A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. (1 Tim. 2:11)

Ephesus was a wealthy, sensual, port city. As Paul, the writer of 1 Timothy, sailed into port, he could see the massive temple dedicated to prostitution and to the worship of the goddess Diana (Artemis). Imports and exports afforded wealth to many Ephesians.

In this setting, Paul established the church of Ephesus. When Paul left, some of the influences of the city seeped into the church, affecting their worship service. Paul sent a letter to Timothy detailing the structure of worship. Prayer was the core of worship. Through these prayers, people could come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

The influences of the city were causing discord within the church. Men were to pray without anger and rivalry. Some women were disrupting the service with talking, by dressing immodestly, and by clamoring for authority. This was the way women at the temple of Diana behaved.

Paul proposed a structured role for men and women. He encouraged the women to learn, which was forward thinking for women of that day. They were to learn with an inner calmness without demanding authority. Paul suggested equality in personhood without resenting the authority of others. At times, men would also respectfully submit to others of higher rank. Paul encouraged submission to one another within the church. Why? So we can mature in love, faith, and holiness.

Submit to God-given authority to create harmony in worship.

Gena Duncan lives with her husband in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the summer and Naples, Florida, in the winter. She authored They Walked with God (WestBow Press).

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.