“If I set the sun beside the moon, and if I set the land beside the sea, and if I set the flower beside the fruit, and if I set the town beside the country, and if I set the man beside the woman, I suppose some fool would talk about one being better.”—GK Chesterton
Complementarianism is the biblical conviction that men and women are created equal in their dignity and worth (Genesis 1:27) but distinct in their gender and role (Genesis 2:18-25). These equal and yet distinct roles are applicable in the context of the Christian home (Ephesians 5:22-33) and the eldership of the church (1 Timothy 2:8-15).
I. Complementarian Men
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”—Ephesians 5:25
“Biblical authority knows how to bleed for others. . . . The foundation of all Christ’s authority in the church is the blood that He shed. He took responsibility through sacrificial service, and therefore all authority flowed to Him. He shed His blood as He was assuming responsibility for the sins of all His people, therefore God has highly exalted Him. Jesus took the rap for things He didn’t do — that’s the model we are to live out. . . . When masculinity is not taught and disciplined, boys grow up thinking that it means selfishness instead of sacrifice… a man who takes a woman to the altar is going there to die to himself.”— Douglas Wilson, Father Hunger (53-54)
II. Complementarian Women
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”— Ephesians 5:22-24
“This mystery [marriage] is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”—Ephesians 5:31