Why Gender Hierarchy Makes No Biblical Sense to Me

My wife and I decided to do something bold for our wedding. Each of us preached while the other person washed our feet, rotating halfway through the sermon. The text we preached on was the controversial Ephesians 5:22-33 passage which says, “Wives, submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord.” I’ve been thinking of our sermon lately as I’ve encountered the reviews of megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll’s new book Real Marriage, which apparently takes his conception of the divinely ordained inferiority of women to a new level. Rachel Held Evans is gentler in her review than conservative evangelical blogger David Moore. I’m not going to talk about a book that I don’t have time to read, but I thought I would share some of what my wife and I preached about as my contribution to the recent blogosphere conversation about marriage.

Ephesians 5 compares the husband /wife relationship to the relationship of Christ with the church. In particular, Paul writes that Christ’s role is to “wash” the church (5:26), which is actually one of the most important (and submissive) acts that Jesus performs for His disciples in John 13, telling them to go and do the same for other people (v. 15). So when Cheryl and I preached, we connected the two passages, particularly focusing on the way that Peter tried not to let Jesus wash his feet.

Peter’s protest brings to light a paradox about foot-washing. It’s unclear who has the power because it’s equally humiliating to wash the dirtiest part of another person as it is to be washed by another person. Only small children and adults who are physically or mentally incapacitated need others to wash them. Washing someone else’s feet is both a submissive and paternalistic act at the same time. Peter isn’t just scandalized by Jesus’ self-effacement; he doesn’t want to be disempowered by being the recipient of Jesus’ servanthood.

So what I said in my wedding sermon is that I can’t play Jesus the whole time in our marriage without committing the sin of Peter. In order to avoid sin, I need to let my wife be Jesus so I can be the church. Sometimes I need to wash her feet and sometimes I need to let her wash my feet. Sometimes I need to be her pastor and sometimes she needs to be my chaplain. In Mark 10:42-45, Jesus gave his disciples the basic Biblical paradigm for understanding servant leadership:

You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

A Christian leader is supposed to be the “slave of all.” The only thing that holds this in tension is that we are also “slaves to Jesus Christ” (Rom 1:1 and other places). I cannot do whatever other people tell me to do, because my master is Christ, but I exist to serve others. In my church, my goal is to empower every member to be a minister and do the work of the kingdom. The only distinction between me as a pastor and them as ministers is that my call is to empower and equip them to live out their calls. There is no reason for them to submit to me. They’re supposed to submit to Christ just like I am, and they should listen to what I preach or ignore me altogether according to how well I help them do that. So if your pastors try to say that you’re supposed to submit to them, tell them that that they’re being just like a Gentile prince! They should be submitting to Christ and to you.

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In the same way that my job as a pastor is to put myself beneath the people in my congregation so that they can do God’s work, my job as a husband is to submit to my wife by encouraging and empowering her to do what God has called her to do. That’s not to say that her job as my wife is any different, but even if I were the “official” spiritual head of our house, there would be no hierarchy if I exercised my leadership in a Christlike way. The only thing I am authoritative about with my wife is I refuse to let her give up her call. There were points when juggling motherhood and seminary got pretty rough, but I would not let her drop out, because I know that she has gifts as a pastor that I don’t have. It’s been hard to let my wife stay at home the last couple of years, but she loves being a mom and she does amazing ministry in our church without having an official title.

So I’m really puzzled as to how true Christian servant leadership can exist in the kind of “complementarian” household Mark Driscoll and other reformed pastors teach their men to run (I hate the term “complementarian” by the way, because it’s such a dishonest euphemism; just say hierarchical). When my wife and I have to make decisions, we sometimes argue, but we always end up coming to some kind of consensus in the end or else we don’t make a decision and come back to it later. There’s never been a point where it would occur to either of us to say, “I have made the decision for this family and that’s final!”

Is that what complementarians think that a husband is supposed to say? What do you do if your wife disagrees? Slap her? The power of the Gentile princes that Jesus talks about in Mark 10:42 is always ultimately derived in the threat or act of physical violence. Servant leaders who emulate Jesus can never impose their will on others by force. Jesus’ power is derived in His complete submission to those who disagreed with Him to the point of letting them crucify Him when He had all the resources of the Creator of the universe at His disposal. If Jesus is my model for how to love my wife like He loved the church, then I can’t see a reason why there would be any gender hierarchy in my household.

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Morgan Guyton is the associate pastor of Burke United Methodist Church in Burke, Virginia, and a Christian who continues to seek God’s liberation from the prison of self-justification Jesus died to help him overcome. Morgan’s blog “Mercy Not Sacrifice” is located at http://morganguyton.wordpress.com. Follow Morgan on twitter at www.twitter.com/maguyton.

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About the Author

Morgan Guyton

Morgan GuytonMorgan Guyton is the associate pastor of Burke United Methodist Church in Burke, Virginia, and a Christian who continues to seek God’s liberation from the prison of self-justification Jesus died to help him overcome. Morgan’s blog “Mercy Not Sacrifice” is located at http://morganguyton.wordpress.com. Follow Morgan on twitter at www.twitter.com/maguyton.View all posts by Morgan Guyton →

  • Charles Mathew

    I don’t have time read his article but his “everyone is a slave, we lead by consensus” method makes no Biblical or other sense to me. Why does he have the title of “Pastor” if all are equally responsible for everything. And I would love to attend any of the committee meetings at his church. Well, maybe they don’t have elders, deacons, or committees in his church? Problems are discussed by the whole body and decisions endlessly put off? Rather like the OWS model, I assume.Look, I did read the article, but was offended by disingeneous way the writer managed to sell his view of what he thinks Driscoll meant and still stand clear of any criticism because “he did not have time to read the book”.The final nail in this coffin is this – Pastor Guyton did not adhere to his own servant leadership when he decided to preach down to Mark Driscoll without reaching out and talking to him first and try to build consensus.

    • Anonymous

      It’s not about Driscoll. It’s about the question of gender hierarchy. I made that pretty clear from the beginning. So you’re saying I have to ask some megachurch pastor from Seattle permission before I offer a contrasting account of gender relations in a marriage? Sounds like you’re a groupie so I guess I shouldn’t engage you seriously.

      • benmanben

        Where did he say permission?
        He said ”reach out to,”
        I think he wanted you to talk with the pastor about the subject.
        Did you just insult the person who commented?
        What kind of a site is this? 

        • http://morganguyton.wordpress.com/ Morgan Guyton

          Btw, the feigned outrage is cute.

          • benmanben

            Stop making comments without meaning.

          • benmanben

            Please.

      • benmanben

        I mean, he said “without reaching out”

      • Charles Mathew

        Groupie? Very nice, Pastor. Let me know when you write a book on submission and consensus building.

        BTW, sir, that balderdash you threw out about “slap her?” – I think you just tried that with me, albeit verbally.

      • Anonymous

        Sir, that’s a very unpastor-like response to Mr. Mathew. Please be careful. Your witness for Christ may be compromised.

      • http://morganguyton.wordpress.com/ Morgan Guyton

        Like I said, there’s no point in engaging you. God’s peace.

  • Jerry Hillyer Ii

    Wow, that is bold. (/sarcasm) Good grief.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for expressing your disgust. Do you have anything constructive to contribute?

      • Charles Mathew

        I am not getting this style of submission, Morgan.

  • Pete

    That’s pretty harsh for someone who hasn’t read the book.

    • Anonymous

      It’s not about the book. It’s about the conversation around gender. I was pretty clear from the beginning in saying what I was talking about and what I wasn’t talking about.

      • Pete

        With respect, I don’t think you can use the book as an intro to the subject, and again mention it later, and claim that it is separate from the subject matter you are discussing. I appreciate your thoughts on the matter, but if you’re not speaking about a book you haven’t read, I wouldn’t tie the two together.

        • Anonymous

          I think that the nature of the blogosphere is such that conversations can start around a specific book and continue independent of their source. There was a whole lot of ink spilled about the topics brought up in Rob Bell’s book a year ago by those who refused to read his book for fear that it might corrupt them. I don’t think it’s right to speculate about what you haven’t read, but to talk about certain topics because there’s a buzz around them that has a certain origin is different. I don’t have to ask Mark Driscoll permission or read his book in order to put forward my own view about gender hierarchy. What is your view by the way? I imagine you aren’t neutral.

          • Pete

            Yes, count me among those who made the mistake of reading everything about “Love Wins” except the book. My don’t want to make that mistake twice. I get your point on being able to discuss a topic independent of any particular source, I just think the way you’ve described Driscoll and his book it gives the impression (at least to me) that you have intimate knowledge of what he believes about it, without reading his work. Especially voiced in your thought that we call complementarian view what it “really” is, hierarchical, and though I assume you are using hyperbole, drawing the conclusion that a complementarian husband “slap” his wife if she disagrees. My personal view would ultimately be that the husband has the final say if there is an impasse, but that is not to say that the husband simply “gets his way.” If for instance I had a disagreement with my wife and after talking it out, could not come to an agreement. I still may concede to my wife as an act of submission to her, and it does not mean that I am not accountable to her (and of course to God) on the flip side. So if I want to purchase an item that is a want and not a need and my wife calls me on it, I would almost certainly concede. Whereas if my wife wants to purchase an item that is a want and not a need, I call her on it, and she still wants it, I may give her my blessing to buy it anyway. Any good marriage will include give & take – and quite frankly – neither me or my wife like making decisions. But I do believe it’s part of the role of the husband to make decisions, not independent of his wife (quite the opposite) and that part of the wife’s role is to support the husband whatever decision he makes. Maybe this is an un-popular position, and I’m always open to hearing God’s refining voice correct my wrongs, but that’s how I see it right now. I heed your point on being a servant as Christ was, but there is a balance to be had in discussing Christ’s servant-hood with His majesty. When we are living in the New Creation I’m not sure Jesus will be serving us, rather, we’ll be worshipping Him.

          • Anonymous

            Thanks for your continued conversation. I guess for me the analogy between me and Christ can only go so far. I feel like I can emulate his servanthood, but am I really supposed to emulate his being an object of worship? Am I more majestic than my wife in the same way that He’s more majestic than the church? I think Paul would object ferociously to our making too much out of His analogy. He was dramatically upgrading the status of wives in his cultural context.

            I just don’t see any reason why I need to officially be recognized as “the boss” instead of simply obeying God the best I can and speaking emphatically for God’s will as I understand it if I feel like it’s being contradicted by anyone in my family. Now it’s true that there are some issues I feel passionately enough about to say, “This is what we’re going to do.” Usually if I communicate it in the right way, she respects that. But it’s also important that she be able to say the same thing and not feel like she’s somehow being “insubordinate” by doing that. Usually she has to put her foot down about my being a workaholic, neglecting my kids, and things of that nature. If she’s just supposed to suck it up and not ask the same respect of me that I ask of her, then that would have a negative impact on my discipleship. I need her honest feedback as part of my spiritual walk.

          • Pete

            Thanks for your thoughts on the matter, Morgan. I think practically we agree on a number of ways to work things out within a marriage. I like to leave room for differing dichotomies on topics such as these. Some women want the husband to take that type of leadership role. Others are more independent and want a larger share, but regardless of who makes the decisions, there are more important things such as mutual respect, mutual servanthood, and mutual worship of God only, not each other. Peace.

  • Chris Meyer

    It is the paradox preaching of Jesus.  However, he was clear on ONE thing: LOVE.

    If we first seek love, then all else becomes moot – the answer is revealed.  However, while simple – it’s difficult (like bearing a cross) – OUR ego, OUR motives, OUR feelings, OUR wants continue to get in the way, we keep asking “what if” or “what about” or “how come” questions to relieve ourselves of this command…thus perhaps why Jesus said we need to die to OURSELVES.

    Get “rid” of us and love is able to shine through.  I think even Paul and the others had a hard time describing this love (not to mention the cultural lenses we must try to look through).

    But in all we do: LOVE.

    Love as Christ did – and let us not forget this love lead to SUFFERING.  Needless suffering at the hands of men.  Even though he knew we were still going to screw up, forsake him, sin, do OUR thing, etc.

    Guess sometimes we think (or wish) Jesus didn’t mean “love” in such a drastic and suffering way…then again, maybe he did.

    If he did, then I’m lousy at it no matter HOW you look at it.

    • Anonymous

      You can only lead like Christ leads if you submit like Christ submitted.

      • Chris Meyer

        Well put.

      • benmanben

        Well, I don’t think Christ “submitted”,
        I think he loved. I don’t think yoyu understand this. I don’t think the Bible said that the husband should be the Christ in the relationship, I think it said he should “love as Christ loved.”

        • BJMinton

          benmanben, have you read Philippians 2?     Speaking of Jesus, his attitude is described as one of submission.  He “made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant,
              being made in human likeness.
          And being found in appearance as a man,
              he humbled himself
              and became obedient to death–
                even death on a cross!”
           
          I still wonder why we don’t start reading Ephesians 5 with verse 21….”Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Seems to simplify what this article is trying to say! My husband and I have been married 48 years and mutual submission continues to challenge us to serve one another and grow together in Christ. 

          • benmanben

            Firstly let me clarify that I do NOT think the verses call for the husband to “be the Christ of the relationship”, whatever that could mean, so I’m not sure why this is getting heard this way.

            When I say Christ was not submissive I do NOT mean that a husband shouldn’t be at all. I’m trying to say that a husband couldn’t possibly be “the Christ in the relationship”, as Christ is the only Christ. 

            I have no problem with you and your husband having this relationship. I am upset because Morgan seems to have implied that husbands and wives living under different roles are always in abusive relationships, and I don’t think they ALWAYS are.

  • Rawee

    I don’t see how you jumped from complimentarian to mean hierarchical.  I sense more eisegesis than exegesis in your argument.  I hope you can clarify a bit more on that.

    I totally agree that we are all slaves to Christ primarily, but even the slaves have different roles and task to steward and to give an account to God over.  And as the scripture seems to speak to the ideal, we must then wrestle to reach the ideal. 

    For me it is being a husband that so leads like Christ that my wife would submit to me, while for my wife so submitting like Christ to my role as the husband that I would desire to sacrifice all in love for her.  At least that’s how I apply the Ephesians passage.

    • Anonymous

      My point is that if I’m always Christ and never the church in the relationship, then I’m going to have the same problem that Peter had with letting Jesus wash his feet. I need my wife to be Christ to me sometimes and I need to be Christ to her sometimes. Paul is using the metaphor of Christ and the church to improve upon the Roman culture’s understanding that wives were property and not partners in ministry to be cherished. I don’t think there’s a meaningful distinction between leadership and submission. To lead my wife means to help her become what God wants her to be. If I need the self-affirmation of knowing that I’m “in charge,” then it’s a hierarchy and I’m grappling with the sin of pride.

      • benmanben

        WHERE are you coming up with the idea of jumping from “love as Christ loves”, to “being Christ”?
        Neither of you are dying for the other’s salvation, so neither is “being the Christ in the relationship”.

        If you need the self-affirmation that you are in charge, I suppose you are struggling with pride, but not all men who believe that is their role are always trying to be bossy and on top. There is a good way to be the decision maker and a bad way. The bad way is self-centered, the good way is relationship centered. 
        It seems that you are assuming anyone given any ability to make a final decision is going to use it selfishly and violently. This may happen on occasion, and when it does I suppose it is sinful. But there is more than one way to be in charge.

        I don’t mind if you don’t want to be making all the final decisions. Even if this still applies to us, I think it would still allow for you to leave the final decision making role to someone else, (as that is a decision.)
        Please do not assume, however, that everyone who does follow these separate roles is selfish or prideful.

        • benmanben

          If you believe these verses were a legality for the time and place, please explain what verses help clarify that in this specific context. 
          Still, please don’t assume anyone who believes otherwise is prideful.

        • http://morganguyton.wordpress.com/ Morgan Guyton

          I don’t disagree with loving my wife like Christ loves the church. That’s what I think I should do. What’s wrong is when I think that I am Christ in comparison to my wife.

          • benmanben

            Well I don’t think those verses would have make you Christ in comparison to your wife. I hope you understand that.

          • Adam

            Yes, exactly. That’s a very narrow reading of Scripture to think that we are supposed to save her in some way to spiritual life or anything like that… Well said.

          • Adam

            Why do you assume that men who lead their wives (which is Biblical) believe they are actually Christ in comparison to their wives? That is not what Scripture says. You’re either twisting what others believe or twisting what Scripture says…

      • Adam

        I guess I’d ask, where do you find Biblical support for this? It’s all great speculation, but the Bible doesn’t say, “men, be the head some of the time (or even most of the time), but switch with your wives sometimes”. It doesn’t say, “Men, you’re like Christ in marriage, except sometimes you need to be like the Church and let your wife be Christ”. It doesn’t say that. The Bible say that the husband is as Christ, and the wife is as the church. This not speaking to the relationship between them in the sense of their intimate relationship, but as to the physical and spiritual leadership. Of course leading your wife means leading her to be more like Christ, and by nature of leadership you do this by, guess what, leading her and being Christ! Not by her being Christ in that sense. What you’re talking about is a totally different idea, which is a valid one, that all Christians (and especially husbands and wives) are supposed to edify and uplift one another and help them be more like Chirst. This doesn’t mean in any way the wive assumes the role of Christ and the man the role of the Church, that is foolishness. Paul doesn’t talk to what you’re speaking of with the metaphor of Christ and the church.

  • http://twitter.com/BertMontgomery Bert Montgomery

    A very good article. Thanks, Morgan!

  • Matt Blake

    Amen. That is all.

  • http://mikesnow.org/ Michael Snow

    I had read enough of two other reviews of Driscoll’s book to know that I wanted nothing to do with it. It struck me as a publisher’s …well I’ll skip the metaphor..dream: combine a pop pastor with sex and your rolling in big bucks!

    Before I finished your first paragraph I knew that was enough for me. I don’t know anything about Driscoll, have never read a sentence of his,  but he is certainly a unique specimen amongst the rest of us righteous Christians with “his conception of the divinely ordained inferiority of women.” Heretofore, I have never heard such a claim from any Christian.

    • Charles Mathew

      The respected pastor who wrote this article has not read the book so this does not qualify as a review. Just saying.

  • Matt

    I dont think its a question of gender hierarchy…nothing Jesus taught should lead anyone to believe one gender is better than another gender.  What Jesus did teach was gender roles and those seem pretty clear to me.  We, Male and Female, are different (have you taken a look lately?!) and thus were designed for different roles…not better or lesser…but different.

    • Michael

      I think you’re nearing fallacy say biological differences equal spiritual/household hierarchy. Why should they?

      • Adam

        They don’t. For instance, God didn’t say, “Men, you should be the head”, he said, “Men, you ARE the head of your wife”. God said it. We’re not choosing it because we like the power trip of being guys or whatever.

        • KM Wallace

          Most biblical scholars believe that the word translated as “head” actually means “source,” like the headsource of a river. This would make more literary sense considering the fact that the passage ends by saying, “Do not be fooled, for just as woman came from man, so every man now comes from a woman.” It is talking about sources, not authority.

          • VikingManx

            If it is a “source” like, the head of a river…wouldnt that make the wife even MORE dependent on the man?

    • http://morganguyton.wordpress.com/ Morgan Guyton

      I don’t disagree with saying that male and female are different. I just think that the very nature of servant leadership Jesus lays out in Mark 10:42-45 negates the possibility of a hierarchical relationship.

      • Adam

        One thing that I would say is to remember that God’s position of men as the head of their wives in no way negates the possibility of BOTH serving each-other. Why does the author feel these are so contradictory? Scripture doesn’t. Women and men were created for each-other to help each-other, that’s what marriage is all about, companionship and fulfilling the dominion mandate in every area of life, and gloryfing God. But God chose the man to be the head, as Christ is the head of the church. It’s not really about gender differences other than that’s what God said, men are heads, women are not.

    • Adam

      Very well said, that hits it on the spot. God made Eve from Adam’s rib, equal to him, but still under his authority.

      • KM Wallace

        Funny, since gender roles and authority are not mentioned in the creation account until after sin comes into the picture. Adam and Eve had the same calling with no gender differentiation before satan’s deception, which means that gender roles are satanic in origin. Are we to live under the results of the curse, or be freed by Christ’s victory on the cross? I choose redemption, but that’s just me.

        • VikingManx

          And who was deceived?

          Not Adam.

          Read your bible.

    • KM Wallace

      Nowhere in scripture does Jesus ever teach gender roles. In fact, Jesus defied gender roles by giving women an equal place with men. In Luke 10.38-42, Mary sat with the men and listened to Jesus’ teachings (something that gender roles of that day did not allow women to do). Martha, on the other hand, stuck to the normal gender roles and busied herself trying to serve the men. Interestingly, Mary was not reprimanded for defying gender roles, but Martha was told that what Mary had chosen was better. Throughout the Bible (OT and NT) women are praised for defying gender roles, and Jesus is no exception. I challenge you to show a time in scripture where Jesus taught gender roles.

  • benmanben

    I don’t ever recall the Bible verses saying that husbands should slap their wives because they are lesser. 
    It seems to me, though, that the Bible verses suggest that, at least at that time and place, husbands should have the final say. I don’t think it gave any permission to abuse though, where did that come from?

    Are you just trying to come up with a negative stereotypical idea?

    You don’t seem to understand this completely. I don’t think the Bible ever said that the Husbands were Jesus to their wives. I think it said that husbands should LOVE their wives as Jesus loves the church.

    I really don’t have a problem with 2 people deciding that they believe that the Bible each gives them their own role in the marriage. This does not necessarily imply violence or hatred. I think that is a stereotype.

    And two different roles don’t mean two different amounts of power.

    Have you read what C.S. Lewis wrote on this in Mere Christianity. I don’t exactly recall all of it, but didn’t he believe in two different roles, the man possibly making final decisions if neither could agree? I think he believed it needed to be one or the other, so it was man, nothing about him being greater.
    And… hasn’t this site already attempted to suggest Lewis was a progressive, and mostly agreed with its views? (Something I think I have disproven on almost every single issue.) 

    • benmanben

      Just to clarify, I don’t think all couples have to follow these roles if they don’t want to, I just don’t think everyone who does is in an abusive relationship.

      • Adam

        Well, then, my friend, you believe that God propagated this “abusiveness” when he said that a man is the head of his wife. God set up these gender roles, not because one was greated, but because it pleased him. Please, read Scripture. God created marriages to be one man and one woman in equality, with the man leading. There is nothing contradictory or strange about this, it is the way God made it and it is fantastic.

        • Benjamin

          What “abusiveness”? Where did I say the gender roles were abusive?

  • benmanben

    As I hope I’ve made clear, if a man and woman are perfectly fine taking turns making decision, and agreeing on things, then I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

    I’m just not sure what you problem is with someone following this model in a manner which is not prideful.

  • http://www.sacredmisfit.com/ Sarah

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

    You are bold and brave – preach on my brother.  It is a breath of fresh air to know that I and my husband are not alone.  Thank you for sharing….and be encouraged.

  • Michael

    Since God created them, male and female, the roles of men and women have been different. Notice that while it was Eve who was deceived in the garden, it was Adam who was held responsible. When God established the man as the leader of the household, it wasn’t some arbitrary designation of power or because he loved Adam more. It was a delegation of responsibility. ‘You will be responsible for the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of this woman I am giving you. Nurture her, love her, and make her blossom into an incredible person.’

    It’s remarkable that in our culture people are so obsessed with pretending that there aren’t differences between men and women, or that those differences make one or the other less than the other. I’m afraid you’ve been duped as many have into feeling the pressures of culture and believing you have to reduce one of your conflicting beliefs (what the Bible says or what culture says) in order to relieve your cognitive dissonance.

    The Bible is clear explicitly and implicitly that while the roles of men and women are different, their worth is not (Genesis 1:27, Galatians 3:28, Joel 2:28, etc…). You have very cleverly avoided most of the passages relating to the role of men and women in marriage and instead talked about general servant qualities that Jesus displayed.

    This article is a classic example of a strawman argument. Portray all complementarian men as mysoginist, neanderthals who don’t love and serve their wives and think they’re better than them, and that the women are doormats living in fear under their husband’s brutal leadership. I won’t even get into your revolting joke about men physically assaulting their wives.

    Of course you’re puzzled as to how a complementarian marriage works itself out–you clearly have a warped view of it in the first place. The mandate and model that Christ gave for the man was for him to lead his wife as a servant leader, or as Ephesians 5 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” He is to love her as Christ loved the church (not be Christ himself), but he is also going to be accountable for her when we stand for judgement. Again in Colossians 3, “Husbands, love your wives and

    do not be embittered against them.”

    Likewise, requirements are laid out for the woman as well:

    • Ephesians 5:22-25 Wives, be subject to your own
    husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head
    of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He
    Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church
    is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their
    husbands in everything.

    • 1 Corinthians 11:2-3, 8-9 Now I praise you because
    you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the
    traditions, just as I delivered them to you. But I want
    you to understand that Christ is the head of every
    man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is
    the head of Christ…For man does not originate from
    woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not
    created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s
    sake.

    • Colossians 3:18-19 Wives, be subject to your husbands,
    as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and
    do not be embittered against them.

    • Titus 2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent
    in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved
    to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may
    encourage the young women to love their husbands,
    to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at
    home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that
    the word of God will not be dishonored.

    • 1 Timothy 2 But I do not allow a woman to teach or
    exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For
    it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it
    was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being
    deceived, fell into transgression.

    The only thing “dishonest” here was your article.

    • http://morganguyton.wordpress.com/ Morgan Guyton

      Sorry but the point remains that to be a servant leader negates hierarchy. I don’t disagree that men and women are different, but I don’t see any reason to call myself the boss of my wife if I’m emulating Christ. Christ’s greatest exercise of power was His complete submission on the cross. The worldly dichotomy between leadership and submission are muddled completely in Christ. If you don’t use physical violence or intimidation to enforce your authority, then there isn’t a true hierarchy in your marriage and I don’t have a problem with it.

      • Steve P

        The word the bible uses is “head” of the wife. Not ‘boss’ of the wife. As the head, we are to love our wife – even lay our life down for her. I’m not my wife’s boss – but my bible calls me to be her head. Is that what you’re bible says?

        • BJMinton

          Define ‘head’ in your understanding.  Is it like the ‘head’ waters of a river, the source out of which it comes?  Or is it ‘head’ like the brain and area of command?  

          Is it significant that in Genesis 1 the male and female were given the same ‘command’ but it is not until after the ‘fall’ that the hierarchy came into being?  Is it significant in our relationship as husband and wife that Christ reverses the effects of the fall? These are some of the significant passages that inform our 48 years of marriage relationship in Christ.   

          • VikingManx

            The new testament reminds is that eve was deceived, not Adam. His authority comes from a clearer vision. Wake up. This is satanic, communistic, feminist claptrap masquerading as “Christianity”.

    • Mac

      well said

    • Adam

      Well said, brother.

  • Shawn Beaty

    Thanks for stereotyping anyone who is “complementarian” as believing a woman has no say in the family and ruling in a hierarchical way. Truly a spirit led blog post…  (sarcasm implied)

    • http://morganguyton.wordpress.com/ Morgan Guyton

      Not what I said. Thanks for your cursory reading of my post and constructive contribution to the conversation.

  • Shawn Beaty

    Thanks for stereotyping anyone who is “complementarian” as believing a woman has no say in the family and ruling in a hierarchical way. Truly a spirit led blog post…  (sarcasm implied)

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