No one tells women why they should wear a covering, or remain silent in Church. To only quote Scripture and not explain it causes many feelings to be hurt. So let me explain, as I see it.
The key to understanding these verses lies in 1 Corinthians 11:7 where it says, a man is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. Said another way, man is the symbol of God, and a woman is the symbol of mankind. That is if they do as a man should do as there would be no glory for either God or man if the symbol lived in sin.
When you realize that the verses which state different customs for men and women are only for symbolic purposes they become easier to accept.
Let me point out some (not all (I don’t know all) of the verses that use men and women to symbolize God and man. Let’s start with first time a man and woman were used as symbols. It is in Genesis. Eve, properly representing mankind, was the first to eat of the forbidden fruit, because it is man that sins and must know that he does.
I have to laugh, because I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that Adam also ate of the fruit and God would not sin (aren’t you), but that is a proper symbolic act, because after we sinned Jesus (God) took our sins on Himself. Jesus and Adam had different motives, but no symbol is perfect. If it were it would not be a symbol, but it would be the real thing.
Let us jump to marriage. Marriage is the earthly symbol of our (believers) relation to God. Men are told to love their mate (Eph 5:25), because God loves us and a man properly symbolizing God would love his wife, but the woman is told to submit to her mate (Eph 5:22), because man should submit to God, and a woman properly symbolizing mankind would.
Now, can you understand why a woman is told that she should wear a covering in Church? Well, mankind needs a covering for our sins. Jesus is that covering, so a woman properly symbolizing mankind (that has accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior) would wear a covering (in Church because that is where you find those who have accepted Jesus). A man properly symbolizing God would not wear a covering, because God needs no covering.
We should remain silent before God, so a woman should remain silent in Church. Men properly symbolizing God should speak in Church.
I do not think women should serve Communion, because it is God that offered Jesus to mankind. (That’s only my opinion as the Bible doesn’t say so).
The Apostle Paul, in 1 Timothy 2:12 says, (NIV) “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” Now, I use to believe that every verse in the Bible was God speaking to me, but in this case it seems to be Paul speaking. In other words Paul would not allow this, but I think God would.
Why do I think this? Well, God did allow Deborah to lead
Israel. She could not have led
Israel and settled disputes without teaching and having authority over men. I must remind you that God does not change and there is no authority except that which God has established (Rom 13:1&2), so if He appointed Deborah then God would allow women to have authority over men and it is only Paul which will not allow this. I must point out that men in Deborah’s time would not lead.
This is not the first time a servant of God changed something that God decreed. Moses allowed divorce (Deu 24:1), but God did not want it (Mat 19:8&9): He even hates it (Mal 2:16). Moses permitted divorce because their hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. Look at the problems divorce has caused.
Now that you have the key to understanding these different customs can you see that it had to be women that first found that Jesus had risen from the dead? I will bet you can find more.
This study (I have a hard time using the word study as, to me, it denotes work and thinking about the Bible is so enjoyable for me that I don’t consider it as work) has led to many thoughts, or questions about Paul’s comments on women, but just to keep this post small enough to enjoy, I have not included them.