Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Do I Mean By Complementarian?

Hello, my name is Matt and i am a Complementarian.

WHEW!  It feels good to finally just come out and say it.  And I have to admit that it is true, at the deepest part of my being I believe that husband-wife relationships are best described as complementary.  I know many of you who read this may have very strong negative connotations about this word and concept, but please, let me explain myself.

Basically, there are five things that play into my view of marital relationships as complementary:

1. I believe that men and women are intrinsically different.

I think we can look at the natural world and the creation account in Genesis and see that we are created to be two halves of one humanity.  Women are not created to be men and men are not created to be women.  There are things that make men think, work, and act differently than women think, work, and act.  This does not place one as better than the other, just different.

2. I believe all human relationships require some level of complementarianism.

The concept of absolute equality in decision making, for example, is a myth.  It cannot happen.  Someone must naturally take the lead in any relationship.  It is imperative that as humans, we learn how to be both the leader and follower for different moments and roles that we will find ourselves filling in life.

3. I believe love leads to complementary relationships.

Only when I am in a relationship for myself and my well-being am I worried about having my fair share of power.  Marriage is not about me.  Marriage is about love.  Love leads me to look to the good of the other--to see how I can come alongside and complement the work God is already doing in them.  Love leads to complementary relationships.

Yes, I am a complementarian.  The truth is that I am also an egalitarian, but that discussion can wait until tomorrow.

What do you think?  Are you a complementarian?  What makes you embrace this view of marriage?  Does your marriage look this way in practice, or just theory?

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