All the Reasons Why Women Don’t Need to Be Silent in the Churches

All the Reasons Why Women Don’t Need to Be Silent in the Churches

Last Saturday, I published this handwritten post on Facebook and of course, women just loved it! Not.

If you look at the comment section, you will see many reasons given why women aren’t to be silent in the churches. I am going to go over them with you so that you will have a good defense for your faith. We must know God’s Word and be able to defend it against false teaching.

Some said those verses were written to rebellious women in the churches back then, uneducated women, or because women were being oppressed and separated from the men. Are any of these true? There certainly are no Bible verses to support these reasons. In fact, in 1 Timothy 2, God goes all the way back to Creation as to why women are to “learn in silence with all subjection.” The first reason is that Adam was created first, therefore, he’s the one God ordained to be in authority. The second reason is that Eve was deceived. This washes away ALL of the cultural excuses why these verses are irrelevant for today.

Others gave this verse: “And it shall be in the last days says God, ‘That I will pour out My Spirit upon ALL mankind; And your sons and your DAUGHTERS shall prophesy, And your young men shall see [divinely prompted] visions , And your old men shall dream [divinely prompted] dreams ; Even on My bond-servants, both men and WOMEN, I will in those days pour out My Spirit And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17‭, ‬18). These were already fulfilled. “Daughters shall prophesy; fulfilled in Anna the prophetess, Luke 2:36, and in the four daughters of Philip, Luke 21:9.” (Matthew Poole’s Commentary). Other commentaries say it is that women and men would be filled with the Holy Spirit but it certainly doesn’t negate the verses about women being silent in the churches.

“Can’t be right translation as, Anna the prophetess/priestess outside the Temple saw Mary bring Jesus and called him Christ. Isaac’s wife Rebekah was also a prophetess who shows great godly boldness where Isaac was silent. God also told Abraham to listen to his wife Sarah.” The Church was not even established at the time that these women were mentioned in God’s Word. The Apostle Paul is the one who set up the Church and explained in detail how it is to run.

“What about those women who have been called by God into ministry?” God never calls women to do what He has clearly forbidden in His Word. Any woman who is preaching/teaching/leading in a church is in clear disobedience to God’s word since He commands them to “learn in silence with all subjection.”

“What do you think about men who say women should not talk in the church, for example, not even ask prayer requests, give announcements, testimonies, etc.? They can only sing and pray quietly, if they have a request they should write it down and a leader will read it for them.” I believe they are absolutely correct as I shared in this video recently. I would rather err on the side of taking the Bible too literally rather than too liberally.

One woman felt that if there are not godly men to lead, then women should lead. No, this isn’t biblical. Plus, there are plenty of good and godly men to lead and teach in the churches. “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Isaiah 3:12).

Then all female preachers I know use this one. “Mary went and preached to the disciples that Jesus had risen again.” No, the angel told Mary to go “tell” the disciples so she went and “told” them what she was told to tell them. She wasn’t told to preach. NO women in the Bible were told to preach. This ministry has been given to men. Besides, the Church wasn’t even set up when this happened.

“The Transformed Wife, did you know the Hebrew word for woman is Ezer? It’s roots mean strong and benevolent and the closest translation we have is warrior. It’s used 16 times in the Bible to refer to God, often used in a military context, and twice to refer to Eve. Submissive and silent….Really??” My husband answered this one. “No, go back and do further study on this. The word ‘ezer’ means helper. The word is never used to mean woman, but rather it does reference a wife as a ‘helper.’ The word for woman is ‘ishshah,’ which means woman, wife, or female and is used 674 times in the Bible, not just two to three times you reference of ezer. Ishshah comes from the word ‘ish’ which means man. So Ishshah comes from man and is man’s female complement.

“It is quite disingenuous of the authors you have read to say that because ‘ezer’ is used of ‘God as our help’ that somehow woman is to be considered as if she has the strength of God. She does not. She does have the strength to do those things that God asks of her, but it is far from saving armies and nations. Instead, it is to obey God’s commands to her IF one has the heart to please God, instead of arguing with Him with fallacious logic and mischaracterizing words and passages. The word ezer could not disqualify the plain commands of God, even if one could find that a woman is to be strong.”

Some women will say it’s okay for women to preach/teach in Sunday morning services as long as they are under the leadership of the elders. This isn’t biblical. It’s forgetting all of the admonitions for women to be silent in the churches and not teach men. God is above elders and God commands that women not speak in the churches.

Finally, there is this verse that women think disqualifies all of these commands for women to be silent in the churches. “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven” (1 Corinthians 11:5). A few chapters later in 1 Corinthians 14, the Apostle Paul gives clear instructions on how church services are to run. He speaks about men praying, prophesying, and speaking in tongues with an interpreter, then we are given these verses at the end of the exhortation which clearly prove that women are forbidden from prophesying out loud in the church gathering:

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith 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 church.
1 Corinthians 14:33-35

58 thoughts on “All the Reasons Why Women Don’t Need to Be Silent in the Churches

  1. Amen so clear in scripture sad times we live in. Just look at the difference in churches were the women aren’t silent and the ones where they are such a difference. Just saw an excellent sermon that I wanted you to see. Not watered down just some good biblical preaching on wives obeying their husbands.

  2. Yes, same standing with our Church that woman will be submissive, modest and helper. We have this Ladies fellowship ,wherein we arr assigned to prepare refreshments and cook food if we have prayer meetings or adult fellowship and men will lead the meeting , Preacher or Pastor will have the sermon .

  3. Few to almost no churches obey these admonitions anymore from what I have witnessed and heard from many others. When I was growing up, women were absolutely silent in the churches. Women didn’t lead singing or even give announcements. My husband remembers the same in the churches he attended. Feminism has clearly infiltrated most churches.

  4. Yeah saw your post the other day about going to a service where the men lead the whole thing and how nice that was, you rarely see that now. I pray the church wakes up.

  5. It’s a rare service that it happens in our church but I loved it and I doubt any women were offended by it at all. They probably didn’t even notice. Most don’t know that women are to be silent in the churches. It’s a rare pastor that will preach on this topic and if they do, they water it down to not mean what is clearly stated.

  6. Can you explain about head coverings mentioned in 1 Corinthians 11? Why don’t we use them today?

  7. A similar problem arises when one considers the dictates of the Council of Jerusalem as recorded in the Book of Acts. Paul and Barnabas, having been confronted in Antioch with an argument between Jewish converts and Gentile converts about whether the Gentiles must observe certain Jewish laws (especially concerning circumcision), went to Jerusalem to discuss the matter with the other apostles. The council concluded with the following statement in a letter: “[I]t has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well” (Acts 15:28-29).

    Here we have what seems to be the apostles teaching, at a Church council, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that it is immoral, among other things, to consume blood or to eat the meat of an animal which has been strangled. Yet, how many Christians are cautious enough to be certain that their food does not contain blood or that the animal they are consuming was not killed by strangulation? Doesn’t their Bible teach that they should?

    They have unknowingly subscribed to the idea that the apostles imposed these requirements as disciplines which could later be changed.

  8. Married women are to be under the authority of their husbands and not their pastor or church elders. Unsaved people should go to church. Men should go to church. Children should go to church, single women should go to church, widows should go to church. Married women are to be keepers of the home and if their husbands want them to go to church, that is fine. However, I feel I have as much business at church as I do serving on the local town board. I have Bible study with my husband and learn and ask questions of him.

  9. We still firmly believe in head coverings in our church, all the ladies wear hats. Especially the Dutch community still holds to this commandment. The church also gets watered down when women don’t cover their heads.

  10. I personally think they are for today but its not a command more so a conviction. If your husband wants you to wear a covering then wear it if not then no big deal. The principle and symbolism behind the head covering is what matters.

  11. I agree. The entire passage is about submission more than it is about anything else. The husband is head over his wife as Christ is head over His Church.

  12. If you want a great example of women prophesying, take a look at Mary’s Magnificat in Luke 1. Mary here is prophesying about what God has done and what He will do. But note that she is not standing up in the congregation to announce a message to the church. This is one woman speaking to another woman. So while the scripture does indeed tell us that both men and women will prophesy, this does not mean that women are to speak in the church or lead the church. Those things are specifically forbidden to women, and they don’t need to speak to the church gathering in order to prophesy.

  13. “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” (1 Thes. 4:11) Yes, women, me included, have a tendency to talk too much. This is a well-known characteristic of women. This is probably another reason why God commands women to be silent in the churches. If women are allowed to speak in coed Bible studies, they will dominated the discussion most likely.

  14. The church is actually a place for believers to go to be built up in their faith so they can go out into the world to be salt and light. All believers are commanded to gather with believers in worshiping the Lord and growing in the wisdom and knowledge of Him by listening to godly men preach. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)

  15. Thank you, Linsday. I am not sure what is so difficult about this verse and other similar ones that’s so hard for women to understand. “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection” (1 Tim. 1:11). It’s as clear as day for those who have ears who want to hear and eyes for those who want to see.

  16. Lori,
    Why do you even care what these sinful, ungodly women think and say? We support you!


  17. You can still be a keeper at home and go to church. I do believe your husband and home should come before a church building but you do need to have fellowship with others. Yes your husband should be discipling you but being around believers is important. There is an issue I do see though when women spend so much time doing church activities that they neglect their home and husband.

  18. Yes and submission to God means doing what he commands. As he commands women to wear a head covering to church. We can’t just interpret the Bible as we please, eg my husband says I don’t have to wear a head covering so I won’t.

  19. I am wondering what you would advise. In my situation, I have a couple of churches to choose from, but two are female led and the other has announcements and sometimes evening service led by females along with the children’s church.
    I have attended a few times, but most of my teaching comes from your blog and a couple of online male pastors.

  20. I would never attend a church that was female led. No church services should be led by women ever, no, not even the evening service. I wouldn’t leave a church if a woman gives announcements but I would if a woman led anything.

  21. I am part of a small home assembly and we have been moving forward in this direction since last summer. It has not been an easy transition but we continue in our obedience to the word of God no matter the challenges we are to face.
    Father knows best.

  22. I’ve trained myself to hardly speak at all in any type of group. Even among women, most tend to get loud and boisterous. I prefer not to be those women. I will smile at others and speak when spoken to, but never initiate or participate in conversation. I am known as a good listener.

    I don’t have a “need” for my voice to be heard figuratively or literally. I am a mostly silent one.

  23. Concerning head coverings, and those who don’t agree that a women’s covering is something more than her long hair — I’ve always found that the Church agrees that a covering for a man is a hat or a hood, but not for women. In certain churches growing up, they would even tell men to take their hats off, as it was a sign of disrespect, “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head. . .”

    I believe that the scriptures testify that women should have long hair AND have a covering when praying. Especially considering that head coverings are recorded even in ancient Israel, “And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and UNCOVER the woman’s head. . . ” (Numbers 5:18) She wasn’t getting a hair cut otherwise the scriptures would’ve said so like in Deuteronomy 21:12 KJB.

    That being said, I personally believe that women should obey their husbands if they do not want their wives wearing head coverings, as I hold to the belief that women should submit to minor sins that her husband asks her to do. Sarah, our example, lied for her husband when he asked her to do so. Twice, actually. So even though God is not the author of confusion, I do believe He gives grace to women who submit to their husbands when their husbands have asked them to do minor sins such as; lying, having their head uncovered, having their wives working outside of the home when they have children, contraception, etc.

  24. Thank you Lori for continuing to teach on this subject as I believe it often falls on deaf ears and needs to be continually taught until all women “get it”. Sadly, our church is going in this direction and it really saddens my husband and me since we love the people dearly and love our church. Little things like women continually reading scripture, giving testimonies, leading worship and “preaching” in between songs, giving out communion and the offering baskets.
    I don’t know why the church feels pressured to include women in all the leadership and teaching when God’s Word is clear they are to be silent. Praying God gives us wisdom about our church.

  25. What are your thoughts on women at the alter (helping with communion) or on a church board? The church I belong to is small, last week we had 30 in attendance, including the minister – rough count from last week included 11 men, 5 children, and 14 women. If I, or other women, WOULDN’T be involved, our church wouldn’t survive. 3 of the 11 men refuse to have a church board position, simply because they do not want it, and I want to make it clear it’s NOT due to women on the board – they don’t the hassle, don’t have time, etc. Simply put – we don’t have enough members for women NOT to be involved. I’m guessing a lot of “smaller” churches are dealing with the same issue. Most people may not want to hear scriptures read by a women, but in many, many cases, if they wouldn’t do it, who would?

  26. Then the church’s board should be made up of three men and these men can easily be the ones reading the Scripture. Even if there was only one man, he could be the one preaching and doing all of the Scripture reading certainly.

  27. They feel pressure due to feminism’s subtle influence in the churches, Steffanie. It’s very sad. Can your husband go to the elders and talk to them about it?

  28. We attend a small church. Also about 30. The men do everything. If the women step back, the men will do it. Our fellowship has always only had men lead. From announcements to closing prayer. It’s not difficult at all.

    As a side, it’s great for some of the younger fellows as they are called on to pass out communion or lead a prayer. In fact, my husband preached his first sermon at 14 and was the fill-in preacher while he was a teen because he was in a small congregation. If you want Godly men who aren’t afraid to lead I suggest “dropping the ball” they WILL pick it up (even if it is at the last second). If you’re good with a bunch of sissies, keep taking the reigns.

  29. It’s interesting that it 1 Cor. 11 there are two different Greek words used for “covering.” Here’s a quote from the following article:

    “Paul uses “katakalupto” for “cover” all the way down to verse 15. Then when speaking of the long hair of women as a covering he uses a different word “peribolaion”. But if he is referring to the hair as a “covering” in the same sense as he spoke earlier, why does he not use the same word?”

    Also, Sarah is not praised for lying. She is praised because she “obeyed Abraham, calling him lord…” (1 Pet. 3:6) Just like Rahab is not praised for lying about the spies she hid, but because she “…received the messengers and sent them out another way…” (James 2:25). And because she “…received the spies with peace…” (Heb. 11:10)

  30. My observation is that by and large churches, even more or less biblically orthodox ones, have succumbed to the spirit of the age and decided to pretend 1 Corinthians 14:34 and related verses aren’t even in the Bible.

    People do come to the Lord in these churches, the Word goes out, good works are done, etc. God may even use them to bring revival. BUT, it will eventually end in tears.

    It SEEMS right to have a woman lead worship, give the sermon, be the executive pastor. But let’s remember: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12

  31. Does your husband not even allow you talk about things that make you happy or things you’ve done recently that you’ve enjoyed, in a normal lighthearted way? I agree that there’s no point talking if all you’re saying is negative or argumentative things, but can’t you speak about positive experiences, share good thoughts, suggest things to do together, etc? Not sure if I’m taking your “silent most of the time” too literally and thinking that you literally do not even talk about things like the weather!

  32. And your sentence about not speaking unless spoken to – do you mean that you don’t ever start a conversation? Even about something simple like “I saw a great movie recently” or “how are your kids?” I’m not trying to pry, just curious!!

  33. Wow! I am amazed by this (in a good way.) If you don’t mind, I have a few questions. Is the not really speaking much in your day to day life, or just in public? Do you share your day with him or abstain from doing so?

    I ask because I feel like I get mixed signals from my husband. Some days he doesn’t really want me to share things, other days he gets upset for my lack of talking. I would really like to know more about this.

  34. This is very convicting! We dont attend churches with women leading anything, but I have given a testimony before in church, and alwaus felt weird doing it. This is definitely something I am going to talk to my husband about. Great reminder to remember why we are in church. I always feel so overwhelmed after chit chatting to the women, and usually end up feeling discouraged from the cattiness and overall non support of women staying home (I am the only one in my church who does so.) This was a great reminder that I am their to worship the Lord together, and be with my husband!

  35. “One woman felt that if there are not godly men to lead, then women should lead.” Or maybe women should go home, have children and raise them to be godly. Someone has to do this important task if we want to have godly people. If women go out to work daily, something at home and in families, and in society is missing.

    I’m writing from a Catholic country. Although we don’t take the Bible seriously as I’d say, here where I live there are no roles for women during holy mess. Even in little countryside churches where they lack priests, the one priest, if it’s possible with help of boys or men, does all the work, including driving to little churches in other villages where no priest lives. It’s possible to do it only with men.

  36. I’m pretty sure she is talking about being silent period unless its something necessary or asked to by her husband. Which is ok, submission looks different in every home and every husband has different requests.

  37. The poster (Kevin) is correct. It’s silent most of the time in public and at home. I do not “share my day ” or share opinions or feelings or discuss random things. What I think on any subject is really not that important. However, if my husband’s brother calls on the phone while he’s out, of course I will tell him that his brother called. Or if he asks me what’s for dinner, or if I got a chance to go to the post office, of course I’ll answer. I don’t do the “silent” treatment. I’m just mostly silent. I am a good listener. My husband prefers this and I’ve come to learn and grow through it.

  38. That’s great. I’m not really sure what people think of me and that’s OK. I’m mostly a non-entity and I prefer that. I don’t really have any friends or people I talk to. I just focus on my family and that’s enough.

  39. For those guys that are not stepping up in leadership, unless its because they have to work or family time they are weak men in my eyes. The church needs you but instead women are stepping up to take positions they shouldn’t? Wow. But like Lori said the few men they have already need to be in authority and the women need to fall under and not lead.

  40. If the Lord is speaking to your heart and you’re feeling convicted of headcovering but your husband doesn’t see the teaching, begin praying about it. Prayer can change his heart. Definitely peacefully submit to him as he is your head, but maybe in a few months if you’re still being convicted, you could revisit the topic with meekness and honesty, explaining the conviction that you’re under. If he still does not see the teaching, perhaps he would allow you to cover in your own private time with the Lord? If not, then lovingly leave it with the Lord. He knows the desires of your heart.

  41. KR, may I ask you, since you mentionned that you had to “learn” to be silent, what kind of person were you before? And what was your main reason to go quiet? Was it just because your husband asked you to? Also, I assume that your relationship was different when you first met and got married, and he loved you then, so why did he ask you to be silent?

    I myself am what I would call an introvert. I like to listen to people and talk only when what I have to say is interesting, but not having friends to whom you can talk, or connections in general seems a bit extreme to me. Those things are good for your mental health, and as women especially, it seems to me that we were made to live in communities.

  42. Late to the party and don’t know if any one else has mentioned this, but I’d like to point out that no where in scripture does it say women cannot share Christ with others outside of the church gathering, within the right context. 1 Corinthians 11 says a woman ought to cover her head WHEN praying or prophesying, so the expectation is that she’ll have opportunities to pray or prophesy.

    Lori, you are daily teaching women the Word of God. Day and night, I am constantly guiding my boys down the narrow path and praying for them without ceasing. I listen to Christian podcasts of older women teaching younger women about godly womanhood. This is all within biblical parameters.

    God has given women ENDLESS amounts of work to be done in His name. And yet feminists get bent out of shape over something as trivial as the commandment to keep silent in the assembly. When they get sidelined by the few areas of authority where we are forbidden, Kingdom work goes undone and Satan wins. They forget that the miniscule part they play in God’s story IS NOT ABOUT THEM. It’s the same pride that fooled Eve in the garden and is still fooling her daughters today.

    Thank you for your ministry. You are so valued by many of us.❤

    P.s. Ordering your book and Bible study this weekend! I’m excited to finally read them. ☺

  43. Thank you, Sarah. Yes, women can absolutely share the Lord with others as much as she feels led outside of a church gathering. Her example of godliness to her neighbors and others will be a huge witness to others, too.

  44. Hi M, we also attend a fairly small church, about 75-80 and the men do everything in the church. The only thing the women do is organize and cook meals to help the sick or those suffering loss in the congregation and community. I absolutely love it! I grew up in this church and raised 3 boys in this church. My dad, my husband and our sons have always been very active in teaching and leading, my husband handles the financial matters for the church and the church and ground maintenance team (as God intended for them!) The women do nothing! We attend services, listen and learn. If I have questions I ask my husband at home (where God intended ME to be.) I always feel SO very comfortable in the church following God’s plan and being surrounded by strong, smart, God fearing men to take care of us. I know most of the women in our church and a good portion of the adult ladies are housewives/stay at home wives that follow God’s plan for biblical womanhood and submission. However, I do always carry uneasy feelings that in today’s world and feminist society we will be tested now more than ever. It seems folks like us stick out like a sore thumb these days, ripe for the devil’s picking.

  45. It may require a rebuttal too lengthy to add to your post, but a common excuse now is that the verses telling women to be quiet are “interpolations.” : (

  46. I went to a new Church last Sunday. I did not now who was speaking and was thankful for a newsletter that outlined the speakers for the month of January ( that i did not read until i got home) The woman speaker spoke on Tamar. She was graphic in her talk and i was most perturbed as there were children in the congregation and i felt she was very unwise . This week ( i did not go to Church) there was another woman speaking. The last Church i attended i left at the instruction of the Lord as when they inducted a part-time Minister ( the full time retired) they had a practising lesbian “minister” take the service. I have felt bad not being in fellowship but better to walk alone than walk with the crowd heading in the wrong direction

  47. Hi Lori- you do realise i was speaking about 2 different churches i attended dont you ? Church for me will be TV as i have no other options now in the area i live in. Charles Stanley has good solid teaching.

  48. So glad I found your blog. I have asked this question and apart from the reasons given by church female feminists on why a woman shouldn’t keep silent there are two that I feel you left probably bc you don’t know about them. 1) they,feminists,say that the scripture was only talking about the wife of the pastor.Vs 11 says “let ‘the’ woman learn in silence” and Vs 12 says “i suffer not ‘a’woman to teach….”. Bone of contention here is “a” and”the”. Some say its only applicable to the pastors wife and not all females. I.e. if a man preaches his wife should learn in silence but other ladies or women can preach,lead exaltations and etc. This leads me to the second school of thought that says that those verses were only for home use. Can you pls explain this bc I am confused.

  49. That’s just not true. Why would it only apply to a pastor’s wife? The reason for women learning in silence with all subjection goes back to creation as I stated in the post. Adam sure wasn’t a preacher and Eve wasn’t a preacher’s wife. These verses apply to ALL women. God doesn’t want women teaching the Bible because they are more easily deceived. He has given men this important ministry.

  50. I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a
    blog that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail
    on the head. The issue is something not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy I came across this during my hunt for something relating to this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *