Vol. 7, No. 7
Priscilla's Page *Editor's Note*
~ Page 16 ~
The short answer to this topic is, "She has virtually none." The "long" answer to the realm of woman's authority can be found in Titus 2:3-5: "The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things, that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed." These three verses are the only scriptures in the New Testament that give women any authority whatsoever! Please notice this realm of authority is confined to one woman to another woman. Why is that? The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 11:3, "But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God." This passage puts women in position number four of God's divine order, the order being God, Christ, man and woman.
Why are women in position number four of God's divine order? After Adam and Eve had sinned having succumbed to the devil's lie and deception, God pronounced his punishment on the three of them. Genesis 3:16 reads, "To the woman He said: I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 2:13-14, "For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression."
Women are the only ones who will be held accountable for Titus 2:3-5. Paul lists four qualities that must characterize the life of the older woman as she admonishes young women.
(1) Reverent in her behavior: A lifestyle that is appropriate for one who loves and serves the Lord. This is demonstrated in her character, speech, behavior, appearance and attitude, just to name a few.
(2) Not slanders/malicious gossips: She needs only to know enough about a situation to be of spiritual guidance and encouragement.
(3) Not given to much wine: There are many passages on the subject of drinking in which is dissipation. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:9a, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived." In the latter part of verse 9 and verse 10, Paul names 10 categories of people who will not inherit the kingdom of God and the drunkard is number 8 on that list.
(4) Teachers of good things: In Colossians Chapter 3, Paul gives instructions on putting off the old man and putting on the new man. We are commanded to set our minds on things above not on things on the earth. The good things that are to be taught from this chapter addresse behavior to be eliminated, i.e., fornication, idolatry, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. The character that is to be embraced is humbleness, meekness, forgiveness, and above all put on love, which is the bond of perfection. These are but a few of the good things older women will teach young women.
Older women have God's authority to admonish the young women to love their husbands, love their children, be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, and obedient to their own husbands. The word admonish means "A putting in mind, a training by the word, a warning, an instruction." Since all of us women are older than some other woman, we need to be teaching what we know the Bible says concerning these matters.
Notice these things are to be taught that the Word of God is not blasphemed. What does it mean to blaspheme? Blasphemy is cursing God or having no fear of him; an irreverence and continual rejection of divine truth; not having proper respect or admiration; speaking in ways that are injurious, hateful and profane against God and the Bible.
Looking individually at the command of these passages gives a clearer understanding of God's expectations. The older women are to admonish the young women:
(1) To love their husbands. One of the most heartrending verses in Scripture on how this is to be done is found in Proverbs 31:10-12, "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life."
(2) To be discreet is to be of sound mind and to be self-controlled. The woman of God has developed and maintains a spiritually disciplined mind. Since self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, the woman of God exercises this trait in every aspect of her life.
(3) To be chaste (not chased!) is to be pure from carnality and to always be guarding herself against the pollutions of the world. The woman of God has the best character/behavior, best morals, best attitude and best speech.
(4) To be homemakers is for the woman of God to understand she is the thermometer of the family; the atmosphere of the home is usually measured by her. She keeps a clean, orderly arranged home, and above all, it is a spiritually filled place. It is the haven for the family.
(5) To be good is to do an activity that is favorable to a circumstance, that which is valuable according to a standard. Paul says in Romans 12:9-10, "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another."
(6) To be obedient to her own husband means that the woman of God is subject to her husband, submissive to her husband, yields to her husband and puts her own husband first. Submission is not being accommodating in his presence then in his absence doing as she pleases. Submission is not gauging her relationship by someone else's. Submission is not appearing to be supportive with a "hidden agenda." Submission is yielding to the spiritual leadership and authority given to her husband by God.
The realm of woman's authority is very limited in its scope, and yet so broad it challenges all Christian women to the fullest! When women function in the realm of their God-given authority, they are women who possess that "gentle and quiet spirit which is very precious in the sight of God" (I Peter 3:4b).