1 Corinthians 14 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“And the prophets’ spirits are under the control of the prophets, since G_d is not a G_d of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the believers, the women should be silent in the congregations, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the congregational meeting.” 1 Corinthians 14:32-35
FYI: I consulted my wife before deciding to broach this potentially volatile passage. It’s in the Bible for a reason, so we shouldn’t ignore it, simply because it’s controversial.
Let’s begin by observing what the Scripture does NOT say. It does NOT say women are inferior.
I believe this passage is less a commentary on women’s conduct, than an exhortation on men’s natural bent towards passivity. Look at Paul’s advice to women:
“And if they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home…”
I am convinced that women are generally more spiritually sensitive than men. If you want to start a Bible study, or prayer group, call some women. Men? Notsomuch.
Men don’t generally gravitate towards spiritual things, yet G_d calls them to be the spiritual leaders in their homes. This idea is considered, by many, to be arcane and a slap in the face of women’s rights. When people decry the Bible for being out-of-step with our culture, we must fall back on one foundational truth: G_d knows best. Consider G_d’s directive to fathers in Deuteronomy.
“Impress these words of mine on your hearts and souls, bind them as signs on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 11: 18-19
I believe that when Paul addressed the women at Corinth, he was telling them they were disgracing their husbands (and thusly themselves and the congregation as a whole) by exposing their husbands’ lack of spiritual leadership at home. Less putting women in their place, Paul’s exhortation was also intended for certain men of the congregation to step-up, fulfilling their responsibilities to be “priests” in their own homes.
When a man fails to lead properly, those under his authority are tempted to step outside of G_d’s order and take control. G_d is the epitome of order & control. So men…do your jobs, and your women won’t be justifiably tempted to usurp your authority or expose your passivity. Women, honor the L_rd and the role He has given your husband, by respecting and honoring him…especially in public.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Friday, September 13, 2013