Apr 29, 2009
Here's the story.. I was in a situation I was not totally comfortable with, but partially because it could have been fine, or terrible, or indifferent.. There were a lot of variables and I did not know where it was going. Mostly though, I was uncomfortable with it because I could not find anything especially glorifying.. or to be honest, I could not find anything that gave a legitimate reason for the situation at all... and at the same time, I also had no way out of the situation without seriously offending people... SO, in an attempt to find my happy medium, I did what any self respecting, assertive, confident girl does.. I begged God for His help and guidance as I hatched my plan in my mind for how to make sure the situation stayed in the appropriate comfort zone. haha.. God must've giggled at me and my plans...
So, mid story God gave me this wonderful little gift I was totally not expecting, and was later so excited about it that I could barely contain my excitement!..
I was doing laps in the pool to work off calories that I'd consumed and was probably going to consume later that evening... The other girls I was with were half heartedly swimming, but I was on a mission to work off the calories (and warm up cause the water was less than ideal).. A guy comes over and extends an invitation for us to join "them" in the hottub, (them being three other guys and a girl). I gave some "oh, ok well we're mid laps but maybe, thanks so much though!"... essentially my answer without actually answering him type response. After about 2 more laps I realized the other girls had gone to the jacuzzi.. dang it, that meant I had to at least make an appearance. So, I popped over and sat there awkwardly for about .0237 seconds before I decided I was gonna have to take some initiative or this would be a not so wonderful time...
I went around and asked them their names, where they are from, are they in school, etc..etc.. total basics in meeting new people 101. It became very apparent about this point that they were drinking and smoking.. or some of them were drinking and some of them were smoking, not all of them were doing all of it... but each of them was partaking in some form of something.
Let me clarify... these types of situations don't make me nervous so much as more alert. I'm not nervous around alcohol and smoking, but I become much more aware of the ability for it to go south quicker... so, I tend to make a much more asserted effort to "be on my game." *Un-pause*
One of the guys suggests playing Chicken... hmm yeah not on my agenda of things to do with guys I don't know.. So, I basically ignore the suggestion and continued with basic conversation and began using my charm to allow me to say whatever needed to be said... For example, one guy said he was graduated from highschool and unsure of going to college cause he hated school.. so I pointed out that ANY college degree typically means you get paid TWICE as much as you would otherwise "just sayin".. and that it's legit instead of "off the street" which he said he could make a ton of money there... The girl was going for business, and intends on opening a strip joint because "men are dogs even in a terrible economy..." That comment made my heart hurt both for her and her obvious past, and for the men who it's a true statement for...
I peaced out and cooled off in the pool, did a few more laps then went back. Once I'd returned Guy A (Bob for the sake of the story)was asked if I was engaged....
"uh, nope, why?"
"because you're wearing a ring..."
"oh, haha, yeah the ring actually says 'Jesus,' it's my purity ring."
You would have thought I'd shot all of them in the face... It was like I put a halt on the entire conversation and crickets started chirping.. lol
Guy B (Billy), "So, you're a Christian then?"
"uh, yeah I am actually..."
Bob then began asking me if I'd attended this certain church and I explained that I had only been there a day and had no idea where the church was.. so he told me about how he really liked the pastor and the guy just says it like it is and is straight forward.. So, I explained how much I respect that because even if you disagree.. if you TRULY believed something wouldn't it be worth telling others anyway?...
Billy began telling me how religious his mom is and how she tries shoving that on him... I told him I was sorry, and that is never pleasant when people hit you over the head with things instead of love you regardless... Slowly the conversation began to flow again... And then Guy C (Sam) said "ok, so wait... How long have you been wearing that thing?" "8 years." Which brought a whole slew of profanity and crude comments from him and again sorta halted the conversation... But, I took no offense cause clearly this was a new concept, so I just laughed and shrugged my shoulders and Bob and I began talking about other things... only for Billy to interrupt a few minutes later and say "ok, I gotta know.. what does 'purity' mean to you?"
Haha.. oookay *pause* at this particular moment I realized this was a make it or break it conversation from here on out.. I can either somehow finagle my way around the topic and answer without actually answering.. Which would be a greatly missed spoon fed to me opportunity... OR, I can be straight up front, and hopefully paint some color in their picture at the expense of some seriously awkward vulnerability on my part. I chose option 2. *un-pause*
"Well, it means that I'm still a virgin."
The stares I got were priceless, and it was more than slightly amusing to watch the registration on their faces as what I said sunk in. It was as though Billy had never even heard of the idea and he continued with "How come?" So, I explained how I think it will just be really neat and special if I can tell my husband (who I clearly don't have yet) he was and is the only one I've ever slept with... Sam jumps in with "I just COULDN'T do it!!!!" lol Again, crickets chirping... and finally Billy comes back and says "ok, I can respect that." And conversation moved on.
The end.. I had been gifted by God the chance to have a conversation glorifying to him in the middle of a situation where I was already questioning the glorifying aspects of the whole evening.
My God is so good. :)
Apr 24, 2009
While talking we began meandering through not only what's important to us, but also fears and how we handle them. I explained that I am very scared of repeating past mistakes, and sometimes I feel as though I AM the definition of insanity... repeating over and over the same type of guy, same qualities, same reactions, same role to play.. and yet expecting it to be different every time. When so far it is all disappointingly the same, including the heartbreak at the end and the struggle to regain what my heart lost.
Given the last time my heart was broken.. I'm not sure I would come out better because that was seriously dark, and I would never ever choose to go through it again... So, it sort of goes without saying that I'm terrified of a repeat. I'm scared of the "night" what I would feel, what I would allow Satan to totally get a hold of and sink his claws and teeth into... And, that I would need my daddy to intervene again because I wouldn't be able to do it on my own... Just a lot of pain there that I can now more than a year later look back and see how it was used (thank goodness something good came from it), but I don't want to have another time like it that can be used later... My heart just feels too fragile for that, like it's being held together by strings that slowly are getting stronger, but any wrong bump could also still cause more damage than good.
So, in an attempt to explain it to my friend I said that I've built this 20ft wall with rock and mortar, a moat, gators.. and I'll send out smoke signals... Which is more of an amusing way to explain it than anything.. and we joked about having razor wire and broken glass on the top, and there MIGHT be a bridge, but I'm more likely to just push them off it... We joked about the height of the wall saying that 7ft is a "good" height because it allows them to see in if they really stretch and jump... but that I'm way more comfortable with 20ft... After a bit we got serious and talked about the fact that all joking aside my wall is there, and I've become an expert at disguising it so that no one realizes it's there. I don't often tell someone "no I won't allow you to know this or that about me"... so instead I dance around the topic or I give them an answer that will satisfy their question without going deeper or exposing a tender area.
Now, with all that said, I think it's only fair to mention that my wall might be really tall and guarded very heavily... But, I have come a HUGE long distance from where I used to be. The things I hold and guard carefully aren't nearly as large and complicated as they used to be, my walls no longer cover the circumference of Africa like they used to. :) And, I have begun to share and allow people to help me.. which again is such a testament to me on how wonderful my Savior is, because I did NOT used to allow that :) So, while this is all about how scared and careful I am with my fragile heart, I also realize I'm not nearly as scared and fragile as I used to be.. which gives confidence and assurance to the future.. which while still scary is covered in more hope than I used to realize.
Apr 23, 2009
Anyway, he went on to explain how important it is for us to realize that either we are totally incapable of doing life on our own, or in some cases we realize we DON'T feel like we need God.. and in the process it hits us that we SHOULD realize how much we need Jesus...
He points out that one of his favorite sayings about his church is "it's ok to not be ok... but it's not ok to stay there." He continues by explaining that he grew up in churches where everyone was perfect, no problems etc..etc.. and in a previous podcast he talked about how when people pretend to be ok, but aren't.. when they fake the smile for long enough suddenly something explodes and they're having an affair, getting divorced, killing someone.. and it all seems out of the blue.
At church, in community, it's ok to not be ok... to not have it all together. But, it's not ok to stay there, it's important to grow.. even if you are struggling and don't see the growth, it's important to be putting forth the effort to allow God to move you and your heart. He also pointed out that so often we focus on someone's conversion "THEY ARE SAVED!!... the end" when really their story begins with "And they got SAVED... and then..." We forget that saved doesn't mean absolved of every temptation and issue, that sometimes it takes 1, 2, 10, 20 years to get past an issue... That the progress can be so painstakingly slow that we don't even realize we've accomplished a huge task or over come something, until after we've passed it then it's like it suddenly clicks and we realize God moved us!..
So, it's ok to not be ok... but it's not ok to stay there. Or, it's ok to be broken and hurting, it's not ok to wallow in it.
Apr 21, 2009
Let me explain, I know a lot of things about myself (clearly), for the most part I'd like to think I'm fairly self aware. But, I also know that my striving to be perfect never ends, and that others don't see my drive at all the way I do. I always want to be the best at things, not to prove someone else worse or less than me.. but simply to be the best possible me I can be. My striving has nothing to do with other people, and in fact my being "the best" is not in comparison with someone else, it's being the best that I am capable of being. I enjoy being well rounded so I push myself to learn things, and understand things, and gain skills, be a better friend, a more compassionate follower of Jesus, and simply to be better than I was on this day last year. To have gotten closer to the goal God gave me... to be the person I was meant to be without wasting anything away out of laziness or boredom.
So, please understand that first, my drive has absolutely nothing to do with you, I don't care if I'm better than you. More or less talented... I just want to know I am the best that I can be with my abilities based on myself.
On the flip side recently I've discovered a few things I was unaware of... For instance, I have a tendency to assume that I am not extraordinary, but that I am more of the fairly common "everyone must be like this" type. This sounds kinda funny.. but I'm serious. My view tends to be that everyone feels the way I do, they push themselves them same way that I do... Apparently that's not really the case.
In the last little while I've had several people make comments or ask "is there anything you can't do" and while it's such a nice compliment from some people.. and sorta snide remark from others. My first reaction is to create an insta-list in my head of all the things I don't do well, or messed up, or have absolutely no skill doing...
The more I've been thinking about it, the more I've realized they aren't actually asking if I'm perfect, skilled, not skilled, or whatever.. What they're asking is for a moment of vulnerability from me (something I have to work on all the time for sure). 'Cause see, the thing is, I tend towards being the "strong friend" I encourage people to vent to me or lean on me for support... (and, that to me is an ever present example of how God has totally shaped my heart) Or, at the very least I tend towards leading because it's natural for me...
In these things what I've started to realize is people make statements or ask things because they really just want to have a moment of vulnerability with me. More me expressing to them to help them feel connected and equal with me. In realizing this I've also realized that it's not always a good idea, but more often than not it is. This goes back to the idea that I am not expected to "make it" alone, God gives us community on purpose.. which is only effective if I actually utilize this idea and to some degree at least allow myself to be vulnerable to certain people...
Pulling this all back together... I am in constant battle with myself to be enough, be the best, be better than this day last year... When I fail it is seriously hard for me, especially when others are insistent on pointing out my failure. For whatever reason I am always striving to be enough, not in a sadistic/masochistic way but in my black and white I want to be the best I can be.
I'm still learning how to view myself as enough, see myself through the eyes of my Savior and yet continue to push myself hard every day to be the best..
Apr 17, 2009
This week in Krista's world of work...
7 Attitude stricken seniors.
2 All day directors meetings.
1 Quarterly magazine.
1 Becoming an adult camp.
1 Info packet for coworkers.
This week in Krista's non-work world...
1 Video creation for a friend.
1 Screen play read and review.
1 Synopsis review.
1 Sunday school birthday party.
4 Days behind on my daily Bible reading.
5 Days less of my hour drive/God time.
3 Friends in serious need of Krista phone time.
2 Friends in serious want of Krista phone time.
1 Mom in serious need of Krista phone time.
I physically had no time. *sigh* I can handle all these things usually with a flawless ability to work it all out.. it just, was the butt kicker when I had a seriously lacking amount of drive time to spend with my Savior...
Wednesday I definitely needed my Jesus time. Time to worship, reconnect, hear from, speak to, sit with, and love my Savior. Before Wednesday I was dull.. I was worn out, and I was running on empty. After the service I definitely felt better, like I'd been hugged by the only one who meant anything. My Savior touched the heart He created and reminded me it's ok to not know how to work it out, fix it, do it, whatever.. I'm totally incapable and need Him, and that's ok. Granted the stress didn't go away, it wasn't suddenly all better... I still had to be on my game that I felt like I was losing, I still had to give it everything I had.. But, I no longer felt desperate for something inside. I knew it would be ok, I might just miss a couple of the things I was juggling... and that's ok.
So, be dull, be empty, be desperate...
be still, be peaceful, be revived, be renewed.
Not really a hard decision to make. Sit with Jesus for a few moments.
Apr 13, 2009
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28
"All who are weak, all who are weary
Come to the rock, come to the fountain
All who have sailed on the rivers of heartache
Come to the sea, come on be set free
If You lead me Lord I will follow
Where You lead me Lord I will go
Come and heal me Lord I will follow
Where You lead me Lord I will go
I will go I will go
All who are weak, all who are weary
Come to the rock, come to the fountain
All who have climbed on the mountains of heartache
All who are weak, all who are weary
All who are tired, all who are thirsty
All who have failed, all who have broken"
Apr 7, 2009
Here are a couple moments in my life recently that have had a significant difference in my mood, heart, life.. etc..
I heard a song that ALWAYS reminds me of my daddy.. so I texted him the lyrics "Every time I tried to tell you the words just came out wrong, so I had to say I love you in a song" just to let him know I was thinking of him :) ... I love these things cause it makes me feel like I've connected and affirmed the relationship.
I got to have coffee and chat with Brit for like 2 1/2 hours after an insanely long day... We got the chance to just talk about wherever our hearts wandered. She is so good for me. :)
I have recently decided there are certain aspects of my history I am incredibly proud of... so in an effort to make sure I don't let those go I've begun reminding myself of basics of German, and including that in talking with my mom... That, and I miss hearing German every day as though it's normal. :)
Since I am such a touch person there have been soo many people who make a point to hug me, or just pat my back, rub my shoulders.. whatever.. and although it's small and not a big deal, not long.. whatever, you have no idea the mental change that goes on inside.. I can go from a "whatever" day to "such a good day" in the amount of time I get a hug and a "how are you?"... it's really rather amazing!
I appreciate when people go out of their way or do something that doesn't benefit them.. like giving up a sweatshirt when I didn't ask, but was cold. When they compliment my hair, or outfit, or make-up... or don't say when I look terrible ;) haha... All those things are so appreciated, and doesn't benefit them at all.. which makes it so much more meaningful.
I appreciate it when someone makes it clear I'm not just welcomed to be around, but that I'm wanted. Either in my presence or in just sitting next to or near someone.
I cannot begin to explain how wonderful it is to have people actively seeking to mentor and love on you. I was able to chat with Lisa a lady who's husband teaches our Sunday School class.. she's essentially become the mom to all of us who attend. And, we just had a great conversation.. not super long, but long enough to make you leave feeling special. She essentially told me the same thing my parents have been saying for years, but it's somehow different when someone who doesn't know you intricately like your parents do... She told me some things she saw as gifts, and how it blesses others when I'm around.. It was just so simple and sweet.
As silly as it sounds, inside jokes are some of my favorite things... Not that I'm not willing to share or include others in the joke. But, they simply make you feel special because you understand either that person, a situation, something funny, or whatever that no one or few others understand... It gives you that connection. I love it :)
I appreciate it when friends drive 8 hours one way to spend Easter weekend with me :).. I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am to see them!
My prayer is that I can do just a fraction of these things in return for other people, to help them feel precious, important, cared for, and loved. That, in all these tiny moments I can show them Jesus and refresh their spirit. I want my moments and my days to be about doing things and being places that will encourage others. Half the things I do, I go or do them because I want to make sure others know they're cared for. So, my prayer is that I can somehow make others feel the way they make me feel :) Or, pass it on to someone who doesn't get it.
Apr 6, 2009
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me"
C.S. Lewis Song, Brook Fraser
I know this is an odd quote to talk about, but every time I hear it come on my Ipod it sorta captures me.. Maybe because to me it's extremely vivid, I can literally picture what this would be like AND feel like. I dunno, but... whatever it is, it captures me, maybe it's the sound of the music behind the lyrics, maybe it's the sound of Brook Fraser's voice... maybe it's that I feel like I've been here and experienced this verse in the song. Whatever it is this verse captures me every time. Sometimes I feel like all I need is God to speak to me, and often it's on my way to work.. which is close to dawn... and I can't count the number of times I go to sleep begging God for something... and in the morning my outlook is just different... But, I also sometimes feel like I groan with creation.. especially when huge tragedy's happen and the evil and sin of man is exposed, it's like I ache in a completely different way, for the way things have gone so terribly wrong, and aren't the way they are meant to be.
She had a heart with hesitant, halting speech
That turned to me and asked belligerently 'what do I live for?"
Hosea's Wife, Brooke Fraser
I feel like this describes me more often than I'd like to admit. I hate the idea that I speak silence when people are actually wanting me to give them hope. That idea kills me.
It's as simple as the stars in the sky, and the blue in the sea.
There's nothing fancy bout the way I love you,
But it sure is fancy how you love me."
Nothing Fancy, Dave Barnes
Apr 3, 2009
The word translated "quietness" primarily means "quiet tranquility," not literal silence. In other words, it usually references the state of the soul, NOT the state of the mouth.
That is the word used in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
"For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone will not work, neither let him eat. For we hear that some among you are disorderly, doing no work at all, but are busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet tranquility and eat their own bread."
This was not a command that when you work, you must maintain silence, but pointing out that an undisciplined, unproductive life leads to an inner turmoil that translates itself into a disruptive life, and that person then becomes a disrupting force, a CENTER of conflict, within the lives of all those around them. The opposite of a disorderly busybody was a person of quiet tranquility. That person was a source of STRENGTH to those around them, NOT a source of discord.
In other words, "Get to work, support yourself, and instead of being such a disruption in the lives of those around you, try being a stabilizing source of strength!"
Now for "submission." There is no exact English equivalent for this word, so it is always a struggle to translate it correctly. First, let's get the obvious stuff out of the way:
1) it does not mean "obedience." That is a different word in Greek.
2) it does not indicate that someone has control over another person. THAT too is a different word in the Greek.
3) It is never used of forced or involuntary servitude. (You guessed it: different word in Greek).
The best definition of this word might be something like "freely and voluntarily given respect, honor and trust." The underlying idea is actually that the person being so treated has EARNED that respect, and thus deserves to have their authority honored. In many contexts there IS an underlying idea of submitting to the will of another, but it is a voluntary submission that arises from the tremendous respect and admiration you have for that person's wisdom and leadership.
The over-riding concept is NOT about obeying someone, always deferring to their decisions or will, or even of letting them make the decisions. The strongest underlying idea is actually one of supporting, encouraging, or even holding someone up so that they don't collapse. It is mostly about an attitude of respect and honor, not about decision making or obedience.
This is the word used in 2 Corinthians 9:12-13
"For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. Because of the proof given by this ministry they will glorify God for your voluntary submission by confession into the gospel of Christ, and for the generosity of your contribution to them and to all."
It is difficult to translate properly because we don't really have a word in English that describes the situation where we have so much admiration, respect and trust in someone that we give what they say extra value, sometimes to the point of voluntarily deferring to their judgment over our own, but either way, of always holding them and what they say in the highest regard.
So in the context of wives and husbands, it refers to a situation in which the wives honor and respect their husbands, supporting them and holding them up.
The verb form is . One of the best scriptures for illustrating what it means is Ephesians 5:21 "Submit yourselves to one another in the fear of God."
This is something that we can do TO EACH OTHER. If we can do it to each other, it does NOT mean one is superior to the other, or one has authority to make decisions over the other. IT refers to voluntarily giving each other respect, trust and honor, and treating each other accordingly.
Note in Ephesians 5:22 it says, "Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord."
First observation: This is speaking to the WIVES, not the husbands. This is between wives and the Lord. It does not say, "Husbands, make sure your wives submit to you as to the Lord." The only role the husbands play in this is in taking the respect and admiration of their wives seriously, and living up to it. What the wives actually DO is none of the husband's business. This is between a wife and God. It is not the husbands responsibility to see to it that a wife does this. HIS responsibility is to love her, sacrifice himself for her, and care for her needs.
The second observation, and the really radical aspect of this is that Paul is saying that wives should consider the LORD having earned their respect on the husbands behalf. In other words, no matter if the husbands have earned it or not, the wives should give it to them anyway as a way of showing their tremendous respect and admiration for God. The Lord is saying, "the general, over-all respect and honor you give your husband should be determined by how you feel about ME, not how you feel about HIM." This is the SPOUSE version of Christ's illuminating statement:
"Whatever you do to the least of these, my brethren, you do to me."
Christ is saying, “When you give respect to your husbands, you are really giving it to me.”
Again, this is NOT about obedience, this is about respect, trust, and honor, and the actions and behaviors that flow out of those attitudes. Contrast this with the verse at the end of this section: "Children, OBEY your parents in the Lord, for that is right." Different word completely. Obedience and submitting are not the same thing.
If there is any doubt as to what this is talking about, notice what Paul says to the husbands. "Love your wives."
No mention, EVER, of ruling over them. Even in the comparison to Christ and the Church, note what is emphasized:
"Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR HER; THAT HE MIGHT SANCTIFY HER, HAVING CLEANSED HER BY THE WASHING OF WATER WITH THE WORD . .. so husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies." Ephesians 5:25-30
It does not say, "as Christ loved the church, and ruled over her . . . " In fact, it doesn't even mention authority, because submission is not so much about authority as it is about respect, honor and support.
Just as Priscila and Aquila were considered "co-workers" in Christ, so all women are equal to men within the body of Christ.
This is a marathon of a Blog, but I didn't feel like splitting it up into a couple blogs.. Figured giving all of the information my dad gave me at one time would be the best... It's broken up into sections to make it easier, and most but not all the verses are labeled at the bottom. Haha... Goodluck.
So, with that being said.. here's what I believe on the issue of women in leadership:
Starting with the verses..
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." - Gal. 3:28
"For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him." - Rom. 10:12
Ok, that's where it all starts... Now, onto the juicy meat part of this whole thing... (and again, this is all my daddy :)
"Let a wife quietly receive instruction with respectful submissiveness. But I do not allow a wife to be continuously teaching, nor to exercise autonomous control over her husband, but to be in quietness. For Adam was created first, then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but his wife who was deceived." 1 Timothy 2:11-14
The above is taken directly from the Greek, emphasizing how it should be translated based on the normal translation rules for these Greek words. First thing to notice, due to the relationship of (“woman, wife”) to (“man, husband”) in the sentence, particularly the way it is compared to the first husband and wife, they should be translated with the specific "wife" and "husband," not the general "woman" and "man." In Greek, the only way to determine if the words should be specific (husband and wife) or general (man and woman) was context, and the context here points to the specific, not the general.
However, even if one refuses to accept that this is about husbands and wives, the idea that it forbids women from having spiritual authority over men in the church still has problems, as I address below.
When written as it should be translated, you see that this is speaking to the husband-wife relationship, NOT to positions within the fellowship. The assumption underlying this sentence is the culture in which these people lived. In this culture, men were taught in public, and they then had the responsibility to instruct their wives in private. This was not a rule laid down by the church, this is the way the SOCIETY functioned. As with many social issues in Christianity, this was NOT a laying down of laws within the body of Christ, but an explanation of how a husband-wife relationship should function within this specific culture. Remember, Paul told us in very clear terms, within the bounds of morality, to adapt to the culture we find ourselves in so that we may more readily bring those in that culture to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
Our culture does not have the men learning publicly and the women learning privately, so there is less application here to us.
This cultural approach to teaching had carried over into the church, since the people were used to public teaching to be to the men, and the women to receive private instruction from their parents or husbands. That was simply the way their society ran, and so that practice had continued in the church.
In the sentence "I do not allow a wife to continuously teach," our first clue that this is NOT talking about the fellowship as a whole is that it references a WIFE. This is a relationship issue, not a church issue.
The second clue is that the verb appears in the wrong tense. If the prohibition against teaching were absolute, it would have been an aorist infinitive: "I do not allow a wife to teach - ever." Being a present infinitive, it means "I do not allow a wife to teach continuously." Since it was the husbands who were being given the public education, the wives needed to be spending some of their times LEARNING from their husbands. The very choice of constructions, however, indicates the wives DID teach. Paul just says they should not be doing it constantly.
Wives are also not allowed to exercise absolute autonomous control over their husbands. The first thing to note is that this is the only place in the NT that this word (authenteo – “autonomous authority that answers to no one, dominating, oppressive authority”) appears. Because it is not used anywhere else in the Bible, we have to go to extra-biblical sources to be certain of its meaning. In classical Greek, it meant someone who was free from the authority of ANYONE, had become a law unto themselves, and exercised a control over those under them that was complete and total, even to the point of being able to decide if those people lived or died. No one could judge what they did, because no one was above them. This was the kind of authority wielded by tyrants, and as a result, this word is always used in a negative sense.
In reality, only God has that kind of authority, but this is a critical point in understanding this word: it is never used of God in the Bible because it has a built in negative implication of “abuse of authority.” The difference in meaning between exousia (the usual word for “authority” in the Bible) and authenteo (“autonomous authority”) is similar to the differences in meaning between “ruler” and “tyrant.” These two words have the same basic meaning, but tyrant includes the additional negative idea of a supreme ruler, answering to no one, who abuses his authority. Likewise, authenteo has the additional idea of someone who answers to no one (or acts like they answer to no one), and thus, begins to abuse their authority.
This is such an extreme word that it really is best translated "absolute autonomous control.” It is equivalent to addressing a congregation and stating, "wives do not have the right to murder their husbands." The most appropriate response to something so obvious would probably be (to borrow from my teen-aged daughter), "No duh!" But since Paul addresses it so seriously, it is almost as though some people might be expected to respond with, "Aw, rats. I thought we did!"
It raises the question, why did the wives have to be addressed about something so extreme?
I can't imagine this statement by Paul being greeted with anything other than stunned silence. I don't know what was happening in that fellowship, but it must have been fairly outrageous for Paul to use such an extreme word (and this is the ONLY place he uses it ever), particularly since HUSBANDS did not have this kind of authority over their WIVES either (masters didn't even have that kind of control over their slaves). Greek has a lot of other words that are much more moderated (such as katexousia or exousia). The only person in the Roman Empire who might be said to have this kind of authority was Caesar (and if used of him, it was considered an insult, not a compliment).
The only thing I can figure is that Paul specifically used this word for the shock value. Something was happening within the fellowship in the way wives were treating their husbands, and Paul intentionally overstated the issue to get their attention. In other words, it is similar to saying "if you hate your brother, you are a murderer" (1 John 3:15). It casts the situation in extreme language to illustrate how important this issue really is.
For some reason, Paul did not feel the husbands did needed to be TOLD this, while the wives did. It is worth noting, however, that it does NOT say husbands DO have this kind of authority over wives, either.
His use of this extreme word, BTW, indicates that wives DID exercise authority, but some had tried to take their authority and become miniature tyrants, dictators who answered to no one and whose words could never be questioned. If Paul had meant they had no authority at all, he would have used a completely different word (the primary word for authority in the NT is exousia).
Those who believe that women cannot exercise authority in the church need to answer the question, why does the bible NEVER say that women cannot have exousia over men? This word has no negative connotations, and it is used of all levels of authority, from soldiers in the military (Matthew 8:9), to the civil authority of human leaders (Luke 20:20), to the legal authority of life and death (John 19:10), to indicate that all authority of any kind comes from God (Romans 13:1), to spiritual authority over demons and sickness (Matthew 10:1), to the spiritual authority of church leaders (2 Corinthians 13:10), to the authority of Jesus over all of creation (Matthew 28:18).
If someone wishes to dispute that this verse is about wives and husbands, the central issues remain the same. Women are forbidden to become tyrants. They are forbidden to exercise a negative, totalitarian type of authority that NO ONE is supposed to use. That, frankly, is about ATTITUDE, not position.
Bottom line, women are NEVER forbidden to exercise exousia in the church.
....Women in the Church....
"Let your wives be quiet in the churches, for it is not allowed to them to be continuously speaking, but to be in submissive, even as the law says. But if they desire to learn something, let them question their husbands at home; for it is a shame for a wife to speak in church." 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
The Message translation actually catches the force of this paragraph best:
“Wives must not disrupt worship, talking when they should be listening, asking questions that could more appropriately be asked of their husbands at home. God's Book of the law guides our manners and customs here. Wives have no license to use the time of worship for unwarranted speaking.”
Again, this is not about POSITIONS within the church, this is about husbands and wives, and the difference between FREEDOM and LICENSE.
First of all, this is dealing with a situation of service disruption between HUSBANDS and WIVES, not just of women in general. If it is an absolute reference to being able to speak, it means SINGLE women were exempt from this prohibition: only married women had to stay silent (because single women had no husbands to ask at home).
Second, the word translated "to speak" means continuous speaking (present infinitive), as in, being a disruption to the service. It is NOT a prohibition against ANY KIND of speaking (aorist infinitive). What is shameful is for the wives to be disrupting the services by constantly asking their husbands questions, chattering on and on. All of that should be contained and discussed at home.
There is NO prohibition against a woman being a pastor, a prophet, an apostle, a teacher, etc. In fact, there is no prohibition here against women “speaking” in the church. The prohibition is against continuous, disruptive, disrespectful speaking.
Throughout the NT there are several references to women who served with their husbands side by side, prophesied in the fellowship, etc.
Women and men are equal in scripture in God’s eyes. Women are allowed to hold all positions of authority that a man can hold. But women are ALSO required to show respect and honor to their husbands, NOT because of what their husbands have done, but because of what Christ has done. Likewise, husbands are required to place their wives ahead of themselves in terms of what their wives need.
Apr 2, 2009
First, people can be weird, creepy, odd, psycho, etc..etc.. but my God is bigger than they are so I refuse to be scared. I WILL be aware and alert and cautious.. but not scared.
Second, while guys can be frustrating and confusing.. I've had some great conversations and things that have happened that helped... My friend Patrick and I were talking about all kinds of things (both our minds wander, so we tend to follow each other's wanderings).. Anyway, one of the things he mentioned was that it's ok for girls to not know how they feel about a relationship... but that guys don't get that luxury. Now, before anyone gets all up in arms about it, hear me (or us since he said it first)... Once a guy decides to pursue a relationship he no longer has the right to not know how he feels. If he doesn't know if he likes a girl or not, he shouldn't be pursuing... but, while he's pursuing she has every right to not know how she feels about him and the relationship. Which, to that I would add... she needs to be honest about it all from the beginning too.. it's ok to tell him you don't know how you feel.
Also, yesterday was such a random assortment of things.. good, bad, stressful etc..etc.. But, what was abundantly clear was 2 things.. first.. My God is amazing and clearly loves me/us. Second, I have some amazing guy friends who care very much for me and my friends... even if they don't know the girls well. I cannot begin to tell you how comforting it is to know that.. to see it played out and realize these guys truly are not just talk.. they love Jesus and they will do anything He asks of them. I seriously appreciate when guys take their role seriously and act on that.. So, because I know I don't say it enough..
Thank you to all the guys who take your role seriously and actively pursue God and what He asks of you. I seriously appreciate it, and it makes a world of difference for me and all the other girls, and I know we don't tell you enough... So, THANK YOU! :)
The End :)