Thursday in the Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time

1 Timothy 2:8-10

A Woman Properly Accessorized

We must remember two things when handling this passage of Scripture: 1) Paul is dealing with how a church of Jesus Christ is to organize and manage itself and operate; and, 2) We must shed ourselves of our contemporary democratic and egalitarian views of human nature and society if we are to understand Scripture and how God wants His church to function.  In other words and as always, Scripture is in the right and we are in the wrong.  The question is not: How do we understand this passage of Scripture in the light of ever-changing contemporary culture, but how do we to understand our culture in the light of God’s holy word?

The passage concerns the spirit and tasks of men and women in the local church; we are not dealing here with the world.  Men are commanded to pray, and to do so without anger and quarreling.  Attitudes are critical when praying.  Our Lord commanded us to be reconciled to our brother before offering our gift upon the altar, and there is no gift greater than prayer (Matthew 5:23-24).  Prayer requires sincerity of heart and confession of sin.  We must forgive if we shall be forgiven (Matthew 6:14-15). 

The Apostle then turns to women.  He speaks as an apostle under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, not as a misogynist as some would have us believe—a position that says more about their own hearts than it does about Paul’s.  First is the matter of attire.  We fool ourselves if we pretend that women care not for how they dress themselves, or that men care not for how women dress.  Women will always be the fairer sex.  Men have fought wars and duels to have them.  For this reason, women must concern themselves about attire, not only in the church but everywhere.  Paul’s guidelines are that women should dress themselves respectably, with modesty and self-control.  He then mentions specifics that I will agree could be considered culturally-bound: braided hair, gold, pearls, and costly attire.  Braided hair does not offend in our culture; we accept some jewelry but not to gaudiness.  The key is that a woman should dress herself above all with good works; that is, stop fussing over clothing and be anxious about who in your family and church needs your care.  Who in your circle of friends needs to hear from you a word of encouragement?  Paul is only repeating Proverbs 31 of a thousand years previous: “She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong…She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy…Strength and beauty are her clothing…She opens her mouth with wisdom.”  Oh the timeless truth of the Scriptures!

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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