James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
We confess our faults to God for forgiveness, and we confess our faults to each other for healing. So Ladies, here it goes…
A few weeks ago, while my husband was teaching a Sunday school lesson, he lost his place and began reading in the wrong chapter. Because of my pride and not wanting him to look bad (because that would make me look bad), I blurted out the place where he should be. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, the Holy Spirit smote my heart, “Who do you think you are? You not only publicly embarrassed your husband and usurped authority over him, but you usurped authority over your pastor.” After services and being under deep conviction for what I had done, I went to my husband and asked him to forgive me.
In most of the churches that we have attended or ministered during our Christian life, women have been allowed to speak their voice in church and business meetings. After the Holy Spirit convicted me of my error that day, I began to study about women speaking out in the early church, and should women be allowed to speak out in church business meetings. After studying many Scriptures, and the Lord leading me to different writings of Godly men, I have come to a strong conviction that the business of the church should be handled by the elders and pastors of the church.
As a woman, I am very aware of my emotional makeup. During previous years of ministry, I am so glad that my husband did not always listen to me when I gave him my “unasked for advice” about church matters. If he had listened to my emotional opinions and not listened to the Lord, the church would have suffered serious consequences.
One morning my husband and I were visiting with a well-known evangelist. He began sharing with us about different church problems he faced in his travels. He made a statement that astounded me, “Judy, I have noticed that almost all church problems begin with a woman.” Men will go home and share a new direction for the church with their wives. One wife will disagree with the decision—watch out—soon there will be full blown problems in the church!
In 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul says, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man.”
One writer said, “A bossy woman is as much a monstrosity as an effeminate man.”
I came across this article, and it is very thought provoking.
Should Women in the Church Attend Business Meetings? Written by W.R. Jones Conroe, Texas
As the Women’s Movement grows in the world about us it is having its effect on some ladies in the church. I was recently confronted with this question by a Christian who worships with a congregation where sisters attending business meetings is a fairly common practice. I am told they attend and speak out concerning their views. The first thing this practice tells me is that sisters who attend and so exercise themselves do not properly understand their role in the kingdom, or they have no respect for God’s and vine arrangement. The second thing this practice tells me is that brethren who allow it are either poorly informed of women’s role in the New Testament, or they have lost their courage to speak against such conduct. In either case, it is an indicator of spiritual decline.
On the basis of what I see and hear, I fear some ladies in the church think the Women’s Movement as seen in the world has liberated them from the role assigned by our Lord in the New Testament. We must not judge the church by the standards of the world. I freely admit that faithful sisters in the congregation have a right to know what the church is trying to accomplish. I would readily listen to and respect their sound counsel. But this can be effectively accomplished without women pushing themselves into a “leadership” position in church decisions.
I do not question the “value” of faithful women in Christ Jesus. Dorcas assisted the needy (Acts 9:36). Priscilla and her husband taught a young preacher in the right way (Acts 18:18). Phebe and Mary were commended for their assistance to Paul in the gospel (Rom. 16:1,6). Women were waiting in prayer following the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:14). In Philippians 4:3 Paul said, “Help those women who labored with me in the gospel.”
As a young preacher, I kept preaching appointments where there would have been no congregation, except for the faithful sisters. I have won battles for truth on some occasions only because faithful women backed me. Godly women have done much to encourage, mold, and shape me, for a half-century of effective preaching, Don’t try to tell me they are not valuable. But the truth remains, the Lord did not put them in places of leadership. Men and women are equal in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28), but they are not equal in their role assignments. Women were not assigned leadership responsibilities in kingdom matters.
What Can a Woman Do in the Worship?
She can do anything a man can do – except take the lead. She can sing, pray, commune, contribute, and study-anything but take the lead. Women’s rights to equality in worship is not to be questioned. But dominion over and teaching men publicly is forbidden. Why is this so?
1. God so commanded (1 Cor. 14:23-35)
2. Adam was first created, then Eve (1 Tim. 2:13). There was no woman among the apostles, the seventy, elders, deacons, preachers and evangelists in the New Testament. But, women must not feel badly about this. They have been vindicated by the Lord. The word “mother” has elevated her above all in another role (v. 15).
Yet, a sister may ask, “Is there nothing else for me? Can I do nothing but quietly sit in the assembly and praise God?” If this were all, it would still be an honor, but God has not limited your duties to simply that.
Woman and Her Work in the Church Daily
Women are commanded to teach. But, what about 1 Timothy 2:12? Of course, she is not to usurp authority. She is not to push her way into the lead. Older women are to teach the younger. They are to teach the younger women to be good wives (Tit. 2:3-5). They are permitted to teach privately (Acts 18:26). Sisters can teach classes of children or other women. They can teach their neighbors. Many individuals, male and female, have been converted by women. Women would do the church a great service if they would teach our young ladies to be proper wives for elders, deacons, and preachers. You can’t believe how many elders, deacons, and especially preachers I have known whose labor was greatly hindered by a wife whose heart and conduct was not in his work. Sisters, you can visit the sick and shut-ins at home or in the hospital, help the needy, and like Dorcas, you could even make a garment.
Female Christians, ask yourselves these questions.
1. Am I an asset or a liability in the church?
2. Am I a help or a hindrance to the work?
3. Do I add strength and character to the church?
4. Is my daily life an influence for good?
5. Am I daily growing in grace and knowledge?
6. Have I led anyone to Christ? Am I even trying?
7. By my attendance and interest, am I giving encouragement to the young converts and the unsaved?
Let me proudly say, “God bless our righteous women!”
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 9, p. 265 May 2, 1991
2 thoughts on “My Confession of Usurping Authority Over My Husband”
Change is difficult. Change in a time when said change flies directly in the face of what feels “right” is even more difficult. But in speaking this truth, you are taking the bandaid off a wound that needs light and fresh air in order to heal. God bless you richly for being so frank and so brave. I cannot imagine myself agreeing with you even just a couple of years ago, but what the world so desperately needs right now is a people who won’t waver or quibble about what God’s own Word so clearly says.
Shortly before meeting our friend Diane T. and finding Faith Baptist through her, I was reading Sue Monk Kidd’s book The Dance of the Dissident Daughter and bought it hook, line and sinker. I went off on a spree of reading everything I could about “The Goddess” and while I was doing this I began to get this odd feeling that something was just wrong about it all. Here I was being told that we women have been so oppressed by all the maleness of the churches, but all this taking of power felt just a bit skewed to me. I decided to go back to a church to see just what was the truth about this and was led to meet Diane, and through Diane met the Bible for the first time. And the Bible says what it says!
I totally trust our elders and pastor to do the right thing by us to the full extent of their capabilities as flawed humans who believe in and love their God. And because they both love and fear Him, I trust they won’t willingly lead us astray, nor will God allow it unless it is for our ultimate good. Thank you for leading us ladies so well.
Thank you so much for your wisdom and insight. May God bless you richly as you continue to serve our wonderful Lord.
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