Complementarianism has become a hot topic. So, what is it? Is complementarianism biblical? Is this a new idea?
This article shows you 7 Biblical Truths behind what is called complementarianism (wow that’s a big word to type).
First off, let’s deal with the definition. To break it down, it is the idea of the husband and wife relationship being a complement to one another. In other words, they are designed to complete each other.
The balance in marriage is a complementary one in which both are more fully completed by one another.
7 Clear Complementarianism Truths In The Bible
1. God created men and women to complement and complete each other.
Genesis 2:18 “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.”
- God created man first, then the woman to be a complement to the man
- She was made to be a help to him, perfectly created to be his companion.
- It was God that said it was not good for man to be alone.
Basic biology shows us that men and women are a complement to each other, and working, serving, and living as a complement to one another is what God intended. We are designed by God on purpose!
2. God gave women influence over men.
Proverbs 12:4 “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”
- It was Eve who influenced Adam to sin, she had a great deal of influence over Adam.
- A wife’s character will reflect upon her husband whether she wants it to or not.
- A wife, through her virtuous living, can bring a great deal of honor to her husband and marriage.
- A wife, through her lack of character, can bring a great deal of shame to her husband and marriage.
It was in Genesis 3 that we find that Eve was first in the transgression. It’s not clear exactly how she influenced Adam, but she did. It’s not hard for a woman to influence a man, and it’s even easier for a wife to influence her husband.
3. God intended mutual submission in marriage.
Ephesians 5:21 “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
- Mutual submission comes from a great love for each other, and the fear of God.
- A wise and godly husband willingly gives his wife’s opinions, preferences, and input, a great deal of weight.
- A wise and godly wife willingly gives her husband’s opinions, preferences, and input, a great deal of weight.
Many who do not understand the biblical design of marriage think that this model teaches that the wife, has to be her husband’s doormat. That is not true at all.
The Bible clearly teaches the opposite, the wife is to be treated as an equal, and we are to mutually submit in our love for each other.
4. God intended wives to be more submissive than husbands.
Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
- Ultimately, as a result of Eve’s initiation of sin in the garden, wives are expected by God to come under their husband’s authority (Genesis 3).
- Submission can only be done willingly, otherwise, it is no submission at all.
- A wife must trust her husband, in the same way, that she trusts God (all the more reason to carefully and prayerfully choose a God-fearing man as a husband)
Of course, this is where the diehard feminists get up in arms and make comments about being doormats. Which is exactly the opposite of what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that there is order to everything that God designed, including marriage and family.
Wives are now, because of Eve, to be in subjection to their husband’s authority. Some ladies say, “well what if my husband is an idiot” – to which the obvious answer is given…don’t marry an idiot.
5. God intended husbands to love and cherish their wives.
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”
- Husbands are to love their wives, more than they love themselves.
- Husbands are not to lord over anyone, but to lead their family with humility and submission to Christ.
- Husbands are to emulate Christ’s love for the church, in their marriage.
This is a clear teaching of complementarianism. The husband is to prefer his wife above himself and to devote himself fully to her in love. That is not authoritarian, it is devotion.
6. God intended mutual devotion in marriage.
Ephesians 5:33 “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself, and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
- The idea of gender competitiveness is not biblical, mutual devotion in marriage is.
- This applies to all Christian marriages, and God wants all of us to comply.
- Selfless love and reverence are virtues, specific to the husband and wife, that are encouraged in every Christian marriage.
Mutual devotion in Christian marriage is quite opposite from much of the secular world’s idea of marriage, which focuses on individual personal development.
The Bible teaches that once you are married, the two become one flesh. From that moment on there are no longer two different individuals, but one marriage united in the covenant of marriage.
A husband that understands this will have no problem living up to Ephesians 5:33, but a husband that doesn’t understand this will struggle with it constantly. The same goes for the wife who seeks her own interests above that of the marriage and family.
7 . God intended husbands and wives to be a team.
1 Peter 3:7 “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
- Husbands are expected to pray for, and minister to their wives, with love, wisdom, and discernment (knowledge).
- He is to acknowledge her physical differences and treasure her womanly refinement (weaker vessel).
- They are together on this journey as a team, in what is called here “the grace of life”.
- When there is conflict in that relationship, prayers can be hindered.
The idea of complementarianism is very biblical and is perfectly designed by God Himself to allow the greatest success in marriage and family life.
(It is here that it should be pointed out – Active Manhood is about Biblical Manhood for Modern Men – we make no apology for standing on the Word of God, and holding it up as God’s plan for man)
Check out our GREAT POST on – “5 Simple Steps to Being a Better Dad“
We hope that this article on complementarianism has been helpful.