Many of us have a favorite woman from the Bible that we strive to imitate. The Proverbs 31 woman, Ruth, Esther, or Mary the mother of Jesus, often hold a special place in our hearts, not merely for the great things they’ve done for the Lord, but also, because we can often see traits of ourselves, our character in them. Some of us can identify with having to be strong and courageous like Esther, or having to juggle between being a home-maker, business woman, and mother like the Proverbs 31 woman.
However, there are women in the Bible that we often overlook. These women are nameless, however, they have made a name for themselves in the Holy Scriptures. Although they have made a few appearances in the Bible, 2 Timothy 3:6 helps us to easily identify who these women are and gives us insight about their character.
Before I identify the women, let me give us some background on the text. In this third chapter of Timothy, the Apostle Paul is in a Roman prison writing to a young pastor, Timothy, and warns him about what will happen in the church during the last days. In the first four verses, he tells Timothy that people in the church will become lovers of self, lovers of pleasure, haters of good, unloving, unholy, etc. In verse five, he explains how there will be people in the church, false teachers, who hold a form of godliness. They are not truly believers, they are impostors, evil men in the church (vs 13).
Right after Apostle Paul speaks about the false teachers, false professors in the church, he turns his attention to some women in the church. The Scripture reads, “For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses” (2 Timothy 3:6 NASB).
So who are these weak-women Paul is referring to? They are silly, gullible women who the Scripture says have been captivated by false teachers. The word captivated means to lead captive, take captive. Their mind was captured by the false teacher and their teaching. How did they get captured by them? The women let them into their household. But they did so unaware. The false teachers crept into their households. They didn’t go in boldly, they didn’t have a sign on their forehead that read “I’m a false teacher I’m here to capture and deceive you”. Rather, they were sneaky, subtle and crept in. Why were these false teachers able to creep in and deceive these women?
The Scripture gives three reasons why:
#1- Weakness– These “silly” women, were weak-minded women, had sin-filled lives, with guilt written consciences. They were easily influenced by and easy prey for the false teachers.
#2- Weighed down with sins- The sins these women carried caused them to be weak and vulnerable. They were full of guilt. Sin causes all of us to be weak and vulnerable to the enemy. Sin blinds us, hardens our heart, separates us from God and blinds us to truth (Heb 3:12-13; Isa 59:2; Matt 15:14; 1 Jn 1:8,10) .
#3- Led by various impulses- These women were led by their many uncontrolled lusts and passions. They were controlled by their desire for pleasure. They were not women led by the Holy Spirit, rather, their lives were full of sin, a lack of self-control, deceived, which led them right into the hands of false teachers, and to follow Satan. (Jude 1:4; 1 Tim 5:6, 13, 15)
What a sad and disturbing depiction of women in the church. Women who profess that they are a Christian. Women who attend church and are “religious”.
Please read part two of this series on weak-women, and discover more about the character of these women and how we can avoid being a weak, silly woman.