Complementarianism is a view of the relationship between men and women that emphasizes their equal value but different roles. It acknowledges both biblical manhood and biblical womanhood, affirming that God has designed us to be equal yet distinct.
Biblical Scriptures for Complementarianism
At the core of Christian complementarianism is the belief that God created men and women in His image, with inherent worth and dignity (Genesis 1:27). Both sexes are intended to glorify God with their lives, seeking first His kingdom (Matthew 6:33).
However, since God created men and women differently, they have different roles to fulfill. The Bible teaches that a husband is the head of his wife (Ephesians 5:23) while still respecting and loving her as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25-27). Wives, in turn, are to honor and submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18).
Why It’s Important
Christian complementarianism emphasizes that all believers are equal in worth before God. Instead, it recognizes that men and women have different roles, allowing each to contribute uniquely, using their responsibilities and gifts to build His kingdom. These roles don’t mean one gender is superior or inferior to the other.
Christian complementarianism is not only a sensible approach to marriage and family life but also one that affirms the value of both genders and celebrates their differences. Both men and women have essential roles in life—each has the potential to bring glory to God and contribute to His kingdom. By understanding and affirming each other’s calling, both men and women can live out their faith in a way that honors Christ.
Christian complementarianism is an important concept. While the word isn’t mentioned in Scripture, the Bible calls us to recognize the unique roles of men and women while still maintaining their equal value before God. It challenges us to see gender as a complementary expression of the image of God. And its application brings great blessings as we honor our Creator through our different yet complementary roles.
The Bible instructs us to “submit one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21) – because, in the end, it is not men and women who are glorified by our lives but God Himself. As we seek wisdom to apply His Word to our daily lives, may we strive to live out Christian complementarianism according to His perfect will. Amen.
We recently discussed Complementarianism on a podcast entitled “Complementarianism: Defining What Makes Us Stronger.” Hope you enjoy that as well.
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