Every so many years I find myself once again wrestling with complementarianism. My agreement with the foundational theology behind complementarianism doesn’t change, but how it works itself out in the season I am in does change.
Our series on complementarianism has unpacked Genesis 1–3 and much of what it teaches on men, women, marriage, and sin. The alternative view is called egalitarianism, a view that sees men and women as not just “equal” in significance and essence but also in their roles in a marriage or the church. In this post we turn from the family to the church. How does gender impact what God calls us to in the church? That's the question before us.
Adam and Eve teach us volumes about God's intentions for men and women and marriage. The paradise of Eden was a place where the first man and the first woman enjoyed a marriage entirely free of sin. We can't say how long this sinless harmony lasted, but for at least a moment the man was the head of his home and the woman his happy helpmate, and both were in peaceful fellowship with the living God. But in this third installment in our series we'll see the darkness of the fall descend.
In Part One of this series we looked at all Genesis 1 teaches us about the equality of men and women. Now we'll step into how God has made us…different. A slew of books like the bestseller Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus reminds us that pointing out differences is common enough. But while psychology and biology have something to teach us on these differences, our goal is to unpack how God speaks to it.
This is the first of a series of posts where we'll look at how our gender impacts God's call on our lives within our families and our church. The basic view we're exploring is “complementarianism.” That's probably a new one for you, but hopefully by the end of this series, you'll see that while it's hard to spell, it's a gift to live.
Last Sunday I looked at the topic of homosexuality and tried to speak clearly and lovingly to the issue. One thing I didn't do is provide specific help for those who struggle with same-sex attraction. This post is a small attempt to do that. Most of it comes from Michael R. Emlet, who wrote a 2014 article on the topic (“Five Ministry Priorities for Those Struggling with Same-Sex Attraction,” Journal of Biblical Counseling 28:3).
Yesterday we began our look at Paul’s words to the Corinthians, “act like men, be strong” (1 Cor 16:13). See that post for a basic explanation and its connection to some important Old Testament moments. Our first point was that we need to “act like men” and “be strong” because we face real enemies in our lives. Now we conclude our look at part of what it means to be a Christian man in our day.
Doctors have recently coined a phrase that until very recently did not exist: gender dysphoria. There is still controversy in the medical community about the idea, but it means that a person experiences a significant amount of “distress” connected to a feeling that a person's physical gender is not their true gender. There is much that could be said about this medical condition, but there is a spiritual condition that we could also label “gender dysphoria.” We, too, can experience a level of “distress” that comes from living out our Christian manhood and womanhood.
Cassie Sasser told me about this letter from Joel Beeke to a 12 year old on his birthday. It's great fatherly counsel from a man of God to a future man of God.