More and more women, both Christian and non-Christian, are no longer willing to tolerate second-class status in the workplace and in a marriage. The result is that men and women are pivoting away from traditional marriage roles. Egalitarian marriages are growing in the secular world, with many Christians are following suit.
Let's take a look a today's Christian marriages.
The Patriarchal Marriage
This is a traditional marriage and is still espoused by most conservative churches. in which women are not encouraged to use their gifts except when they directly serve the needs and desires of their husbands. Husbands have no imperative to listen to their wives’ views or advice. The wife’s role is to serve her husband, their children, and their church.
An Important Factor
An important factor among progressive Christians is current biblical scholarship that points to the Apostle Paul’s urging husbands and wives to submit to one another. (Ephesians 5:21). However, the interpretation of “submission” is still, and may ever be, debated.
The Complementarian Marriage
In complementarian marriages, couples practice mutual submission according to their gender roles. Both men and women have equal value in the marriage, with their roles complementing each other, rather than being the same. The husband takes on the role of spiritual leader of the members of his family and is responsible for their care and well-being. He is the final authority, but understands that this authority does not give him the right to rule. Instead, it gives him the responsibility to serve as leader and helper.
The Egalitarian Marriage
My next post will explore what an egalitarian marriage looks like, so stay tuned.
Do you have a divorce experience to share? Have you been shamed by a church because of your divorce? There are hurting people who need to hear your story, who need to know they are not alone, and who need to be encouraged. If you are interested in sharing your story, email Linda for guidelines: Linda@LindaMKurth.com
Linda M. Kurth is a writer and a divorced and remarried Christian. In going through the divorce, she experienced a dichotomy of responses from the Christian community. After sharing some of those experiences in her upcoming memoir, God, the Devil, and Divorce, she's heard many stories of divorced Christians who have struggled with the same issues. This blog invites divorced Christians to tell their stories with the goal of encouraging churches to resist condemnation and become a source of healing and grace.