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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ladies, I need your wisdom: where is the borderline between “teaching the Bible” and “sharing the Gospel” with non-Christian husbands?


family worship : source

One of the dear readers on my Japanese blog recently asked me the following question;

I am conducting a family worship (including Bible message) at home. My children and I are believers but my husband is not. Thankfully, though, he is joining the family worship anyway. Now, I started to realize that woman should not teach nor to have authority over a man (I Tim 2:12). Well, then, what shall I do? I find it difficult to find the borderline between “teaching the Bible” and “sharing the Gospel” with my husband.

Umm...ladies, I haven’t thought about this kind of situation before, and honestly I don’t know how to answer to her question right now. Have you dealt with similar situations in your life? Or do you know anybody who has a similar background like her? I do need your wisdom and input. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me. Thank you so much. 


16 comments:

  1. Dear Kinuko, this is so great to hear that the lady's husband shows such a great interest in God. Sheneeds to talk pastor at her church. If there is a Bible study at her church may be he can go to one alone with his wife. I any case the husband needs to meet with a pastor.
    This past Sunday I was leading the Bible study and learned that one of my friends became a Christian last week. Praise the Lord. I believe that the major difference between 'sharing gospel' and 'teaching the Bible' is the essence of salvation of soul. Basically while sharing the gospel we need to present the love of Christ, human sin nature and in some cases condemnation.In other words sharing the Gospel should enable person to see their sinful nature and need for the Savior: this is at fairly basic level most f the time. However it doesn't need to bee deep/profound.
    "Bible Teaching" is going into the above mentioned matters deeper as well as examining Christian life style, presenting about Biblical leadership, and many other matters.
    Hope it somewhat answers your question.

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    1. Dear Irina, thank you so much for your comment. I am so grateful that you are always ready to help me and consider the matter with me. I think I could understand what you were saying about the basic difference between the two. My question is this: where is the authority? Do you think it is possible while we are "sharing the Gospel" with others (male), we happen to exercise authority over them, though unintentionally?

      Of course, when we teach the Bible, we exercise authority. That's why we sisters are not allowed to teach Bible to men. But what about simply "sharing the Gospel"?

      By the way, I am so glad that your friend believed Jesus Christ last Sunday! Praise God!
      with Love, Kinuko

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  2. In my opinion it depends on her husband's will. When he asks his wife something about gospel, his wife can answer to serve him,I think. It is blessing that the reader's husband choses to join family worship.Through it he can see her teaching bible to her children. I think we wives should not force husbands to believe against his will.We can pray and wait.Husbands have headship in family,and we wives should not invade his boundary,I think. It is important that he accept gospel by his own will.Thank you for sharing. Sanae from japan

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    1. Good points, Sanae. I might be able to summarize your sayings as follows;

      1) When non-Christian husband asks his wife about the Gospel, she may answer but with humble spirit.
      2) Wife should not force her husband to believe against his will. Give him freedom to choose.
      3) Wife should not invade husband's boundary, for he is the head of the family.
      4) Instead of pushing him, we can pray and wait until he himself wills to accept the Gospel.

      Thank you so much for your input, Sanae!

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    2. Yes,your summary of my opinion is so accurate.Thank you so much!
      In Japan many of christian ladies have non-christian husbands. I guess many ladies have same struggle as the reader has.I want to pray for this issue,too. Sanae

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  3. Hi, ladies. This is Kinuko. I went to Sister April's blog (Peacefulwife.com) and asked her advice as well. Here is her reply;

    "Hmmm… that is a difficult situation. How wonderful that he wants to join in on the family worship!

    I think a wife could do a lot of praying, possibly even fasting, seeking God’s wisdom about exactly what to do and what to say and how to approach this issue.

    A wife could let her husband know that she respects his position as the God-given leader of the home, and she can check with him about how he might prefer for her to handle that.

    I would also consider framing it like she is teaching the children, but that she welcomes her husband to listen. She may want to show much humility and be sure that he understands she is not lecturing him or preaching at him. Having him there does show his support for what she is doing. I think that is great!
    Much love to you!!!
    April"

    Thank you, sister April!! We love you so much in Christ. from Kinuko

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  4. Dear Kinuko, your post made me think a lot. I am going to ask our deacons and elders at church about some clarification on this issue. Lord willing, I shall provide you with some answers in the net few days.
    Irina

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    1. Dear Irina, how kind and faithful you are! Thank you so much for your sincere effort to help our Japanese sister. As Sanae mentioned, there are many many Christian wives who have non-Christian husbands in Japan and many of them have similar struggles and difficulties. This is my prayer that God will help each one of them and give them divine wisdom about this issue. In Christ, Kinuko

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  5. I talked to my pastors and deacons at the church today. All of them stated that it's great because he joins the worship. When apostle Paul talks about that woman is not allowed to preach, he meant it in the context of church. Church consists of people from several families. Otherwise Paul wouldn't have separate instructions for families. Not every man who attends the church is the pastor in the church. However, if he's married, he is the head of the family. The reader, she can share the Gospel with her husband. Sharing means to reveal and explain the Gospel in a matter of humble spirit. Teaching means proclaiming the gospel in front of congregation of the believers. If it's possible, the husband should be included included in the worship. He an read Bible passages and pray. During readings he is more than welcome to express his opinion about the passage. Also we(pastors, deacons in our church, and I) agree that his wife needs to discuss the matter with someone from her church, preferably pastor or a deacon. It will be great if she can get some books, mp3 and or videos about Christianity for her husband to read, listen, and or watching. It'll be better to discuss it with her pastor/deacon. I wish I could be of more help.
    In Christ,
    Irina

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    1. Dear Irina, спасибо большое! I just want to say "thank you!" for your friendship and your sincere effort. Thanks to your help, our talking on this topic has gone deeper and many sisters in all over the world have received grace now! I love you so much in Christ, Irina. Kinuko

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    2. I agree! I think everybody has contributed so much to the discussion of this topic! Thank you Kinuko, for publishing this article, and thank you Sanae and Irina for all your helpful input! As I read all the comments, I feel like I've learned so much! How wonderful that we can all get together and talk about things like this openly and honestly. What a wonderful group of Christian sisters learning together that I am privileged to be a part of!
      Love,
      Jessica

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    3. I also reads all the comments on this blog,too. It is very happy to share with many issue with my dear sisters.Thank God and thank Kinuko for making us opportunities of sharing!
      Sanae

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  6. Dear Irina, thank you so so much for your effort. I do appreciate your help, Irina! Please send my best regards to your pastors and deacons.

    <When apostle Paul talks about that woman is not allowed to preach, he meant it in the context of church.

    I read I Timothy Chapter 2 again but honestly, I could not figure out why "he meant it in the context of church." Because in the Chapter 2, there is no word, "church" and it seems to me that it is not confined to church sphere. What do you think, Irina? If my point is somehow wrong, please feel free to share your thoughts with me.

    <Sharing means to reveal and explain the Gospel in a matter of humble spirit.

    This is a great point! Thank you. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit prompts me to share something about the Gospel with others (male) but I often feel hesitation because I am not sure of the exact borderline of "teaching with authority" and "sharing". I think one big key is, as you wrote, "in a manner of humble spirit."

    I deeply appreciate your comment. I am grateful that in this way, we can daily grow in the knowledge of Christ together! with love and thanks, Kinuko

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  7. Dear Kinuko,
    I tried to publish a comment earlier, but I don't know if it went through. I'm going to give it another try here.

    My husband and I talked about this issue, and we both think that a woman reading the Bible to her children while her husband listens, is doing him a wonderful favor, by sharing the gospel with him. She is not being disrespectful, but is giving him the words of life, that will save him if he believes. She is doing the best thing for her husband that a wife could possibly do. Her children need to hear the gospel, too, for their very souls depend upon it. Later on, if her husband becomes a believer, he could take over the Bible lessons himself. For now, she should be respectful to him, and hold him in the highest esteem because he is her husband, and the father of their children. If he want to listen in, that's wonderful. If he doesn't, she should respect his wishes, and "win him over without words," by her godly conduct. However, she should still find a way to talk with her children about the truth, because it is a life/death issue.

    Next, I also read chapters one and two from First Timothy. The issue being addressed in chapter two, as far as I can tell, is that of "lead[ing] a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (v. 2). Everything else in chapter two follows this. In verse eight, Paul says, "I will THEREFORE," indicating that what is to follow is in consequence of what he had just mentioned, namely, that of leading lives in quiet peacefulness, and of praying for those in authority, because God desires for all men "to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (v. 4). So, then, it doesn't look like we are talking about the "church" here, but about our conduct in general. The way that a woman lives a quiet and peaceable life which directs others to salvation, is through her godly conduct demonstrated through dressing modestly, good works, learning in silence, and not usurping authority over the man (all things which are mentioned together--is a woman supposed to be modest only in church {v. 9}? Then, it seems to follow, that being in subjection, and learning in silence {v. 11}, and not to teach or usurp authority over the man {v. 12} are also applicable to the woman's DAILY LIFE as well).

    Also, take a look at the reason given: "For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" (vv. 13 & 14). Creation and the fall. These things are transcultural, and transhistorical, just like in the headcovering issue. Is the woman prone to succumbing to deception only in the church? Or is she more impressionable GENERALLY? I know we women like to think that we are very smart and strong (which we are, of course!) BUT, let's admit that we are also the more emotional of the two sexes, and we also more typically believe the best about other people, while males are more cautious and incredulous. The very tendencies that make it easier for us to accept the gospel, are also our greatest weak point when it comes to deception. This is true in the church, and without, as well. Certainly there is much more to be discussed, but I think this has been a good starting point!

    I love that you asked the question, Kinuko, and I enjoyed very much reading everybody's helpful replies! I feel like I've learned a lot, and deeply respect all of these special ladies who are so wise and kind!
    Jessica

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  8. Dear Kinuko,
    I have one more thought to share on the 1Timothy 2 passage. In verse eight it says, "I will therefore that men pray EVERY WHERE, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting." Verse nine continues, "In LIKE MANNER ALSO, that women..." The instructions for men pertain to EVERY WHERE; the instructions for women begin with the words, IN LIKE MANNER ALSO, which indicate that they are related to each other. If men are supposed to pray everywhere, as a form of witnessing and ministering to the world, then women also, are supposed to be modest, perform GOOD WORKS (works don't always need words), learn in silence with all subjection, and not teach men or have authority over them EVERYWHERE, not JUST in church, but perhaps, ESPECIALLY in church.

    Now, does that mean women can NEVER speak about their beliefs? No. They can express their beliefs when sharing the gospel, as we've been discussing here, and they can share their beliefs with other women through public forums, such as blogs. In a blog, they are just saying what they think, not necessarily trying to have authority over someone. Anyone is welcome to read and comment, but it is with the understanding that a woman's blog is primarily directed toward other women. It is also important for them to teach their children.

    Thanks, again, for opening up this important topic and giving us the opportunity to share what we all think! What great comments everybody has made!
    Jessica

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    1. Dear Jessica, wow! what a thorough research you have done for us! The Lord is granting us grace and light to see His holy words with fresh eyes. I have never have pondered this portion so deeply before. It seems to me that what you are writing regarding 1 Tim 2 is very logical and convincing.

      God actually gave me answer --through you--, regarding the blog issue. For, from time to time, I had wondered; what if one of my male readers on my Japanese blog happens to "learn" something from what I write about the Bible? Does it mean I "teach the Bible with authority" to that man? So your explanation helped me a lot. Now I could get peace about it. Thank you so much, Jessica. Kinuko

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