Biblical Manhood and Womanhood - Part 1

We started attending an excellent class on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood at West Hills. The course aims to teach the biblical view on the roles of man and woman. It’s funny that shortly before West Hills offered this class, Jenn and I were already studying about parenting and our roles. We were reading through journal entries from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, scripture and other authors like James Boice and John Macarthur. This class comes at a perfect time for our family that’s going to soon be Jenn, Matthew, Claire and I. We want to make sure that we learn all we can from scripture and the wisdom of other Christians about God’s plan for our family. I want to know how to be a good father and husband and Jenn wants to know how to be a good wife and mother.

One of the topics we covered introduces the biblical concept of complentarian roles between man and women. This means that man and woman are equal in value but diverse in their roles. What is this diversity in roles? Part of it is related to authority.

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. (Cor 11:3)

It is amazing to note how Jesus perfectly submitted to God in everything he did through his entire life. Wow! This verse also relates God’s authority over Jesus in the same way that man is to be in authority over woman. However, this authority is not based on our superiority. Consider that although Jesus submitted to God the Father, Jesus continue to remain an equal member of the Trinity. John MacArthur has an excellent section of his Expository Commentaries that dispels some misconceptions about male authority.

God established the principle of male authority and female subordination for the purpose of order and complementation, not on the basis of any innate superiority of males. An employee may be more intelligent and more skilled than his boss, but a company cannot be run without submission to proper authority, even if some of those in authority are not as capable as they ought to be. Elders and deacons are to be chosen from among the most spiritual men of the congregation, but there may be other men in the church who are even more spiritual. Yet, for the very reason that they are spiritual, those who are not in positions of leadership will submit to those who are.
A church may have some women who are better Bible students, better theologians, and better speakers than any of the men, including the pastor. But if those women are obedient to God?s order they will submit to male leadership and will not try to usurp it?simply because that is God?s design. A wife may be better educated, better taught in Scripture, and more spiritually mature than her husband. But because she is spiritual, she will willingly submit to him as head of the family.
MacArthur, J. (1996, c1984). 1 Corinthians. Includes indexes. (251). Chicago: Moody Press

The Biblical Manhood and Womanhood class continues for 5 more weeks. I will continue to post thoughts and updates as we progress through the class.

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