This week I learned a new word off of Amy’s blog. Complementarian.
I didn’t know what it meant so I had to look it up. Complementarianism is, “a view of the relationship between the genders that differs from gender equalism, in that it believes that both men and women are equal in status, but can have different and complementary roles.”
When I read it I thought to myself, “Hmm, I like that!” but it was being used as a negative statement as in you are a complementarian and you suck. K, that’s a bit harsh and maybe a slight exaggeration but it definitely was NOT a complement! There’s a huge disagreement on whether or not there are different “roles” between men and women going on. Personally, I like the definition of this word and I believe what it says so if that’s the case…. “Hello, my name is Shannon and I’m a Complementarian.”
I don’t believe there is anything scripturally wrong by saying that there are different roles that a man and woman play. The Bible is full of patterns for us to pay attention too. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are equal in divinity but we see a pattern of authority emerging when Jesus says “nevertheless not my will but thine be done” regarding direction given to Him by the Father.We also see it further when Jesus said I’m going now but I’m going to send the Comforter (Holy Spirit) in reference to His ascension to heaven. Did Jesus feel like He was any less divine, valued or important because He was sent to model before us what He saw the Father doing? No! Was it a different role and responsibility than what God the Father had? Yes!
There isn’t one New Testament scripture where we see Jesus usurping the authority of God the Father. In Heaven there is a definite pattern of authority and on earth there is also.There’s an old saying that goes like this, “Anything with two heads is a freak”.
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:22, “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands (but don’t forget the next part) … as unto the Lord.” Before any man gets a big head over this he needs to remember that the previous verse says to, “Submit to one another in the fear of God”.
What does submit mean? It doesn’t mean to dictate or lord over someone but to “come under the mission” of another (i.e. support). A husband and wife are part of a team working together but God has given each a different mission or role on that team. Something that only they can do to bring success to the team mission. Is either more valuable because one is the designated leader and the other the follower. No! Verse 25 is the qualifier for being the leader, “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” That’s a huge statement and responsibility that is placed upon men. Husbands or church leaders are not to lord over people but to lay down their lives for people.
As one of many female leaders in our church but not the “final authority” I understand that the people are not there for me but I’m there to lay down my life for the people. I can submit to my husband because #1. That’s what God wants me to do and #2. He has and is learning what it means to lay down his life for me.
The one big thing that gets missed over and over again is that our value doesn’t come from what we do but from who we are. No matter what I do at work or home or in the church it does not affect my value. I’m a child of the King whether I’m cleaning toilets, working in the nursery or preaching from the pulpit on Sunday. When our value or self worth comes from what we do then we are always trying to do or have more.
One of the first questions we seem to ask new people when we meet them is, “So what do you do for a living?”. What a shame. It’s understanding my value in God’s eyes that allows me to serve others because that’s what He did.
Men and women are equal in value, they are loved the same in God’s eyes and are equally as important in the advancement of the Kingdom but God had given us different roles and responsibilities and that’s a good thing!
There’s a song that’s been going through my head ever since I posted this before I went to work. It goes kinda like this, “Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you. No you can’t. Yes I can.” Do you remember it?
In my opinion this is an awful song but it reminded me of a couple of the comments made over at Amy’s blog. To me this song represents selfishness, pride, arrogance, ignorance and insensitivity to those in our sphere of influence. It is an individualistic view of our world and misses the big picture, advancing the Kingdom as a TEAM – not at any cost but according to the pattern set by our Creator in the beginning.