Look, a woman isn’t a man’s idea!
A woman isn’t even a woman’s idea.
A woman is God’s idea!
She is no less God’s idea than a man is. It’s hateful to have to say such things but in a world as wicked as ours we’re required to proclaim it loud and clear. Women exist as women because God who is our Father and creator lovingly wanted it so. If we ask a wise devoted Christian woman why she is a woman she would happily tell you that she is a woman because God loved the thought of her! He thought of her as a woman, loved the vision of her as a woman and so He created her as a woman! She would tell you more than that but not less than that. You know that, I know that and Paul knew that and it was from Paul and others like him that we learned that.
It wouldn’t matter to that woman what some men thought and think of her for she’d be well aware that she was equal in the eyes of her Heavenly Father with any man. It wouldn’t matter to her how God had created her. Following the Genesis narrative she’d take no offense at God making her 2nd (though that’s the wrong way to put it—or the wrong way to leave it. In the creative act of God she was 2nd but she was also the last, the completing act of God in creating humankind—more later on that). God has His loving and wise purposes. It’s His world and she’s just glad to be in it because He wanted her in it and wanted her in it as a woman!
She knows that God didn’t make women to be beaten, humiliated, robbed walked on or “kept down” by men. If and when men do that they don’t have God’s approval; they have His condemnation. She’s well aware that God did not create her just to exist as a mortal but that He purposes to bring her to glory and immortality, to wild adventure, joy and unending life that is brimful of life! He created her to shape the world, to be an agent for change now and not only as a woman who has political, financial, literary or artistic power but as a woman. Yes, a woman of power if and when she gains it, if she wants to gain it. Such a woman knows her God, knows who she is and knows the power exercised by Jesus of Nazareth who imaged God and knows that it wasn’t His miraculous power that changed the face of the earth. She knows that Jesus Himself subjected Himself to the will of His Redeeming Father and if it’s the case that the Holy Father asks her in some way to live within the Chosen People in some place of subjection that He most have a good reason. And since her Lord and Savior did it she is in good company if she does it.
For such a woman it isn’t a matter of men robbing them or humiliating them; like her Lord she chooses her form of service. Stupid and selfish men may think they are stealing but they can’t steal what she, like her Lord, freely gives. And there’s this: those unrepentant overlords will answer to God when they meet Him.
She doesn’t mind at all, then, if God calls on her to function in some specific ways that suit His purpose to gain what He has in mind not only for her but for numberless humans like herself as He moves through long ages of sinful human history. If He had come to her just after He made her and she, filled with joy at her Father and His limitless love for her, heard Him say, “My love, I want you to work with Me in ways that I will ask of you as I bring you and the human family to unimaginable glory. You willing to do that?” You know what she’d say. She would say what real lovers say to one another even to this very day even in this tired and sinful old world. “Well of course! I’d be more than happy to work with you in any way you choose.”
So if He asked the woman (in company with and not apart from) the male to live and function as His image in some way and some place of “subjection” to the male she’d do it in a heartbeat. She would do it because she knows who is asking for this. She would do it because He would not for a moment think of her as a doormat or as less than equal to the man. She would do it because she would feel that it’s a glorious thing to be commissioned to something that must be of great significance. And if she knew the Story as we have been privileged to know it she would reflect on the truth that the Lord Jesus laid aside privileges and aspects of His own glory to glorify the Holy Father. And if she knew the Truth about God’s overarching purpose (as Paul did) she would know that her presence in the world as a woman alongside a male, would be a visible witness for the Lord Jesus and His redemptive relationship with eschatological People the Church (Ephesians 5:25-32 with the Genesis references.)
She might even wonder how it is that some women currently aren’t happily astonished at their God-gifted glory as womankind. She might ask herself, “Do they think because God has asked something special of them that that destroys the glory of womanhood? And do they think if they get the ‘freedom’ of X that will make their womanhood glorious? Do they not realize that they have inexpressible glory by virtue of creation by their Holy Father?”
So yes, women too are sinners as was their Mother Eve. And maybe Paul thought women in Ephesus were being deceived, cheated out of their glory, and that’s why he wants them to remember how the serpent cheated her. She had glory unimaginable and the Serpent conned her into wanting to be something else that would result in her losing what God didn’t want her to lose. She was a beautiful woman in the image of God and the sly serpent with pleasing words sweet-talked her into turning from her Father who created her glorious.
And knowing the above is true, knowing it is true and rejoicing in it, what if such a woman read 1 Timothy 2:8-15 and took it at face value and believed it to be God’s word? What if such a woman gladly chose to live by that believing it pleased her Holy Father? What would she say if we said she was being humiliated and robbed if she lived a full and glorious life as God’s daughter and humanity’s mother but happily took 1Timothy 2:8-15 as one more way to please her Father?