Part of the foundation of complementarian theology is that because men are natural born leaders who need respect, and women are sensitive and emotional, needing love. In fact, over at crosswalk.com, Mark Gungor says that if a husband doesn’t feel like a hero to his wife, he will become “insulting and gross.”
I’ve even heard it taught that a wife must never criticize her husband and must always be sure to support him, while husbands are taught to make sure that their wives always feel beautiful and protected. Isn’t it kind of sickening that when society and the evangelical church try to put men and women in boxes, the male boxes are always bigger and more decorated with privilege?
It makes me wonder if that has something to do with how little respect women get in our world today. Perhaps if people were taught that women need just as much respect as men, there wouldn’t be a rape every 107 seconds. Perhaps if men weren’t taught that they alone deserve power, females wouldn’t make up 70 percent of human trafficking victims. Maybe if women were recognized for their intelligence and leadership skills, we would see more than just 4 percent of female CEOs in the Fortune 500 CEO Position List.
In this “Christian country,” only 9% of evangelical congregations have a lead female pastor. You can call it what you want – “equal but different” or “the order of creation” – but this is flat out sexism.
Women need respect. Women need to be thought of as brave and capable. Women need to be supported and seen as the “heroes” too.
We must start teaching our sons that their identity is rooted in Jesus Christ rather than a poorly fitting mold of “masculinity.” We must begin to give them real life examples of men and women working together as equals. We must show them that following the direction and guidance of a woman doesn’t make them less of a “man.”
But most importantly, we must give our daughters a voice. We must show them what hard working, brave women look like. We must teach them that they don’t have to “submit to their husbands” in order to please God, and that they have the same God-given authority as men do.
It’s time to break down the gender boxes and throw them back into the 1950s. We can’t move forward as a society if we’re still held back by absurd theories and misinterpretations of scripture. It’s time to move forward together, side by side.
I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction. Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality. -Alice Paul