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There was a time when a church-father and I team-taught one Sunday morning because the topic had a specific his-and-her application, and he thought it would benefit the women in the audience to hear things from a woman’s perspective.

I have also taught men in multiple venues that didn’t qualify as a church service — like camps, conferences, seminars, seminary classes, and workshops.

If a church-father asked me to preach and doctrinally instruct the congregation, I would seriously need to consider if he was asking me to do something that went against God’s revealed will in his word.

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We honor it by letting the church-fathers govern and teach the church-family. The passage indicates that the doctrinal teaching delivered in the context of the regular church meeting is the responsibility of the church “dads.” The way I honor and treasure God’s model of headship is to remain quiet and let the church-fathers instruct the family.

Scripture indicates that women are to remain quiet when the church-fathers are providing this type of authoritative family instruction. I say that I turn down invitations to speak on Sunday mornings. I once accepted an invitation to speak on Mother’s Day, when a church-father prefaced my talk with the qualification that he wanted to honor moms and have me give special instruction to the women on that day.

Sexual intercourse prior to marriage crosses the line.

To avoid confusion over all the conflicting terminology, and to be clear about what I mean, I will call the men who occupy the biblical office of elder/overseer, and who govern and lead the church family, the “church-fathers.” God gives us a clear boundary for how we ought to honor the principle of male headship in the church. Because I want to honor 1 Timothy , for my good and the good of the church, and because I believe it presents a fairly clear boundary about women teaching authoritatively in the local church, I generally turn down invitations to speak on Sunday mornings.

They skirt 1 Timothy by saying the women are teaching under the authority of the church-fathers. In my marriage, I would refuse if my husband told me to do something that was clearly against Scripture.

My responsibility to obey the Lord Jesus supersedes my husband’s headship.Generally speaking, the weekend service of the church is the context in which the doctrinal instruction of the church family takes place.But as I said earlier, not every weekend service is focused on purely doctrinal instruction (there’s not always a sermon ), not all types of sharing or instruction constitute exegetical teaching, and not all types of presentations can be categorized as being “authoritative,” so obviously there are exceptions to this rule. May women teach from Scripture when men are in the audience? The discussion surrounding the boundary reminds me of another how-far-is-too-far issue: How physically affectionate should a couple be prior to marriage? He’s given us a broad principle, a clear this-goes-over-the-line boundary, and the gift of his indwelling Holy Spirit to help us figure out the rest in the wisdom of community. ” “Am I treasuring Jesus by treasuring God’s model of headship? It’s a question being asked by scores of women who want to be faithful to the Bible and want to exercise their spiritual gift of teaching in a way that honors God’s pattern of male headship in the church. In the former situation as well as the latter, God hasn’t given us a detailed how-far-is-too-far list. Furthermore, I believe that asking “How far is too far? For me, a better question is: “Do I love what God loves?The text doesn’t say, “Preserve some semblance of male authority in your churches.” It does not say, “A woman may teach men in your church meeting if she is under the authority of an elder/church-father.” It does not say, “A woman can teach if she is married to an elder/church-father.” It does not say, “A female pastor can preach if she is a paid church staff, operating under the authority of the elders/church-fathers.” It says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” Even if we don’t like it, don’t agree with it, or don’t understand it, the boundary is quite clear.


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