Please advise, because I didn't have this crisis of conscience until today when a sister in Christ brought it up... I merely thought of them as kids the same as my kids (I have a 12-yr-old boy). Also, what implication is there for me teaching my own son?
Thank you for your help.
Who is "email"?
I am unaware of any restriction for women to teach boys. In fact, women are to be "homemakers", and they are to "manage the house", which would include any children (Titus 2:3-5; I Timothy 2:13-15). Unless one reaons that boys become "men" by choosing to become a Christian, I do not know how one could remotely forbid women teaching boys.
Assuming this is the argument being made, it is true that women are not "to teach or to have authority over a man" (I Timothy 2:11-12). However, who said that boys become men, when they become a Christian?
I believe the Bible indicates that it would be unreasonable to consider these boys as men:
- Men are to earn a living and provide for their family (I Timothy 5:8). Are these boys independent? Supporting at least themselves, maybe a family?
- Women are to be in submission to men (I Timothy 2:11-15), and Paul's command expresses that. Do you obey these "men"? Or, do they submit to you? If they are indeed "men", then you have no authority to command them in anything, because the rule was established in creation, not culture or any other limited scope. If they are too young to take up this responsibility, then they are not "men".
- Ephesians 6:1 - Children are to obey their parents. This implies some authority to command and rule, which is granted to mothers and fathers ("parents") and extends to sons and daughters ("children").
- Deuteronomy 21:18-20 - Fathers and mothers were instructed to bring rebellious sons before the council to be stoned. Were these little boys? No, they were mature, responsible sons, guilty of mature sins: "stubbornness", "rebellion", "gluttony", and "drunkeness". Notice that part of the cause for execution was the son's failure to obey his mother's voice. Granted this was part of the Old Law, but the rule of submission is based in creation. It applies in the old and new covenant. Therefore, if the mother's could command her son under the Old Law and not violate woman's submission to man, then such a command would not violate it under the New Law.
- Proverbs 1:8 - The wise man simply commands sons to obey the law of their mother. Considering the whole book of Proverbs, it would be strange to think these sons as "little boys".
If your boys, or someone else's boys, are still in submission to their mothers, I do not see how anyone could Biblically call them "men". Consequently, I would see no restrictions regarding your teaching of these boys.
Regarding your final question, one might could argue that an incidental male observer would not be subject to being "taught over" by a woman teacher. However, such reasoning seems to be dangerously approaching that somewhat fuzzy definition of "teaching over". Therefore, to be safe, I would encourage you to consider pausing and politely asking the man if he would like to teach or say anything. Likely he will decline. I would then possibly express the inapprorpiateness of a woman to teach over a man, but I would certainly dismiss the class for a small recess, possibly expressing your uncomortableness in continuing, if it seems appropriate. This would allow you to further speak privately and discretely with the man, and the pause would allow him to pursue his original business.
As a side note, I consider it wise for children, especially boys, to have male Bible teachers as they approach adulthood, simply to smooth the transition to adult classes and to provide a good role model for the maturing boys. Therefore, in spite of what I said previously, it may be better (not necessary) to have a male teacher for this spiritually focused class, especially for the benefit of the 15-year old boy. Certainly, it would be safe, and such a concession might defuse unnecessary conflict.
Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.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.27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
I will be careful with what I am going to say, but it seems in this passage as if this couple taught Apollos who was a man.
But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things --4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
I see nothing in this passage that teaches that a women cannot teach a man.
1 Tim 2:8-15
I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.
Many times we see this passage used to explain how women should act in assembling together, then wouldn't it likwise refer to women in their role in worship not to teach with authority over a man. This would explain that these two took Apollos a instructed him outside of the assembling. They took him ASIDE. If Paul or even God did not want us to think that she also instructed him then he would have not said that THEY took him and instructed him.
authenteo (ow-then-teh'-o); from a compound of NT:846 and an obsolete hentes (a worker); to act of oneself, i.e. (figuratively) dominate:
KJV - usurp authority over.
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
For the purpose of the initial post, I would say scripturally as long as a women is not instructing a women in the worship assembly and not asurp authority over a man in any circumstance then teaching high school children (Christians) is just fine. Many do not do this in bible classes because it upsets people who are traditionalist without scrict scriptural basis.
As a side note... years ago, I taught my little brother how to be a song leader. My dad doesn't have a musical bone in his entire body. I have a music degree. We were raised in a tiny church and needed a good song leader, so I taught him how. Is it wrong for a young man to learn from his older sister when both are still under the rule of their parents? I see no reason why it would be wrong...?
Wife to Kyle, mom to Ben & Daniel
We always want to be careful about what we do and if we are unsure then we should not do it. As for the teaching your brother to sing, I do not see scripture that would indicate that you could not teach him to sing. It would be no different than if he had gone out to a music store where they gave lessons and the teacher happened to be a women. What he has learned outside of worship so he could help others worship is an honorable thing. Sometimes the brethren will bind where there is no authority for it, but then again some brethren lose those things that are not permitted. It is about being where God wants us, doing what He wants us to do.As a side note... years ago, I taught my little brother how to be a song leader. My dad doesn't have a musical bone in his entire body. I have a music degree. We were raised in a tiny church and needed a good song leader, so I taught him how. Is it wrong for a young man to learn from his older sister when both are still under the rule of their parents? I see no reason why it would be wrong...?
Besides at what age does a mother stop teaching her son about God? Just because a boy is baptized and has obeyed God does not mean he is a man and cannot be taught by a women.
1 Tim 2:12
12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
I believe the passage refers to worship and the role of the women in worship, which I take does not include class for the youth or even in a home situation outside of worship.
I always found it interesting though that the women sing in worship and singing is a way of teaching and encouragement, so we recognize that we are all commanded to sing, yet Pauls says that women are to be silent in regards to showing authority over man in worship. Singing does not show authority over anyone, but is a unified act of worship when all the saints are worshipping God togther.
I know I rambled on but I hope this helps.