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God's Establishment of Male Headship (Ephesians 5:23)

God’s Establishment of Male Headship (Ephesians 5:23)

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Male headship is stated in Ephesians 5:23 (see also 1 Corinthians 11:3): “the husband is head of the wife.” What is complementarianism and biblical headship, and when were they established? Read this chapter from Your Marriage God’s Way to find out.

Soon after I became a Christian in my early twenties, a pastor’s daughter told me what she wanted in a husband: a man who would be a spiritual leader and the head of their home. I hardly knew anything about the Bible at this point, so everything she said sounded odd to me. I didn’t object until she started talking about wives submitting to their husbands. That’s when I thought she had gone too far. Sadly, I vividly remember saying, “That is ridiculous! Men and women are equal. How could a husband have authority over his wife?”

I was in for a shock as I started reading the Bible and learning what it says about husbands and wives. Verses kept jumping out at me that supported what the pastor’s daughter said. If you’re unfamiliar with the Bible’s teaching on marriage, or you believe like I did that husbands and wives have identical roles and responsibilities, you might be in for a shock too.

God has a master design for marriage relationships that has very definite purposes and benefits. We live in a culture that is far removed from the beauty and brilliance of God’s plan. While we as fallen people might initially chaff at the ideas of male headship and submission (as I did), and believe it means men and women aren’t equal (as I did), because we live in a society that insists everyone should be viewed identically, it’s important to recognize that in God’s eyes and according to His design, yes, husbands and wives have equal value (more on this later in the chapter), but they have different roles and responsibilities.

Let’s ease into the delicate subjects of headship and submission by considering that twice in the New Testament the apostle Paul stated the headship of a husband:

  • “I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
  • “The husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body” (Ephesians 5:23).

While these verses are found in the New Testament, that doesn’t mean a husband’s headship had its beginning under the new covenant. Neither did his headship have its beginning in the Old Testament under the old covenant. Nor did it begin at the fall.

The husband’s headship has its beginning at creation itself. This is important for us to know, because if we think headship began after the fall, then this leadership becomes part of sin’s curse. But if we understand that the husband’s headship began at creation, we will see it as part of God’s natural, healthy, divine plan for husbands and wives.

Genesis 1:1 proclaims the incredible truth that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” and the rest of the chapter gives a grand overview of all six days of creation. God created man and woman on the sixth day. Then, in Genesis 2:7-25, God zooms in on the creation of Adam and Eve because mankind is the pinnacle of God’s creation. We are so familiar with the account that it is easy to miss the significance of some of the details. Therefore, let’s approach this passage as though we are reading it for the first time. It is in this account that God established male headship.

Because God created the animals in pairs, male and female, what would we expect Him to do with the creation of humankind? We would expect Him to create the first man and woman at the same time—as a pair, male and female. But that is not what He did, and in creating man first and woman second, God revealed several important details about His design for the marriage relationship.

GOD’S FIRST COMMAND HELPED ESTABLISH MALE HEADSHIP

After God created Adam, He placed him in the Garden of Eden to work (Genesis 2:15). Creating Adam before Eve meant that God’s first command would be given to Adam alone. Genesis 2:16-17 says,

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Managing the garden was Adam’s duty, but when Eve was fashioned from him, he had the responsibility of passing along to her what he had heard from God. Then Eve had the responsibility of trusting her husband’s account. God did not have to do it this way. He could have given the command to both of them after Eve was created, but in giving the command to Adam alone, God established male headship in the relationship.

ADAM NAMES THE ANIMALS AND EVE DEMONSTRATING MALE HEADSHIP

In Genesis 2:19-20, we read that God had Adam name the animals:

Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

Again, we see God do something with Adam that He could have had Adam and Eve do together. There are two reasons God had Adam name the animals without Eve. First, God wanted man to have authority over creation. In Genesis 1:26, God said,

Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

God established Adam’s authority by directing him to name the animals.

Second, instead of simply giving Adam a helper or telling him he should desire one, God chose to reveal this lack to him by bringing the animals to him in pairs. This disclosed Adam’s lack of a companion. Adam quickly noticed that the animals were in pairs, but he himself was not part of any pair. As Genesis 2:20 describes, he observed there was no “helper comparable to him.”

With Adam now longing for a mate, God was ready to fashion Eve. Here again, familiarity with the creation account may cause us to miss the significance of certain details. Up to this point, one recurring theme has been God’s creation of living things from ordinary dirt:

  • “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).
  • “Out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow” (Genesis 2:9).
  • “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air” (Genesis 2:19).

With this pattern in place, we would expect to read, “The Lord God formed woman of the dust of the ground, and breathed into her nostrils the breath of life; and woman became a living being.” Instead, Genesis 2:21-23 says:

The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Earlier, God brought the animals to Adam to be named, demonstrating Adam’s authority over them. Adam then named his wife, demonstrating his authority over her: “She shall be called Woman.” This is one more indication of God establishing male headship within the marriage relationship.

HISTORY’S FIRST SURGERY

God performed history’s first surgery by using Adam’s body to fashion Eve, and what modern science reveals about this is fascinating. Every cell in our bodies contains our entire genetic blueprint or DNA. Therefore, God could take some of Adam’s cells and use their DNA to create Eve. The reverse, however, would not work, because men’s DNA contains both X and Y chromosomes (XY), while women’s DNA contains only X chromosomes (XX). If God had created woman first, it would have been impossible to fashion man from woman because there would be no Y chromosomes, which is the chromosome that determines male gender. Adam had the genetic material—both X and Y chromosomes—for a woman to be created from his DNA, allowing for the reproduction of men and women.

Because Eve was fashioned from Adam, she has the unique distinction of being the only part of creation not formed out of the ground. And because Adam was created in the image and likeness of God, Eve was just as wonderfully created in the image and likeness of God. We should also consider that while God created woman from man, He brought forth every other human being since Eve from woman. The apostle Paul explained it like this:

For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man…Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman (1 Corinthians 11:8-9, 11-12).

A final detail of significance is that God’s creation of woman from man involved far more than Adam’s rib. The Hebrew word translated “rib” is tsela. The word occurs 41 times in the Old Testament, but only here in Genesis 2:21- 22 is it translated “rib.” Nineteen times tsela is translated as “side,” and 11 times as “chamber.” Here are a few examples:

  • Exodus 25:12—“You shall cast four rings of gold for [the ark], and put them in its four corners; two rings shall be on one side [tsela], and two rings on the other side [tsela].”
  • 2 Samuel 16:13—“As David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside [tsela] opposite him and cursed as he went.”
  • 1 Kings 6:8—“The doorway for the middle story was on the right side [tsela] of the temple.”

Eve came from Adam’s side, not just his rib—a fact that is also made clear when Adam, in Genesis 2:23, calls Eve “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”

Why did God choose to create Eve from Adam’s side instead of creating her from the dust of the ground like everything else? God wanted Adam and Eve to understand the unity between them. We see that in the next verse, Genesis 2:24, which says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” At first glance this seems like an odd statement because Adam and Eve are the only two people in history with no “father and mother.” Therefore, this verse is not primarily about them, but is instructive about the nature of the marriage relationship itself.

Genesis 2:24 further supports male headship. Why does the command mention a man leaving his father and mother but not a woman leaving her father and mother? It is because the man is moving out from under his parents’ authority and establishing his own headship—or authority—over his family. But the woman is not doing the same. She is simply moving from being under her father to being under her husband.

This is why 1 Corinthians 11:3 does not say, “The head of every man and woman is Christ.” Instead, it states, “The head of every man is Christ, [and] the head of woman is man.” A wife remains under a man’s authority—first her father’s, and then her husband’s. And these men are under Christ’s authority. This biblical principle is played out at weddings symbolically when the father walks his daughter down the aisle and gives her to the man who is about to become her husband. The imagery is that of a transfer of authority from father to husband.

EGALITARIANISM VERSUS COMPLEMENTARIANISM

Complementarianism is the term used to describe the belief that God has designed distinct roles and responsibilities for men and women that allow them to balance and support each other. Egalitarianism is the view that God does not have distinct plans for men and women, but that they are equal and interchangeable in terms of their roles and responsibilities. Egalitarians reject the concept of male headship in the marriage relationship. Homosexual marriage, transgenderism, and bisexuality are simply extreme forms of egalitarianism because in every case, ultimately they require people to blur the lines between the genders.

To hold to egalitarianism, people must reject the plain teaching of Scripture that describes the differences between men and women, including the affirmation of the male headship. The Scripture most cited by egalitarians is Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” But using that verse to support egalitarianism requires taking the passage out of context—all the preceding verses clearly deal with salvation. Everyone, whether Jew, Gentile, slave, free, male, or female is saved in the same manner—by grace through faith apart from the law and works (Galatians 3:1-25). What’s more, if Paul were saying men and women are identical in terms of roles and responsibilities, he would be contradicting numerous other scriptures he wrote outlining the differences between the genders.

Bible scholar James Fowler explains:

Egalitarian assertions are based on false premises. [Identical] responsibilities and authority produces the chaos of no one having ultimate authority or responsibility. The egalitarian premises of socialistic communism are unworkable. Identity, value and worth are not found in gender function, but in a personal Being beyond ourselves.

James Fowler, “Women in the Church,” Christ In You Ministries 1999, http://www.christinyou.net/pages/
womeninchurch.html (accessed March 7, 2016).

Complementarianism, on the other hand, recognizes the gender roles in Scripture are meaningful and, when embraced, promote spiritual and emotional health that allows people to reach their God-given potential. Scripture says, “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27; see also Genesis 5:2; Mark 10:6). The emphasis is not on God’s creating people but on His creating two different types of humans: one male and one female. Other Scripture passages reveal to us the distinct plans God has for each, and we will look at all of them in this book. While men and women equally share God’s image and together have dominion over creation, God designed them differently to accomplish certain purposes that He intends for them to fulfill.

A common criticism of complementarianism is that it is chauvinistic—it identifies one gender as superior to the other. Egalitarians insist that a difference in roles and responsibilities implies a difference in equality. But it is possible for two people to be different and equal. Men and women do in fact have the same value and significance before God, even though they are not identical in their roles or responsibilities. This is clearly evident to us in the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. The three persons have distinct roles to fulfill, but they are all equal. Pastor David Guzik states:

In our day, many say there is no real difference between men and women. This makes sense if we are the result of mindless evolution, but the Bible says “male and female He created them.” To God, the differences between men and women are not accidents. Since He created them, the differences are good and meaningful. One of the saddest signs of our culture’s depravity is the amount and the degree of gender confusion today. It is vain to wonder if men or women are superior to the other. A man is absolutely superior at being a man. A woman is absolutely superior at being a woman. But when a man tries to be a woman or a woman tries to be a man, you have something inferior.

We cannot expect the secular world to agree with God’s Word and embrace complementarianism. The real tragedy, however, is when Christians hold to an egalitarian view, seeing no differences between men and women’s roles in the home and the church. Such individuals may not condone unbiblical forms of sexuality such as homosexuality and transgenderism, but because egalitarianism blurs the lines between men and women, it makes it easier for the world to further blur the lines and do away with gender distinctives and undermine God’s Word. Just as men are needed in the home and the church in crucial ways, so women are needed in the home and the church in crucial ways. But the way each gender is needed is different, and we must maintain the distinctions if we are to obey God’s Word and experience the best of marital bliss the way God intended.

BETTER TOGETHER

In chapter 5, we will take a closer look at Genesis 2:18. For now, let’s appreciate how God called Eve “a helper comparable to [Adam].” This affirms that God’s calling for Eve—and all wives—is a truly noble calling. The Hebrew word translated “comparable” is neged. Other Bible translations say “suitable for him” (NASB, NIV) and “fit for him” (ESV). The literal translation of the Hebrew text means “opposite” or “contrasting.”

Men and women were designed to fit together perfectly in all ways—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. When a husband and wife become one flesh on their wedding day, they are two people who complement and complete each other. As Genesis 2:24 says, “A man shall…be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Together, they become something stronger and more magnificent than they could ever be alone. The strengths of each compensate for the weaknesses of the other:

  • When a husband thinks about his wife, he should see her as God’s suitable companion for him.
  • When a wife thinks about her husband, she should see herself as God’s perfect fit for him.

We should give thanks to God for His wonderful design and do everything we can to fulfill the roles He has given us. Only then can we truly experience healthy, joyful marriages.

The world wants to throw counterfeits at us, so we must keep in mind that the blueprint is in the Bible. God is all-perfect, all-loving, and all-wise. As the Author of marriage, we can trust His plan. His way allows husbands and wives to experience all the blessings He desires for us.

Your Marriage God's Way: A Biblical Guide to a Christ-Centered Relationship
Your Marriage God's Way Workbook author Scott LaPierre

The text in this post is from Your Marriage God’s Way, and the audio is from the accompanying audiobook. I am praying God uses the book and workbook to strengthen marriages and exalt Christ.

88 Responses

  1. One important point I think you missed was hit on by Voddie Baucham: woman was create for man to be his helper.

    “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.'” Genesis 2:18

    I would also like to turn your attention to a curiosity in the text, behind which there could be another hint of man’s headship. In other places in scripture the entrance of sin and death into the world and the subsequent birth of all mankind into sin is solely put on Adam’s shoulders. What’s more, if you read Genesis you will see that it states that their eyes are opened and that they become ashamed of their own nakedness only after Adam eats. So, it seems that perhaps it is not just their descendants that enter into sin through birth after Adam eats, but Eve too, already fully formed and capable of making her own decisions. It is as though Adam is responsible for all mankind, and his decisions effect the fate of all mankind, including Eve.

    1. Incisor,
      You are correct. I could have added that God created Eve as Adam’s helper and that also reveals hisheadship in the relationship. I wrote about this in this post.

      Yes, you are correct that Adam’s decision affected all mankind. The New Testament makes this clear:

      Romans 5:12-19—“Through one man sin entered the world…death reigned from Adam…the transgression of Adam…by the one man’s offense many died…by one man’s offense death reigned…through one man’s offense judgment came…by one man’s disobedience.”
      1 Corinthians 15:21-22—“By man came death…In Adam all die.”

  2. Actually they both admitted to doing it only when called them out on it. Then Adam blamed Eve and God, and Eve blamed the serpent.

    The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
    Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”
    “The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.” Genesis 3:12-13 (NLT)

    Neither one of them is to be celebrated more than the other.

    1. Incisor,
      You are correct then neither of them should be celebrated; however, if you mean that they are equally at fault, that is not correct. After the fall, Genesis 3:9-12 records God speaking only to Adam:

      The LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
      So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
      And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
      Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

      God did not address Eve until Genesis 3:16, where He explained how sin’s curse would affect women. God went to Adam because he was the head of the relationship; therefore, as the New Testament reveals, God held him more responsible for the fall:

      Romans 5:12-19—“Through one man sin entered the world…death reigned from Adam…the transgression of Adam…by the one man’s offense many died…by one man’s offense death reigned…through one man’s offense judgment came…by one man’s disobedience.”
      1 Corinthians 15:21-22—“By man came death…In Adam all die.”

      We also know Eve was less responsible, because of 1 Timothy 2:12, which says, “Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” While it sounds as though Adam is commended for not being deceived and Eve is condemned for being deceived, the opposite is true. Eve was not as much at fault because she was deceived, while Adam was more at fault because he sinned knowingly.

  3. Hi Scott,
    Great article. I believe that you could also add that when the couple sinned, God came to Adam first, to hold him accountable, then Eve.

    1. Carina,
      You’re completely right. We see something similar when Jezebel had Naboth murdered. God still held Ahab responsible.

      I make this point and the first message I deliver at Marriage God’s Way conferences. I hope you’ll check it out…

      The fact is, whether it’s Adam, Abraham or Ahab, God expects men to lead and we can’t turn around and say, “Well, my wife made me do it” or “It was my wife’s fault.” God is going to hold us responsible for what takes place in our marriages and families. We can’t be passive and lazy.

      I hope you listen to the message. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  4. Hi Scott,
    Great article. Really enjoyed this as it reinforced some of my own observations made in studying this topic while adding some additional insights of your own.

    A small proofreading nit from somebody that edits and writes for a living: the numbering in this article appears to be off. You list “5 ways” in your title, but the body of the article only enumerates 4. Could you either fix the title (4 instead of 5?) or the body so they agree? Also, in point #1 ( Adam was created first) there appear to be four subpoints. It might make it more readable to list these as 1a – 1d.

    I am using some of your material for teaching in a small group at my church, and I noticed these small issues. They obviously don’t change the message – only the formatting. Passing them along in the hopes you can update the article, and then perhaps delete this comment.

    1. Steve,
      Thank you for the feedback on the article, not just the encouraging sentiments, but the suggestions. Good observations. I don’t think you are too nitpicky.

      I am blessed that you’re able to use my material in your small group. What is the name of your church if you don’t mind me asking? Hopefully, you found the other articles I have written on male headship. If you have trouble finding them, please let me know. Most of them are linked in this article.

      I will pray for your small group, and please feel free to let me know if you find more mistakes…maybe I will have to have you start proofreading my books :-). God bless!

  5. Dear Scott ,
    You have done a good work in establishing the truth of headship of man over woman/ wife. This subject is hardly discussed or preached in the churches, because of which there no true joy and peace in the Christian homes. Though we see good believers in the church, we do not see good wives and good husbands at home. The Truth of headship is not established in the Christian homes. In the Old Testament, Numbers chapter 30 , is another portion of the scripture where God clearly establishes the headship of man over his wife and the un married daughter. In the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 14:35 , the husband is supposed to be a learned man in the Word of God to guide his home.

    1. Hello G S Panda Das
      Thanks for the feedback.

      I’m glad the post encouraged you.

      I think male headship is a theme in Scripture; therefore, it’s sad if what you said is true, that it’s not preached in churches.

  6. This is such an interesting post! Point 2 was something I had never thought of. How orderly and amazing is our God. Truly he planned out everything just how it needed to be!

  7. Of all species of mammals, man is the only one who lacks a baculum (os Penis)
    There is no word in Biblical Hebrew for the word “penis”. Thus the word is expressed euphamistically.
    It is theorized that the bone that God removed from Adam to create Eve was his baculum.
    This makes not only scientific sense but is logical as well. If makes perfect sense to take the bone from Adam’s reproductive organ to produce a wife for Adam.
    It is also written that God closed the site where Adam’s bone was removed. It is a fact that there is a “line”demarcating the center of the scrotum and ventral penis called the “raphe”. This “seam” is a remnant of the opening created wnen the bone was removed from Adam.
    If the bone used to create Eve was Adam’ baculum, we have a rare instance where science and religion agree.

    1. Hello Eleanor,
      Actually the word does occur in Deuteronomy 23:1:

      No man whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may enter the LORD’s assembly.

      In Hebrew it’s the word shophkah.

      It’s pretty clear, as I stated in the post, that a better understanding (or translation) of “rib” or “bone” would be, “side.” God created Eve from Adam’s side, which included his flesh and bone, hence Adam saying Eve was “bone of my bones AND FLESH OF MY FLESH” (Genesis 2:23).

  8. Hi Scott,
    Bible scholars debate whether ‘head’ is meant as a metaphor for ‘ruler/authority’ or for ‘source/source of life’. But anyway this term does not appear in Genesis 2.
    1. God established Adam’s “headship” by creating him first? If ‘head’ means ‘source’, then this is correct, since in Genesis 2 Eve was formed from Adam.
    2. God established Adam’s leadership by giving him the first command? But Genesis 2 does not say this. Also, the story does not say whether Eve learned the command from God, from Adam, or from both.
    3. God established Adam’s leadership by having him name the animals and Eve? Certainly, if you start by assuming that he had authority over Eve, then his naming of her can be seen as an exercise of authority over her. But you have to prove your assumption first. Naming does not prove authority. Hagar named God in Gen 16:13. This does not show that Hagar had authority over God. You also say that God brought Eve to Adam “so he could name her”. But the text does not say this.
    4. God established Adam’s leadership by having only him “leave father and mother” (Gen 2:24)? But the text does not say this. It says nothing about Adam’s father or mother, or about Eve’s. The remarkable thing about Gen 2:24 (which is before the Fall) is that it fails to endorse the ancient patriarchal and patrilocal pattern. According to that pattern, when a patriarch’s son marries, the son does not leave his family, but instead the wife leaves her family. Gen 2:24 is not patriarchal.
    You say “if we think headship began after the fall, then it becomes part of sin’s curse”. If by ‘headship’ you mean ‘rule’ of a man over a woman, then this is exactly what Gen 3:16 says. It presents the man’s rule as a consequence of the fall (“he will rule over you”). I have discussed what the Bible says about this in more detail in my book ‘Men and Women in Christ: Fresh Light from the Biblical Texts’.

    1. Hi Andrew,
      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I copied them and responded below…

      Hi Scott. Bible scholars debate whether ‘head’ is meant as a metaphor for ‘ruler/authority’ or for ‘source/source of life’. But anyway this term does not appear in Genesis 2.

      You’re right that the term “head,” does not appear in Genesis 2, but it appears later in Scripture and – as is the case with many other areas of Scripture – the origin is in Genesis, the book of beginnings.

      1. God established Adam’s “headship” by creating him first? If ‘head’ means ‘source’, then this is correct, since in Genesis 2 Eve was formed from Adam.
      2. God established Adam’s leadership by giving him the first command? But Genesis 2 does not say this. Also, the story does not say whether Eve learned the command from God, from Adam, or from both.

      You’re right that Genesis 2 doesn’t say it directly. It must be inferred. Since Eve received the command from Adam (versus from God), she had to trust him, submit to him, etc. All things which reveal him as her head.

      3. God established Adam’s leadership by having him name the animals and Eve? Certainly, if you start by assuming that he had authority over Eve, then his naming of her can be seen as an exercise of authority over her.

      Since I do see him having authority over, then yes, as you said, I also see this as an exercise of authority over her.

      But you have to prove your assumption first. Naming does not prove authority. Hagar named God in Gen 16:13. This does not show that Hagar had authority over God. You also say that God brought Eve to Adam “so he could name her”. But the text does not say this.

      The context reveals this point. God gave Adam authority over the animals (Genesis 1:28), and then He brought the animals to Adam, and He named them. God gave Adam authority over Eve, He brought Eve to Adam, and then Adam named her. You’re right that it doesn’t say God brought her to him to name her. He brought her to him so he would have a helper, but the same pattern took place with Eve that took place with the animals whom Adam had authority over.

      4. God established Adam’s leadership by having only him “leave father and mother” (Gen 2:24)? But the text does not say this. It says nothing about Adam’s father or mother, or about Eve’s. The remarkable thing about Gen 2:24 (which is before the Fall) is that it fails to endorse the ancient patriarchal and patrilocal pattern. According to that pattern, when a patriarch’s son marries, the son does not leave his family, but instead the wife leaves her family. Gen 2:24 is not patriarchal.

      Genesis 2:24 begins with the word “Therefore.” This word connects the following sentiment with the previous train of thought. It doesn’t say anything about Adam or Eve’s parents, because they didn’t have any, but it’s absurd to think this isn’t about marriage. It’s the verse Jesus and Paul quoted to defend marriage. The woman transitions from being under the authority of her parents to being under the authority of her husband; that’s why she’s mentioned. The same isn’t said of a husband, because he is establishing his own headship over his home.

      You say “if we think headship began after the fall, then it becomes part of sin’s curse”. If by ‘headship’ you mean ‘rule’ of a man over a woman, then this is exactly what Gen 3:16 says.

      Headship was established before the fall, which means it’s part of God’s natural order. If you think it’s part of sin’s curse, then what do you do with the Son’s submission to the Father? Was it the result of sin?

  9. I have never read or heard that God created man to leave and cleave and not the woman? That is all new to me so I will have to dig deeper on this as I was just teaching on it last night. Thanks for giving me something to ponder.

  10. I am really interested in the foundational information you have put into these newer posts. The biblical foundation is so important, I can’t wait to read a bit more.

  11. Scott – I can appreciate your point here about the order of God and the hierarchy that establishes His authority over creation. And, even though this might surprise you, I am a firm believer that husbands are the head of their household… however, I am not sure this exact line of reasoning works, as I am not clear on when Adam and Eve were actually married… God said He created Eve as a helpmate for Adam… one could see that as a coworker, or even a friend… so are you saying that men have headship over women in all circumstances?

    1. Hi Marissa,
      Those are good questions. Thanks for asking!

      First, as far as when they were married, if I had to choose one verse to identify the moment I would go with Genesis 2:24—Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. This is the verse used in the New Testament by Jesus and Paul when discussing marriage (Matt. 19:5; Mark 10:7; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:31).

      Second, no, men do not have authority (they are not the head over) women that are not their wives. There’s a section in my book titled, “Submission Does Not Mean That Wives Submit to Other Men.” Here’s part of it that answers your question:

      While Scripture is clear that God commands wives to submit to their husbands, it is equally clear that wives are commanded to submit only to their husbands. Each command in Scripture for wives to submit makes this clear:
      • Ephesians 5:22a—Wives, submit to your own husbands.
      • Ephesians 5:24—Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
      • Colossians 3:18a—Wives, submit to your own husbands.
      • Titus 2:3—5 Older women likewise . . . admonish the young women . . . to be obedient to their own husbands.
      • 1 Peter 3:1a—Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands.
      Wives should see themselves under their own husbands’ authority, but not under the authority of other husbands. Even in the church, a wife is under the authority of her husband, and her husband is under the authority of the leadership of the church: “the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
      In Genesis 2:18 when God spoke of creating the first woman, He did not say, “I will make men [plural] helpers.” He said: “I will make him [singular] a helper.”

      You said, “…in all circumstances.” Here are some acceptable circumstances as an example that show men being subordinate to a woman:
      • A male orderly serving a male nurse
      • A male aide or janitor serving a female teacher. When I was an elementary school teacher I served female principals
      • We have Christmas and Easter plays in our church that can be directed by women who are in charge of male actors

      Good questions. Please let me know if you have any others.

  12. I don’t think I ever thought about God establishing marriage at creation — even to Adam naming “woman.” It re-enforces the importance God places on the correct placement of our roles in marriage and the trust we place in our husbands. My daughter told me, “Why don’t women want to submit to their husband’s authority? It’s sure easier not to be the one making the final decisions.” Made me laugh, but when we are following God’s order, we do find it easy to be submissive.

    1. Hi Pamela,
      Yes, that’s a good way to think of it. God’s establishment of headship at creation is a reflection of Him being a “God of order” (1 Corinthians 14:33).

      Your daughter sounds like a wise young lady :). When submission is viewed that way, the large responsibility placed on husbands’ shoulders can be better appreciated.

  13. “God gave the command to Adam as he stood there alone. When Eve was fashioned, Adam had the responsibility of passing along to her the command he had learned from God. Then Eve had the responsibility of trusting her husband. ” And yet, when God was in the garden with Adam and Eve after the fruit was eaten, it was Eve who spoke up and took responsibility for her actions, while Adam kept quiet, then proceeded to blame Eve for his mistake. The other issue with your statement, is that if Adam and Eve are created in God’s image, and the Trinity is equal, then Adam having headship OVER Eve would then hint that the Trinity isn’t equal and that there is a hierarchy within it.

    1. Hi Nicole,
      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

      Yes, you’re right that Adam definitely made excuses. He blamed his wife, and he blamed God for giving him that wife. But I’m not sure your point in mentioning that? I do agree with you though that he blamed Eve!

      Actually, the equality between each Person in the Trinity and the submission, authority, and headship that still exists is powerful evidence that there can be submission, authority, headship in marriage and there can still be equality! A common criticism of submission goes like this: “If wives are supposed to submit to their husbands, then wives are not equal to their husbands. Since God made men and women equal, wives do not have to submit.” Consider these verses demonstrating Jesus’s submission:
      • In John 5:30, Jesus stated: “I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”
      • In John 6:38, Jesus said: “I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
      • In Matthew 26:39, Jesus prayed only a few hours before His crucifixion, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
      Does the Son’s submission to the Father indicate that the Son is inferior to the Father? Absolutely not. Those who believe submission means women are not equal to men must also believe the Son is not equal to the Father. If we believe the Son can be both submissive to the Father and equal with Him, we must also believe that wives can be submissive to their husbands while still being equal with them.

  14. I’ve never thought about it in regards to Creation. Thank you! I’m going to re-read Genesis about this! Blessings! By the way, I’m visiting from Christian Bloggers Facebook group.

  15. I had never noticed before that God gave Adam the first command before Eve was around. Very interesting! And we are to trust our husbands on these things. I trust my husband, but sometimes charge ahead. I have to keep myself in check and let him lead. He is very wise and perfectly capable!

    1. Hi Tara,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. I think what you described (trusting your husband but sometimes charging ahead) is the case with most wives. Glad to hear you think so highly of your husband!

  16. This is the New Covenant. The Lord is the Word living in us. The Truth is written on our hearts.
    Paul and others claim they heard from God ~ and write letters to teach us.
    The hypocrisy of Paul is staggering. His credentials he claims is “special revelation” he did not receive from man nor was taught. Then, on this basis, he a man claims “special authority”… as a man… to teach us.
    His claims are equal to the claims of Joseph Smith: “special revelation” and “special authority” to teach us.

    God denies all of this. Neither Paul nor Joseph Smith can have “special revelation” to teach us in doctrinal dissertations or “special instructions”. They don’t know anything that we can’t hear ourselves from the Lord in our hearts.

    This is the New Covenant. The Word lives in us. Paul can’t possibly know anything we cannot know without him. We have the Old Testament. We have the New Covenant written on our hearts: the Lord living in us.

    All Paul and Joseph Smith can possibly due by writing letters of doctrinal dissertations and lengthy instructions and commandments is strive to falsely bind our consciences to manmade teachings and the commandments of men.

    I am not Mormon.
    I am not Pauline.
    Relationship can be organic free of authoritarian legalism of an attempt by popes to rule over the church.
    Paul, by function, seeks to be our pope.
    Joseph Smith also seeks his own papacy.
    Without Paul’s letters or the letters of other purported popes issuing to us their encyclical in epistles, we have the Truth Living in us.
    We can live authentically organically.
    We are all who are true believers equally born of the Spirit of God.
    The papacy must end ~ to the truly born again.
    The truth makes us free.
    But popes strive to seduce us to return to Egypt as their slaves.

    Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: 33 but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    1. If you call the apostle Paul a hypocrite and reject his teaching I’m not sure we have much to talk about. It’s not that I don’t care about you. It’s just that we are so far from each other without any common ground. I don’t know how you could believe the Bible but reject the major writer of the New Testament.

  17. After years of trying to find my place in Christianity as wife and believer (my husband did something radical for his time and gender…he basically said when we got married in 1975—,” God gave you a good mind, intelligence, gifts and He expects you seek him to use them—I do not want t o make decisions that may go against what God is leading you to do. ” And he let me lead my own life in our marriage, not having to ask him permission or blessing for every little or big thing I do.

    After a long time or prayer, study, research, I have come to embrace egalitarianism over patriarchy/complementarianism for the following reasons. The good thing is you do not have to agree with me as i will not pass judgement on you for what you chose to believe in life…. just read and keep an open mind as to why there are many Christians are now questioning traditional biblical gender roles….— Below are only some of the reasons why I came to believe like I do.

    Then after reading all my commentary—honestly answer me this—Do you think I am sinning? Do you think my hubby is sinning? Ultimately I think that is what most Christians desire to know about decisions they make in life…is what they choose sin or not? And who gets to decide and pass judgement on those choices as to whether it is sin or not?

    1- patriarchy is biblical in the sense that it is recorded in the bible as the way people lived back then,,,man head of the house, women in subjection to men, etc. BUT the bible in no way endorses patriarchy as the way to be a good christian. Just as rape and slavery are in the bible does not mean it is condoned. P.s. Christianity once believed the sun revolved around the earth and anyone who thought different was called a heretic and sometimes put to death. Even when Galileo offered scientific proof, he was arrested. We no longer believe this way.

    2- more women are abused under pat/comp because the abuser uses scripture to hide behind. Depending on whose patriarchal advice one follows there are many more restrictions and rules on women then there are on men, including education and careers being restricted or outright sinful for a woman. And those rule often conflict which causes a whole other bunch of problems, is going to college sin or not, is working outside the home sin or not, can a woman be a doctor instead of just a nurse. According to which pat/comp believer you talk to, it may or may not be sin. Very confusing. And very micromanaged.

    3- Jesus himself talked one on one with women–something forbidden in those days as women were slightly above slaves in society. Many women are listed in the bible as having leadership positions and working alongside Jesus, the disciples and apostles–women were the first to see the empty grave of Jesus and among the first to see him after rising from the grave. .

    4- in Christianity, a relationship with God through Jesus is a one on one affair…an individual seeks God’s will and direction in their life…they make seek advice and counseling from others but it is ultimately between God and that person to work it out. (yes, wrestling, questioning, making mistakes are all part and parcel of a Christian life)

    5- Under patriarchy a man is told he is responsible for his wife’s spiritual growth, leading her, directing her and even disciplining her, which puts an unfair burden on an imperfect person who has enough trouble with their own relationship with God. (see #4)

    6—under patriarchy/comp there is the push to make the home life look like a 1950’s (honey I’m home)…unaware of the fact that during this time many women of color left their homes every day to work as maid and cooks in those homes. Even today many women around the world work outside their homes in fields and markets because home is little more than a one room shack.

    7- It is hard to find any site where women tell their stories of how they have been abused under egalitarianism but many sites exist where women tell horror stories of abuse because they lived under pat/comp and literally had to escape, often leaving children behind.

    8- Some sites that promote pat/comp will ban and call you an outright sinner for disagreeing with them saying you are going against God.
    I have been called a wayward wife and most recently a satanist feminist.

    9- At sites that are explaining what egalitarianism is the writers use scripture, translations of those scripture after many years of learning ancient languages, and the culture of the time to bring light on what exactly the writer was trying to convey. And they offer their reasons and proof and leave it with the believer to accept or not.

    10–often times when a woman goes to her pastor and says she has a call on her life to be a pastor, teacher, leader they often send her to the mission field, where she can function in those roles….so then is it not a sin in the mission field for women to be those things.

    1. Hi Susan,
      Thanks for reading my post and sharing your thoughts. I’m sorry you had trouble finding your place as a wife and believer. I wish someone would’ve pointed you to Scripture, because we find our place by embracing what God’s Word says.

      I didn’t notice any verses in any of your ten points, which makes sense, because they seem to be your opinion versus scripture.

      I think the question is simple: do we want to embrace what God’s Word says or rationalize it away? If you want to embrace it, do you think it teaches egalitarianism or complementarianism? It clearly teaches complementarianism. If you want to reject God’s Word, it’s important to be honest and at least acknowledge that’s what you’re doing. God bless!

  18. Hi Scott,
    Your post presents an extreme version of egalitarianism. If we read egalitarian writings, we find that Bible-affirming Christians who describe themselves as egalitarian firmly believe that men and women are different and complementary.
    Your post describes a soft version of complementarianism, with which many egalitarian Christians would find some substantial points of agreement.
    The debate about the Bible’s teaching concerns two areas. First: how should husband and wife relate? The question is whether in Eph 5:22 Paul really means that the husband has a one-way authority over his wife (in that respect, like master and servant, though of course in other respects very different) or whether we should understand that each partner is called to yield to the other in Christian submission (1 Cor 7:3-5; Eph 5:21-22, 25). Second: is it acceptable for women to be involved in church leadership?

    1. Hi Andrew,
      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. The first question about how husbands and wives relate to teach other goes outside the spectrum of this post, but is answered in many other posts on the site discussing husbands and wives roles.

      Regarding your second question, the answer is yes. Women can be in leadership over other women and children. We have many women serving in this way at WCC and they’re huge blessings.

  19. Excellent. Thank you for explaining the difference. I had heard of egalitarianism before but didn’t understand exactly what it was. Your post has brought that clarity. I loved the commentary quote by Pastor David Guzik. I thought that really summed it up so well.

    I think people have gotten so caught up in anti-subservience (often associating submission to subservience) that they’ve gone completely off the charts into egalitarianism and missed the whole point.
    God loves diversity because its in our differences that we get to really experience a greater understanding of his character and nature. Think of the Trinity – 3 persons united into 1 each with their own role and characteristics. I love that about God. When he made Adam and Eve he made them (us) in His image because one person couldn’t represent a united God as well as a man and a woman joined together (in marriage).

    1. Hi Ailie,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad to hear my post provided clarity. Yes, David Guzik is a blessing.

      Yes explained yourself well by using the word diversity, versus superiority. Different doesn’t have to mean unequal. You’re the second person to mention the Triune nature of God in your comment, which makes me think I didn’t make that point clear enough in my post :).

  20. Scott,

    First let me say how well you’ve responded to the comments and questions on this post. I hope I can do as well when it happens on my site.

    I think one of the reasons Christians, and non-Christians alike, have such a hard time with this concept is that it’s so rarely done well. Even when a couple is living this out in their marriage, outsiders may not notice. It’s the extremes that get the attention.

    1. Hi Beka,
      That blesses me to hear you say that about my responses. It is very difficult – especially in writing where tone can be misunderstood – to disagree without becoming hostile. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, especially over a controversial topic like this.

    1. Hi Caroline,
      At a conference last month I taught a workshop called, “Complementarianism Versus Egalitarianism” and the man introducing me couldn’t pronounce it. I said I would now call the class, “Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.”

  21. Hi Scott,

    Your post is very interesting post. I like it.

    Here is a thought for you;

    Just as Yeshua (Jesus) was the only begotten (brought forth) from Elohim (God), so Hawwaa (Eve) the woman was the only brought forth from Hebel (Adam) unlike all of the other creatures He created.

    Isn’t it also interesting that Yeshua (Jesus) is likened unto a Groom and the congregation is likened unto the Bride.

    Also consider this;
    The main test of a man then is in the home with his wife.
    He MUST pass this test.

    Bereshith (Genesis) 2:24 For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

    The man needs to complete the ‘You and Your Wife’ – The Two Shall Become One Flesh (Echad)
    This is the same word for One (H259 אֶחָד (‘eḥāḏ) as found in the Sh’ema.
    Debarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4 “Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one!

    It is the man’s responsibility not the woman’s.
    The woman will not be held accountable (at least not like the man) for this.

    Shalom

    1. Hi Jeff,
      That’s very fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

      Yes, the imagery between Adam and Eve and Christ and the church is fascinating. I was introduced to it too while preaching on marriage in Genesis 2. Ephesians 5:30, 32 says:

      For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

      In Scripture, the word “mystery” refers to something previously concealed and then later revealed. Ephesians 5:32 speaks of “a great mystery” that began at the creation of Eve, was concealed throughout the Old Testament, and then revealed in the New Testament. The mystery is that marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship to the church:
      • Just as Adam was Eve’s head, so too is Christ our head (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18).
      • Just as Eve came from Adam’s body to be his helper, so too we are the body of Christ serving as His “helper” carrying on His work in His physical absence (1 Corinthians 12:12–27).
      • Just as God put Adam to sleep and created Eve physically from his side, so as Jesus slept the sleep of death on the cross and in the grave, God created the church spiritually from our wounded Savior.

      Thanks for the thoughts my friend. Hope you and Bonnie are doing well.

  22. This is the first time I have heard the terms: Complementarianism & Egalitarianism.

    We do see more and more that many would prefer to blur the lines of men and women’s roles and responsibilities.

    I do believe God made man and woman to compliment each other and to be helpmates.

    1. Please consult a dictionary. Mr. LaPierre has used a definition of egalitarianism that no reasonable person would recognize.

        1. Sure. From Oxford Dictionary:
          egalitarian: n. A person who advocates or supports the principle of equality for all people.

          equality: n. The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.

          Thank you for asking.

  23. I have quite a bit of disagreement with the article above, but I think of all things I’m most troubled by the statement that, “Homosexual marriage, transgenderism, and bisexuality are simply extreme forms of egalitarianism.” I’m not sure that is true, but even if it were, what would be the value of it except to cast aspersions on egalitarians?

    One could just as well say, “domestic discipline, dominance and submission, and BDSM are simply extreme forms of complementarianism.” That statement is every bit as true as the statement you made, and yet I think you and I can agree it is horribly unfair because it characterizes the movement by it’s most extreme and offensive elements. So I most strenously object to your statement.

    Further, I think you have mischaracterized egalitarianism as advocating for “sameness” of the sexes, while mischaracterizing complementarianism as advocating for “difference”. That is not at all what the argument is about, which is proven by the origins of the term complementarian and complementarity.

    It is the people now known as egalitarians that first referred to men and women “complementing” one another in their strengths and weaknesses and used various forms of the word to advocate for inclusion of women in leadership, because women and men bring unique gifts and abilities to the table. The Christians for Biblical Equality 1989 ‘Statement on Men, Women, and Biblical Equality,” implies the complementarity of the sexes throughout and speaks explicitly of their “complementarity.’ The term was later appropriated by Wayne Grudem and John Piper as a more benign expression of what was formely known as patriarchy.

    Those are historical facts, and they show that the thrust of your article is of base. It is quite easy to refute a position that you misrepresent, and I believe that you have done just that. I trust that this was done innocently and with good intentions, and that you will work to make amends.

    1. Hi Greg,
      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.
      The point of that statement about those perversions being extreme forms of egalitarianism was to point out the dangerous end that comes from removing the lines between the genders.
      No, I wouldn’t say the sins you mentioned are extreme forms of complementarianism. I would say you could twist complementarianism to reach those ends, but they aren’t logical ends of it.
      I’m sorry, but I’m not very familiar with the histories of either. But I don’t think that matters, because my point was to discuss them today, not how they originated. I’m not sure how those historical facts show the thrust of my article is off base? Regardless of what these terms meant in the past, today, egalitarians deny the differing roles and responsibilities God has given men and women.
      Thanks again for commenting!

      1. Hi Scott,

        I’m surprised you could so easily dismiss my equation of domestic discipline as an extreme form of complementarianism, given the reports from the Quiverfull movement and the unfortunate reported antics of RC Sproul. I’d encourage you to have a closer look, the connection is certainly there.

        The reason behind my history lesson was to show that egalitarians do believe in complementarity. The point of making that that clear is that it is logically impossible to deny any differences, yet at the same time affirm complementarity. There must be differences for complementarity to exist. This proves that egalitarians don’t deny differences between men and women, and that destroys the thrust of your post.

        One of the classic egalitarian books is “Discovering Biblical Equality” – the subtitle is “Complementarity Without Hierachy”. That reveals the true nature of our disagreement. Today’s “complementarians” are all about hierarchy of male over female, so much so that gender even trumps complementarity!

        You said yourself, in a reply to Sarah, “A man can definitely be better at managing the home and a woman can definitely be better at working outside of it. But it’s not a question of talent or gifting. It’s a question of obeying God’s Word.”

        So there you said that if the man in a relationship isn’t the most gifted to lead, you believe he should lead anyway, despite that lack, simply because of his gender. How then can you still call it complementarity? If the weaker leader is given that role simply because of gender, there is nothing complementary about it. It is patriarchy.

        I fully agree that the issue for a disciple is obeying God’s word. But I believe that the Bible shows God giving gifts to people without respect to gender, and that we are each obligated to use our gifts to their fullest. Your “complementarianism” doesn’t allow our sisters to do that.

        I think your complementarian system looks good with a few verses used as proof texts, but under scrutiny it doesn’t fit the overall biblical context well at all, and it doesn’t fit the cultural context either.

        Why would the Apostle Paul command husbands to be in authority over their wives, when they were already masters of their wives in his culture?

        1. Hi Greg,
          I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying be dismissive of your point. I explained why I don’t see abuse as a logical end of complementarianism, but I wasn’t trying to dismiss it. If I dismissed it I wouldn’t have responded to it :).

          You said:

          domestic discipline…given the reports from the Quiverfull movement and the unfortunate reported antics of RC Sproul. I’d encourage you to have a closer look, the connection is certainly there.

          I don’t have to have a look. I know it’s there! But there are “bad” cops, and I don’t write off cops. The point is complementarians sinning doesn’t mean complementarianism is wrong.

          You also said:

          So there you said that if the man in a relationship isn’t the most gifted to lead, you believe he should lead anyway, despite that lack, simply because of his gender. How then can you still call it complementarity?

          Yes, he should lead anyway, not because he’s good at it or wants to, but because God commands it. It’s complementary in that what God has called men to complements wives, and what God has called women to, complements men. Just because people don’t excel in the way God commands doesn’t mean they don’t obey God in that area.

          In regards to your question at the end, Paul commanded husbands to be the head of the relationship and lead with love and gentleness. This was a departure from the abuse and mistreatment women received in his day. Paul commanded men to love their wives as Christ loved the church. This brought them a level of treatment they wouldn’t know otherwise in that culture.

          I looked at your site and your bio says, “Lover of Jesus, Lover of truth, Biblical egalitarian, Conservative Republican Louisville Cardinal fan.” The first blog post I saw was critical of complementarianism, and your second blog post was titled, “If Complementarianism is New, it Cannot be True.” We clearly probably aren’t going to agree :).

        2. Hi Scott- Of course, as an egalitarian I disagreed with quite a lot of your initial post, much of which I didn’t engage. We come from different ponts in the spectrum, and I’m sure we could debate this endlessly. My point was to engage you on specific statements that I felt were unfair or out of bounds in order to maintain the validity of the discussion. I apparently failed at that.

          You have characterized homosexual marriage, transgenderism and bisexuality not only as extreme forms of egalitarianism, but the logical ends of it. If that’s the case, one would wonder how some of the top living New Testament scholars and theologians like Craig Keener and Ben Witherington III, or Greg Boyd have all failed to think it through sufficiently to arrive at what you think is the logical conclusion. Because that’s not their conclusion at all.

          I would suggest that it’s more likely you simply don’t understand egalitarianism, which I think is shown in other ways throughout your post.

          I must say your definition of “complementary” is unique. For most people, when people “complement” each other that implies one is strong where the other is weak. The implication there is that everyone plays to their strengths.

          Your version of “complementary” is that everyone is assigned their job ahead of time and that’s the one they’ll do. So the CFO does the dishes while the construction worker balances the checkbook because that’s the way it ought to be. I would maintain that isn’t what most people consider to be complementary, but to each his own.

          May God bless your journey, Scott. Thank you for engaging.

        3. Hi Greg,
          I wouldn’t say you failed, and I’m sorry if you feel that way. Even you acknowledged that I did engage, and that’s what your desired, so in that sense you “succeeded” for lack of a better term. Just because we don’t agree isn’t a reason for regret in my mind. As you said, we come from different positions.

          The truth is, you are making me second guess my statement that, “homosexual marriage, transgenderism and bisexuality not only as extreme forms of egalitarianism, but the logical ends of it.” What I can’t get past is egalitarians blur – or destroy – the lines between the genders, and that’s what these perversions do as well. Do you agree?

          You said, “the implication is that everyone plays to their own strengths.” While this might sound good hypothetically, it fails because people decide their own strengths and weaknesses, and what happens when the husband and wife start competing with each other, because they both claim they should do this since it’s their “strength.” The better approach is everyone “plays” to God’s established role for them.

          You said:

          Your version of “complementary” is that everyone is assigned their job ahead of time and that’s the one they’ll do. So the CFO does the dishes while the construction worker balances the checkbook because that’s the way it ought to be. I would maintain that isn’t what most people consider to be complementary, but to each his own.

          It’s interesting that you said this, because in my book, Marriage God’s Way, I discuss the season of life Katie and I enter that requires us to somewhat switch roles. When she’s pregnant, at times she’s so sick she can hardly get out of bed. You can guess who takes on many of her responsibilities. I’d truly be interested in you reading my book, and if you’d consider that I’d give you a free copy.

          Despite our differences I hope the Lord blesses you and your ministry for Him. In the short communication we’ve had, you seem very sincere in your desire to serve the Lord.

  24. Love this post. Very scriptural and yes it is a very sensitive topic.
    I do think women can be good at work and leadership but their primary need is toward to home, family, children. Call me old fashioned but then my Bible teaches me so.

    1. Hi Sheetal,
      You mentioned a point that hadn’t been made yet. The “need” for women to focus their energies toward their homes, children, families, etc. Like you said, the Bible teaches that, but there’s a need for it as well.

  25. So, what exactly are “gender roles”? The woman takes care of the home and the man provides financially by working? Is it not just possible that commonly understood defined gender roles are unbiblical? Is it not possible that, while men and women carry different roles, the actions that play out those roles may shift and change according to the person? Why is marriage all about meeting the man’s needs? Is it not possible that Adam was made for Eve as much as Eve was made for Adam? Even if he was made first — God knew what was going to happen! Let’s stop trying to put people in boxes! Why can’t a man be better at managing the home and a woman be amazing at working outside of it? Let’s see some real, honest Biblical study about this. How do you explain Jael, Deborah, Abigail, Tabitha, Ruth, Lydia and the many other hardworking, honoured women in Scripture? Leaders, workers, assertive women who were called by God for a purpose, had a voice and used it. Why are women only valuable if they are married? What of the women God calls to remain single? What is their role in life? This is a very incomplete representation of God’s call to humankind. It ignores some very real, very Biblical answers about the equality and gender roles. Don’t be blinded by the traditions of men when looking at this issues, but honestly and prayerfully seek Scripture. Man isn’t more important just because he was created first anymore than grass, trees and animals are more important because they were created first. All are equally necessary for the peaceful coexistence of life.

    and: “When a husband thinks about his wife, he should see her as God’s suitable companion for him.
    When a wife thinks about her husband, she should see herself as God’s perfect fit for him.” Seriously? Do you hear yourself? Why is it all “for him”? Why shouldn’t a husband be thinking about what’s good for her? He thinks about what is good for him and she thinks about what is good for him. Here is the major flaw in your argument. Nobody cares about the woman. And that is why women want to be viewed as equal, to be as important as the male in the relationship. To be valued, to have their opinion valued, to have their worth recognized. She is NOT there solely to please him!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You wrote quite a bit, so I thought it best to respond below your words so I can answer your questions.

      So, what exactly are “gender roles”? The woman takes care of the home and the man provides financially by working?

      First, I want to say that it doesn’t matter what I think, and – no offense – it doesn’t matter at what you think either. It matters what God’s Word says, and God’s Word describes women as homemakers in the Old and New Testaments:
      • Proverbs 13:27 She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
      • Proverbs 14:1a The wise woman builds her house.
      • 1 Timothy 5:14 I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house.
      • Titus 2:3–5 Older women . . . admonish the young women . . . to be homemakers.

      As far as men providing financially, God put Adam in the Garden to work, and 1 Timothy 5:8 says that a man who will not provide for his family is worse than an unbeliever.

      Is it not just possible that commonly understood defined gender roles are unbiblical?

      I think plenty of commonly defined gender roles are unbiblical!

      Is it not possible that, while men and women carry different roles, the actions that play out those roles may shift and change according to the person?

      Yes, there’s definitely some liberty regarding the way the roles play out, but that’s not license to discard God’s plan and simply claim, “It’s different for us.”

      Why is marriage all about meeting the man’s needs?

      I used that language in my post because I was discussing Genesis 2:18—Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

      Is it not possible that Adam was made for Eve as much as Eve was made for Adam?

      No, it’s not possible. 1 Corinthians 11:9 says, “Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.”

      Even if he was made first — God knew what was going to happen! Let’s stop trying to put people in boxes! Why can’t a man be better at managing the home and a woman be amazing at working outside of it?

      A man can definitely be better at managing the home and a woman can definitely be better at working outside of it. But it’s not a question of talent or gifting. It’s a question of obeying God’s Word.

      Let’s see some real, honest Biblical study about this. How do you explain Jael, Deborah, Abigail, Tabitha, Ruth, Lydia and the many other hardworking, honoured women in Scripture? Leaders, workers, assertive women who were called by God for a purpose, had a voice and used it.

      Yes, there are definitely some women with wonderful leadership skills, and who are hardworking and honored. 1 Peter 3:7 commands husbands to honor their wives, so I’m definitely in favor of wives being honored! The spheres in which women use their skills – in the church and the home – is simply different than the spheres for men.

      Why are women only valuable if they are married? What of the women God calls to remain single? What is their role in life?

      I would never say, “Women [are] only valuable if they are married.” That’s a terrible statement. Yes, God can call women (and men) to singleness. Their role is to serve God in their singleness. In 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 Paul actually said single people could serve the Lord with wholeheartedness that married people can’t since they have to “care for their spouse.”

      This is a very incomplete representation of God’s call to humankind.

      Of course it is; it’s just one post! How could a few paragraphs cover God’s call to mankind?

      My point with this post was to discuss the differences and value of complementarianism versus egalitarianism.

      It ignores some very real, very Biblical answers about the equality and gender roles.

      Okay, can you provide some of these biblical answers about gender roles? The key word is “biblical.” Please make sure your opinions are supported from Scripture.

      Regarding equality, I addressed this in the post. Different doesn’t mean unequal.

      Don’t be blinded by the traditions of men when looking at this issues, but honestly and prayerfully seek Scripture.

      That sounds good, but considering God’s Word presents different roles for men and women, egalitarians are the ones following “the traditions of men.”

      Man isn’t more important just because he was created first anymore than grass, trees and animals are more important because they were created first. All are equally necessary for the peaceful coexistence of life.

      I completely agree with your above statement!

      and: “When a husband thinks about his wife, he should see her as God’s suitable companion for him.
      When a wife thinks about her husband, she should see herself as God’s perfect fit for him.” Seriously? Do you hear yourself? Why is it all “for him”?

      Again, I used this language because it mirrored the verse I was discussing: Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

      I’d also cite 1 Corinthians 11:9 says, “Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.”

      What are your thoughts on these two verses?

      Why shouldn’t a husband be thinking about what’s good for her?

      He definitely should, and there are other verses (Ephesians 5:25-29 and 1 Peter 3:7) that make this very clear!

      He thinks about what is good for him and she thinks about what is good for him. Here is the major flaw in your argument.

      Can you tell me from my post where I argued that?

      Nobody cares about the woman. And that is why women want to be viewed as equal, to be as important as the male in the relationship. To be valued, to have their opinion valued, to have their worth recognized. She is NOT there solely to please him!

      I completely agree with your above statements. Again, I’d ask what in the post said otherwise?

      Thanks again for reading and commenting!

      1. You say: “But it’s not a question of talent or gifting. It’s a question of obeying God’s Word” when God’s Word clearly calls EVERYONE to obey Him first and foremost. It sometimes is absolutely about talent and gifting. 1 Corinthians 12 makes that clear. If God gives you a gift and a calling – you’d better be ready and willing to use it, whether you are a woman or a man. I wouldn’t want to be the one who stands in the way to try to prevent someone using a God-given talent or gift because it doesn’t fit into their definition of “proper gender roles”!

        Anyway, here is my Biblical research on women’s Biblical roles. I blogged it as it’s quite lengthy. https://notjustmama2ca.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/biblical-gender-roles/

        1. Hi again Sarah,
          I understand what you’re saying, but the question is: Would God call people to use their gifts outside the ways He’s outlined in His Word? You said:

          If God gives you a gift and a calling – you’d better be ready and willing to use it, whether you are a woman or a man.

          I completely agree with this statement, but do you think God would call people to serve Him in ways He’s prohibited in Scripture?

        2. I guess my question them becomes what ways of service has God prohibited in scripture? I don’t see any prohibitions set on gender roles, can you show scripture here?

        3. Hi again Sarah,
          Good question!

          Church elders are identified as men. 1 Timothy 3:1–5 and Titus 1:6, 9 says:

          “If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work . . . the husband of one wife . . . one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission. If a man is blameless, the husband of one wife . . . holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught.”

          Women are also forbidden from teaching or being in authority over men according to 1 Timothy 2:12-14. Sometimes people ask: “Why can’t women be in leadership over men in the church or in the home?” Like I said earlier, it has nothing to do with talent or gifting. Some women are fantastic teachers and leaders, and they should use their skills over other women and children. What it does have to do with is Adam’s being created first and Eve’s being deceived. Beyond that, I can’t say because those are the only two reasons Paul gives. The real question is not “Why can’t women?” The real question – and it’s the same question we always face – is, “Will we submit to God’s Word?”

    2. I was unable to reply to Scott LaPierre, so I pressed the preceding reply button to reply to the points raised.

      Why is marriage all about meeting the man’s needs?

      I used that language in my post because I was discussing Genesis 2:18—Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

      In Genesis, there are 2 distinct creation accounts: Genesis 1-2:3 AND Genesis 2:4-25. These two different accounts were written by 2 different authors.

      The conflicts between the 2 different accounts proliferate.

      In Genesis 1, male and female are created simultaneously. God speaks both into existence at the same time. Both, therefore, are created simultaneously with complete bodily integrity as fully distinct persons: one male; one female.

      In the Genesis 1 account, God is called God using a different name for God than the 2nd author of the 2nd creation account uses.

      God in the 1st creation account Genesis 1-2:3 does not create woman from man bodily nor for man. Their creation is fully equal in every respect so that the creation bespeaks full reciprocity and mutuality.

      Neither were specifically created “for each other” as their primary relationship. God calls us to love Him first as our first love in both Revelation and Exodus 20 in the first commandment. We are God’s children created for God’s glory,. We are to worship God alone. We are to bow down to serve no other. We are to have no God’s before Him.

      To say that woman was created for man exalts man above God. Do you believe, Scott, that woman was created for God or man?

      Do you believe woman is God’s child? Do you believe that her Maker is her Husband as Isaiah 54 states?

      In Genesis 1-2:3 creation account, God speaks all things into being. It is never stated that either the man was created for the woman; nor the woman created for man because so stating would violate the first commandment and all truth of all scripture that we the created were created for our Creator first and above all.

      In Genesis 1-2:3 account, the animals were first created, then the man and woman simultaneously. Both male and female were given fully equal dominion over the animals at exactly the same time.

      The Genesis 2:4-25 account contradicts. In that account you quote, Scott, first man is created. Instead of all creation being spoken into being, this different author states that God crafted man’s body by hand. Then the animals by hand. Oddly, the birds spoken into existence from water are handcrafted from the ground. Man does exercise sole authority towards the animals in this account naming them. Uncomfortable to the sensitive soul, in this account this God causes the man to view and survey the animals in a role as a mate for the man. Human and animal mating concepts are introduced. None of the animals suffices as a mate for the man.

      So God in this account makes woman from man for man.

      You were asked:
      Is it not possible that Adam was made for Eve as much as Eve was made for Adam?

      You answered:
      No, it’s not possible. 1 Corinthians 11:9 says, “Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.”

      Do you think this is selfish? Is it inherently selfish for one human being to be viewed as having been created for another human being void of any reciprocal dynamic? It would seem to justify slavery.

      In fact, a relationship in which one person is created unilaterally for another person’s service, needs, and desires would be God creating a slave. In this case, in a sexual dynamic of relationship, that created slave would be a sex slave.

      Do you agree that woman created for man to have sex with man in a dynamic where she was created for him and he was not created for him in their relationship dynamic renders the role of women to be that of sex slaves? And do you consider sex slavery to be a form of prostitution?

      Do you believe that God died to make us free? Or do you believe that slavery, specifically sex slavery, is God’s will?

      Could we describe the role of women in complementarianism to be that of sex slaves? And if male Complementarians consider themselves loving to their wives, does this mean that Complementarians are beneficent owners of women sex slaves?

      Complementarianism focuses on roles. Regardless of the emotional element relationally ~ because emotion is not role ~ status definition of the role is role, how does the role status of woman created for man differ from sexual slavery substantively [not emotionally]?

      There are two differing creation accounts.

      The Genesis 1-2:3 account would be rightly defined distinct from the Genesis 2:4-25 account as fully 100% egalitarian.

      As you have quoted the Genesis 2:4-25 account, I do believe it is accurately defined as defining a woman in a slavery role having been created for man but the man not created for woman. This slavery role is therefore sex slavery.

      The 2 accounts are written by different authors. They cannot be merged as one account. They are 2 separate accounts placed side by side in one book.

      There are many more differences between the two accounts. They’re not the same at all.

      Is it proper to incorporate only the Genesis 2:4-25 account to be Complementarian theologically?

      How do you reconcile two different creation accounts of differing order of creation? How do you reconcile God creating male and female simultaneously in a fully complete account by one author vs God creating male and female at different times in a different order in the 2nd account?

      Who decided that two different accounts of creation ~ the first egalitarian the second complementarian were both authored by the Holy Spirit and should be set side by side.

      Let’s say Ken handed us Genesis 1-2:3. Then Robert handed us Genesis 2:4-25. Would we read these 2 writings and infer, “These are both authored by the same Spirit” and place them next to each other as we see them appear?

      Who did that?

      Should they both be there today? Or should one be removed? Or is the canonization past our purview?

      How do we resolve sex slavery roles for women? Do we legitimate sex slavery because it is the Complementarian position?

      Can we pray and know truth? Or are we hopelessly conflicted because Genesis 1:2-3 is egalitarian while as Genesis 2:4-25 is Complementarian?

      Do we have to search the scriptures? Or can we pray to know that love from God sets captives free ~ from Complementarian sex slavery and the second creation account Robert wrote for us [whatever his name really was] in Genesis 2:4-25?

      Are these things to pray about?

      The fully egalitarian account written in the highest Hebrew ~ and matching John 1 as the Word Creator:

      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

      29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
      Genesis 2: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

      1. Hello LV,
        Marriage is not all about meeting the man’s needs. Husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. This is about meeting the wife’s needs.
        I completely disagree with you that the two accounts are written by different authors. Even if they were written by two different human authors, they would still have the same primary author: God.
        Genesis 1 contains an elevated view of all six days of creation. With the creation of man serving as the highlight of God’s creation, chapter 2 zooms and gives us the details. In other words, chapter 2 explains in detail what is only referenced in chapter 1.
        Yes, man and woman were created equal to each other as other places in Scripture support.
        You said that neither were specifically created for each other, and then you asked me if I believe woman was created for God or man. First Corinthians 11:9 says man was not created for woman, but woman was created for man. So we have a Bible verse saying woman was created for man. At the same time we know that woman was created for God and that she should serve Him.
        Yes, I believe that when women become Christians they become God’s child, or His daughter.
        No, I don’t think this is selfish, because then God commands husbands to love their wives sacrificially. But even if I did think it was selfish, it doesn’t matter. The question is not what do I think is right or wrong, good or bad, selfish or unselfish. The question is what does God’s Word say?
        No, we definitely couldn’t describe the role of women in complementarianism as a sex slave. In fact in first Corinthians 7 the husband and wife are commanded to give their bodies to the other.
        You asked if we have to search the Scriptures or pray to know the truth. I would say we must search the Scriptures. False teaching develops when people come up with their own theology, which is what it sounds like you are recommending.

  26. You tackle a very sensitive subject in an honest and direct way. You are correct that we can’t expect the world to agree with the Christian view. The egalitarian way seems to make perfect sense until you factor God into the equation. But He always knows best and has our best in mind too.

    1. Hi Tara,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate your thoughts, because – at least up to this point – you’re the first female to comment, and it’s often females who struggle with complementarianism. Yes, egalitarian might intuitively seem reasonable until we consider God’s Word.

  27. Hey Scott, appreciate you tackling this topic in a straightforward, clear way. It’s hard to uphold biblical teaching on this in our culture (as you know), and I’d be interested to hear how you see the different roles playing out in real life among married couples. (Guessing you’ll address this in future posts, and have covered it in your book.)

    I’d also add that our struggles to separate role and value extend to many other areas of life, too. For example, I can remember feeling less valuable than other pastors who had a PhD and wrote books, traveled as speakers, etc. This is ultimately a struggle to believe that my value comes from the finished work of Jesus, not my role or how I live it out.

    1. Hi Bryan,
      Good to hear from you!
      Yes, upcoming posts will discuss how the different roles play out in real life. In general I’d say though, and you’re welcome to agree or disagree, that…

      Men are commanded to work and provide for their families:
      –Genesis 2:8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
      –1 Timothy 5:8 if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
      Notice the male pronouns.

      Women are presented domestically:
      –Proverbs 13:27 She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
      –Proverbs 14:1a The wise woman builds her house.
      –1 Timothy 5:14 I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house.
      –Titus 2:3–5 Older women . . . admonish the young women . . . to be homemakers.

      Hmm, that’s interesting. I hadn’t thought of that, regarding feeling less value, but it makes sense. It is nice to know my ministry isn’t being compared to the ministry of other pastors. I can see how that would lead to the discouragement you describe, or – just as easily – pride if you happened to think your were “better.”

  28. It’s a good summary of the problem of Egalitarianism. I like your phrase that transgenderism, et al is merely a more extreme form of egalitarianism, as it is the logic of egalitarianism taken to its extreme. Egalitarians will only consistently affirm physical differences between men and women and are agnostic or in complete denial about any other aspect of our differences. The differences that God has created and ordained between men and women have a spiritual purpose to reflect God’s image in different ways. Egalitarianism denies this and puts the differences into the realm of a purely material reality. There can be no claim of sin on a purely material reality. By rejecting gender holiness Egalitarianism lays the foundation for abandoning sexual holiness.

    1. Hi Greg,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. Your thoughts are a good summary of egalitarians that they only recognize the physical differences. Yes, it’s a denial of the spiritual (and emotional and mental) differences.

      1. Are these spiritual, emotional, and mental differences the basis for a male-female hierarchy? If so, will you explain what those differences are and how they correlate to the respective roles within the hierarchy?

        Kind regards.

        1. Hi Angie,
          Thank you for reading and commenting. No, I wouldn’t say hierarchy, but there is authority in the male relationship. Scripture makes this clear in a few places:

          Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
          1 Corinthians 11:3 I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

          What are your thoughts on these verses?

        2. Eph 5: Paul is giving a Christo-centric ethic to Greco-Roman household codes. 1 Co 11, scholars much more learned cannot find consensus, but where there is agreement is there is agreement is Paul’s culminating point is interdependence.

          I see you object to hierarchy, so I will rephrase. Are the spiritual, emotional, and mental differences the basis for male authority-female submission? If so, will you explain what those differences are and how they correlate to the respective behaviors of male authority and female submission.

          Kind regards.

        3. Angie,
          Regarding Ephesians 5 Paul was speaking to husbands and wives, giving them commands for marriage. Anyone being honest with the text can see that. The same with 1 Corinthians 11.

          We don’t know the reasons for marital submission since God doesn’t tell us. The closest explanation is in 1 Timothy 2:13 and 14 when Paul said, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

      2. Egalitarians will argue that they are not arguing for sameness because they acknowledge the existence of differences between men and women. They do this to try to misdirect the debate away from whether there are spiritually meaningful differences between men and women, which is what is at issue. If you press them on what the differences are, they are only able to be unequivocal about the existence of physical differences. Emotional differences at best are only vaguely acknowledged to exist and are lumped with physical differences, not a spiritual difference. Having a different role and a having a different spiritual purpose go together. Since Egalitarians work backwards from a denial of roles, they will deny spiritual differences. They will try to argue that men and women are both made in God’s image, thereby misdirecting the debate away from whether men and women are made in God’s image differently. These are their argumentative sleights of hand involved in trying to syncretize secular feminism with the teachings of Scripture which is what Egalitarianism is. Scripture ends up bent and broken over the wheel of feminism.

  29. Even within the Trinity, you can see a difference in roles (the Father sent the Son, the Son obeys the Father, etc.) without implying a difference in deity. Your statement, “a difference in roles and responsibilities doesn’t mean a difference in value” summarizes it well.

    1. Hi Aaron,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. In my post I said:

      God’s very nature supports this in that there are three different Persons with distinct roles, but there is still equality.

      By this statement I meant what you said in your comment, but perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. Similarly – which I’ll discuss in a later post – the Son’s submission to the Father while remaining equal with Him, demonstrates that a wife’s submission to her husband doesn’t mean she is unequal to him.

      1. Woops! I must have skipped over that sentence! My comment wasn’t due to a lack of clarity with your post, but an attempt to add something to the discussion (which was already there 🙂

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