As we go about our daily lives, it should be obvious to the most casual observer that men and women are different. They are not only different in physical construction, they are also very different in their approach to the problems of this life, and in their respective attitudes concerning most of the things of this life.
From the earliest childhood children will demonstrate the characteristics associated with their gender. Little girls really are sugar and spice and everything nice and little boys really are nails, snails, and puppy dog tails. It's just a fact. Some will try to tell us that this is all learned behavior, and it's true that some of it is. Most of it, however, is not learned, but is part and parcel of what we are.
In some areas, men and women are equal. For instance, men and women are both required to be in obedience to the Word of Yahuwah if they desire everlasting life. In other areas, men seem to be more equal, while in other areas, women get that dubious honor.
The point that we all need to keep uppermost in our minds as we deal with members of the opposite sex, regardless of which gender we are, is that Yahuwah has equipped us to perform all of the functions that are required of that gender, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
What we do with that equipment is completely up to us. We can deny our role and try to have "equal rights." We can play the role and be super macho or super feminist. Or we can accept our Yahuwah given role and do the best we can with what He's given us. The choice is ours, but we'll all answer to Yahuwah for the choice we make.
Now to the question that started all of this. What exactly are the roles of Men and Women who are in the assembly? Let us first remember that this question is not a question of equality. This is strictly a question of what is Yahuwah's will, and whether or not we are willing to be in obedience to His will. Therefore, both men and women, before we go looking for the answer to this question, we must first be willing to accept the answer that we find in Yahuwah's word as the truth and then be willing to be in obedience to that truth. We cannot pick and choose just the parts we want to obey either and then ignore the parts we don't like. As you should be aware, with Yahuwah, it is always an all or nothing situation.
Since our Sovereign Yahushua the Anointed (the Christ) began the construction of His assembly, it has been very plain that the only men have been given the role of overseers and assistants and are to guide the functions of the assembly, as shown by the references below.
1 Timotheos (Timothy) 3:1-7 This is a faithful saying. Whoever desires the office of an overseer he desires an excellent work. 2 An overseer then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, of a sound mind, modest, hospitable, able to teach. 3 Not given to wine, no bully, not avaricious, but moderate, not a brawler, without avarice, 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all dignity 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the assembly of Yahuwah?). 6 Not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside unless he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of an overseer, he desires a good work. An overseer then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach. Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that rules his own house well, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the assembly of Yahuwah?)
Titos (Titus) 1:5-6 For this cause left I you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you. If any is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. . .
As you will notice that whenever Sha'uwl (Paul) specifies any criterion for an overseer or an assistant he specifies that the person must be the husband of one wife, which leaves no doubt as to gender. The word translated here as husband is the Greek word aner (an-'ayr) which literally means "a man." The word translated as wife is the Greek word gune (goo-nay) which literally means "a woman." The men who were appointed as overseers and assistants to oversee the various assemblies were also all elders. The reason for picking elders to serve was to ensure that the chosen leaders and their aides were well founded in the faith and not a new convert who did not yet understand the meat of the word. The word elder is translated from the Greek word presbuteros, which means senior. This is the same word used for the Sanhedrin elders.
Throughout the Greek language portion of the scriptures it is quite clear that only men were teachers in and of the assemblies. You will see that while Yahushua only selected men to be His apostles and teachers, women have their duties and responsibilities to the assembly also. However, they are different duties and responsibilities, and very seldom will they overlap with men's duties and responsibilities.
Sha'uwl, in his letter to Timotheos at the assembly of Ephesos (Ephesus), tells us that women should not teach men of the assembly and he also tells us why.
1 Timotheos 2:12-14 But I do not allow a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Chawwah (Eve). And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
We must understand that as Mosheh (in the book of Shemot [Exodus]) built the tent of meeting exactly in accordance to Yahuwah's plan, we must also follow exactly Yahushua's plan in regard to the building of His assembly. His plan has been communicated to us by His Apostles and everything that we need to know about the structure of His assembly and its operation will be found in their written communication. This plan is not subject to revision by well meaning but misguided people who have their own criteria to establish. The criteria for the assembly are already established and now need but following.
In Acts 2:17-18 and 21:9, there are indications that both men and women will prophesy. Please take notice of the fact there is no mention of what these women will prophesy of or to whom they will prophesy. Further, in his letter to the assembly at Korinthos (Corinth) and his letter to Timotheos, Sha'uwl tells us in what manner our women should learn.
1 Korinthios (Corinthians) 14:34-35 Let your women keep silence in the assemblies, for it is not permitted for them to speak but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also says the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is a shame for women to speak in the assembly.
1 Timotheos 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
Notice that Sha'uwl does not say for the woman to offer her opinion or to make any suggestions in the assembly. Rather, she is to learn in silence with all subjection.
Titos 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes moral purity, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things, that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of Yahuwah is not blasphemed.
Sha'uwl's letter to Titos also states that the younger women use the older women as role models. The older women can teach, but when they teach individuals who are members of the assembly, those individuals being taught must be other women. By the way, the Greek word presbutis is used in the above verses, and it literally means "an old woman".
Also take note in the verse above what happens to the word of Yahuwah when the women of the assembly are not in obedience.
When women are dealing with individuals who are outside the body of the Anointed, the woman apparently can teach a man in the effort to convert him for Yahushua, as indicated by the activity of the women of the assembly on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and when Aquila and Priscilla were teaching Apollo (Acts 18:24-26).
When these men and women that we have been talking about are husband and wife, the relationship of the stronger and weaker vessel is spelled out very plainly in the Scripture. Men must love their wives as much as Yahushua loves the assembly. If the man does love his wife as Yahushua loves the assembly, the wife is never going to be put in a position by her husband in which she is not willing to be. She will have as tender, loving, and thoughtful a husband as she could ever desire. She will be required, as shown below, to be in subjection to the husband in all things, because the husband is the head of the wife as Yahushua is the head of the assembly. If she is in subjection, she will be as tender, loving, and thoughtful a wife as the husband could ever desire.
When this condition becomes true, a real marriage in Yahuwah will exist. To attain to this condition may take a lot of effort from both the husband and wife, but the prize is well worth the race. The two who are in this condition will know that they are really one as Yahuwah stated they would be in the book of Genesis. Then they will begin to really understand the concept of the unconditional love that Yahuwah, our Father, and our Savior Yahushua the Anointed, has for us.
To the Husbands
Ephesios (Ephesians) 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as the Anointed also loved the assembly and gave himself for it 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present it to Himself a splendid assembly, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be morally clean and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.
1 Keph (Peter) 3:7 Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel and as being heirs together of the grace of life that your prayers are not hindered.
To the Wives
Ephesios 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as to the Master. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as the Anointed is the head of the assembly and He is the savior of the body. 24 Therefore as the assembly is subject to the Anointed, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
1 Keph 3:1 Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands that if any does not obey the word they also may without the word be won by the behavior of the wives. . .
To Husbands and Wives
Ephesios 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning the Anointed and the assembly.
There are many, many other scriptural references pertaining to the spiritual relationship of husband and wife, and as you read and study you will learn to recognize them, and to understand what Yahuwah is saying to us through His written word. A very important thing to remember about the whole subject is that regardless of what feminists and others would like you to believe about Yahuwah being asexual, female, or any other thing except male, there is no evidence to support that belief. Even "Mother Nature" is in reality Father Yahuwah. Every reference to Yahuwah in the Scripture as we know it, and in other writings too, the maleness of Yahuwah is always evident. This does not indicate that there is something wrong with being female, just that Yahuwah is the Father, and not the mother. Women need to remember that it is the "hidden man of the heart" that is the member of the body of Yahushua, and the body of Yahushua is shown in the feminine sense of being the bride in the marriage of the Lamb.
Viva la difference! Now let us remember that the differences are there for good reasons, that Yahuwah made us different, physically, mentally, and emotionally, for His purposes, and now we need to use and enjoy those differences as He intended and since we are all one in Yahushua, both men and women, we must be in obedience to His will.