When it comes to the debate over gender roles in both the home and the church, there are pretty much two main opposing views out there; complementarianism which holds to the understanding that while men and women are equal in status, they have different roles that complement each other and equalitarianism where there are no distinction of roles among the two genders. Of those two, I am a convicted unashamed unapologetic complementarian. The following are several reasons why.
I am a complimentarian not because it is the perspective that bests agrees with my natural desires. In fact, to be honest, my natural tendency is to be passive and let others take the lead. There are many times where I would be much more comfortable having my wife lead in making the decisions than to take the initiative myself. I have to really "man up" at times and lead. So, I cannot say that I am a complimentarian because it appeals to me. It certainly doesn't look attractive to my flesh.
I am a complimentarian not because being one helps me to "fit in." Actually, it does not as it currently isn't very popular in our culture and society. Rather, it is deemed as old fashioned, puritanical, something from the stone age that is unfair, and possibly even abusive. (I have heard all of these labels being rudely and unfairly thrown at those who hold to such a position.) Even within the denomination in which I serve, it makes me appear as an outcast at times and even caused consternation at both my licensing and ordination interviews. Peer pressure and the desire to be accepted isn't why I am a complimentarian.
I am a complimentarian not because I want to demean or hold back women from serving in roles that they are capable of but because I desire to see them be the women that God has created them to be serving in the roles that He has wisely designed for them in both the home and the church.
I am a complimentarian not because I think that women have no place in ministry or in the workforce (that is not the case at all) but because I desire to see them thrive in the ministries that God Himself has called them to, such as training younger women in the church "to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled" (Titus 2:4-5) and in bearing and caring for their children at home. Things that they are able to do that men cannot. Oh, that we would have more women today take such roles seriously rather than seeking out other roles for themselves!
I am a complimentarian because I value the distinctions God has made between the genders. That He did not design them to be interchangeable but each with expressed purposes to work together for His glory. I lament that in a push for equality such distinctions are disappearing today and the corresponding beauties of femininity and masculinity no longer seen as much.
I am a complimentarian because God decided to make man before He made the woman and treated the man as if he served as the authority over his wife (Genesis 2:4-23). The man was the one first called to account for both his and his wife's sin. He was responsible to answer for her (Genesis 3:9).
I am a complimentarian because God specifically stated that the woman was to be a "helpmate corresponding to him," not someone exactly like him in every way, shape, and form (Genesis 2:18, 20). He made her to be similar yet different.
I am a complimentarian because even though one of the effects of the Fall was for the woman to desire to overtake the authority of her husband, God stated that it was still His design that the man "shall rule" over her (Genesis 3:16).
I am a complimentarian because even though the prophetess Deborah served as a judge, this appeared to be uncommon at the time and during a period described in Israel's history when "in those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). Furthermore, Deborah actually called on Barak to lead the people into battle and his cowardice resulted in the embarrassment of the enemy being delivered into the hand of a woman (4:9).
I am a complimentarian because 1 Corinthians 11:3 says "that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God."
I am a complimentarian because in laying out the proper roles for husbands and wives in marriage, the Bible calls for wives to submit to their own husbands as to the Lord and the husband has been designated as the head of the wife reflecting Christ's marvelous relationship with His Church (Ephesians 5:22-24). The husband is to love his wife and lead her sacrificially just as Christ does the Church, caring for her as he does his own body (vv. 25-29).
I am a complimentarian because Paul states in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 in the context of proper conduct in the church (3:14-15), "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet." And this cannot be limited to a specific situation in Ephesus that Timothy was facing as Paul grounds it in God's creative order as revealed in Genesis (v. 13) and made a similar statement earlier to the church in Corinth that this instruction pertains to "all the churches of the saints" (1 Corinthians 14:33-35).
I am a complimentarian because the qualifications for an elder (what we predominantly today just call a "pastor") are given with masculine pronouns and descriptions which only fit that of a man such as "the husband of one wife" or "a one woman man" (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). No indication is given at all for Timothy or Titus to look for a woman to serve in such a role.
I am a complimentarian because the ones first called into the main leadership roles of the church by the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles that He chose were all men. Jesus chose 12 men to be His apostles and the apostles themselves chose 7 men to lead in the situation regarding the neglect of the widows (Acts 6). Nowhere in the New Testament do we ever see a woman being chosen to serve in the main leadership roles of the church but instead to serve under and alongside the men God had called.
I am a complimentarian ultimately because I hold the Bible to be the authoritative inerrant infallible Word of God and from my humble understanding of it to teach complimentarianism.
Love in Christ,
Soli Deo Gloria!!!
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. ~2 Timothy 2:15
- I am a young man who is following God's call into pastoral ministry. I have been so blessed with the privileges which the Lord has granted me. I am blessed to serve the Mt. Joy congregation in Mt. Pleasant, PA. I am constantly humbled and amazed at what the Lord is doing in my life.