Women and Men (Part 1)
1 Timothy 2:8-10
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: The Bible contains some curious commands. Consider this one in Leviticus 19:19: “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.” (So much for those polyester pants you’ve been wearing!) Of course, few imperatives incite controversy like one in the passage at hand: “Women should adorn themselves with respectable apparel … not with not with braided hair and gold or pearls.” What should we make of this? Well, the answer requires some context, and when properly understood, speaks to the complex (and beautiful) relationship between women, men, and the God who made them.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
- What does the posture of “lifting holy hands” (verse 8) signify? Where does that practice come from and why does it matter?
- What should you do if you are entering a time of worship before God and realize that you’ve offended a brother in Christ (see Matthew 5:24-25)?
- Is it wrong for women today to wear jewelry and attractive clothes? If not, why does Paul command women (in verse 9) not to adorn themselves with these items?
- Modesty is less about necklines and skirt lengths and more a matter of the heart. How so?
- In what ways do we try to “dress ourselves up” before God and earn His approval? How do our efforts reveal an insufficient understanding of grace?
- Why is God’s acceptance so much more rewarding than acceptance by our peers?
1. “Confusion over the meaning of [manhood and womanhood] is epidemic. The consequence of this confusion is not a free and happy harmony among gender-free persons. … The consequence is rather more divorce, more homosexuality, more sexual abuse, more promiscuity, more social awkwardness, and more emotional distress and suicide that come with the loss of God-given identity.”
2. “Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.” (Psalm 28:2)
3. “Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord… Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!” (Psalm 134:1-2)
4. 01. Posture when praying is of marginal importance: what concerns God is the disposition of the heart.
5. “Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7)
6. “An inconsiderate husband is an ineffective intercessor. The prayers of an unholy man will go unanswered while the petitions of a righteous man may move mountains.” – Philip Ryken
8. “There is a large body of evidence, both Hellenistic and Jewish, which equated ‘dressing up’ with sexual wantonness and wifely insubordination.” Gordon Fee
9. 02. There’s nothing wrong with wearing jewelry or a fashionable hairstyle, but it is soul -destroying to seek worth in the wrong areas.
10. “You move us to delight in praising you; for you have formed us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in you.” Augustine of Hippo
11. 03. The relentless desire to be loved and valued (that men have as much as women) can only come when we are reconciled to our God.
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