Why Women Should Not Be Spiritual Teachers

I know most people will probably not agree with this post.  I apologize in advance if it steps on some toes.

For many years now, I’ve done my best to work through spiritual growing pains which were a result from growing up in a feminist household.  I thought I had everything worked out.

But, while being “submissive,” I seemed to make a lot of people mad at me.  I thought it was just fine to share about spiritual things, and I’ve done so quite often.  I’ve never particularly geared any of this sharing towards men, and so I thought what I was doing was right.  I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong.

Earlier this year a church member (who was a woman) told me that I was a stumbling block to her.  I also lost a friend a few weeks ago, and the conflict started when I shared a spiritual perspective to a struggle she was going through.

I found that I was becoming sad.  I was floundering, not understanding my purpose.  I truly wanted to walk in God’s will for my life, and yet my fruit told me that I very possibly was not.

And so, I went back to the basics.  I prayed that God show me through His Word what my problem was.

And boy, did He answer.  I’m married to a great guy.  He is responsible, steadfast, trustworthy, quiet, and introverted.  I’m quiet and introverted, but am also more of a visionary.  I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve said or shared things that he probably never would have.  I’ve stepped out of his protection and put myself out there, and opened myself to hurt.  Most of the things I’ve shared were not my place to share, and I’m just now realizing that.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians 11:3

When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, I don’t think it was a mistake that he didn’t go to Adam first.  By our nature, we ladies are softer and possess a sort of vulnerability that most guys simply don’t have.  This is instinctual, and causes us to be good mothers.

This vulnerability didn’t end with Eve.  This feminine trait causes women to be much more susceptible to false teaching.  Most fortune tellers, card readers, and witches are women.  Women are also more intuitive then men, and often appear to be more “spiritual.”  But our “spirituality” can easily be twisted into something dark, or even simple subtle false doctrine can easily make our way into our message, simply because it is out of God’s plan for us to be spiritual teachers. 

In Titus 2 older women are not admonished to teach the younger women church doctrine.  And did you know that Proverbs 31 woman was praised for her character and diligence?  She is not commended for her quiet times, prayer life, or woman’s ministry.  Wow!  This was a shocker for me! When women simply live a quiet, resourceful, and holy life they are offering a beautiful sacrifice to God.

Until very recently, while I thought it was wrong for women to teach men spiritual things, I thought it was fine for women to teach women Bible studies about doctrine.  Now, I truly believe that it is not our place, and putting ourselves out there as teachers takes us away from the protection God designed for us as ladies.  There are several woman ministry leaders who have divorced recently, and I don’t want to ever become that statistic.  Even if their ministries were sound,  they stepped out of God’s will by teaching material they were never meant to teach.

While I’m sure many women have been blessed by these ministries, God can (and will!) bless His followers possibly even more so if they are taught in the manner which He has ordained.

For now, I can’t even begin to tell ya the amount of peace that has come since I’ve discovered more about my role as a wife and decided to step back into it.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook. I’d also like to invite you to my Mary & Martha Facebook Page, and to my Mary & Martha website. It is a such a blessing to serve you!

23 thoughts on “Why Women Should Not Be Spiritual Teachers

  1. tcantrell2014 says:

    Hi 🙂 I hope that by me asking a question it does not at all seem defensive. I simply am just curious. So you feel that even women teaching other women is not biblical, correct? If so, then what about this blog? Is that something you think you will do differently from now on? And then with your children…will you not teach them spiritually? Again, please don’t take my questions as opposition… 🙂

    • Nicole says:

      Hi! Yes, I hope to only share about wife/mother/homeschooling type issues and not Bible study type posts from now on. The Bible is clear that parents should teach their children diligently in His ways, and so I definitely plan to continue doing that. 🙂

  2. Blair Allen says:

    It’s so interesting that you are just learning this as my husband and I have been working through this the last 3 months or so. We share the same conviction. Women being silent in church & asking their husband questions at home is another big one I’m adjusting to currently. Thanks for being open & sharing!

  3. Diana says:

    Nicole, this is SUCH a good post! Thank you for sharing – I know it took guts!! You are absolutely 100% spot on here. This is the same conclusion that I have gradually been coming to over the past several years, and it’s been such a blessing – and your article was a good reminder to me. The temptation is always there for we women to start preaching, especially when we feel strongly about something.

    Here’s one way I started to think about it: We know that women are forbidden to be pastors in the church. But we somehow think that if all the men get up and walk out of the room, suddenly it’s okay for a woman to stand up and be the pastor – because that’s what a lot of women’s ministry is, just a female pastor teaching Bible doctrine while the men are out of the room. Not okay.

    I especially love what you said here:

    “And did you know that Proverbs 31 woman was praised for her character and diligence? She is not commended for her quiet times, prayer life, or woman’s ministry. Wow! This was a shocker for me! When women simply live a quiet, resourceful, and holy life they are offering a beautiful sacrifice to God.”

    Bravo for your courage in sharing!!

    • Nicole says:

      Thank you Diana! I LOVE your analogy! I totally agree with you, and I’m thankful the Lord has been gracious to open my eyes to this.

  4. Laura says:

    Oh wow…you’ve definitely got me thinking. I agree with several of the statements you’ve made. And it sounds like God is really speaking to you about this, and you’re being rewarded as you put it into practice.

    But I don’t agree that women shouldn’t teach doctrine. I think there is a right way for women to do it, with a respectful attitude, and a right time to do it. That’s just what I believe. (I also wear jewelry and sometimes braid my hair and don’t cover my head.) I’m not gifted in teaching, but I love encouraging, so this is easy for me to say…for women gifted in teaching, I just thank God that there are many (like you) who are listening to what He has to say about where the line is for them.

    I have a hard time with your conclusion about Lysa Terkeurst in particular–her husband chose to be with another woman and abuse substances, and despite her willingness to stay with him and work on it, he did not repent…so I have a hard time with the thought that her divorce is due to what she teaches. If I’m misunderstanding you, I’m sorry! 🙂

    STILL, I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts with humility. I can see that you have an open heart and desire to follow God no matter the cost.

    • Nicole says:

      Matthew 19:8 teaches that God permitted Moses to allow divorce in certain situations because of our hardened hearts, but that is not His best for us. While I would say that a spouse should physically distance themselves from an abusive spouse, divorce is not the right answer simply because it makes light of the covenant Christ has made with His church IMO. This is just my opinion, and is a difficult pill to swallow. I do have a much higher view of God, His plans, and sovereignty than most people, so that probably plays into my views of marriage, divorce and remarriage. I had an incredibly rocky first marriage, and I know this teaching is hard. My first husband died from substance abuse while I was pregnant with my third child after I asked him to leave while he was cheating. So I know how hard this teaching really is! Anyhow, I just put it out there as food for thought, and with all things our actions and decisions are ultimately between ourselves and God.

      If you have the time, this position paper about Marriage and Divorce by John Piper really speaks about God’s heart when it comes to marriage in my opinion: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/divorce-remarriage-a-position-paper

    • Mrs.O says:

      The Bible clearly tells women what or who to teach. It is very simply put.

      “The elder women likewise, that they be in such behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not subject to much wine, but teachers of honest things.
      That they may instruct the young women to be sober minded, that they love thier husbands, that they love thier children,
      that they be temperate, chaste, keeping at home, good and subject unto thier husbands, that the word of God be not evil spoken of.”

      Titus 2:3-5 Geneva Bible
      Read it…slowly..break it down…pray!!

      It is so simple..straight forward…and it gives us ladies peace if we follow The Author and Finisher of our Faith!!

  5. Heather says:

    I can’t even believe this post. How do you reconcile this with the fact that the Word tells us that each person is given a gift and teaching is one of those gifts? No where in the chapters talking about gifts does the Bible say that women can’t be given this gift. I find it completely misleading to tie the divorces of women in these ministries to their gift of teaching. Who are you to tell people that their gift is being misused or evil? These women are not divorcing because of their gifts. They are divorcing because they are humans married to humans and mistakes have been made. The mistakes in their marriages do not negate to blessings of their gifts. Their divorces are due to Satan attacking them and their families for spreading the Word of God to a world that needs to hear it. As a person who has followed many of these women’s ministry and had God show me amazing, life changing truths through them let me just say I am so disappointed in this post and how you are attacking other women and their gifts.

  6. Mama29cubs says:

    Nicole, this article itself IS a teaching on doctrine, as well as your commentary on Matt 19:8 in the comment above.
    I would like to ask questions, but I’m afraid they would be viewed as argumentative, devisive, or even contentious. I guess I’m just not seeing what you’re seeing. Ironically, my husband, a friend, and I just had a similar conversation today about women not speaking/teaching in church, but to teach the younger women (and children).

    Would you be willing to discuss this further?

  7. Kristy Jensen says:

    So judgemental about someone else’s marriage that you were not a part of. I have seen so many “Christian” women attacking Lysa in FB and blogs. Maybe you could personally go to her and hear her heart. This is so sad and sickening, honestly. Are we not also called to love one another? Accusing a sister in Christ of being out of the will of God is very disheartening. I suppose you will close your blog and/or erase all posts that are contrary to this? I hope you know I am saying these things out of brokenness for my sisters in Christ who will feel condemned by you. Sure you have scripture to back up what you believe. I have scripture to say the opposite. Where does that leave us? I used to blog but closed it down because I didn’t want to be included in Christian blogs anymore. Let’s focus on the plank in our own eyes before we condemn someone else. I am unfollowing your blog and FB page. If you feel such things about a broken sister, I dare say how you would feel if my sins were exposed to the world too.

    • Nicole says:

      Divorce is out of God’s perfect will. The Bible says God hates it. I really could care less if you “follow” me or not, please just seek the Lord! That is all that matters. Blessings!

      • Kristy Jensen says:

        I think you should be the one seeking the Lord. You seem very rude. I am only responding because I feel like you have a holier than thou attitude toward this. Divorce is allowed in the Bible under certain circumstances. I truly hope you never have to go through anything hard like Lysa has in her marriage. I would be praying that the Holy Spirit teaches you some discernment. My heart breaks for the women who will read your words and take them to heart. You truly need help. How can you sit back and be okay with condemning a sister in Christ the way you are? Seriously?

      • Nicole says:

        Kristy, I have named no one. I endured many terrible things in my first marriage, which ended in death. I do try to seek the Lord in all I do. We are to use discernment, and call sin what it is.

  8. Jessica Penner says:

    Wow, I have to be honest here, this is a challenging one for me! I certainly didn’t grow up in a feminist home, but I’m liberal enough to have believed that women were free to be leaders if God called them for that. My husband believes the opposite though, and it’s challenged my thinking a LOT.
    I appreciate your perspective on this and I definitely do NOT want to be out of God’s will either so I’m glad to have found your article. I’m certainly not settled on this matter one way or another yet, but I know that if we are humble and seeking, the Spirit of Truth will lead us into all truth.

  9. Andrea says:

    You make a really good point in this post, and this is also something i’ve slowly been coming around to as well. It is incredibly freeing! The contention I have is, though, is I often want to step in and be the spiritual leader in my home. I spent so many years going to Christian school, college, and my family of origin is very into theology, church history, etc.–and so am I! My husband, although he is a pastor’s son, is almost completely opposite from me. He is a Christian and a believer, and desires things of God, but sometimes he doesn’t share the same convictions and desire to study that I do. For instance, I really want him to be our spiritual leader, especially right now as we are thinking of changing to a new church. He doesn’t seem to want to research or put in the thought to really make the decision, and it’s *so hard* for me to just stand by! I pretty much picked our current church years ago without consulting him at all, and he just went along with it, and I feel badly about that. I really want his input and not really getting a whole lot! He also works a lot, and often travels over weekends, so I end up being the one alone with our daughter at church. I love to study and have convictions surrounding modesty, headcovering, etc…he doesn’t. He’s fine with me dressing modestly and practicing headcovering, but I would like it so much more if he guided me more. I feel like I am guiding him. He is an awesome provider and protector of my family, and I think I do a good job of letting him take the lead–but this area is one I still wrestle with! I often fall into the trap of getting my spiritual convictions from other women’s blogs, Christian facebook groups, Bible teachers, theologians etc., and I would so rather my husband guide me in this area. Thank you for your blog, I love reading it!

    • Nicole Crone says:

      I completely understand, Andrea! I’ve been in your same spot (and still am at times). As I’ve stepped down, my husband has stepped up in some regards. He has a quiet, laid back personality, and I like to talk about the things of God all of the time! I do enjoy the time I have with my children to teach them while my husband is at work. A couple of years ago, we started studying Scripture together as a family, and I’m welcomed to share my thoughts as well, and I usually do at the end of the study. I still find myself wanting more from him at times, but I’ve realized that I’m so incredibly blessed to have a husband who loves the Lord, even though He doesn’t always lead us the way *I* think he should. We both have come a long way. Does this make sense lol? I’m so glad that you enjoy my blog. Blessings!

      • Andrea says:

        Yes! I think especially in this day and age, we are so blessed to have husbands who protect and provide, love God, believe in Jesus and desire to follow him! I’m learning so much through my marriage recently, and it’s been so eye-opening, and I’ve grown so much in appreciation for my husband.
        I also think it is interesting how the Bible really doesn’t give any command about women teaching doctrine and theology, even to other women. I’ve been distancing myself from a lot of women’s teachers, Bible studies and books and instead focusing on those Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 topics. If I can’t get those right as a woman, how am I supposed to get the rest of my theology right–you know? I’m trusting my husband to make the decision about church, and I’m going to follow the teachings he wants us to learn from there.

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