Select Page

Was running very late this morning. The problem with this is that then there is no chance of getting an all-day parking spot and I have to keep moving the car in every break we get. I’m also sitting here, in the break between Biblical Theology lectures, feeling a bit head-swimmy.

Today Peter Bolt gave a paper on complementarianism: appreciating God’s designed, delightful differences between men and women. I dislike the ‘equal but different’ tagline that is floated around a lot, but I do like ‘designed, delightful differences’. It casts the whole thing in a much more positive light. Equal but different just sounds defensive.

I like this reminder of God’s created order and getting glimpses of how the world would work so well if we all lived according to God’s design. In this case, creation is a hierarchy. God created man, a helper was needed for man but the other created beings (animals) weren’t suitable, so the woman was made from man. Men and women are two parts of a whole, and complement one another. This forms the beautiful hierarchy or asymmetry of order that goes God->man->woman->animal. This hierarchy (though it’s seen as a negative term these days) allows for a responsibility of care – this is amongst people (men and women) who have equal status before God, however there is a definite order and asymmetric of responsibilities. The man is required to care and the woman to submit to that care, and men and women both are to care for the rest of creation.

So our biology matters, gender matters, the way we’ve been created as male and female matters. The hierarchy is not imposed on us by the Fall, it is part of God’s good creation, but post-Fall it causes us pain. This can be seen when women refuse to be led by their husbands, or by wrong abuse such as a man dominating his wife through strength or violence. The problem we have is not the created order, the problem is our sinfulness.

I love getting glimpses into how things are supposed to work, and seeing God’s generosity and wisdom in creation. Makes me long for everything to be put right, because we just get it so badly wrong.