Why Does It Matter?
(By Celeste Chute)
Editors' note: Below is part four of a four part blog series on one person's thoughts and journey about gender and gender roles.
I’ve written three posts about why I love complementarianism and I just want to finish with why I think this matters. We’ve all had or seen dysfunctional relationships in our lives, and they are hard, painful, and wounded parts of our past. I want to encourage you that God made relationships for our good, and through His Word, I believe He gave us the tools to help us navigate them. It seems obvious to say it, but the Bible is written very intentionally. There is a reason that we don’t see exact examples of how marriages play out in the Bible. We don’t see many instructions as to how exactly what responsibilities husbands and wives are supposed to have. And while I do think God’s vision for marriage includes men and women having different roles, I don’t think he wants us to put prescriptive boundaries around what that should look like. A complementarian relationship doesn’t always mean the wife stays home and doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean that husbands never cook or clean. It doesn’t mean that wives are quiet and meek and coy. But it also can mean all of those things. And both of those marriages and families can be equally beautiful and equally honoring to God. Complementarianism is a beautiful dance, a give and take, and a balance of two people made for each other.
And by some sweet grace of God, He gives us a shot at reflecting the Trinity with our marriages.
It’s not my job (or your job) to look around and point at marriages and say what they should or shouldn’t be doing. But I will openly and proudly look into my Bible and share what I’ve found. I’ve found that the Trinity is a beautiful, confusing, mind-boggling mystery. In the Trinity, we find one God existing as three persons. We see the Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit - all unique and yet together making up one God. They complement each other. They complete each other. They honor each other. Jesus submits to the Father’s authority. They are, together, the most wonderful thing we know. They are God, united, equal and differing. And by some sweet grace of God, He gives us a shot at reflecting the Trinity with our marriages. We get to become two in one. We get to honor and complete each other. We get to be distinct and united. And just like I know I’ll never fully grasp the Trinity, I know I’ll never fully ‘get’ marriage. My marriage will never be quite as beautiful as God intended. Until Jesus returns, I’ll never be the wife God dreamed of when He made Eve. My selfishness will inhibit me from truly becoming two in one. But that’s okay. God’s grace is enough. We are saved by grace alone. And I am so excited that I get to reflect God’s beautiful design in my marriage.
I believe marriage is one of the hardest and most significant things I will ever do, and I’m so thankful that God has given me a sense of how it can look.
I know that God’s plan is for my good, so when I look at the Bible and see how God describes marriage; that’s what I’m going to strive for. Even when it’s hard and messy and I don’t feel like it. I believe marriage is one of the hardest and most significant things I will ever do, and I’m so thankful that God has given me a sense of how it can look. It’s so helpful having a baseline idea of the wife I want to be. Then, even on days when things don’t feel quite right, I have somewhere to turn and a wonderful, loving, merciful God to rely on. I encourage us all to look deeply at how God’s Word is able to speak into our marriages. I encourage us to live our marriages out loud, to talk and share and struggle and learn with each other. Besides His Son, I believe God’s biggest gift to us is our relationships; whether that be marriages, friendships and families. Let’s take full advantage of those and embrace God’s good and holy plan for our lives.
We’re saved by grace even when we don’t agree on this issue...
I would hope that all of us, wherever we fall on the issue of complementarianism or egalitarianism, would let God’s voice be the loudest. Not society’s or culture’s, not our own, not our parent’s or sister’s or neighbor’s, but God’s true and honest Word. I pray that we will remember that we are saved by grace alone. We’re saved by grace even when we don’t agree on this issue. We are saved when we are selfish wives and husbands. We are saved when we are confused and hurt and struggling. We should feel freedom to pursue this with an open heart because it has God’s love behind it.
Thanks for reading!