I have a thing for a new pack of crayons.
Did you know that in Scripture, God speaks directly to us as women about how to listen to our pastor’s sermon? 1 Timothy 2:11 says: “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.”
Now I know this is a lighting rod of a verse here. It is an often misunderstood and misapplied passage of Scripture and there is no way to adequately address the controversial points of interpretation in this brief post.*
But as the Literary Study Bible suggests, it is “useful to identify the underlying principles and attitudes that Paul commends (especially studiousness and submission).” What two qualities should characterize our attitude toward the Sunday morning sermon? Studiousness and submission.
In all the debate about what “quietly” means, what is often overlooked is the imperative in this verse for women to “learn.” We are to come to church as learners. We are students, and we should be eager to learn from God’s Word through the gift of preaching.
First this command addresses those of us who may admit we don’t have a strong appetite for the study of theology. Maybe you think of yourself as more creative and artsy, not a big reader or academically inclined. But while it is true that God has given us all different gifts, interests, and personalities, when it comes to God’s Word we should all be should all be learners, we should all be studious.
We should all be graduate students on Sunday morning. Our mindset should be that of the enthusiastic student—on the edge of our seat, absorbing all that God would have to say to us, poised to listen, digest, and then apply what we hear throughout the week. And if a love for doctrine does not come naturally to us, lets ask God to produce in our hearts what only he can: a Spirit-born love for the preaching of God’s Word.
But this command cuts both ways. It also has something to say to the naturally studious among us. Maybe you have extensive Bible knowledge or have even been to seminary. Or maybe you have grown up in an excellent church and have sat under the teaching of a more experienced pastor than the one who is currently preaching. Maybe you have led Bible studies or are considered to be a gifted teacher of other women.
For all of us, Paul’s insistence that we come to church to “learn” may help correct a temptation to spiritual pride that “puffs up” (1 Cor. 8:1). It reminds us that we are all to sit under the preaching of God’s Word, not first as “teachers” but as “learners.” We are to bring our hearts in submission to the Word of God and this is a good and intentionally humbling exercise for us, which is exactly how God has ordained it to be.
This is not to say, of course, that we check our discernment at the door or that we never humbly offer a suggestion or critique to our pastor. But it does mean that we come to hear the faithful preaching of God’s Word as humble learners, eager to sit under the authority and instruction of God’s Word.
“In all the other contexts in which we teach and admonish one another and speak the word of Christ to one another (Col. 3:16), we are much more likely to submit and not evade by endless discussion, if we have as our top meeting priority (alongside prayer) sitting together under the preached word.” ~Christopher Ash
So let’s ask ourselves: Do we come to Sunday morning service eager to learn from God’s Word through our pastor’s preaching?
God Himself is eager to teach us through His Word. What an exciting classroom!
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim. 3:16-17
*For those interested in a thorough treatment of this passage, I highly commend Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15, ed. Kostenberger, Schreiner, Baldwin.
The only way to protect her from big brother’s smothering hugs while I cook dinner.
We are pulling this recipe from the archives today as it’s perfect to make ahead for that big Easter meal.
We girltalkers have a weakness for homemade bread, and we are always on the lookout for new recipes. Mom recently discovered Buttermilk Refrigerator Rolls and they’ve made regular appearances at dinner ever since. These soft and chewy little guys are, well, what can I say? Scrumptious!
But what makes them doubly wonderful is that the dough keeps in the refrigerator for up to one week. This means you can whip up a batch on Monday (today!) and use it for dinner (or breakfast and lunch, for that matter) all week long. Yummy and practical! You’ve gotta try ‘em!
Buttermilk Refrigerator Rolls
Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand five minutes. Stir in melted shortening. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add dry ingredients and buttermilk to yeast mixture; mix well. Turn dough out on a well-floured surface; knead gently until dough can be handled. Shape dough into a ball; place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover dough, and refrigerate until needed (dough will keep one week). Shape dough into rolls, as desired; place on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Yield: about 2 dozen.
Happiest of happy birthdays to my baby brother. NaNa loves you!
It was raining buckets Sunday morning, and I woke up late because one of my children had kept me up during the night.
As I reheated my coffee—which had already brewed, stayed warm, and shut off before I woke up—I stared at my kitchen counters which were covered with grocery bags full of non-perishables I had yet to put away from last night’s grocery run.
After a swig or two of Sumatra, I managed to find a pair of not-too wrinkled pants for my oldest son that he had prematurely thrown in the laundry hamper, and miraculously dug up four hair bands from the bottom of the pretties box because my girls wanted matching pig-tails (they are sisters, after all).
Of course, I couldn’t find anything for me to wear. And did I mention it was raining buckets?
I raced around, getting everyone ready for church, and the mess seemed to grow around me: cereal bowls unwashed, clothes on the floor, barrettes spilled everywhere. I knew it would take all afternoon to straighten up.
The thought passed through my head that what I really need, more than anything right now, is a quiet morning at home.
But on its heels came another, truer thought: No, what I really need, more than anything right now, is to hear preaching from God’s Word.
“Yes, I hear the sermon; but who is speaking? The minister? No indeed! You do not hear the minister. True, the voice is his; but my God is speaking the Word which he preaches or speaks. Therefore, I should honor the Word of God that I may become a good pupil of the Word.” ~Martin Luther
This, this is what I really need, more than anything.
I need to hear God speak to me.
And this conviction changes everything. For when I believe that God is speaking to me, each and every Sunday, through His Word, delivered by my pastor, then there is no moment of the week I look forward to more.
My pastor’s sermon is no longer an inconvenient interruption to my self-focused and hectic life; it is not one of a smorgasbord of equally good options whereby I can receive God’s Word; it is not boring or irrelevant or, at best mildly entertaining.
No, for one hour or so each week we gather to hear God speak to us through his Word. There is nothing we need more, nothing we should anticipate more.
God is speaking!
How quickly I lose sight of the wonder of this truth.
But my eagerness to hear God’s Word preached on Sunday is a measure of my hunger for God’s Word. If I am passionate about the Bible, I will be passionate about hearing God’s Word preached. If I am a “good pupil” of the Word then I will want to sit under gospel-centered, biblically faithful preaching more than I want to get some rest, clean my house, go shopping.
In other words, I can’t be passionate about the Word of God and indifferent to the preaching of God’s Word at the same time.
To love God’s Word is to love to hear God’s Word preached.
And this is what I need, more than anything.
When you wake up on Monday morning and two of your kids have Pinkeye, you throw in the the towel and have a cookie for breakfast.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” Philippians 4:4
“Before you existed, God decided to set His affection upon you. Jesus lived a life of moral perfection before a holy God that is credited to us as a gift. Jesus took upon Himself on the cross every ounce of real, honest-to-goodness judgment you deserve. Every wrong you have done God punished in Jesus. God caused us to be born again, gave us new eyes to see, granted us the gift of repentance of faith. He’s given us the Holy Spirit as a down payment of the ultimate inheritance we will certainly receive when Jesus returns, when we are actually transformed to be like Him.
If all of that occupies your mind and informs your perspective on life, what can you do but rejoice? This is why joy can be commanded of the Christian.”
~Jeff Purswell (listen to yesterday’s outstanding sermon at SGCL on Phil. 4:4-7)
(HT: Brittany Kauflin)