So here's my latest dilema...we are encouraged to be involved in ministry at church. Everyone is encouraged to use their particular gifts and talents for the Lord. We have a lot of programs at church that someone has to be in charge of. We need people to plan, set up, run, and clean up after everything we have. At a smaller church like ours, this takes a toll on people. It isn't just men either. Feminism has wormed it's way into the church and women are expected to do things just like men. Some of them even want to. There are precious few things left that are gender specific, even in the church.
Well, from what I see in scripture of COURSE I am supposed to be involved in our church. BUT, my first responsibilities are at home and my family. How do I know this?
NIV 3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Did you see that "busy at home" part? It's not just a phrase. The whole thing that younger women are to be learning is about home and family and their own personal walk with the Lord. No mention of being busy at church. Hmmm... Let's look at a different version.
KJV 3The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Oh no, the different version didn't help at all! This one says I am to be a "keeper at home." Who is keeping the home if mom and dad are both involved in different ministries and serve on different committees and have signed up to help with various activities? Who keeps the home then? It doesn't just say keep the home--it says at home. Something else troubles me about this version. It talks about blaspheming the word of God if these things are not done!! That is much stronger language than the other version. Let's try this again.
THE MESSAGE Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don't want anyone looking down on God's Message because of their behavior.
Whew! There we go--finally a version that we can live with today. According to this paraphrase I just have to keep a good house. I can clean house, no problem. I will make time for that right in between church and the leadership meeting at church tomorrow.
Sorry, I'm being a little sarcastic. I just can't align what I read in God's word with what is expected of me today as a woman. Changing is going to be hard because I have very few examples before me and very little encouragement. However, I see the wisdom in God's plan when I look around at families falling apart today.
And to be fair, it isn't just church activities that keep women from fullfilling these verses. Lots of things can take you away from home. Good things. But I think church should be different. What do you think?