“I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A woman must learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing ~ if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety.”
What a bizarre thing to post about on Father’s Day.
It seems like there’s so much talk about men in the Bible, and women are always wondering, “Where am I in this?” The end of 1 Timothy 2 gives a brief but fairly clear picture. Notice again that Paul is saying “I want this from women.” But if Paul’s thoughts are God’s thoughts spoken out loud, then God wants women to be like this too.
We are told to dress modestly and decently. There is so much debate in the Christian world today about modesty, but this is what it tells me, in the simplest form possible: no cleavage, not too much skin, and not too tight or so loose that it’s hanging off. Now, I looked up the words so I could give exact definitions in case you’re wondering what they are. “Modesty” is dressing or behaving so as to avoid impropriety and indecency, especially to avoid sexual attention. “Decency” is behavior that conforms to accepted standards of morality or respectability. We are told to dress this way, if not for worldly men who are used to seeing little to no clothing, than for Christian guyfriends, so we don’t cause them to stumble. This verse isn’t telling us that braided hair or jewelry or nice clothes are a bad thing ~ just that we are not to dress flashy to bring attention to ourselves. We are to be humble and modest, because what you’re wearing isn’t important ~ it should be modest so it’s not drawing attention away from your character. If a woman desires to follow God, that’s where her focus should be anyway ~ not on her appearance. If you CLAIM to worship Him, you need to dress like it ~ to honor Him.
Verse 11 starts telling us how we are to behave. There is nothing wrong with learning, or wanting to learn. Paul is merely saying that she is not to ask questions of the men. She is supposed to keep her thoughts to herself in respectful silence and allow the men to have authority. But does this apply when there are no men present? I think not. Her job is simply in keeping with why she was made ~ to support the man.
Then, to make doubly sure he knows he’s gotten his point across, Paul repeats what he just said in verse 12. He does NOT permit a woman to have authority over men. By the sound of it, a woman isn’t even permitted to speak around men. Not permitted by Paul, perhaps, but maybe by others? I know OUR culture has definitely given women some rein.
Then Paul gives two very good reasons why he doesn’t allow women to have authority: man was formed first, and woman sinned first. The whole purpose Eve was made was to help Adam, and so she should submit to him like a younger sibling submits to older ones. She was the very last of God’s creations, and she was the first one to sin. She was deceived, and led Adam to deception as well. Those seem like pretty good reasons to me.
Now all you independent girls like me are probably thinking, “You mean I can only be saved if I have kids? But what if I don’t want to?” That’s what I say when I read this. It’s a…complicated subject. What about barren women? How are they saved? I don’t believe that it’s the ONLY way for a woman to be TRULY saved, though it is how Eve was restored.
Anyway, this verse is saying that the sentence of sin won’t keep them from being accepted by Christ if they continue to be faithful, loving, and holy. “Propriety” (according to Google) is the state of conforming to conventionally accepted standards of behavior. But not only do the women have to act this way, but their children must as well ~ the women have the responsibility of raising their children correctly.