...for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
Thoughts for Today:Anyone who thinks the Bible prohibits women from leading or teaching should read the Book of Judges. (Judges 4:4: "Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.") In our passage today, when Paul says, "It is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church," I think he is making more of a commentary regarding the lack of leadership by men, rather than a prohibition against women. How so? Judges 4:8-9: "Barak said to her, 'If you go with me, I will go; but if you don't go with me, I won't go.' 'Certainly I will go with you,' said Deborah. 'But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.'"
It is a sad state of affairs, when in any group -- it is a woman who is the only person able and willing to teach or lead. How does it happen? Because the men are too worldly, carnal, pre-occupied, sinful, weak, or otherwise unwilling to do so themselves. They have abdicated their designated role in the body of Christ. Yet, it is also a position that women are more than qualified and capable to step in and fill. Throughout history God has blessed women for their willingness to serve Him, even if it is in roles He designed for men.
Questions to Ponder:The "disgrace" Paul speaks of is not necessarily the acts of women, but rather the lack of Christ-centered men at work in the church and in the home. Leadership is not awarded; it is earned. As men, are we regularly studying Scripture, praying, and encouraging fellowship with other believers? All too often, I see men who are lacking in these areas. Do you want to lead? Begin with a personal commitment to follow the Lord. Joshua 24:15b: But AS FOR ME and my household, we will serve the LORD."