Text: 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 Theme: God’s roles for men and women are not to be reversed or misrepresented. Key verses: “Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” (v. 2-3) “But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors his head…” (v. 5) “Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head…” (v. 11) “Nevertheless, neither is man indepedent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.” (v. 11-12) “But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.” (v. 15) What God said to me: Dwayne, this is a difficult and often divisive passage. First of all, you must approach this study with humility and a submissive heart, not assuming you already know how I feel about this topic. The appropriate roles for men and for women have been debated in churches and in Christian families for centuries. No matter what you type here and interpret from this chapter, someone will disagree with you vehemently. But nevermind that; just concentrate on what Paul lays out and willingly accept it face value. First of all, Paul praises the Corinthians for keeping the “traditions” he delivered to them. Those traditions refer to my edicts and precepts. However, apparently they needed some correction and guidance in how they presented themselves in their particular roles as male and female. The head covering Paul kept refering to represented submission. Men were not to have their heads covered; women were. Simply put, in that culture, women were to wear a head dress to signify their submission to their husband as head of their family and of them. Even when they prayed and prophesied, women were to do so under the authority of their husbands and the men of the church. But then notice that Paul was careful to say that men need women and women need men. I have designed both sexes and consider them both to equally important. Paul went on to say it is not even natural to subvert and reverse the roles. A woman’s God-given role and her submission to and representation of that role in public “is a glory to her.” I love women just as much as men and their part in my Kingdom and in the family is just as spiritual and vital. And I revel in watching a lady who serves and submits to me receive the glory she deserves. What I said to God: Holy Lord, days like this and passages like this one help me see better how much You honor women and why You get so upset when we men distort and denigrate them and treat them as though they exist to please us. That is so far from the truth. You love us all equally and our roles on this earth as we relate to each other are all significant and needed. Forgive us when we want to reject the order of authority You have laid down for us. Forgive us men for not wanting to properly lead in our homes and churches. And forgive the women in the church who rebel against men’s authority or ignore it. Furthermore, thank You for the godly ladies in many churches who reluctantly fill some positions of leadership when there are no men willing to do it. Lord, please help me honor my wife and love her as You loved Your Bride, the church, and gave Yourself for her.
31. March 2009 1 Corinthians 0