Can Women Teach Theology to Other Women?

Christian Womanhood, Podcast Episodes

In this episode Phylicia confronts a question that caused a tizzy on the internet: Can women teach theology to other women?

 We look at

  • The definition of theology
  • Whether men are the transmitters of spiritual authority
  • What Scripture says about women prophesying
  • How to teach theology in a healthy and biblical way


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Welcome to Verity podcast. I’m your host, Phylicia Masonheimer and I’m here to teach you how to know what you believe, to live it boldly, and to communicate it graciously to the world around you. I believe that women are ready to go deeper in their faith than ever before and they don’t have to go to seminary to do it. I am so glad you’re here. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey because every woman is a theologian.

Hello friends and welcome back to Verity podcast. This week’s episode may have been sent to you by a friend. So, if you are new to my podcast, welcome. I’m so excited that you’re here. I am Phylicia Masonheimer and I am the founder of Every Woman a Theologian, which is an organization that helps women and families grow in their understanding of who God is and learn how to communicate truths with grace and confidence to their world. We are mainly an evangelism ministry, but what we use for our evangelism is theology. Because when you know what you believe about God and you are truly living it with a whole heart, you can’t help but share Jesus with others. I’ve had a lot of questions lately from those who follow me mainly through Instagram about a recent podcast series that discussed whether women could teach theology to other women. There’s been a little uproar online about this and I don’t really want to join the uproar, but I do want to serve my listeners well. So, we are going to talk about that topic today.

I am going to address several questions that came up in this podcast series. I’m not going to mention who did it or what the name of the series was. It’s just not something that I want to in any way shame or defame. The person who talked about this has a right to their own opinion and so I am going to address it from my angle. But a couple of points that were brought up in this series were in regard to the following questions. First, what is theology? What is it, how does it work? We have to address that before we can discuss whether women can teach it. Second, can only men transmit theology to women? Can only men transmit spiritual guidance and truth to women? or can women transmit it to men and to children and to other women? That’s the second question. The third question that comes up is what are the origins of women’s Bible studies or women teaching other women? Is this a recent occurrence, a recent adaptation? or is this something that we can see in history? Lastly, if we are to teach theology to other women, how can we do this in a healthy and biblical way? Those are the four things that I am particularly going to address in this episode.

But before I get to that, I want to define theology. So, you can divide theology into a variety of types. You can divide it into Biblical theology, which is the most raw form of theology I would say. It’s drawn directly from scripture, you exege or you work out the scripture and draw out what the author meant from the Greek and the Hebrew and the context. And what you get out of that is called Biblical theology. After Biblical theology, you have historical theology, which is giving you more of the historical context, the way that history and culture have shaped. How that theology plays out in practical application and then you have your more devotional or practical theology, which is more of the experiential aspect of how does our view of God interact with our spiritual disciplines. Now, there are other theologies that you can get into as well, things like feminist theology or liberation theology like people take at different directions, but most scholars would agree that your core is Biblical theology, and then you have your historical theology and then your practical theology, etc. 

A systematic theology would come kind of between practical theology and historical theology, and it basically just breaks down the different sections or types of theology. So, if you want to learn more about Christ’s death on the cross, that would fall under soteriology or salvation theology and it would be like a little section or chapter or portion of theology you’re studying. If you have read my book, Every Woman a Theologian, that is basically a systematic theology for laypeople, so for non-acadamians. So, when we’re looking at theology as a whole, the way I define it really is that theology is the study of the nature of God as drawn out of scripture. That’s what Christian theology is. Now, when you get into the nitty gritty of that, you’re going to have a theology that is more academic. It’s going to really dive into the meanings of the Greek and the Hebrew and the church history surrounding the things that we’re studying, the culture and context. You can get very academic with it, but all academic theology eventually trickles down to practical daily life application. It’s not meant to stay in this heady intellectual space. The argument of the original series on theology was that women cannot teach academic theology to other women, and technically they can’t teach devotional theology either. The argument that you can’t teach academic theology is because women are not to act in a spiritually authoritative manner, even towards other women. That is a role reserved only for men. 

Now, there are plenty of New Testament passages you can look at for that argument. This particular case, the argument was taken from the Genesis order in Genesis 1:3. This brings us from what is theology to the question of can only men transmit theology or spiritual authority to a woman. Can a woman ever operate in spiritual authority? Can she ever translate theological truths to someone else. This was taken from Genesis where the concept that was expressed in the original series said that in Genesis 1:3, “God gives his instructions for the garden and how men and women were to behave in the garden in relationship with Him, that they were not to eat of the specific tree. He gives those instructions to Adam, and Adam in turn is to give them to Eve.” This is the basis of the argument that from the very beginning, men were given this theological knowledge or theological authority through scripture, and they are then to communicate that to the women. So, whether that’s their wives or the women in the church, the pastors and elders are to communicate those truths. If this is the case, then a woman would be out of line or walking outside of God’s created order to be transmitting spiritual information back to a man or even to transmit that to other women because that role is reserved for men alone. I would argue that this is a very narrow understanding of what’s happening in Genesis 1:3.

Now, Genesis 1:3, are incredibly important. They lay the foundation for the marital order, the order of the home, the vision for God’s kingdom. There’s a lot going on in these chapters. They’re so important and so essential. But to take the view that because God instructed Adam and gave him the moral standard for the garden and only Adam can communicate that to Eve and that Eve’s entire deception was related to Adam’s failure and that this then in turn guides the Church and how we are to handle theology and communicating truths about God. I think this is a very boxy and narrow understanding of what is going on here. My friend, Dr. Steve Bezner, who’s a pastor at Houston Northwest Church, shared with me a perspective I find very persuasive when it comes to what’s going on in Genesis 1:3. And it’s not just his perspective. I’ve read this in multiple other scholarly perspectives on what’s going on in Genesis 1:3. Here’s basically how it works. In the Garden of Eden when Eve sins, we do see Adam’s passivity. We do see Adam refusing to take responsibility to lead his family, essentially. Now, this isn’t to say that Eve never leads or Eve had no role because she was the helper to Adam. What’s helper mean? That word is easer. That word means that she’s a strong rescuing helper and essential part of the mission. It’s a word that God actually uses for Himself elsewhere in the Old Testament and that’s the word he attributes to Eve. This is not a weak, subordinate, secondhand role that Eve has. She should ideally have walked in that role. She should have lived up to the identity that God gave her as man’s helper, and she does not. Adam has another role in this story that he also neglects.

The Hebrew says that Adam was actually at Eve’s elbow as she ate the fruit. He didn’t stop her and he eventually blames Eve for what she did. What we see here is Adam actually walking in this passivity and this refusal to confront what his wife is doing, but we also see Eve doing something, and that is that she acted without stopping to consult her husband. The temptation here is, of course, to not believe God’s words and not honor God’s words and obey him, but it’s also a temptation to disunity and operating in selfishness. Adam not being willing to speak into his wife’s life, Eve not being willing to consult her husband, neither one wanting to communicate about God’s truths and to operate in unity on the decision that was to be made. This isn’t a case of, oh, Adam was given this special spiritual knowledge that he was supposed to transmit to Eve. And the real sin was that Adam didn’t adequately transmit that knowledge and the wife didn’t adequately process it, or she tried to operate in her own theology and she got deceived. That’s not what’s happening here. What’s happening here is, yes, Adam being passive and yes, Eve refusing to involve him in the process or consult him or have regard and respect for him. And through this amalgamation of their own selfishness, you see the fall. A lack of trust in God, a lack of regard for one another, you see the fall. 

Where does this land us when it comes to theology and women teaching theology? I think it lands us in a place where we can say men are not the sole stewards of scripture and truth. I’m going to get to some other examples in scripture of that as well. I want to start in Genesis 1:3, because that’s where this podcaster started on this issue, saying that men are the stewards of scriptural truth because God gave it to Adam in the garden and Eve basically messed it up that she’s too deceived, too emotional to handle this kind of thing. He didn’t say that she was too emotional, but that’s kind of what I’m taking out of it. So, if in Genesis, what mattered was stewarding God’s truth together, man and woman, not being passive, not operating apart from your husband’s consultation and apart from your husband’s wisdom, not that women aren’t wise on their own, but that there needs to be unity there, then let’s now look at what happens in the Old Testament post fall. As we move through the Old Testament, we see women leading and I feel like I’ve said this over and over again, and that women who do what I do say this all the time and maybe we sound like a noisy gong, but scripture is clear on this. If you have a reverence for scripture, you have to deal with the passages that talk about women operating in specifically prophetic roles.

We encounter Miriam. She’s one of the first that we see operating in this prophetic gifting, where Miriam is not just leading worship, but she’s called a prophetess. We also have to look at Huldah, who is consulted as a prophetess, or Deborah, who was not just a prophetess but also a judge. And people will sometimes say, “Well, she was a prophetess and a judge because there were no men around.” And that’s never stated in scripture. The only part of scripture that says, “A woman will get the glory is when Deborah is talking to the leader of the army.” And he says, “I won’t go up to war unless you go with me.” That’s when Deborah says, “Okay, I’ll go with you, but you will not get the glory. The glory will be given to a woman.” So, this glory to the woman verse is not talking about Deborah being a prophetess or a judge. She’s not a prophetess or a judge because there are no good men. She’s a prophetess and a judge because God chose her and he chose her to lead his people. The glory issue comes into play when she calls a man up and says, “We need you to lead. This is what God has called you to do.” And what does he do? He becomes passive. That’s when she says, “I will go up with you, but a woman will be getting the glory.” It’s important if we say we value the Word of God, that we value all the Word of God, which is why I often feel that I don’t fit anywhere in this space, because I believe the Word of God. Both say that women can lead and teach and it also says that women are called to submit and to reverence their husbands and that’s a hard word for people. 

We want to get rid of the parts we don’t like, both on the conservative end and the progressive end, and we have to honor both of them if we are to do the Word of God justice. We’ve looked at Miriam, we’ve looked at Huldah, we’ve looked at Deborah. You can look at Isaiah’s wife. She is named as a prophetess. We can also look at the instances in the Old Testament where there are false prophetesses who are called out. I’m going to read you a portion from a sermon that was written in 1858 that talks about these false prophetesses. Here’s what it says, So common a thing was it to have female prophets that the propagators of error judged it an object to counterfeit the usage. Hence there were false female prophets as well as false male prophets.” God said to his true prophet Ezekiel, “Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own hearts: and prophesy thou against them. “This proves beyond a doubt that it must have been common for females to have the true spirit of prophecy, or there would not have been false pretenders. There is never a counterfeit without a genuine. Had it not been believed and understood that God did call females to the office and work of prophets, the fact of a female pretending to prophesy in the name of God would have proved her false. The fact, therefore, that there were false female prophets furnishes strong evidence not only that there were genuine female prophets, but that they must have been common sufficiently so at least as not to create suspicion upon its face when one appeared.”

What he’s saying here is that not only were there all of these legitimate prophetesses who we know Huldah and Deborah and Miriam and Isaiah’s wife, but there were also enough female prophets that false female prophets were recognized as something that needed to be confronted. The issue was not that women were prophesying. The issue was that they were falsely prophesying and Ezekiel was called to confront them. And then we see in the Book of Joel, where the prophet Joel says, “Your sons and your daughters will prophesy.” Which moves us to the New Testament in Acts 2, when that prophecy is fulfilled and God’s Spirit comes upon his people, including his women, and they speak the words of God to the congregation. That’s not even mentioning the women who were the first witnesses to the resurrection or the Samaritan woman who was the first evangelist and spread the theology god’s news given to her to the city that she came from, and many were saved in John 4. These are all examples of women teaching, if you will, in some way. They’re not pastors, they’re not elders, but they’re prophets, they’re evangelists, they’re teaching a form of theology. 

This is where things get so muddy, because in the definition that was given in this original series, theology is either defined vaguely as academic or as devotional, but in terms of how it’s being communicated to other people. The reality is that you can’t talk about God without teaching theology. That’s the whole point of what I do at Every Woman a Theologian. I’m saying that your everyday conversations about motherhood and womanhood and marriage, all the things that are on the okay list to talk about all of those things are intensely theological and they’re not on two ends of a spectrum. It’s not like you have academic theology on one end here, and then way over here you have biblical womanhood and motherhood and parenting and cooking and cleaning. I believe that those two things are not on opposite ends of a spectrum. They’re actually deeply intertwined in the middle and I think if you’ve followed me for any span of time, you know that I firmly believe that women should be theologically educated, because I believe scripture says we should, and that even in the case of the passages that say women should be silent in the churches. What Paul is saying is, go home and learn in that cultural context which says he wants the women to be theologically educated. He’s not leaving them without education. He’s not disinviting them from the church. He’s not even saying they can’t talk about these things. He’s saying you need to learn it because you need to communicate it and that theology is intertwined in your very daily life. 

Now, this may be what the other podcaster was discussing and trying to say, but what ended up coming out of it was you’re allowed to do X, Y and Z. You’re allowed to talk about motherhood, womanhood. You’re allowed to teach that, but you’re not allowed to teach academic theology. You’re not allowed to teach it in your home. You’re not allowed to lead a Bible study. You’re not allowed to do any of that because that is only to be done under the oversight of a pastor or elder. This goes back again to can only men transmit strict academic theology? Can only men teach scripture. This is a very strict understanding of what scripture says about women in the church. Just as a quick review, the most common passages that address women speaking and leading in the church are 1 Timothy 2, which says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, rather she is to remain quiet.” 1 Corinthians 14:34, which says, “Women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the law also says.” So, I addressed these two passages on my Instagram. Just as a quick summary here, we’re not talking about women being pastors and elders. 

Personally, I do not believe that the office of pastor and elder is to be held by a woman. I do believe that scripture makes a very valid case for women to be deaconesses, because the word used for deaconess as it is applied to a woman is the exact same word that is translated as minister and deacon when applied to men. Some of your translations may say servant instead of deaconess, but that word is the same as minister and deacon. So, we have the deaconesses. We have women who are ministering alongside their husbands and alongside other men such as Priscilla and Aquila. Priscilla actually correcting Apollos in the book of Acts with her husband, correcting his theology with her husband. Then you also see the prophetesses, as I’ve just argued all through the Old Testament and through the New. Prophecy is then in 1 Corinthians 14, outlined and described and given a healthy context. So, after Paul says, Women can pray and prophesy in the church, he then says they’re to keep silent.” So, what does that mean? Why would he say they can prophesy if he then immediately turns around and says, “They should keep silent?” He can’t mean that they can’t speak at all because he just gave them permission to prophesy when he described the head covering and how they are to do so in an honorable manner. 

There’s a lot of different arguments on this. The argument I find the most persuasive is in regard to the Greek culture of that time. So quick pause, I just got back from a trip to Italy, and while I was there, I got tour the Vatican in Rome, the Vatican Museums. As were going through the Vatican Museums, we actually stopped in front of an original statue of Artemis of the Ephesians. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Artemis of the Ephesians. I’d never seen a picture. Here I was standing in front of this statue, and I didn’t know this, but she is covered in breasts, like boobs, [laughs] hopefully, you have your headphones in, all over her body because she’s considered this fertility goddess. Also, she’s the mother of the world, she has to feed everybody. In Ephesus, there was a temple to Artemis, and we see this temple come into play in the book of Acts when there’s an uprising of silversmiths who have a guild devoted to Artemis of the Ephesians. That’s what the statue I was looking at in the Vatican was. It was Artemis of the Ephesians. So why does she matter? What role does she play? Well, in the worship of Artemis of the Ephesians, you had both men and women priests. The female priests were kind of like dominatrix types. They had this sexual prowess. They were domineering. They had this gnostic authority and they were served by all of these young women. So, you had, like, cult prostitutes and then these authoritative female priestesses and they also decorated themselves. They bedecked themselves in braided hair and gold and jewels, which is also mentioned in the New Testament. 

So, when we are looking at the commands to women in the New Testament, we have to keep the culture in mind. This isn’t saying, “Oh, culture negates everything Paul’s saying.” It’s saying that looking at the culture he’s dealing with helps us understand his commands. If Paul just said that women could prophesy in the church, which is to articulate truths of God for the encouragement and upbuilding of the body, if he just said that and now, he says to be silent, what is he talking about? He’s saying they need to be in submission. What’s the opposite of submission? It’s rebellion. It’s acting without regard. The women of the Christian church were to be different from the culture around them. They were not to be like the women in the cult of Artemis or any of the Greek goddess cults. They were not to be domineering and operating without any regard for their husbands, for the church at large. It’s why he talks about covering one’s head. It’s why he talks about honoring the body, because in the Greek culture, women were operating without that regard. There was a separation, a distinction that had to be made physically to show that their spirituality was coming from a completely different source. It was not a universal command against women articulating theological truths, especially to other women. 

I want to really hammer this point because I think when it comes to being consistent in scripture and honoring scripture, we have to deal with the consistent role, the consistent prophetic role of women in scripture from Old to New Testament. This is the primary role that women take. It is the articulation of theological truths in a way that’s sometimes uncomfortable and often requires great discernment. If someone is a cessationist so if they believe that the spiritual gifts of healing and prophecy in tongues have ceased today, they no longer apply. You will often find that they also believe women have no real function or role in the church. Why? Because the primary role of women in scripture is prophetic. It is. If we choose to reject certain spiritual gifts and choose some that continue, it’s much easier to say that women have no theological authority or gifting in the body of Christ. But to do that, we have to refuse to deal with those passages that show us the prophetic gifting and authority of women that God has given. That, I would argue, is one of the beautiful expressions of that easer role that helper rescuer role that God has imbued into women. Okay, so we’ve looked at what theology is, whether men can only transmit it. We’ve looked at the prophetic role of women. 

Now, I want to talk a little church history with you. One of the other assumptions that came through in the original podcast was that never in the history of the Christian church have women’s Bible studies existed or have Bible studies, small groups been a thing. Never until the 20th century, I think was what the original podcaster said. And this is, quite frankly, not true. So, in certain traditions, if you’re looking maybe at the Puritan traditions, maybe even in Catholic traditions, you might find that to be the case. There are other traditions where small groups of Christians meeting together, Bible study-type meetings were existing and thriving even the Moravians are one small group type model. But you can go to the 1700s to see where it really began in Wesleyanism. John Wesley, was one of the first pastors of his era to really promote the work of women. He actually encouraged men’s and women’s Bible studies that met in homes. And this was the beginning of Methodism. Remember that John Wesley was Anglican priest. He didn’t plan on starting a new denomination. He wanted people to walk in holiness, to know the Word of God and to evangelize. There were men’s and women’s groups that began in homes and he allowed women to teach those groups. He also encouraged women to teach not preach, but to teach in certain capacities in 1761 and 1769. 

If you remember the passage, I read you from the sermon on women’s right to preach the gospel was written in 1858. In that sermon, by the way, I’ll put it in the show notes, once we get these up on the blog. That sermon also articulates throughout it everything I’ve said so far about prophecy, about the role of women in scripture and the function of women as evangelists. So, this is not new. This is not like John Wesley was a product of the sexual revolution or that feminism got a hold of him and suddenly he’s like, you know what? “Yes, women can teach theology.” I think when we form our theology of women teaching theology out of fear of feminism or fear of secular influences, we are going to want to go to extremes that the Bible does not go to. Something that one of my mentors mentioned when I was talking to him about this really stood out to me too, and that’s that when we talk about theology of any kind, we have to think through, does this theology not just line up with scripture, but can it apply to every culture? Because the Bible is applicable to every single culture. If it doesn’t work, it’s not biblical theology. 

Think about it. If you are part of a house church movement in another country that is mostly women in persecuted countries, this can often be the case. Are we going to say that women cannot lead a Bible study, they cannot teach or disciple? Are we going to say that a woman who is called to preach the gospel, such as Lottie Moon or Amy Carmichael or Elisabeth Elliot, that these women were out of line to teach theology to men, women, and children. We try to make these exceptions and say, “Well, it was okay because there were no other men around and God couldn’t come up with any.” As if God somehow has his hands tied because there just aren’t men that can do this job. When scripture has given us a template that says, “Men and women are both necessary to the kingdom.” They’re needed in the kingdom, God uses them in the kingdom, and he’s not waiting for a man to show up to make it better or to make it okay. He uses these women and he calls these women because women are an essential part of the kingdom. And that’s not a feminist agenda that’s saying that. It would be a feminist agenda if suddenly it was flipped on its head and we said, you know what? “Women are better than men or you know what I don’t need a man.” Or we became mocking or condescending or proud. Or to go back to Genesis 1:3, we begin to operate without regard for our husbands if we’re married, or to operate in condescension towards men if we’re not married. It’s equally wrong to fall into misandry as it is to fall into misogyny. We can’t go running scared from feminism instead of operating in the power, love, and sound mind that God gives us as 2 Timothy 1 says, “Anytime you form a theology as a reaction, it is not sound. Reactive theology is not sound theology.”

It’s possible to be reactive in conservative theology just as it’s possible to be reactive in progressive theology. Which is why we have to ground ourselves in what scripture says. Scripture says that, “Women were created to be helpers, rescuers equal in the mission. That women were created with the same abilities and skills to build God’s kingdom. That women were created with the prophetic ability and discernment that God uses when she’s in submission to Him. That men and women were created to work together to advance the gospel into this world through all of the spiritual giftings.” How can we do this in a healthy and biblical way? I have some ideas, but to give you those ideas, I want to first bring up four issues that I see when it comes to women teaching theology. On these issues, I actually probably agree with the concerns of the original podcast series.

The number one problem that I see with modern women’s Bible studies is a focus on social gathering and a lack of biblical literacy. So, what I mean by this is you show up at a Bible study, and it’s actually not the Bible at all. It’s just a book. You’re going to read the book together and you’re going to discuss. But you take the book home and you don’t do any of the homework, and you don’t look up any of the Bible verses that it’s associated with. You regather on a Tuesday; you watch a video and you share your feelings about the video. That is not a Bible study. That is a social outing. When a Bible study looks like this, I do disagree with it. I do think that woman, whoever’s leading it, should not be teaching theology because it’s not grounded in truth. It’s just grounded in feelings. If you’re going to lead a Bible study, there is a way to do that that is healthy, that is grounded in scripture, and that grows your women up, because that’s the goal. The goal is for women to actually grow and understand the truths of God’s word. I think that’s where I and the original podcast series would agree. We want women to grow in God’s word. I believe that women can help other women do that. Scripturally, I think there’s a case for it. I also believe that many women shortchange themselves and shortchange other women by turning what could be a structured, grounded Bible study into a social hour that focuses only on feelings. There’s a way to avoid that. I won’t get into that on this episode. Maybe I can do a future episode on a productive and grounded Bible study. But that’s the number one problem is moving away from social hour to actually moving into a grounded theological study. 

The number two problem that I see is missing accountability. When we run Bible studies or book study groups without any attachment to a local church or any kind of acknowledgment of our church’s doctrinal statement, any awareness on the part of the church leadership, I think it can run into problems. Because when you do have an issue in the study, a doctrinal issue, a problem, maybe even a relational issue, it is wise to be connected to a local church so that you have a structure that can give advice and accountability. Having hosted small groups and Bible studies for almost 10 years now and having walked through some of these relational issues, I can tell you that being attached to a local church is so helpful, vital, and important. Now, if there’s controlling leadership, that’s one thing. I do not agree with that. But generally speaking, if you are attached to a healthy local church, it is so good to have that accountability both for your leadership as the teacher, but also to have help and counsel on running the group. 

The third issue that I see in women teaching theology that needs to be confronted is the problem of disunity in marriage. One of the things that older women are to teach younger women in Titus 2, to teach them to love their husbands. Why did they say teach them to love their husbands? Well, I think we all at times struggle with loving our husbands. I know I do. But the thing that I think it addresses goes all the way back to Genesis 1 and that was Eve operating apart from her husband. No regard for him, no asking, “Hey, Adam, what do you think about this? Should I eat this fruit?” And him standing there refusing to say what he thought about it. Disunity in marriage is a severe problem when women elevate their “prophetic gifting” or their teaching gift above their responsibility at home. I think the crux of why this whole podcast series caused such a stir is because the author of it really believes that biblical womanhood and biblical marriage and taking care of the home, homemaking, all of those things are one end of the spectrum and theology is on the other. 

And that you can’t possibly both teach theology authoritatively and also honor home and marriage and hospitality. And I believe that you can. In fact, I believe that you should. That when you are operating in theological authority that scripture gives us, you will be a better wife, you’ll be a better single woman, you will be a better homemaker, you’ll better at hospitality, you’ll better at everything because you’re operating in the Spirit of God. You’ll better at the work God has given you to do in your corporate workplace, if that’s where you are or you’ll better at caring for your home and showing up for that job and treating it as the good work that it is. When you are walking in true Biblical theology, you will honor whatever work God has called you to and that includes loving your husband, having regard for him, respecting him, just as a man who’s operating Biblical theology will love his wife and lay himself down for her. He will not domineere her or push her around. This is what true theology does. It shapes us into unified people who are walking in the truth of God and who are redeeming what Adam and Eve destroyed in the garden. I do see a problem of disunity in marriage, especially among women who get enamored with this idea of teaching instead of operating in submission for lack of a better word, deferring, respectfully either to their spouse if they’re married or to the church structure in which they are operating. It’s really easy now to just go start a teaching ministry willy-nilly and not attach yourself to a local church. But the local church is who we’re called to serve first, not just a vague online community. That’s why very important to me to be attached to my church, important to me that you know that I am, because that holds me accountable. It holds my marriage accountable, and it forces me to reckon with the things that I teach and make sure that they’re in alignment with scripture.

The last thing that I want to bring up that I think is a real problem when it comes to women teaching theology is the problem of uneducated women. What I mean by this is going back to that social hour Bible study. We have women who are leading studies, who have good hearts, but they’re not educated in what scripture teaches. They’re not growing in their theology and because of that, it causes a crazy cycle of women who aren’t educated, causing other women to stay uneducated. And they remain in this emotion driven, not Bible centric kind of space. There’s a way out of that and that’s to educate your women. The way out is to align with what the Bible says about women knowing God’s word and teaching it accurately. Women evangelizing the gospel to other women, women opening their homes and being hospitable and teaching other women what it means to follow God. Yes, do that attached to your local church. Do that while loving your husband, while loving your singleness. Do that while being a godly homemaker and taking care of your home. Do that while being faithful in your job. 

They’re not on two ends of a spectrum. You can do both. And I believe God calls us to do both. Scripture solves this problem, when it tells us that the Spirit of God equips us with power and love and a sound mind. When it tells us that sound doctrine is available for all of us, that we are able, by the Lord’s power, to do what 1 Timothy 4:16 says, “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by doing so you will save both yourself and your hearers.” I can’t think of anything better for women to do theologically than to align themselves with what scripture says women are to do. That they are to be prophetesses who adhere to the Word of God, that they are to be evangelists who share the hope of Christ in their testimonies, that they are to be teachers who rightly handle the word of truth, that they are to be loving wives, godly women who can counsel the women behind them. All of this can be done without compromising the most important relationships that God has given them. I don’t think it’s either/or, I think that Christ gives us a compelling case in scripture for women to be a part of God’s kingdom and to accomplish his will in the world.

Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode of Verity podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, would you take the time to leave us a review? It helps so many other women around the world find out about Verity and about Every Woman a Theologian, as a ministry and a shop. We appreciate you and I hope you’ll be back next week as we continue to go deeper into God’s word and the heart of Jesus Christ.

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