, serving others, organizing girls' devos (really, all you need to do is invite a few girls to your house and ask a couple of them to lead songs and prayers and give or ask someone else to give like a 5 minute devo, it's really fun and easy) and so many other things. Today I would like to encourage you all to find at least one way that you can help further the kingdom, and do that sometime this week. Maybe it's to encourage someone, or set up a Bible study. If you don't know how to study, ask your preacher or someone you trust to do it and go with that friend who needs to study. There is so much you can do, and I'd like to encourage you today to do it.