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Celebrating Our Equality and Our Differences

May 19, 2012 Speaker: Warren Boettcher Series: Marriage by Design

Topic: Marriage Passage: Genesis 1:26–1:27

I. Introduction

A. God has divinely established roles within marriage to bring glory to His Name

1. Embracing our roles is crucial to building God-honoring families
2. Embracing our roles is crucial to building a spiritually healthy church

B. We need to understand and develop convictions on what the Bible teaches on
roles if we’re to faithfully apply it to our marriages.

C. This can be a controversial topic and it is an important topic

“The erasure of distinctions between the sexes is not only the most striking
issue of our time, it may be the most profound the race has ever confronted.”
William Manchester

1. Two perspectives: 

  • The complementarian view: “teaches that God created men and women as equals with different, gender-defined roles.” Alexander Strauch
  • The egalitarian view/evangelical feminist view: teaches that God created men and women equally to bear the divine image and that roles differentiations are inconsistent with the Bible

2. This debate is important because of what’s at stake

  • Our interpretation of Scripture
  • Our view of God and redemption

D. Where do we begin? At the beginning = Genesis 1:26-27

II. Equal

A. Both Adam and Eve were created in the image of God

1. Equal in worth and essence before God
2. This corrects all notions of male superiority and dominance

B. This equality is reaffirmed in the New Testament

1. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28

2. I Peter 3:7 affirms that women are “co-heirs” in Christ

C. In regard to creation and redemption women are equally valued, loved, and saved
by God. Where women are not treated with respect, dignity, and honor:

1. It is a distortion of Scripture
2. It is an offense to God

III. Different

A. Ephesians 5:22-25
1. This text clearly establishes roles w/in marriage
2. “Here is the most compelling argument that headship in Christian marriage is not cultural but is divinely planned: The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.” – Alexander Strauch

B. Paul goes to the creation account to support male headship – “For man was not
from , but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman but woman for
man.” – I Corinthians 11:8-9

C. Paul uses the God-head to support the idea of both equality and role differentiation
“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a
wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” – I Corinthians 11:3

1. Egalitarians say that different roles imply inequality and inferiority
2. Could be true except that they exist in the Trinity
“The ultimate and telling proof that equality and submission may coexist in glorious harmony is found in the mediatorial mission of the Sod of God…who completed His mission in the true liberty of submission to His Father.”
Samuel Lewis Johnson
D. Throughout Scripture leadership in the home (and in the spiritual community) was
always male.

1. Old Testament examples – no female priests, no female elders, no female kings, with rare exception all prophets were men
2. New Testament principles – Ephesians 5; I Timothy 2:12; I Peter 3; Jesus appointed 12 men as the apostles, elders in local churches were men

IV. Conclusion

A. Our equality is to be honored and our differences are to be enjoyed.
B. We need to make sure roles function in our homes as Scripture defines.

1. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

2. Questions:

  • How is this functioning in our home? Strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is one area for growth for me in my role?