How do you relate to someone who has a different religious belief, political belief, or cultural background? Do you have friendships with people who are different from you? How do you cultivate those friendships instead of quarrelling?
In 1 Timothy, Paul addresses the issue of bickering in the church. The people were so focused on their disputes that they had lost energy for Kingdom pursuits. He wants to bring them back to prayer, justice, and good deeds.
8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness-- with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing-- if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
What does it mean to lift up holy hands in prayer? How is this connected to doing justice?
Paul addresses women’s attire of the day because dressing a certain way symbolized alignment with the movement of new Roman wives, who promoted a promiscuous lifestyle. What does Paul encourage women to focus on instead?
The new Roman wives were not only known for their sexual freedoms but also their domineering subjection of those around them. They flaunted traditional roles and demanded to rule over others. Paul is not instructing women to be silent wallflowers but to have a posture of humility. What do you think it means to have a posture of humility, as a learner? How is this connected to lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing?