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A complementarian girl’s joy

December 19, 2012
By Leanne Swift
I suppose the readership of the Gender Blog is well aware of the word complementarian, but I almost want to laugh sometimes if I try to use the term in everyday conversation—because for the most part—who does that?  Unless you read Piper and all those guys, or your church teaches it…but when you consider the whole of humanity, most people don’t use the term a whole lot.  It seems like “complementarianism”is met with either complete oblivion or heated debate from those who desire men and women to be “equal”—often referred to as egalitarians.  The thing is, I consider myself to be complementarian, but I don’t feel like equality is a problem at all. This is just a quick testimony of my experience. 
Learning about complementarianism and God’s design for men and women has brought a lot of freedom to my life.  I think deep down, many women really do want a husband who will lead them, lovingly. But it’s so rare, because we’re sinners. It does exist, though, and I can attest to that.  I believe my husband leads me lovingly, and I am happy to submit (most of the time, you understand, I’m a sinner…)  But, in seeking to be the kind of wife who submits to her husband, I don’t feel disregarded or inferior, and for that I am grateful.

In our marriage, I am free to express my opinions.  I feel heard and appreciated.  I do not at all feel like a doormat.  My husband is not the lord of me nor does he want to be—praise God!  We both want to follow Christ and we have the freedom in our home to do just that.   It is a very beautiful thing—not restrictive or terrible like some people would have you believe—given both husband and wife desire to obey God, and not merely please themselves. 

Complementarianism demonstrates God’s goodness to His people. He created us with different gifts and abilities to live out the roles He designed for us—different roles, but equal value.  One is not superior to the other.  There’s freedom in using the gifts and abilities that God has given us.  Complementarian women are not oppressed—the command for wives to submit to their husbands is not oppression for women when husbands love their wives as Christ loves His church

God gives us all we need for life and godliness—to live lives pleasing to Him.  It works.  The design is perfect.  Sin gets in the way at times, and sadly that has led to disastrous results over the course of history, but there is no flaw in the design, because it was designed by God for our very best.  It’s when both parties are trying to please God with their lives that complimentarianism is truly a joy. 

Thank you Lord, for your goodness to us!  Please help us to understand more and more your beautiful design for men and women.

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