The apostle Paul said that we were to receive one another, but not into debates over disputable things. In his day the debatable things had to do with the ceremonial foods of Judaism, and so we think we have learned his wisdom simply because the church now debates different issues. As though it were appropriate for the twelve disciples to resume their quarrel over who was the greatest at a different section of the road.
Once there was a group of foolish women who decided to police their own ranks, making sure that all the other women conformed to what they believed. Unfortunately, their exhortations did not concern faithfulness to the Scriptures, or to resisting temptations to selfishness, or to a greater and greater love for their husbands and children.
Rather, the admonitions and rebukes gravitated to what kind of Christian education the children should receive, whether at school or at home, whether to have a baby at home or in the hospital, whether to take this for medicine or that for medicine, whether God wanted them to drive the kids to the game in a Ford or a Chevy, whether a godly woman’s food mixer should be red or white, whether their head coverings should be the size of a tablecloth or smaller, and how best to crowd their husbands so that they might assume an appropriate level of leadership.
In the name of this deep submissiveness to this so-called “deeper and higher” discipleship, these women eventually became the most unsubmissive women in the church, and began to cause great difficulties with many of their sisters. They ran ahead of their own husbands, resisted the authority of the elders, and created their own unofficial statement of faith for all to subscribe.
The wise woman of Proverbs mixed her wine with great wisdom. At the end of our story it has to be said that these women mixed their wine so foolishly that eventually it resembled dirty water, and became quite undrinkable.