I dedicate this website to the memory of my dear mother Doris Harmon, seen here in one of her high school pictures.  I expect to see her again.


To my sweet wife Gloria who is a great source of joy to me every day.

Women in the Church

(Written when I was a bachelor - but I don’t retract a word of it though happily married now for nearly 15 years!)


I am going to be very frank, but my observation is that women have caused the majority of church problems. Before you shoot me down, just give some thought to what I am going to say. First, I am speaking in generalities, for there are exceptions to every rule, but there are few exceptions to this one. Women who are not in complete subjection to their husbands constitute a real threat to the work of God. Women who do not have husbands are safe only when they are conspicuously submissive to the male leadership in the assembly. This is such an important principle that I wonder if women should be received into membership if they are not married, at least until they are older and very spiritually mature. This may be the meaning of some of those statements in Timothy. But, neither should couples be received into membership unless it has been well established that there is good order in the domestic life. If people cannot order their homes aright, they will be a problem in the church. The problems caused by women in the church are probably as much the fault of men as it is of the women themselves. Having the home in order is the responsibility of the man of the family. When he abdicates his God-given role, place is given to the devil, and he is not slow to take advantage of it. Satan ensnared Eve when Adam was absent, and succeeded by using a two-fold ploy. On the one hand, he appealed to her emotional desires, and on the other, he caused her to question the authority of God's Word. Eve should have said, "wait till I call my husband and I'll just let him handle this". I venture to say that had she done that, by the time Adam would have come into view, Satan would have beat a hasty exit. Satan still operates pretty much in the same fashion. There is a good reason why the enemy feels he can get farther with the female. He knows, often better than she knows herself, just what her weaknesses are. Attack the home, her family, a child, something she feels emotional about, and it doesn't matter if it is written in letters ten feet tall by God Himself, she'll do what her "heart" tells her to do almost every time. Women aren't very much interested in theology, I've noticed. Again, we are speaking in general terms. Oh, they will get interested in Bible study, sometimes to the point where it interfere with their housework, and the devil will see to it if he can get the woman to know more than her husband about the Bible. Once get him behind that eight ball of knowing less than his wife, and the husband will have quite a time to ever get to the place where he is in control of the spiritual life of the home. Put a woman with this tendency to be "ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth" in the same house with a man who is not yielded to the Lord, who is not growing because he is not in the Word, and is not praying, and you have the potential for trouble in the church. The man is not dwelling with his wife according to knowledge, recognizing that she is the weaker vessel and thus susceptible to the same temptations as mother Eve. She is not calling her husband lord as did Sarah of old, being in subjection. Before long, one way or another, this will affect the church. Men like this should never be put into leadership, of course, as the scripture indicates that if men do not know how to rule their own homes how can they "rule" in the local church? Men who do not know how or are not spiritually qualified to rule their own homes, having their children in subjection with all gravity, (and obviously the wife, according to I Peter 3) will not know how to resist the influence of satan who captures the mind of his wife and then has her make the appeal to him. She wants to leave the church because her family has been hurt. She doesn't care what the Bible says (even though she has been teaching it to a women's group for years). At that point, if the man has been weak in the past and has not stood for holiness in his family and is not thoroughly grounded in the Word of God for which He would rather die than violate even if his wife and children desert him for doing so, he is a "goner", as they say. If, on the other hand, he has been in the habit of "teaching" his wife at home so that she respects his knowledge of the Word, he will quickly straighten out this wrong thinking concerning leaving the church and she will likely admit that he is right and go along with him. He is to be the theologian, she is to respect and follow him. Of course, he is to love his wife as Christ loved the church, and if he does she will respond for that is her God-given nature. The Scripture is so plain in all of these things, and the reason the churches are in such a state is because these simple principles are either not taught or are not practiced.

Now, there are few women who have followed me to this point, (because they are not theologians!). I lost them right at the beginning when I said that the problem in the church is the women. But those who followed through have seen that while satan uses the woman (just as in the garden) yet it is the responsibility of the man to see to it that his strategy is thwarted. If Adam had refused to eat the fruit, sin would not have entered the race. It was his failure to resist the devil by refusing to do what Eve was suggesting and for which he should have rebuked Eve, that constituted his fall. "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me" ... etc. Its true, she got him into it, but then God said, "Because thou hast harkened unto the voice of thy wife"..etc. your life is going to be full of trouble, and one of his biggest troubles would be his wife whose life also was full of trouble. He can't do without her, but she is going to be an awful headache to him unless he learns how to dwell with her "according to knowledge", giving honour unto her, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; "that your prayers be not hindered". (I Peter 3:7) Wow! What a verse! She is going to be a problem, but he has got to learn to live with it and figure out how to make it work if he doesn't want his prayers bouncing off the ceiling.

My experience has been that many women react negatively the minute that you try to teach them from the Bible how God expects them to behave. They call any man a chauvinist or a woman-hater who tries to get through to them on this subject. I am used to it and rather immune to it by this time. They often think that I am saying these things because I am a bachelor and therefore I am somehow handicapped. It is a fact, however, that being a bachelor I am able to say these things, a married man would hardly dare to say these things for fear his wife would never speak to him again, and, in most cases she probably wouldn't. The fact is that this very tendency to react rather than to humbly and submissively listen illustrates the very heart of the problem. Men tend to have logical minds and they should be good teachers for they are expected according to the scriptures to teach their children as well as their wives, and the Lord wouldn't have expected them to do something that He did not equipt them to do. Furthermore, I am afraid it is too often true that most Christian women could care less about what God says they should be like in the Bible. This has got to be the case because there are so very few that I know that seem to even try to fit the model. Adorned with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, is the way God describes a spiritually high-priced woman. (I Peter 3:3-4) A pretty scarce article as even Solomon, who knew a lot of them, had to admit. In Eccl. 7:26-29 the implication is that women have been one of man's biggest problems, her heart being snares and nets and her hands as bands. He says that whoso pleaseth God shall escape form her! What a good reason to be a bachelor! Believe me, that's not my reason. I guess it was Solomon who also said that when he finds a wife he finds a good thing and obtaineth favor of the Lord. Somehow we have to sort out the truth from this, and I suppose the point is that "finding" one may be a problem, but if you do find one that is godly you have really got something! I do not generally see many, that I would classify as, godly women. When I see one, she is usually married to pastor or a missionary.

Now, the thing for you to do, ladies, is not get mad at me for saying so, for really, I am "speaking the truth in love", but I challenge you to prove me wrong, first by fitting yourself to the mold of a godly woman according to the Scripture, and then raising your daughters so that there will be a few of them around for the next generation so that they won't have as hard a time finding one as I have had. (Said somewhat in jest- but there may be more truth than poetry to it after all).

Seriously, getting back to the state of the church, it behooves us to try to avoid the problems that we have had in the past with women who have done damage to the local church, by being more careful of building our future membership on people who have proven themselves before they are received. How to accomplish this, I am not sure. The Church of The Open Bible, Burlington, MA has a unique membership concept, perhaps it should be studied.