Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Deep Question Day

I have a serious topic today in spite of my mood. (Not in a very serious mood today! :) I decided a few days ago to ask this though because I have found that blogging is a really quick way to get a ton of opinions from many different walks of life.

That's exactly what I need now because what I know about some things is completely shaped by my experiences, which are limited at best. How do I know this? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that I live on the block I grew up on and go to the same church where S and I were born.

Really, we were born in hospitals but you get my drift.

Here is my question......what do you think/know/believe about women teaching young men? What I mean is, at what age/grade should women stop being the Bible class teachers for boys? AND why. Because some people might not have thought about this before or heard much about it. I know what I have heard in my life, but I want a broader perspective.

You know, I'm really assuming a lot with this, but let's see where it leads.

OK--let me have it in the comments section.


  1. I think it depends on what your teaching in the church scenerio... meaning I think women could teach sunday school- Bible stories till whatever age they stop teaching bible Stories to people... Not in a room with only boys mind you but a mixed scenerio___
    but if you are teaching more life lesson kindof thing I think it should be girl with girls and guys with guys. The perfect scenerio with me is husband and wife teaching teams... you do some together and them can break up to do some stuff seperately.

    Are you wanting to stop teaching boys that you are teaching on Sunday nights or Wednesday nights because you feel they are getting too old?

  2. Many churches just naturally have women stop teaching boys at about the age they are too old for VBS or Sunday School, and move on over to youth groups. Then the youth groups are taught by a youth pastor who is usually male, or by a married couple, or by a young man/young woman team.

    When I was in the Church of Christ, they made the cut off about junior high age, which was when young people usually gave their lives to Christ/got baptized, and became full-fledged Christians in their own right. That was when the boys stopped being taught by women.

    I think at home it is different; while the dad will do the interacting with the boys, moms can still have input and teach that way. I think husband and wife teaching all children, boys and girls, at home is normal. That is a home situation. A single mother would have to step in and teach her sons.

    In Jewish tradition, a boy was made Bar Mitzvah (son of the Law) at about age 12. We see in the story of Jesus as a boy in the temple -- that he was of the age to "be about his FATHER'S business." Boys of that age no longer hung out with mom at home. (But, of course, Jesus was making a special point that God the Father was His father.)

    This was possibly why he was not in the travelling party with the women, like little boys were. That is probably why he was lost for 3 days before they found Him in the temple -- Mary must have figured he was with Joseph and the men, because he was of age; boys of that age traveled with the men. Joseph may have figured he was still more comfortable with the women, since he was still so young. Maybe?

    So, I would say about 12 or junior high age. That seems to be the natural age.

  3. Carrie, no. I only have one little guy in there. Civilla, this is much of what I know. I agree with you about the home. Mom is different as she is a parent.

    Anyone else have a different experience/opinion?

    Also, what scripture backs up what you believe?

  4. Hi, Brenda. I hope what I said made sense. I think that years ago, in Jesus' day (and I would use the story of the Boy Jesus in the temple for scripture) and in the earlier days in our country, boys of junior-high age were with their fathers more than they are today. Boys of that age would be in the carpenter's shop or out in the fields with their fathers and the other men, while the girls were in the house with their mothers.

    Nowadays, most fathers work away from home. If boys (and girls) are in school, many if not most of the teachers are women. If they are homeschooled, it is usually by their mother. Youth groups and Bible camps, like I said, frequently have women workers along with the men.

    Of course, boys are not really thought to be "men" until they are about 18, which is later than in Jesus day or in the earlier days of our country (or the whole Western world, when you think about it).

    Modern life leaves you asking many questions, doesn't it?

  5. Yes! What you said makes perfect sense and is also what I have heard. I have also heard, instead of 18 (which is when we declare "adulthood"--you are right) that boys should no longer be taught by women after they have been baptized. The only verse I know in connection to this is 1 Tim. 2:12---"I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man."
    So...in the past that was the reasoning behind no women teachers in Sunday school starting around 5th-7th grades.
    I think we are losing that differentiation and I think it is important. This gender blending society has changed the church as well so that in some churches women are teaching anyone. Girls are being trained as leaders. Etc.

    So.....18 when they are an adult? Or baptized believer? Which do you all think?

  6. It's my firm conviction that where there is struggle such as this, seeking the Lord and His Word is critical to freedom and life abundant. Because of that, I respect your asking and those who've added their own perspective.

    The possible answers to this question, however, seem like the hundreds of laws added my man to the Sabbath. We take the heart of God's law and add legalism to it in hopes that we're doing the RIGHT thing, all the while missing God's best. What if someone puts an age to your question. Do you just accept it as God's law? I don't think so.

    I come from a completely different perspective than the ones I've read here. Does anyone else think it puzzling that Paul prohibits women teaching and having authority over men, but God did not? (Miriam, Deborah, and - of course - the prophecy that's now mean fulfilled, (Acts 2) about the Spirit being poured out on men and women (Joel 2:28-29). specifically, women prophesying (are men supposed to ignore a prophecy because a woman spoke it?) If FROM God, then FROM GOD.

    Absolutely, I am NOT suggesting that the Word is contradicting itself. What I am suggesting is that Paul's statement must be examined carefully in the original language, in immediate context of his book, then the fuller of His writings (where he DOES allow women a voice in church), and also within the cultural context BEFORE we go about making doctrines based on a small sliver of Scripture. I suggest, that what seems so OBVIOUS on the surface of our translations, may have a fuller dynamic.

    God does not fit into our boxes and His law is love. I fully - and with conviction that I live by - understand that the Scriptures (both OT & NT) point to life in the Spirit, serving in freedom -- neither slave nor free, jew nor greek, male nor female are relevant in Christ.

    We have been SET FREE from the curse -- of which "desire for our husbands" was part of. Of course, I love my husband and we purpose to operate as in submission to each other in love, according to our strengths, weakness, gifts, etc.

    Do we really believe that in Heaven there are all these rules we'll have to be careful of? If we've entered into eternal life NOW, why are we still trying to live under the curse?
    Again, I respect the asking and realize that my perspective is not likely to fit well with most of yours. Nevertheless, I offer it as my authentic answer to your question.

  7. Well, I am in a place right now where I am the only hearing person available to teach a class on Wed nights for "the kids" in the neighborhood. I have been feeling increasingly uncomfortable with this, as most of those who come are teenage or pre-teen boys.

    I believe they are in need of a man's role, because many of them do not have a good father, or any father at home. I think it is essential that men put time into the young people's lives, especially boys.

    There is a hearing church nearby (VERY NEARBY) where they could go, but they won't. I don't understand it, but when they start asking me questions about sexuality and stuff, I don't know what to do. My three girls are the only ones in the class (most times) and the oldest is nine. So there's a big age difference there too..

    I am at a loss to help you! I think the circumstances of the ministry many times dictate what the cut off is. Maybe they need to start sitting in big church...(even though it's with Deaf and many don't know sign)...I'm at a loss honestly.

  8. Puberty is a wise time to have a man/woman team teaching a class. If possible, married is better, imho, although not limited to that. And certainly, 2 adults per class. My husband always led our junior high class with the Bible study and main lesson, and I always came up w/ a game, craft, play, etc... I haven't really thought much on the boy concept, and I have 5 of my own...I am always sensitive to guiding girls to be young ladies, which I think comes natural because I am a lady.

  9. I hesitated to comment when I first read this because I could not think of a single Scripture that offered any specificity as to when a boy becomes a man and thus should no longer be taught by a woman.

    My intial instinct was right in line with Mary (civilla), that 13, being the traditional age recognized in Judaism. While we are not Jewish, Christianity was founded on the principles and the law of Moses, so I think it makes sense.

    Besides, that is certainly about the time,in my opinion, that men should be bearing the lion's share of the responsibility for preparing young men for full adulthood/manhood.

  10. I have heard scripture to back up when a boy becomes a man....but it's not really relating to this question but rather to the "age of accountability."

    JulieMom--I will be praying about your situation. I know that yours is unique but that kind of concerns me too. So, we shall pray!

    When I was growing up we had a 5th/6th grade class. In the 3rd/4th grade class we had all female teachers but in the 5th/6th grade class, a lady led singing at the beginning of class and then we all split up into smaller groups for the Bible lesson---with all male teachers. Never thought about it at the time but that was the time when a lot of my friends were beginning to be baptized as well.

    Tami,I know there is not a hard and fast "rule" about this, but I think it is something that must be considered prayfully and with wise forethought, taking into account what we know of scripture.

    And of course, I'm assuming that Bible class teachers of children whether male or female, should be baptized believers. Hopefully somewhat mature baptized believers.


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)