Women can teach the Bible in Bible class and in private settings as long as they are not taking authority away from a man. A woman can teach unaccountable male children and women the Bible, and the men teach both men and women. A woman teaching unaccountable male children and women does not take authority away from a man who is teaching, whether it be in the church building or outside the church building. As was said before, Acts 18 speaks of Priscilla, who taught Apollos and others with her husband Aquila, but yet she did not usurp his authority. The importance of women not taking authority away from a man when it comes to teaching the Bible is spoken about in I Timothy 2:12. This verse says, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” I Corinthians 14:35 also states, “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.” This verse is referring to how women should not teach and take authority away from a man during the worship service of the church of Christ. Bible classes are separate and apart from the worship service, so it is admissible for women to teach other women and the unaccountable outside of the worship service. Bible class and worship service are two different things. Although a woman can teach unaccountable males and women in Bible class, she cannot preach in the worship service. This is because the actual worship service is separate and apart from the Bible class in that it requires the assembling of all members, both male and female, accountable and unaccountable. It also differs from Bible class because worship service involves singing, praying, giving as one has prospered, a Gospel sermon, and partaking of the Lord’s Supper. A woman cannot take a leading role in the worship service because she would be taking authority over a man by trying to lead over accountable men, which violates I Timothy 2:12 and I Corinthians 14:35. In no way did Priscilla take authority away from her husband in the worship services that were held in their home, however, she was able to help Aquila teach Apollos in private because this event was not part of the worship service of the church.
A woman teaching outside of the worship services of the church of Christ is acceptable both inside and outside of the church building. Being in an actual church building does not change a woman’s ability to teach the unaccountable and other women outside of the worship service, contrary to what some non-institutional members say. The church building is just a building. The church building is not a sacred place, but merely a building. The church is the people who assemble in the building, not the building itself. If God’s people wanted to assemble in the woods, then that is just the same as assembling in the building. What takes place in the building can take place anywhere, and that includes having Bible studies where women can be involved. Going back to Aquila and Priscilla, they had Bible studies in their homes and Priscilla taught the Bible along with her husband. Likewise, a woman cannot lead in a worship service no matter where it is. Priscilla would not have taught in the worship services of the church in her home, but rather assisted her husband elsewhere.
Women can play a major role in teaching others the Bible in their own homes, just as Priscilla did. It is not told whether or not Aquila and Priscilla had children, but Priscilla did teach others about the Bible inside and outside of her home, and women today can learn from this example. Wives and mothers can help teach their spouses and children God’s Word through their words and their example. An example of this comes from Proverbs Chapter 31, which speaks of the “virtuous woman.” Proverbs 31:30 states. “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” Wives and mothers who fear and obey the Lord teach their offspring and spouses to do the same. Many women have been able to convert their husbands and children to Christ by being faithful Christians themselves. It is not said specifically when Aquila and Priscilla converted to Christianity, but Priscilla was an encouraging helpmeet which aided her husband in his spiritual work and also in his temporal work of tent making. It is also not revealed in the Bible whether Aquila and Priscilla had children, but Priscilla helped Aquila convert others in the same way she would if they had children, by doing so in submission to her husband.
The marriage of Aquila and Priscilla can also be a positive influence on marriages in today’s time. In a society where the divorce rate is around 50%, and where marrying more than once is common, it seems as if God’s plan for marriage has been forgotten. Being a wife myself, I feel that respect and love between two people who are married to one another is so lacking in today’s society. I think that some wives today do not show their husbands the respect that they deserve as the head of the home, and the respect that God commands them to have. Likewise, some husbands do not ask for this respect, and in turn, allow their wives to make the final decisions for the family. This goes against God’s plan for the family, and godly couples such as Aquila and Priscilla give the example of how a marriage should work.
In my work as a Mental Health Counselor, I was able to have the experience of mediating between two spouses concerning their marital issues. It was often the case that a married couple would come to me with complaints about one another, and either one or both of the spouses would openly criticize the other person in my presence. As a mediator, I would try to allow both parties to speak their minds without being interrupted or criticized by the other spouse. I have always felt it necessary that spouses show the utmost love and respect for one another both in private and in the public eye. Unfortunately, in my career as a counselor as well as my own personal observation of people around me, I have noticed that some spouses do not show respect and a caring attitude toward one another when in the presence of others. This makes me wonder how these married couples respond to each other in private. I am very thankful to have a wonderful husband who treats me with love and the utmost respect in every setting, and I also strive to do the same toward him. I think that it is imperative that those who are married treat each other with kindness and respect in any situation, in public and in private. Wives should always respect their husbands’ authority both in private and public. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). I have seen wives disrespect their husbands’ authority in front of others in various ways, and these actions hurt the reputation of both spouses. For instance, I have seen wives give their husbands “orders” so to speak concerning something they want their husbands to do or not do. If a wife wishes her husband to perform a certain task or to not do a particular thing, it is best that she approach the situation the same way she would if she was asking a favor from an employer at a job site. Most people would not walk up to their employers and make demands of them instead of asking politely. Therefore, if a wife wants or needs her husband to do (or not do) something, she is best to let him know by being polite and courteous in both the private and public setting.
At no time in the Bible do we see Priscilla disrespect her husband in any way. On the contrary, she seems to compliment her husband by aiding him with his work, all the while revering him as her leader. This is a trait that many wives should try to emulate today. Sadly, though, the opposite is true in many marriages.
Another way that a wife should respect her husband’s authority is to not undermine his final decision. A husband should have the final decision in all aspects of the couple’s marriage, children, and the home. A loving leader, which all husbands should strive to be, will ask his wife’s input before making a final decision on a particular issue that affects their home. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” (Ephesians 5:25). Once that final decision is made by the husband, however, it is the wife’s godly duty to go along with his decision without contesting it, even if the decision did not match her original input. For instance, if a husband sees fit that he and his family should move to another house or if a husband thinks that his children should not be allowed to do something, as long as he is leading his family according to God’s Plan, then it would not be right for the wife to go against her husband. “Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement” (I Peter 3:6). A wife who becomes upset over her husband’s decision that was made in accordance with God’s Will, is just as wrong in doing so if she got upset at something God Himself instructed her to do. Of course, this does not apply when husbands are telling their wives to do something against God’s Will. In that case, a wife does not have to follow her husband’s decision, because she has to follow God’s Word, no matter what.
This goes against the popular idea in today’s society that the wife has just as much decision-making power as the husband. The wife should have a say when the husband is trying to formulate a decision on an issue, but she certainly does not have the final say. Priscilla is seen helping her husband in his trade, which was tent making. He likely learned this skill early in life, but instead of doing some other work of her own, Priscilla chose to be a model helpmeet unto her husband and help him in the work that he chose to do as leader of the home.
A husband who is trying to lead his family in the Way of the Lord deserves a wife who treats him well both in private and in front of others. Wives who do not do this will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment because they are allowing themselves to become stumbling blocks and negative influences to others, including their spouses and children. We are instructed by God through Paul in Romans 14:13 to judge that we put not a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in our brother’s way. Instead of casting a stumblingblock before her husband, Priscilla chose to follow her husband’s lead with meekness and with a submissive heart. She stood at his side when teaching Apollos, while working at their secular job, and while worship services were conducted in their home, to act as his helper and partner rather than his critic and enemy.
Both a husband and wife will be held accountable if she does not set a godly example for her family with her words and actions. A wife should be sure to attend every worship service of the family’s home congregation that she can, barring any sickness or taking care of the sick. Her children will look to her as an example of how they should worship God, and her husband will need her help with raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Wives should make sure that they do not allow jobs, or any other secular event to get in the way of assembling with the saints (Hebrews 10:24-25). We, as Christians, should be excited and happy to attend worship services, and those of us who are wives should make sure that we pass this love of worshipping God onto our families! “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1).
As said before, it is not known whether or not Aquila and Priscilla had children, but Priscilla and Aquila both conducted their lives in such a godly manner that they would have been shining examples of how a Christian should be before their children if they had any. This is how we should all conduct ourselves in our daily lives. We are to be as shining lights in a world of darkness. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Aquila and Priscilla were wonderful followers of Christ whose good deeds were recorded in the Holy Scriptures. They worked tirelessly in their tent-making trade as well as in spreading the Gospel of Christ. Aquila showed his leadership skills in teaching others and providing for his household. Likewise, Priscilla showed how she was a Godly helpmeet to her husband in helping him teach the Gospel and helping him in his secular work as well. The actions of Aquila and Priscilla can be carried over to today’s time, when marriages are frequently failing, and women are overstepping their boundaries in the worship service. By looking at how Aquila conducted himself in teaching others, and by also looking at how Priscilla conducted herself in connection to her husband, we can learn a lot from this couple on how to live a faithful Christian life.
These are just a few examples of how Aquila and Priscilla’s actions in the Bible can be used as examples for women teaching the Gospel and for marriages as well in today’s society. Both men and women can benefit from learning how to be a better Christian by following the footsteps of Aquila and Priscilla. This couple exemplified how two faithful Christians should conduct their lives, and by putting God first in their lives and their marriage, they earned a place in Biblical history. May we all strive to live as Aquila and Priscilla lived, so that we, too, will earn our own reward in Heaven!
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