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2.11.2011

Teach Me, O Woman, to Know

My husband recently pointed out something to me that I have been pondering....alot. He asked me why it is that women often seek to be instructed in the Scriptures by other women? Now, I know that he didn't mean that women should never teach or disciple other women, but in context what he was asking is: Why do many women lean so heavily upon ministries and teachers who are women instead of their own husbands, fathers, or pastors?
Of course there is the Titus 2 example for us to follow. 
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."-Titus 2:3-5. (click here for context)
 I definitely crave the wisdom of godly older women in my own life, but he was asking a deeper question. Why, as women, are we more prone to take to searching for the counsel of women above that of men in our desire to grow in the knowledge of God? 
I am guilty of this as well, so don't feel like I'm throwing stones at you, they're more like boomerangs that will come back to bop me in the head no matter how hard I throw them. 
I know that there's a comfort level, especially about certain issues, and I think there are subjects and times when it is highly inappropriate for a woman to seek the lone counsel of a man outside of her husband or father, yet even in those circumstances many pastors will counsel women with the aid of an elder woman and I think should. 
Yet, the question still plagues me. Am I turning to women's ministries/women teachers/authors/*gulp* bloggers when I should be turning to the godly men I have been graciously given in my own life? 
"For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."-2 Timothy 3:6-7 (click here for context)
R.C.Sproul  
John Piper 
John MacArthur 
Albert Mohler 
I should tell you that most of my favorite authors and teachers are not women, and I believe that only men should pastor a church (1 Timothy 2:12 ). (These pictures and links are to the ministries of a few of my favorite living patriarchs of the church and preachers of the Word of God. I thank God for the wisdom He has given them, and they share with us!) I even find it hard sometimes to listen to or read after many female Christian authors or teachers, because, to be quite honest, I find many of them either misleading their followers (I believe unintentionally) and not going very deep into study or thought. I hate to make such disparaging remarks about my own sex, but am simply stating my experience, limited though it may be. 


To quote Elizabeth Bennett from "Pride and Prejudice", "I speak as I find." 
The mindset of many women seems to be to leave the serious study of things like doctrine and theology and even any serious study of the Bible to pastors and leaders. (I understand and acknowledge that this is a genderless problem in the body of Christ, plaguing many men as well.)
"Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?"-1 Corinthians 12:27-29 (click here for context)
My husband is wise in the Word of God, wiser than I often give him credit for, and often because he is right and I know it when I am wrong. I have a tendency to be cynical and hypercritical of everyone and everything, and yet he is constantly trying to point me to love others with the truth when I have a strong and fleshly desire to smack them down with it. Yet, I must ask myself how often do I turn to him, to this blessing of a man God has given me? 
I am not in any way advocating a complete boycott of women teaching and/or discipling other women, and would never even think of such a thing, as it is biblical and godly to do so. I do listen to some female teachers and have greatly benefited from their ministries, but I am simply asking the question. Do we, as women, lean on the God given gifts of male teachers, preachers, and leaders, especially if we've been given godly and wise husbands, for our spiritual food, or are we seeking the counsel of women by preference or pride in our sex or even *gasp* out of a lingering feminism influence that is keeping us from completely submitting to the authority of such men in our lives? 
You have your topic; discuss ;)

5 comments:

Ma ~ said...

Hi Sarah, I came over from Michelle's blog;)

I personally don't care for bible studies that are taught by women, my favorite teachers are all men. I do enjoy discussing scripture with ladies and have gained many pearls of wisdom from older women.

Even though women are equally as talented in learning and understanding the bible I believe, men are just supposed to be in the position of teaching. I find a women's ministry to be a bit weird, but that's just me. I don't think women teaching women exclusively is at all really unbiblcal, I'm just not one to enjoy the Beth Moore type studies.

Thanks for letting me comment.

Sarah : ) www.crumbsundermytable.blogspot.com said...

I wish so badly that I had more godly older women to disciple me! I just didn't realize that in my desire to have such a relationship with other women that I am ignoring the wonderful resource of my own husband. I do think that somehow our desire as women to yearn for other women to learn from is in someway related to a feminist agenda that is so ingrained in our sinful nature. Just like Eve we want and desire to be wise and to take charge dominating the men around us. I am still even confused in my role even as a blogger, but I can't bring myself not to talk about my faith or what I feel like I am learning in the faith. I feel a great responsibility at the same time to be faithful to the Word of God, and I do want to share my faith with others over the internet. I'm just not 100% percent sure what that looks like, but I will continue to search the Scriptures and seek God's will in this. Thanks for the comment :)

Ma ~ said...

I am still even confused in my role even as a blogger, but I can't bring myself not to talk about my faith or what I feel like I am learning in the faith.

I don't think we are to be completely silent about our faith and especially sharing. I had some issues with this recently since I'm going through the book of Romans on my blog (kind of a thinking-out-loud thing and for discussion) and asked my husband about it, he said it seemed okay.

Here is a great article by an older (I think) lady on the subject of women speaking:

http://amytrosen.blogspot.com/2007/04/should-women-speak.html

Sarah : ) www.crumbsundermytable.blogspot.com said...

Thanks for the article.
Sorry I should've been more clear. I don't mean at all in any way that I shouldn't share my faith, or that women should be silent. I just mean that I don't want to be tempted by my own pride to seek anything more, such as ministries, books, recognition, and a following for the sake of being known. My prayer is that by honestly speaking about the Word of God, He would be glorified and the gospel would go forth to those who are lost. I confess that wanting acknowledgement and praise, even respect, are very tempting to me and I want only to be faithful to our Lord and Savior. That is why I feel as though I struggle with my role as a blogger. I thank God for the many godly men and women whose blogs I have been blessed by and who are sharing with countless others. I simply know that I am tempted to focus on proving myself or becoming well known.
Thank you so much for making me clarify and rethink my words. I need and desire such criticism, and I thank God for introducing me to a sister in Christ this side of eternity! :)

Ma ~ said...

Pride is a tricky one indeed. I know what you mean for sure:)