Ok, if you are a lady, did you find it difficult to read, “As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches for they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.” (14:34)
What about 3 verses later? Paul says, “If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that these things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.” (14:37)
So, women should keep silent and that is a command of the Lord! 😳
Well, I’ve written about this before. You gotta remember to take all writings into account before thinking Paul is prohibiting women from talking altogether. As you may remember, he allowed women to pray and prophesy corporately (11:5, 13). Therefore, his instructions in all these verses has to do with proper decorum.
It’s interesting to me that he even needed to address the issue. You would think that the culture of the time insisted on women being submissive. Yet, they sound very similar to us today. Women wanted to take over the speaking roles, just as we want to do today!
I think that women have struggled with this issue since Eve ate the forbidden fruit. One of the consequences, or punishments, of that original sin was, “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” (Gen 3:16 ESV)
My Bible commentary to that verse says, “These words from the Lord indicate that there will be an ongoing struggle between the woman and the man for leadership in the marriage relationship. The leadership role of the husband and the complementary relationship between husband and wife that were ordained by God before the fall have now been deeply damaged and distorted by sin.” 😢
Paul addresses this marital issue at greater length later in Eph. 5:22, pointing Christians back to the type of relationship God intended for husbands and wives prior to the fall.
So, reading Paul’s words here in 1 Cor.- they are not words we should disregard as being irrelevant to today’s social norms. On the contrary, we as Christian ladies, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us, can strive to have the relationship with our husbands that God originally designed.
And yes, ladies, that means to submit to his authority! 😜 Lord, help me with that!