Maintaining a biblical view on manhood and womanhood is difficult at any time. It’s especially hard in the twenty-first century West, where our cultural sickness includes a serious misunderstanding of men’s and women’s roles in God’s creation. So what has God told us about our respective roles?
On the one hand, we’re different. God created us male and female, with distinct roles, purposes, and punishments for the Fall (Gen. 1-3). These differences are expressed in marriage, where God expects a woman to submit to her husband (Eph. 5; Col. 3; 1 Pe. 3). On the other hand, we’re the same. Both men and women are created in the image of God, each one of us has sinned, and each one needs a savior. In a very important sense, there is no male or female in the Kingdom of God (Gal. 3:28).
So how do we explain both hands? The best I’ve heard is in comparison to Jesus and the Father. In essence, the Son and the Father are one (Jn. 1:1; 8:58; 10:30; 2 Pe. 1:1). On the other hand, the Son is subordinate to the Father (Jn. 8:16; 14:10, 24; 1 Cor. 15:28). Something similar is at work in men and women. We each have our distinct roles to play, but at a deeper level we’re the same.
Full disclosure: The central idea in this dose comes from Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem.
(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley