In modern times the question of woman’s equality seems to be a thing of the past. However, remember, God’s Word is not like man’s word, it never changes. Therefore, if God ever made woman to be equal with man in His Holy Word, then it is true today. However, if God made woman to be under the man, then she forever shall be subject to him. So, biblically, I ask the question, “Is woman equal with man”?
In the beginning of time God made man in his own image and formed him from the dust. God made woman from the rib of a man. After Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden, woman was made to bear children. As woman is from the man, even so, man is from the woman. Woman was made to be a helper to the man, not his leader. A helper is an assistant, not the boss. Sarah, a godly woman in every respect, called her husband Abraham, Lord (1 Pet 3:6). This is the same woman all Christians are commanded to pattern themselves thereafter.
In the new testament, the apostle Paul made one thing perfectly clear: God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man, and man is the head of woman (1 Cor 11:3). Though speaking of the church, Paul also compared woman’s relationship to the man as Christ was to the church. He said, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” (Eph 5:22-24). Paul made it once again abundantly clear that woman was subject to man not in some things, but in all things.
Therefore, man is the head of the woman in the home and in the church. This is why woman was silenced in the church even to be a speaker or a teacher (1 Cor 14:33-40 f; 1 Tim 2:11,12). No woman was ordained to be an apostle, a preacher, an elder, or a deacon. What is the duty of the woman. Paul once again gave commandment saying, “The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Tit 2:3-5).
No where will you ever find that any woman was called to be an evangelist. If she had been, then the scripture would have a definite contradiction. How can a woman preach and teach the gospel and yet be keepers at home? How can she be an evangelist when, “She shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety” (1 Tim 2:15).
According to the apostle Peter, woman could not even teach her husband the Word. Peter said, “In like manner, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, even if any obey not the word, they may without the word be gained by the behavior of their wives (1 Pet 3:1); Now, most modern versions of the bible have changed “they may without the word ” to read, “they man without ‘A’ word”. This is truly to confuse the reader because no woman is silenced from speaking to her husband. If that were true, then how can she ask her husband at home about questions she may have in the assembly (1 Cor 14::35). The subject was not “words”, but the Word of God. Therefore, the KJV and ASV had it right from the beginning to say “the Word” and not “A word”. Bottom line, the wife is prohibited from teaching her husband the Word of God. If she is to teach him, it is by her godly behavior.
This is why Priscilla was not a preacher as many acclaim she was. If Priscilla had taught Apollos she would have violated God’s Word in two ways. One, she was prohibited from teaching men and secondly she was prohibited from usurping the authority of man (1 Tim 2:11,12). If she had taught Apollos, who was a man, she sinned. If she had usurped her husband’s authority, she would have sinned. Priscilla did neither one. Truly both took Apollos aside, but make no mistake about it, Apollos did the teaching and not his wife Priscilla (Acts 18:26).
It is a Christian man’s responsibility to be the head of his own house and the house of God. Faithful men are to preach and teach God’s Word (2 Tim 2:2). Qualified Christian men are to be elders and deacons of the church (1 Tim 3:1-13). The only thing woman is equal with man is in salvation. In that, woman is man’s equal. How a man is saved is exactly how a woman is saved, that being through the gospel of Christ. However, in no other instance is a Christian woman equal with a Christian man.
Most have been misled and mislead countess others that woman is equal with man when it comes to divorce. However, this I defy of any man, where is the scripture which says a woman can divorce her husband and be wed to another and not be called an adulteress? Christ never once said a woman could divorce her husband for fornication. Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 both make reference to the man divorcing his wife for fornication, but no where did he give his approbation for woman to do the same. In Paul’s writing to the Romans, he made it quite clear that if a woman had a living husband and be wed to another man, she shall be called an adulteress “For the woman that hath a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives; but if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband. So then if, while the husband lives, she be joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if the husband die, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be joined to another man” Rom 7:2,3). To the Corinthians Paul said again, “A wife is bound for so long time as her husband lives; but if the husband be dead, she is free to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord (1 Cor 7:39).
Earlier on in the same chapter, Paul said, “But unto the married I give charge, yea not I, but the Lord, That the wife depart not from her husband (but should she depart, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband); and that the husband leave not his wife (1 Cor 7:10,11). And although I rarely use such references, the word “Depart” has the same Greek meaning of “put asunder” which is in reference to divorce itself. “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man “put asunder” (Mk 2:17). Even if a woman divorces her husband, she is not at liberty to be married to another man. She can however be reconciled back to her husband is she so chooses. Therefore, even in marriage and divorce woman is not equal with man.
Yet, without the woman, where is the home? Without the woman, where is the church? If a man would be an elder, qualified in every other way, but has no wife, he can not serve as an elder. If his wife be not a Christian, he can’t be qualified. If his wife be not subject to him, he can not lead. If his wife bear him not children and bring them up properly in the Lord, even as Eunice and Lois did Timothy, he can not serve. God gave us the proper order of things. God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man, and man is the head of woman (1 Cor 11:3). If Christ follows God, and man follows Christ, and woman follows man, then shall all be saved and be joined as one with God in heaven. It’s not a question of who is the head, but rather who will obey God and live in the order He commanded all to abide!