A Simple Critical Switch For Speaking About Complementarity Positively

Jared Sparks
Jared Sparks

We live in a gender confused world. I don’t know a single person who would disagree with that statement. Of course, there are many disagreements about gender and sexuality, but there is great agreement in the fact that gender confusion exists.

male and female boots facing each other

What does the Bible have to say about gender and sexuality? When people ask that question, I want to give them something more than a frustrated rant. Because of the nature of the societal views (and sadly some “christian” views) on gender, Bible believing Christians need to be more precise in the way we speak about gender.

I want to give you two examples of the way biblical manhood and womanhood is defined. The first will be the most common way. The second, will be my attempt of presenting a better way—a more biblical way.

One (Negative) Way To Speak About Gender Complementarity – Equal / But

“I am a complementarian. That means I believe God made male and female equal, but he gave us different roles. Although men and women are equal, God has assigned roles and restrictions for men and roles and restrictions for women.”

Notice how this first way is shaped. The content of the language is “Equal/But”. Equality is affirmed and then quickly followed with a “but.” Could it be, that one main reason complementarianism is so quickly dismissed is due to that fact that gender distinctions are spoken of in the negative rather than the positive?

The Better Way To Speak About Gender Complementarity – Equal / And

“I am a complementarian. The Bible teaches that men and women are both created equally in the image of God. And the Bible teaches that God gave humanity something more than equality. God created gender. He gave us masculinity and femininity. God gives men the dignity of manhood and then calls men into what He has for them. God tells men things that He does not tell women. God also gives women the dignity of womanhood and then calls women into what He has for them. God tells women things that He does not tell men. Manhood and womanhood are gifts beyond equality!”

Notice in this second way the gift of gender is spoken of in the positive. The Biblical way to speak about gender is to speak about gender as a gift!

Patriarchal complementarianism is not about gender restrictions. All other views on gender restrict. Biblical, patriarchal complementarianism provides the only view on gender that contains anything beyond sameness. The Bible calls men to be men and women to be women.

God has truly created us equal AND male and female!


Jared is an HNR.GD Network member. A version of this post first appeared on his blog.


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