Gender and Theology

Posted: October 23rd, 2013

Gender & Theology



Gender & Theology

1.         Traditional complimentarian views on marriage are biblical. Such roles gain emphasis with respect to the roles designated to both men and women especially in the Creation Account. The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood points out that the establishment of Adam’s headship gained verification even before the Fall (van Leeuwen, 2013). Such views also receive depiction in the roles that women played without mention including Sarah, Rebekkah and Hagar who demonstrated the submissive responsibilities of women in the Bible.

2.         To an extent, traditional Christian perspectives on marital roles are indeed problematic. The contention arises from the roles assigned to both man and woman in the Creation Account as well as Jesus and Paul’s directives within the New Testament (Sparks, 2012). Traditionalists see the husband as the head and the wife as being submissive, while egalitarians argue that the Creation Account does not define the role of the woman as a submissive role but rather grants equal partnership (George, 2009).

3.         Abandoning conventional marital roles diminishes the unity embodied when both man and woman unite to become one. As directed by Jesus, even though the husband embodies male headship, he is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. When the roles are overturned, the consequences arising affect the social and marital lives of the partners and society as a whole. Straying from such norms only leads to an abandonment of the practices common to marriage and various social problems especially divorce, rebellion and neglect of the family.

4.         Rubio is neither egalitarian nor complimentarian, as she underlines the problems of marriage from both perspectives. Rubio focuses on the observance of the conventional marital views, and the advocates for equality in marriage in order to facilitate discipleship among families in and out of the church (Rubio, 2003). On a personal assessment, Rubio only focuses on the development of the family irrespective of complimentarian and egalitarian views.

5.         Rubio’s emphasis on children and parenting focuses mainly on the family. According to Rubio, conventional views on marriage suppress the working woman’s role in the family as a mother since such views sustain hierarchy in marriage (Rubio, 2003; Spencer, 2009). In summary of the contention surrounding complimentarism and egalitarianism, it is truly evident to ask this; is it necessary to inculcate feminist and patriarchal debates even within the Bible?






George, Janet. Still side by side: A concise explanation of Biblical equality. Minneapolis: Christians for Biblical Equality, 2009. Print.

Rubio, Julie H. A Christian theology of marriage and family. New York: Paulist Press, 2003. Print.

Sparks, K. L. Sacred word, broken word. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013. Print.

Spencer, Aída B. Marriage at the crossroads: Couples in conversation about discipleship, gender roles, decision-making, and intimacy. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2009. Print.

van Leeuwen, M. S. (2004). Is equal regard in the Bible? In D. Blankenhorn, D.S. Browning & M. S. van Leeuwen (Eds.), Does Christianity teach male headship? The equal-regard marriage and its critics (pp.13-22). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

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