The Implications of Complementarianism

Complementarianism. It’s a big word with big implications. It’s The theological view that although men and women are created equal in their being and person-hood, they are created to complement each other via different roles and responsibilities as manifested in marriage…”(http://www.theopedia.com/complementarianism)

Its primary Scriptural basis is Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

You may choose to agree or disagree with this viewpoint for your own reasons, but at the end of the day it comes down to this; what has God said and will you honor Him? Accepting or denying God’s design in complementarianism holds huge implications for our world.

Husbands

The man of God is to look to Christ as his supreme head. He should lead his wife in the love and servant-hood of Christ, by the example of the Word of God and in the power of the Spirit — loving his wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for Her. The man’s decision of whether to respect this role will make or break his marriage. Sin makes man desire more than just headship, but control, and for this reason Christ died. Faith in Christ redeems man’s sinful pride and opens his eyes to leading with Christ-like humility.  Seeing how Christ came clothed in humility, choosing to lay down His glory in order to die for His bride will change a man. (Read Ephesians 5:24 and Colossians 3:19)

Wives

The wife, in all submissiveness, is to look to her husband, not as Lord, but as the appointed spiritual head of the marriage and home; helping her husband to glorify Christ as she, herself, looks to Christ as her final rule. This is more beautiful than most of the world can see. The role of submission is marred by sin.  A woman will rebel against submission in marriage if she views submission as slavery, or to be inferior to her husband. But the beauty of submission is found when a woman is submitted to Christ. The cross makes submission beautiful as we see Christ totally submit to His Father. The wife’s submission in marriage is picture of the redeemed of God submitting to the grace and love of Christ. (Read Ephesians 5:22 and Colossians 3:18)

The Complement

These are the God-given and complementing roles. They glorify Christ together. The boundaries and allowances are good and beneficial but only as we surrender to them mutually as husbands and wives. Tampering with them is rebellion against God and detrimental to all of life. When out of balance, everything else is too. Throw the balance off on a larger scale and entire communities, even nations go into pitfalls of sin that are rarely climbed out of short of large-scale spiritual revival. Just look around you.

God’s plan was not that man should control woman or that woman should blindly obey man. When viewed through redeemed eyes, we recognize that marriage is the one institution given by God designed to reflect God’s love for sinful people and sinful people’s love for their Redeemer. When husbands and wives function with this in mind, admitting that it’s all about the glory of God, then marriages thrive, and with this, children grow up with a proper view of grace and lordship.

Why this way?

The reason for it all begins with God. It goes back to Genesis, and really even before that when you take into account the eternal nature of God’s redemptive plan. He made Adam first and then Eve. Sin came into the world and the fabric of life and marriage was threatened. But for all who surrender to Christ that very same fabric is mended. The second Adam, Jesus Christ, died to restore what was lost in Eden, including the glory of Marriage. Surrendered to God, marriages can again reflect the very nature and love of our Creator.

Seek to uphold the glory of God’s perfect design in your life and in your marriage, first for His sake and then for the sake of your children. Your marriage shapes their view of God’s grace. For those whose marriages are far from this example for whatever that reason may be, examine your heart and repent where you must. Examine your heart and be steadfast where you must. Trust Christ and be obedient to Him above all. Pray without ceasing for the work of God in your life and for the grace to glorify Him in your less-than-ideal circumstance. If your marriage happily falls in line with complementarianism it’s not because you’re all that or better than the rest, it’s because of the mercy of God. Stay humble and let your light shine to the rest of the world.

2 thoughts on “The Implications of Complementarianism

  1. The problems I see with Complementarianism exist in it’s all-encompassing approach to applying it to daily life. Because of Complementarianism, the boys in the high school youth group were encouraged to lead prayer and the girls were shamed for leading prayer. Because of Complementarianism, men hold all the leadership positions in church and women lead only in the kitchen and nurseries. Because of Complementarianism, single men and women – whether elders who are widows / widowers, divorced individuals, and never-married single men and women are all viewed as less mature, less capable of leadership, and can be marginalized because of the blind-spots when all leaders are married men and don’t understand how best to minister to everyone else.

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