The apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual son Timothy, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent” (1 Tim 2:12). I wonder what he would say in this day and age. He might turn in his grave if he saw all the excellent women teachers we have.
In fact, I’m going to a retreat today, to hear some good women teachers, so you will not hear from me in for a couple of days. I’m sure there is no internet connection at the campground I’m going.
Early on in my ministry in Peru I was approached by one of the men in our congregation. He cited the above Scripture and commanded me to be silent. My answer was, “The Lord has called me to ministry, and the day he commands me to be silent, I will.” I’ve still not heard that command from my Lord.
My husband never rejected me as a preacher; in fact, he would want me to preach. Reverend Paul from Tarsus, when I get to heaven we’re going to have little talk. I can understand that you didn’t want women to have authority over a man, but the part of not permitting a woman to teach, that I don’t understand.
I talked to and elderly Swiss missionary about the man that commanded me to be silent. He told me to just keep preaching the Gospel. He said that over the years women have been the bravest, going to places hard to reach, where men would not go.
That man that rejected me was the only one that did so. During my ministry in Peru and Bolivia I felt accepted. I directed Sunday school, I preached, I taught in a Bible institute, I had radio programs, I directed a publishing ministry, but most of all I supported my preacher and Bible teacher husband. He said many times he would have wanted me to be the “senior” pastor, probably because I was a born leader.
In 1976 I made a trip to Sweden, mainly to talk to our supporting churches about some new venues we wanted to pursue in our ministry. The pastors were kind enough to agree on meeting with me. I was inspired and on fire for the vision we had for the future. But I was rejected.
“These ideas are excellent,” said one of the pastors in the meeting. “It’s too bad they didn’t come from a man. Because you are a woman we cannot accept them.” And that was it! Because I’m a woman I was rejected. I walked out sad, but not defeated.
Years later there was a notice in our daily Christian newspaper about an open position to work with radio and literature ministry in Bolivia. My mother was friends with the man in charge and she suggested my name, because she knew those were my two areas of interest. “I’m sorry,” he said. “We are not looking for a woman. We want a man!”
Through different circumstances, and a few years later, guess who was the director of the literature ministry? Not a man, but the woman that is writing this blog!
I’m proud and happy to be a woman. As I said in a previous blog, one of my appointments is to teach. I love to teach! Because I’m a woman I see things differently and can give other perspectives. My late husband loved to use my outlines for his preaching. Of course, he would scribble his own notes on them. We were a team. I wrote the outline—he preached it!
I’m sure he would have preached away on this outline I made this morning while studying the book of Titus:
TO DO WHAT IS GOOD
- Love what is GOOD
- Teach what is GOOD
- Model what is GOOD
- Be eager to do what is GOOD
- Devote yourself to doing what is GOOD
If you are not into doing it, you must LEARN to devote yourself to doing what is GOOD.
See Scriptures: Titus 1:8; 2:3, 6, 14; 3:8, 14.
Because I’m a woman, I’m a daughter, a sister, a mother, a grandmother, a mother-in-law, an aunt, a cousin, a niece… and so much more that a man can never be. And I love it!
And now this woman is off to packing for the retreat!