Women Teaching Other Women Theology?

Although my back is a great deal better than it has been since I fractured it six months ago, I still spend a few days in bed each week. On those days, I watch YouTube videos streamed through our DVD player. (Okay, I also watch Animal Planet’s Putbulls and Parolees, but that has nothing to do with this blog post). This weekend (because Pitbulls and Parolees wasn’t on), I watched several videos from a Reformed ministry that seriously challenged my thinking in regard to two important topics: eschatology and the content of what women should teach other women.

The video on eschatology lead to another video of a sermon on the subject. My head is spinning from that one, and it will take a long time for me to process it. Just when I thought I’d landed on a position, too! Please don’t expect me to blog on eschatology any time soon — I have so much more to study on the matter before I attempt to write about it. Jesus will return to save His people and judge unbelievers. I stand on that promise without being properly educated on the particulars.

The video on women’s ministry also stretched me, but I feel far less confused as to where I agree and disagree with the lady being interviewed. The points that bothered me need to be considered, of course, but even she acknowledged that her position leaving room for debate. Gotta respect her for the humility to admit that possibility!

She began at the same foundation as I do: Scripture allows women to teach women, but not to teach men. Hallelujah — absolute solidarity on that point! And we draw from the same Biblical passage to substantiate the practice of women teaching women.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. ~~Titus 2:3-5 (NASB95)

The woman in the video asserted that women could learn theology during Sunday morning sermons, just as men do. Well, she had a point there. In addition, those of us with godly husbands should learn theology from them. Again, I agree. She used the passage from Titus 2 to support the idea that women should teach other women specifically in the areas of housekeeping, marriage and child-rearing.

While those areas definitely are important, I question the implication that women must limit themselves to those three subjects. Don’t men study theology in their small groups, thus augmenting what they receive on Sunday mornings? Of course they do!

To be blunt, many women have the gift of teaching. Immediately, I think of the ladies I highlighted just a few weeks ago. These women all know that God’s Word doesn’t give them permission to preach Sunday sermons or teach co-ed classes. As a matter of fact, all of them adamantly support 1 Timothy 2:11-14. But they obediently use their gift of teaching in order to minister to other women.

Our pastors may teach exceedingly sound doctrine, but rarely do they warn against popular evangelical speakers like Beth Moore, Priscilla Shrier or Ann Voskamp. A woman who sits with me and John each Sunday under the wonderful preaching of our pastors gave us a boxed set of Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling books. Later, during a women’s Bible Study, she learned that Sarah Young teaches false doctrine. Pastors don’t have time to identify all the popular writers and speakers that captivate Christian women. But women who teach other women have the time to correct their sisters when they fall prey to false teachers.

The apostle Paul tells Titus, in verse 3, that older women must first of all teach what is good. What could possibly be better than the Lord Jesus Christ? Doesn’t being a godly wife, mother and housekeeper flow out of knowing Him? Surely women without the Lord are fully capable of teaching those basic skills!

Only a Christian woman, however, can teach her sisters Who Jesus is. And obviously she can’t do so unless she teaches sound doctrine. Theology lays the groundwork for having godly marriages, raising children by godly principles and maintaining a home that reflects godly order. Theology deepens our understanding of who God is and what He values. So when a woman teaches right theology to other women as a supplement to the pastor’s preaching, she assists their abilities to be wives and mothers that bring glory to God.

Furthermore, limiting teaching to marriage, motherhood and housekeeping ignores the needs of single women. Having been single for most of my life, I can assure you that depending solely on a pastor’s preaching can lead to a vast spectrum of impropriety. Need I spell out what those improprieties might entail? Probably not.

All we need to say is that single women need ladies who will encourage them to know the Lord better so that they may live in ways that please Him. How can they do that without being taught Who He is and what His priorities are for the unmarried? False teachers will gladly tell them that Jesus is their Husband, sometimes even going so far as to outright say that He will satisfy their sexual desires through intimacy with Him. If more mature Christian women don’t teach these vulnerable sisters solid doctrine — and particularly a Scriptural Christology — single women will suffer tremendously.

Praise the Lord for godly men who stand in our pulpits and faithfully preach God’s Word to men and women! No women’s Bible Study can take the place of a pastor’s ministry. But when women teach other women theology, it supports a pastor’s ministry, preserving holiness and helping women apply the teachings of the Bible to all areas of Christian womanhood. Rather than relegate doctrinal teaching exclusively to our pastors, let’s praise God that He’s given women the ability to teach theology to other women.

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