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“1 Timothy 2:8-10”

Categories: 1 Timothy
“Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Much argument has been made over whether this command was given in reference to church worship services, or if “in every place” means anywhere Christian men and women may be in the company of one another. I won’t contribute to that debate here but focus on the details of the directives. It seems apparent to me that, since Paul is distinguishing what he wants men to do in verse 8 from what he wants women to do in the subsequent verses, that he is referring to the leading of prayers and not to prayer in general. God wants all people, male and female, to have a healthy prayer life, but He wants men to lead prayers when they are vocalized in mixed company.
 
Men must lift “up holy hands”. This is not a required prayer position, but was customary in that culture, and a metaphoric way of referencing prayer. It is the condition of the heart and not the position of the hands that make a man “holy” in the sight of the Lord. God does not hear the prayer of the unrighteous (1 Peter 3:12). We should pray “without wrath and dissension.” Our prayers should not be angry with or critical of God or our fellowman. That is not to say that we cannot approach the throne of glory for help when we are feeling irate or upset. But, as someone once wrote, “Do you pray against your brother? Your prayer is not against him, but against yourself. You provoke God by uttering impious words.”
 
Women must “adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly” (verse 9). Women should not dress in ways that would draw attention to themselves or to their bodies. What should set God’s women apart from the women of the world is their "proper" behavior and “godliness” (verse 10). “Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 1:3-4). A woman’s actions and demeanor should speak louder than their words and their clothing.
 
Please read 1 Timothy 2:11-15 for tomorrow.
 
Have a wonderful day!
 
- Louie Taylor

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