Paul, as you pointed out, was really talking about a calm, peaceful heart (AMELIA), not worrying or stressing or freaking out about anything (STEPHANIE), but trusting. He was saying what TERA said: having a teachable spirit and not always needing to be the center of attention. As she put it so well, "Being bubbly is great, but it goes too far when no one else can get a word in." ESTHER gave us some examples: "I think it's about turning the other cheek, being free from gossip, being kind ... things like that." SARA WAS kind to us extroverts when she said, "We could us our loud voices to make a difference, a difference for Jesus."
Here's the crux of it, too, and MAY pointed this out; "It's like letting God's presence smooth down any ruffled feathers." We can't just "decide" not to freak out and get all worked up about stuff. We can't turn down our personalities. If, as BRITTANY said, we want our heart attitudes to be ready to learn and give others grace rather than be filled with loud, not-so-nice things, we have to turn to God for that. We need to open up to the gentle and quiet spirit that GOD is so we can get some of that in us. Back to the praying. Back to the Talking To God Journals. Back to the listening.
What I love about all this is that we're looking closely and deeply into verses that at first glance are kind of a turn-off. If we didn't examine the passages that sound like flat-out insults to women, that if taken literally could push us back a hundred years, we'd miss the chance to embrace quiet and gentle spirits, and focus more on what's going on inside us than on what we're currently wearing. (Not that I don't LOVE this new jean jacket I have on today. Just sayin'.)
So let's have a go at this one that ESTHER brings to the table:
"Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 NIV
Well, call me "disgraceful", then. I got to lead the Prayers of the People in church yesterday. Awesome experience. Would Paul say I should have shut up and sat down? Would he say the same to the wonderful Reverend Lissa Smith who preached the sermon?
Leaving out our opinions about whether women should be ministers in the church, will you tell us what you think these words from Paul mean? Do we have to write him off as a man who thinks women are an inferior gender? Or is he saying something deeper that you as twenty-first century new women can take to heart?
Can't WAIT to hear what you have to say about this one! And remember that we can all be heard and we can even agree to disagree. Our goal is to discover what binds us together as Christian women and as Christ-models for the world.