Adam Houk & John Houk
© May 2011
Adam Houk comments on the stand I was taking relating to women in leadership in the discussion that I posted entitled, “GOP Nomination for President Part One & Two”. Adam’s comment leans more toward Part Two in which the discussion was about women in high Office.
Below is Adam’s comment follower by some of my thoughts.
I have read most of your response and agree with a lot of it. I would like to seriously point out something though. My hesitation has nothing to do with making women 2nd class citizens. I would like to take a look at Titus chapter 2 to start with. Titus chapter 2 has made it clear that women’s priorities are to be the home. This doesn’t mean that it should be the only thing they are doing. Though I would like to note how demanding a job like a high end politician would be and how if a woman has small children taking on a high end politician job would take away from this high priority of the home. Small children take a lot of time to take care of. I can tell you this from experience since I have 2 small children. I would like to suggest that Titus 2 says that anything that would take away from this priority of the home for women would be an ungodly task for them to commit to.
This is not to say that women should not go out and commit to other things too. On the contrary if women have extra time I would suggest that it is their duty to spend their time wisely and give their services to the Lord in whatever way they are called to. There is no reason to be idle in the home if it takes little time to take care of it. Idleness is condemned in the Bible. I would like to point out that the examples of married women helping Paul did not show in any way that their service to Paul was a detriment to this first priority.
Now let’s take a minute to look at Deborah.
8 And Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!”
9 So she said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.
This here would suggest that it was not such a good thing that she is taking the credit, but in times where there is no other fit leader then yes a godly woman should take leadership. As for the couple of women (SlantRight Editor: Aquila is actually the husband and Priscilla the wife) in leadership:
25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18: 2, 18, 25-26 NKJV)
They were rebuking him of his error. I’m not sure this is the same as teaching, in fact the other verses would suggest that this isn’t the same as teaching because it calls for women not to teach men.
12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
To take the scripture correctly we have to take it as a whole and consider the circumstances of all. Sometimes there is much clarification that needs to be made and the subject on women in leadership is quite a tricky one. This is why I used the exact word “hesitant”.
There has been much distortion in today’s society based on this 2nd class citizen idea where women are being taught that holding to this biblical teaching makes them 2nd class citizen’s and this is clearly not true. I believe this manipulation has been what has been a major cause of the major increase in the divorce rate where women are inherently taught that this is oppression. Now I must admit that men have incorrectly taken this teaching to mean they can oppress women. The Church has a duty to rebuke these men. Women are coequal habitants of marriage, but at the same time men are put in leadership of the home. This means that in times where there is a requirement that a final decision be made it needs to be made by the man to either take the final say or to defer it if there is no agreement made. This must always be done in a loving fashion as is indicated in the same section of scripture.
There is nothing unequal about the difference of a leader and a follower. One is just making decisions and the other is following the decisions. In fact Jesus came to earth and showed us by example the way to be servant leaders. A leader is best shown by example.
Isaiah 3:12 warns of this happening as we have seen today’s society head to where it is now. We have seen how women have been portrayed on television as always right and men as idiots. And this portrayal has been propagated into our society where there is a lack of respect for men’s ability to lead the home. Now women are truly leading many homes in America. I remember when I took sociology they were still trying to improve women’s wages saying that they were making far less than men, but the statistics they had did not segregate in differences in the decisions of wages. It was found in a recent study that a woman working the for same amount of time in the same position of a man was actually making 114% of that which a man is making. I have read a statement from the Feminist movement where they were chastising women who decided to be stay-at-home mom’s saying they were ruining it for the rest of women. We have truly moved from a point in history where women were being unfairly treated to where men are now being unfairly and unrighteously treated. We have hit this point of the latter days in which Isaiah 3:12 speaks of.
I may be missing something and I didn’t quite read your whole response quite yet because it is extremely long.
Pretty much I agree with everything Adam was stating except in the blanket statement that all women with small children would too busy for a political position in government. I believe the blanket statement of “all” should be modified. Women involved in outside work situations that does more harm than good for the family home especially involving small children, should consider the Biblical prime directive of her role in the joint-management of the family unit. So also should the man consider his Biblical prime directive, he is the manager-in-chief of his family. Tough decisions must be moderated by the man-husband but not in a way that undermines the woman-wife’s role designated by the Bible. In other words the prime responsibility of sustaining the family is the husband’s. Sustainment must occur in the shape of love even as Jesus is the Head of the Church sacrificed Life that that the Church-Bride might live. As Jesus rose from the dead, so also a godly husband’s sacrifice of family sustenance will bring Resurrection Power to a husband-wife family unit.
Then there are women who are involved in a family unit of means. It is not an uncommon thing for the wife to share family duties with a nanny or maid. And I do not think it takes away from the family if the mother AND THE father purposely designate time in training their children in The Way they should go so that when maturity is achieved they will follow The Way of the Lord and Savior of humanity. If managed correctly I do not see that a wife-mom’s role is diminished in the family unit; however I also can see that the mismanagement of a wife-mom’s role could also be damaging in their role of training young children. As a reminder I also add that the husband-father has a vital role in training his children that involves godly life choices. The wife-mother’s role is more of a nurturing role. A nurturing can be accomplished in a household of means if managed correctly. Again Sarah is a good example of a good and bad nurturing role and the outcome of the good-bad nurturing.
Adam briefly examines the example Judge Deborah and General Barak. Barak would not go to war to save the Israel tribes unless Deborah came along on the campaign. Adam points out correctly when there is no male leadership it is the will of God for a godly woman to step up to the plate. I don’t think Barak was a weak male leader. Deborah as Judge made the call for deliverance and Barak answered the call. Barak merely wanted to be sure that God was in the plan to throw of decades of oppression. To do that, he brought along the Judge of that time. That Judge was Deborah who was incidentally married to Lapidot in which there is no mention of him aiding in the battle that would throw oppression from Canaanite King Jabin. To get a picture of Lapidot you have to go to Jewish tradition on the Judgeship of Deborah.
The Torah tells us that Deborah was the “wife of Lapidot” ~ Lapidot means “torches” ~ Together with her husband, Deborah made wicks for the Menorah in the Temple, thus helping to spread the light of Yahveh among her people. Her hope and aspiration were that each person will find a deeper understanding and connection to Yahveh. For that reason Yahveh selected her to motivate Israel to re-embrace Torah.
Deborah prophesied and led her nation from her seated place under a date palm. “A prophetess, the wife of Lapidot; she sat under the date palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel on Mount Ephraim, and the children of Israel went up to her for judgement.” Judges 4:5
The date palm was a symbol for Deborah’s generation. Just as the life giving sap of a date palm is limited to its trunk, Deborah’s generation had limited access to the life force of Torah, because it had so few Torah scholars. The date palm’s minimal shade represents the relative absence of spiritual and physical protection without Torah. On the other hand, it was also a symbol of Israel’s strength, and the concentration of sap in the trunk typified the unity of their faith. These characteristics seemed to be contradicting, yet both extremes were true of the Prophetess’ generation.
Deborah’s understanding of Israel’s potential for spiritual greatness stemmed from her maternal love. She held hope for Israel and inspired a renewed sense of value as Yahveh’s chosen people, and exhibited a woman’s ability to instill rather than impose, to invigorate rather than force, and to cultivate rather than command.
As judge, Deborah brought a feminine sensibility to a male
dominated office. She referred to herself as a “Mother to Israel” and her commitment to nurturing fit this title. Deborah’s leadership style was selfless, focusing on the people rather than on herself. This, together with her appreciation and knowledge of Torah and her prophetic gift, marked her for national rejuvenation. (Rinah Shal Tripod page on Torah Studies – link above)
Adam comments on Aquila and Priscilla as a married team of Apostles that worked with the Apostle Paul. Adam focuses on Acts 18: 25-26 (NKJV) interpreting that the married Apostles rebuked Apollos for only teaching what he had learned from John the Baptist’s anointing of repenting of sins and make your paths straight in preparation for the coming Messiah. I disagree that it was a rebuke. I believe the word “explaining” means more of a teaching moment in which Apollos heard the Gospel of the Risen Savior and believed; thus Aquila and Priscilla taught the Word of God. This only has women leadership issue in that the wife Priscilla taught a male – Apollos – the Word of God. This is important because it means there is a deeper meaning to Paul speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. (I Timothy 2: 12 NKJV)
An atheist or non-Christian would point out that Scripture that does not permit a woman to teach (which does mean an authority position) a man combined with Priscilla actually teaching a man a better way is evidence of a Biblical contradiction. But I say it is evidence that women that have not had authoritative training in instruction should not presume to teach a man. That concept makes Scripture agree in Acts 18: 25-26 and in I Timothy 2: 12. Instead of looking for surface particulars seek the deeper connective explanation. That thought was not for Adam who I am sure would agree with me, but the thought was for our readers who need to know that the Word of God is indeed the inspired Word delivered from the Holy Spirit to the lips of human agents.
Of course the issue of single parent homes especially as the all to common case of the parent being a woman is another subject to examine. That discussion today is viewed as politically incorrect because the underlying issue is divorce or fornication outside of marriage.
Adam’s thoughts on Isaiah 3: 15 is something I whole heartedly agree with:
I have read a statement from the Feminist movement where they were chastising women who decided to be stay at home mom’s saying they were ruining it for the rest of women. We have truly moved from a point in history where women were being unfairly treated to where men are now being unfairly and unrighteously treated. We have hit this point of the latter days in which Isaiah 3:12 speaks of.