Romance, Dignity and Shame in I Corinthians

Have you ever come to a portion of Scripture that puts you in a ‘crisis of belief’ as explained in Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God?

For those of you who have not read “Experiencing God“, a crisis of belief is that moment in which you read something in Scripture that blows away all your preconceived notions and forces you to either accept the Word of God or fall away in disbelief.

I found myself there when I read 1 Corinthians 14:35 which reads “…it is a shame for a women to speak in church“.

Say what? Does God want me to walk around and not say a word in church? Surely not! How can this be, especially since God created women with the tendency to be a bit talkative?

So, now you see my crisis of belief. Do I believe what the Bible says or do I push that little verse down somewhere so deep I could never find it and dance around the issue if it is ever brought up again. I just simply could not believe this.

God, who is my BFF, my best Friend, my Liberator, my Savior. God, who walked with me through some of the most unbearable things in my life (and made me smile through them). God, the closest Friend I have ever known, wants me to shut up in church? Say it ain’t so!

Well, after I recovered from this irrational thought pattern, I just asked Him, I simply asked Him what was up with I Corinthians 14:35. And, in His ever comforting way, He showed me what romance I had overlooked.

First, I started in I Corinthians 14:33, just a few verses up where it says “...for God is not the author of confusion. “ Well, there you go. If I am confused, I can’t lay that on God.

That was my first revelation – know where confusion comes from. If you find yourself confused, do what you were told in grammar school when you smell smoke – stop, drop and roll.

After dropping to my knees, dropping my preconceived notions, and rolling with what God wanted to teach me – I had the AH-HA moment.

Of course, this began (at the insistence of my wonderful husband) at the beginning of section of Scripture (I Corinthians 14:34-37) which reads:

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.”

Now, here is where God cut loose on me. You know the Bible is the only book that leaves you clueless without knowing the Author. At the end of the several days of questions, here is what I know.

It’s not about telling women to shut up in church. It’s about allowing your husband the dignity to answer your question first (at home no less). What woman doesn’t want engaging conversation with her husband?

A husband is faced with two options, find the answer or ask someone he looks up to teach him so he can teach you. This makes your husband your hero. Husbands want to be heroes, and wives long for their husband to be their hero.

Give your husband a shot at your questions first. This is what I know about these verses. God is big on dignity and He put it in a woman’s heart to talk about His Truths, but she is to start with her husband – giving him first shot at teaching/discussing Truths with her.

Did you notice the last few verses there – “…If any man think himself to be… spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” This is a warning to the know-it-all husband. If you are gonna attempt to teach your wife and be her hero, you had better ‘acknowledge’ or make sure what your saying is from the Lord.

And finally, God gives the out. He states earlier to ‘first’ ask her husband at home (providing long hours of sweet discussion of God’s word with the hero of your heart).

God wraps up the whole issue with the few words in verse 38 “…But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” A wife meets the direction given to her to here by ‘first’ asking her husband but notice it does not say she cannot ask another.

I have the idea that if a wife, married to believer or an unbeliever, first asks her husband the questions that arise in her heart about Scripture enough times, her husband will rise to the occasion and begin to seek out the answers in order to be the ‘knight in shining armor’ to his wife.

At our house, my husband and I ‘talk God’ quite a bit. I must say that after long discussions about the deep Truths of God, I really don’t feel a need to ask questions in church. Could that be what God means by ‘a shame for a women to speak in church’ – that if a woman is asking all these questions, it is a shame to her husband because he is not answering her questions at home?

Related articles
Koinonia – ‘The Test of the Love Word’
Koinonia – ‘What He Said’
Koinonia – ‘My Friends and My Lord’
Koinonia – ‘Pretty is as Pretty Does’
Koinonia – ‘The Just and Perfect Man’



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1 comment

  1. Michael Ghan says:

    Very well put! I never even looked at it that way. I am a man, but I thought that was sort of unfair for women as well. But that put things in a different light. It provides couples with more intimate conversations to grow closer, and it allows the husband the honor to be ‘the head’ of his household. The husband is the head of the wife, and God is the head of the husband. It works out perfectly!