What God Thinks of Women (Eph 5:22ff )
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What God Thinks of Women
Overview of the New Testament teaching on women to understand Ephesians 5:22ff
Today, in the midst of radical feminism, women’s rights, equality, lesbianism, women preachers and lady elders, I would like to try to expose what the Bible says about the role of women. I have no desire to share my opinions, my ideas, or my thoughts, but to expose, exposit and explain God’s perfect Word.
“But,” you ask, “Chris, why look at this today?” Because Ephesians 5 is telling us some things about women that are difficult to hear, they’re strange to the ear of the modern Christian, and they’re ignored by the great majority of the churches in our city and world. We are in the midst of a word-by-word study of the letter to the Ephesians, and in chapter 5 verse 22 God’s Word says these shocking words, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
Last week we looked at this verse and the New Testament teaching on the topic of submission, and today in order to fully understand what God is saying here, I want us to look at what the New Testament teaches about women. We’ve already looked at Genesis and the context of Ephesians, but what does the rest of the New Testament say about women?
You may be asking, “What’s your attitude toward women, Chris?” “I like ‘em–one in particular!”
It’s obvious, men need women and women need men. No man could be here without a woman, and no woman could be here without a man–we need each other. That’s why I am neither chauvinist nor feminist. I think they’re both wrong. I am a Biblicist–I don’t care what the popular opinion of our day says (on any issue). All I really care about is what the Bible says. And to really understand what God’s Word says, we have to be willing to reject culture, the media and people’s opinions, and work hard to determine what God meant by what He said through the biblical authors. That is my goal today, and I ask you in advance to look hard at your Bible today and check to see whether you are hearing an opinion or truly God’s view of women from the Word of God.
What difference should this make? There isn’t a young single woman here that doesn’t have some problem with the New Testament teaching on women, for even if you heartily agree with the principles, you still need to find someone to try them out on, and that’s a problem. Other singles wonder if God wouldn’t be more pleased with them if they gave themselves to ministry or missions and forget family. Many married women wonder if these exhortations are all cultural and don’t apply to today’s liberated women. Others may wonder how they can possibly apply this New Testament truth while they’re going to school or pursuing a career.
What does the Bible have to say to the unequally yoked, the single mom and the yet-to-be-married? For any marriage here to experience God’s presence, power and blessing, it must follow His blueprint. For any parent to raise godly women or teach their sons what to look for in a woman, they must know what God designed. And in order for any godly man to know what kind of woman God intends for him to marry, he must know how to identify a godly woman.
Genesis, the context of Ephesians and Ephesians 5:22 gives us only part of the picture. Now let’s look at everything other than Ephesians 5, at what the rest of the New Testament teaches about women. What does God think of women?
#1 Jesus Christ uniquely esteems women
Even though the 1st century culture abused women, Jesus demonstrated something totally different.
In John 4:9, Jesus spoke publicly to the Samaritan woman and treated her with respect, which amazed the disciples.
In Luke 8:2, a band of women traveled with Jesus and ministered to Him and His disciples.
In Luke 7:44, Jesus publicly affirmed women in front of men
In Luke 8:43, Jesus broke religious taboos about ritual uncleanness in women by touching the woman with the menstrual problem
In Luke 10:38, we find Jesus had close friends who were women
In Matthew 27:55, women were the last to leave the crucifixion
In Mark 13:46, women were the first at the tomb
In John 20:14, Jesus first appeared to women after his resurrection and commissioned them as the first witnesses of the good news
Read what Jesus did for women and others in Galatians 3:28–there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Paul is not talking about male and female roles, but our equal standing before God found in Jesus Christ. There is no difference between a man or woman in their standing before God because of Christ. It was Jesus Christ who brought freedom to women (and men, slaves, Gentiles) that they had never known. So how does this affect her various responsibilities?
As we look at this, let me warn you, women are still being abused today–abused by misinformation, abused by pornography, abused by a loss of uniqueness, and a loss of femininity. It reminds me of the young man who asked the pretty librarian, “Excuse me, Miss–do you have the book, Man, Master of Women?” She said, “Fiction counter, to your left.” Both men and women are confused today–so let me be direct.
#2 Wives are the submissive partners of their husbands
Colossians 3:18 says this, “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” As Paul makes this command to wives, literally it is to the wives, speaking of the married women in the congregation. Here is the role of believing married women to their husbands. Young single women are submissive to their parents. Older single women are submissive to their elders. Married women are submissive to their husbands.
The verb “subject” is the same one used in Ephesians 5:22. It’s a term describing a private in the army following the orders of his sergeant–he is literally ranked under his officer. Subject is also an imperative, meaning the role of submission is a non-optional order from your Lord. To not submit is to disobey a direct command of Scripture. It is funny how submission works out practically sometimes. Take the couple filling out some pre-wedding papers. When filling out the last question, the husband-to-be read aloud, “Are you entering this marriage of your own free will?” as he looked over at his fiancée. And she said, “Put down ‘Yes.'”
The verb “be subject” in verse 18 is also a continual command. Wives being subject to their husbands is not merely when you agree, not just when you think it is best, not when you have a similar idea, or when he deserves it, but during the times of tension, disagreement and misunderstanding–continually. Get this–wives are to submit to their husband anytime Jesus would submit to the Father. And why is a wife to rank herself under her husband? Paul says in Colossians 3:18 that submission is fitting in the Lord.
1 Fitting means submission is the proper obedient step, the right thing to do–what the Lord expects. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the word “fitting” is used of something that’s legally binding. In Philemon verse 8 it’s also used in a legal sense. What Paul is saying then is this–the submission of the wife to her husband is legally binding/proper. In other words, it’s not an option.
Submission is described as fitting in the Lord because any wife surrendered to her Savior is going to submit to her husband. Jesus is the Lord–He makes the rules, He designed the whole program and He knows what He is doing even when your husband does not. And when it is difficult for her to submit, a godly wife remembers that it is ultimately the Lord she submits to since He is in charge, as Lord.
2 Fitting in 3:18 also implies that submission is an attractive act. It is one of the main ways a godly woman shows off Christ. Sitcoms may think it’s funny for wives to rip on their husbands and tear them down in sarcasm, but God’s Word says submission is a wife’s witness. In Titus 2:5, wives are being subject to their own husbands. Why–that the word of God may not be dishonored. When wives don’t submit, it blasphemes the Bible. It is the work of the enemy to rebel and tear down, it is the work of the Spirit to submit and build up–the wise wife cooperates with the Spirit by submitting.
3 Fitting also says submission has been God’s plan all along. The verb “fitting” in Colossians 3:18 is unique, describing continual action in the past. God is telling us that submission has always been and continues to be God’s plan from the beginning. Are you submissive? Again, submission does not imply that wives are inferior to their husbands–it’s the part wives have to play. The role of the wife and the role of the husband are like playing a special part in God’s orchestra written uniquely for each of them. When the husband and wife play their parts as written, there is perfect harmony and sweet music. When they improvise or rewrite God’s score, there is discord.
Turn to 1 Peter 3. Okay, so Paul teaches this but he wasn’t married–what does Peter teach wives? Peter was married. Look at 1 Peter 3:1 and 2, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.”
Peter begins verse 1 with the phrase, “in the same way”–as what? The same submission as the slave, according to the context. Not that the submission of a wife is the same as a slave, but her submission to her husband is as important as a slave. Both slaves and wives submit from the same motive–obedience to the Lord, who is their true Master.
Again, let me remind you that a wife’s submission is to be to her own husband, a private, intimate and unique relationship. Even though a woman is to always manifest a heart attitude of submission, she is not to submit to every man, nor is submission ever to be used by husbands to try to control their wives. But what about if her husband is unsaved?
#3 Believing wives witness to their unsaved husbands through submissive behavior and a tender heart
In the middle of 1 Peter 3:1, God tells us a wife is to submit to her husband whether he is saved or not. Her submission is to be done without a word, not by preaching or by nagging, but to witness to her husband by her godly everyday lifestyle. And her submission should not only show itself through her behavior, but also by her character. Look at verses 3 to 4, “And let not your adornment be merely external, braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
Peter says don’t try to win your unsaved husband by flashy dress, but through a considerate and gentle character. Peter is not saying a truly submissive woman wears gunny sacks for dresses, but that appropriate Christian dress should reflect her inner spiritual life. As she puts on (or in) the quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, she will not only display Christ in her submission, but also please Christ Himself, since verse 4 says her submission is precious in His sight. That means to God, this kind of character is like one who admires a beautiful and expensive gem–it’s precious to Him. Well how does submission affect a woman’s worship?
#4 Women seek to proclaim the quality of submission as the church gathers for worship
Remember God is our model. He is one yet three equal persons who function by authority and submission in absolute perfection. And this is the image that marriage is to mirror. Look again at I Corinthians 11:3, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” All three persons of the trinity are all equally God, but each plays a different role. The Holy Spirit submits to Jesus and the Father, and Jesus submits to the Father. This is why God is called the head of Christ–not that Christ is not God or that He is less than the Father, but that Christ submits to the Father so wives are to submit to their husbands.
So Paul uses the fact of submission in the godhead to correct the Corinthian women. Why? Because of an abuse of the submissive role in the church. Without going verse-by-verse, the basic problem in Corinth was a women’s liberation movement–women were trying to look and act like men. Sound familiar? There is nothing new under the sun. There were recorded instances where women would dress like men, go out bare-chested and hunt wild pigs with spears so they could be just like men. Apparently some of the women in the church at Corinth had allowed themselves to be swept up into this movement, and it was bringing a reproach to the name of Christ. So Paul wrote them to straighten this out.
Now in the Corinthian society even unsaved women were supposed to be submissive, and the symbol of their submissiveness and modesty in their society was wearing a veil. All women, Christian and non-Christian wore veils. Only two kinds of women took their veils off–prostitutes and feminists. The prostitutes took them off so men could see what they were buying, and the feminists took their veils off as a protest. So in Corinth there were the feminists and the harlots, the protesting and the prostituting–and Paul writes to these dear Christian Corinthian ladies and says, “Ladies, keep your veils on. In your city, your culture, that’s recognized as submissive and modest. Now respond to that symbol so the world doesn’t see the Church as rebelling against a God-ordained principle.”
Paul is simply saying a woman is to take a place of submission. She should never violate that place because it’s God’s design, and most importantly it shows the world what God is like. In that city at that time, submission was demonstrated by veils. So should women wear veils today at worship? I don’t believe so–for several reasons, simply . . .
It is not cultural–we just can’t apply it the same today.
We don’t know what kind of veil it was–clothing styles are different. Was it a doily, was it a helmet, was it a mid-eastern veil? We don’t know. Which timeframe do you want to emulate? The first century, the 1800’s–which?
It would externalize and ritualize our faith, which is first a heart issue.
Wearing a veil will not prove to our society that you’re submissive–wearing one will not prove that you are not a protestor or that you are not a prostitute.
And there are other ways a woman can demonstrate a submissive heart today.
Paul says in verses 14 to 15, “Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering.” Don’t miss the point–a woman should look like a woman and a man should look like a man. The sexes are to be distinct and unique. God made them each different intentionally.
Paul is not making a huge issue about hair-length or style–he is following up verse 6 where he says women should not have their hair cut off or shaved so they would intentionally, on purpose look like men. Paul is not talking about cancer patients or women who lose their hair. The point is God made men and women different, and just like that cultural veil, her natural veil, her hair, in that culture at that time made a statement about her role of submission.
In our culture, wearing a hat or veil does not communicate submissiveness to our city, nor does long or short hair, so those practices should not be required of godly women. But a woman’s hair and dress is to be distinctively feminine and demonstrate her loveliness and submissiveness. There should be no confusion about male and female identities, because God has made the sexes distinct–physiologically and in their roles. God wants men to be masculine, while being responsibly and lovingly authoritative. And God wants women to be feminine, while being responsibly and lovingly submissive. Glory!
First Corinthians 14:34 to 35 takes this whole discussion a step further by describing the role of women in gathered worship a little more. Speaking of the corporate gathering, Paul says, “Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35 And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.”
Paul sounds a little harsh here, until you understand the context. Because of the previous verse, the word “speak” refers to the gift of prophecy and perhaps tongues that Paul has been discussing. And as best we can figure out from the first century practices, men and women often sat on different sides of the church from each other, like the Jewish synagogues.
The idea here is some women were using a question and answer time in the service (their equipping hour) to preach a sermon in the corporate gathering, and they were creating disorder by asking questions across the aisle to their husbands. So Paul says that’s improper since it is disorderly and violates the authority/submission relationship of the eternal triune God. To bring God glory, we are to live out authority and submission in our homes, in our church, and even in our ministry, because only through submission and authority can we show off what God is like. “Chris, this seems so limiting–what can women do in the church then?”
#5 Women fill out crucial roles of gifted ministry
Turn to 1 Timothy 2–ministry is serving the need of another in the power of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of God. All through the New Testament, there are examples of women in ministry. Priscilla is listed six times in the New Testament, four times first before her husband Aquila, along with Lydia, Chloe, Dorcus, Euodia and Syntyche, Phillip’s four daughters and so many more. I shudder to think what our church or any church would do without the ministry of women.
Titus 2 tells us older women are to have a ministry of training the younger women in the church, which we are passionately committed to as a church. The only problem is, I have yet to meet a woman who will admit that she is an older woman, except for Joan Ardavanis. But does that mean women can do anything in ministry? Answer—almost everything. Here are two negatives and two positives.
First Women are not officially to teach the Word to men over men
Look at I Timothy 2:9, “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.” (Paul is not against braids, or gold, or pearls just wearing all your wealth in your hair, showing everyone how wealthy you are which was a common practice of that day.) Submission is seen in a woman’s appearance. But be careful about making a judgment on the basis of externals before you actually know a woman’s heart. Don’t confront, don’t draw conclusions, don’t talk to others–in fact stop it. Be quiet.
Remember God’s warning to Samuel, when the prophet was impressed by David’s super tall, macho, super-cut older brothers. God said in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” When someone is behaving disobediently to the clear Word, to graciously confront them is not judging them, but loving them. But to look at their appearance and come to a conclusion about their character or motive is judging them, and God says don’t.
As Jesus said in John 7:24, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” Don’t favor the beautiful and don’t be cruel to the homely. Submission is seen in appearance, but be careful about coming to a conclusion before you have seen the heart. In fact verse 10 implies some time is needed to see a heart. FIrst Timothy 2:10, “but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness.” True submission is seen in godly good deeds demonstrated over time.
Verses 11 and 12 say, “Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.12 but I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.” Women are called upon to be learners–let the women learn the Word of God. But in public, formal teaching, let women receive instruction but not exercise biblical teaching authority over men–why?
Verses 13 and 14 say, “For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.” Why do women not authoritatively teach men the Word in the corporate gathering? Because of God’s design in the creative order and verse 14, because of the fall, where Eve came out from under the leadership of her husband and acted independently. She didn’t follow his headship, and as a result produced a cursed race. Since then every child that is born is now sinful, cursed and fallen.
But Paul says women can be relieved of the stigma of producing a cursed race of people by the bearing of children–look at verse 15. But women shall be preserved through the bearing of children. What does that mean? Women who once raised a generation of cursed children because of a woman’s sin can now raise a generation of godly children because of a woman’s righteousness. Look at the rest of verse 15, “if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”
That is the point–women are delivered from the stigma of the fall by bearing children if–follow this, if this woman continues in faith, love and self-control. If a woman maintains her godliness, her trust in God’s Word, a genuine love for God and purity of life, she will bring forth children who will be a blessing rather than children who will be a curse. There is the promise to mothers.
A godly woman undoes the stigma of her part in the fall into sin when she raises a generation of godly children. A woman primarily influences the kingdom through godly children. God gives her the high privilege of discipling young men and women–her children and others in the church, to impact the kingdom of God for His glory.
Biblically, women are not to be in the authoritative role in public worship or in a formal teaching environment with both men and women present. Yes a woman can share in song, share a testimony, pass communion, be an usher, be involved in assisting worship, participate in question and answer and share her heart. But she is not to be in a situation where she officially proclaims the Word of God to a mixed group of the congregation in an official sense. Paul bases his reasoning on our very creation as well as the fall, so we know this is not cultural, but what God designed from the very beginning. This is the best way for God’s character to be honored in the midst of the church family.
Second Women are not to function as elders or pastors
Paul goes on to explain in I Timothy 3 that elders who are also overseers and do the work of shepherding in the church have good marriages. And pastor-teachers who are called upon to equip the church and are usually supported by the church are to have good marriages. God says in verse 2, “An overseer . . . must be . . . the husband of one wife.” It is tough for women in general to be the husband of one wife.
Paul goes on in verse 5 to say, “but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?” God’s point is very simple–if a man can’t lead his own family, then he’s not qualified to lead God’s family. There is no support in the New Testament for women to lead as pastor/teacher/equippers or elder/overseers in the Church. Headship in God’s family by God’s design is part of the male role, because it mirrors His image. Other than those two conditions–authoritarian teaching to men and the role of the elder, as long as she has a heart of submission to Christ in her role as a woman there are no restrictions for women in ministry. In fact, Paul shows us in Romans 16 that . . .
Third Women are to be servants in the church
Paul begins Romans 16 with a commendation of a lady named Phoebe in verses 1 and 2, “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; 2 that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.”
In those days there was no post office, so when you mailed a letter to the Romans, who do you mail it with–someone going to Rome. Phoebe took the letter of Romans to Rome, and that’s why Paul is giving her a commendation. He’s saying to receive her, because she personally delivered this book. What can we learn about Phoebe? She’s a woman–our sister Phoebe, and a Gentile. The name Phoebe means bright. She was named after a Greek god, which obviously means she was a Gentile who became a Christian.
She was from Cenchrea, which is a little village about nine miles south of Corinth, and she delivered the letter to Rome. Notice it says Phoebe is a servant of the church–it doesn’t say servant of the Lord, which indicates she was recognized in this role as a servant. She was a servant in a particular church in Cenchrea, and typically female servants in Church history did four things in the New Testament times. This is not discussed in the Bible, but in other early Church writings.
1. Women servants took care of the female sick and poor
2. They visited Christian prisoners, provided food, clothes and letters
3. They participated in baptisms, obviously helping the women before and after being immersed
4. They ministered to women in general need in the church
Being a servant was so important, that as women grew older and some were widowed, the church would recognize those women who served the body faithfully for years by providing them with their basic needs in some form of support to provide the basic necessities of food, clothing and housing. There was no social security, so it was the church that cared for these widows.
This support was not given to any or every Christian woman in distress. Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:9 and 10, “Let a widow be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, 10 having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.”
Don’t miss this–the women the church cares for are to be sixty or older, faithfully married to one man, raised some kids, and known for amazing, devoted, committed service to the saints in the church, to the distressed and as a witness to the lost as well. These women were passionately devoted to acts of service.
Fourth Women are to minister their gift in the church
First Peter 4:10 says, “As each one [male and female] has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” In 1 Corinthians 12:7 and 11, speaking of spiritual gifts, God says, “But to each one [male and female] is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one [male and female] individually just as He wills.”
In Romans 12, the body of Christ is made up of many members, male and female, verse 4 to 6, “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly.”
The Holy Spirit has gifted every true Christian, male or female, with a spiritual gift to be used in service to the Church. It is one of the main ways that the world sees Christ–we are His body, and we show the world what Christ is like when we serve as a part of His body the way He designed. God intends women to minister mainly to women, and men to mainly minister to men. But we all, men and women, are to minister. Saved children are to minister, saved women are to minister, saved men are to minister–Jesus is a servant, and His true followers are servants. He intends for every one of His children, regardless of age or sex, to serve. And it is our joy to put Him on display through our gifted service. All godly women serve the body using their giftedness.
#6 Women have a unique calling toward their home
Titus 2:4 to 5 spells out the priority of the home, “3 Older women 4 are to encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.”
The home, for the submissive woman of God, is not her prison but her priority where she fills out her duty as a wife and mother. Please note, the Bible does not say she must only work at home. It does say she sees her work directed at home. The issue is a matter of priority–all true godly women have their home as their priority—period. It doesn’t mean they can’t work outside the home, but true godly women do their main work at home. Their home is their focus. Their home is their priority, their home is their heart. For the godly woman, her home, her husband, then children are her main stewardship and next to Christ in all her affections.
Paul says this to the younger widows in 1 Timothy 5:14, “I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach.” This is a heart issue. In her heart, a godly woman will see her home as her first priority, and if possible, she does her work at home, since the home is the ministry base God created for her.
A godly woman’s heart will be focused on her husband, children and home as her first priority and most important identity. Anything she does outside is after all her priorities to her husband, children, home, church and witness are taken care of–then anything she does outside the home is to benefit the home. Some have no choice but to work outside the home. Single moms battle with this. But that doesn’t mean your husband or children and home can’t still be your number one priority and heart focus–is it? (We as a church family want to encourage all our women, married and single, to have a home focus.)
God has already said a woman’s greatest impact for the kingdom of God will be her influence in the lives of her children. That’s why Paul said to Timothy that motherhood would be her salvation. She will impact the kingdom from the bottom up, not the top down. God, give us more women committed to loving their husbands in a way which glorifies God, and give us more women who are committed to raising up godly children to impact this world for God’s glory, and out of a heart of love for Jesus Christ.
So what does this mean to single women? Listen carefully–men and women are equal before God, yet have different God-given roles and responsibilities. Both men and women are equally responsible to glorify God individually as their highest priority. Except for the celibate, the most fulfilling God-given role of a woman is that of a wife and mother, and the most fulfilling role for a man is that of a husband and father, not a career. The career is for provision and witness.
In our day, a young single woman will live in a state of “tension” until married. In biblical times, a young woman went from subjection to a father to subjection to a husband with no period in between. Today there’s a large gap from growing up at home, to gaining a husband and children of your own. Plus, in the midst of a lot of satanic distortion, many single women lack biblical modeling and don’t know when they will marry–all this creates a tension.
Young women often criticize young men for not dating, give into the pressure to pursue a worldly answer, ignore the Scripture, and choose to believe they are a celibate when they are not, or come up with a mixture of worldly teaching mixed with a little Bible. But the Lord has a better solution. Fulfill your calling as a single, which is 1 Corinthians 7:35b, secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.
Do that by making sure your motives for school, job and ministry are for His glory, and not self-interest or winning a boy’s heart. Be thankful for your role as a woman, and pursue that role through the amazing godly models that fill this church, learning the skills of wifing, mothering and running a household, seeking no direction that would force you to live outside of God’s design for women. Finally, believe God’s Word in Psalm 84:11b, “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
To you single men, it is pleasing to God for a woman to desire marriage and family, therefore it’s wrong, satanic, of hell, anti-Christ for a Christian man to belittle, ignore, criticize, make fun of, repel from or label a woman who desires to be married and have kids. She gets enough junk from the world–she doesn’t need any of that trash from you. How dare you?
Esteem women who desire marriage and family, and get ready, buckwheat–you need to be prepared to be a hard working provider, a servant, a discipler, a leader, a spiritual initiator, a theologian and a sacrificial lover of your bride. And boys, that doesn’t happen during engagement–it happens now! Let’s pray.