Are Men and Women Equal?
Whenever I hear this question, I tend to respond, “Can a Queen be a King?”
In today’s society, there are many opinions on this topic. Some women might suggest that “woman should be above men”, where as some men might suggest “women are below them”. Even in Christendom, many of us take Ephesians 5:22-23 out of context by replacing “submission” with slavery or replacing “husbands” with dictator. I, especially as a young man used to think this way. But let’s look at this from a biblical view.
Genesis 1:26-27 states that God created male AND female in HIS own image. Though we know that Adam was created first, he was incomplete. That is why scripture (Genesis 2:18) states “it is not good for man to be alone.” From there, while Adam was in a deep sleep, God took his rib and created woman with it. I find this interesting because the rib is found on the side of the body. A nonconformist Minister and author, Matthew Henry, stated that “Eve was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”
God created man and gave him the RESPONSIBILITY of being the “head” (lead servant) of his wife. It is his duty to love her, serve her, care for her, and honor her. In addition to that, he must be able to provide for her in all physical, spiritual and emotional aspects. But in Gods wisdom, as I stated earlier, man is incomplete, so the role that a wife plays is as EQUALLY important. A wife’s RESPONSIBILITY is to be the “helper” to her husband. She is there to help her husband with whatever task the Lord has given them to do. We hear the woman is the backbone to a successful man and if we are to go by scripture, we should believe that to be true. So, we can see that men and women are equals in worth but they have been assigned different roles by God.
A Pastor and author by the name of Josh Harris wrote a book titled “Boy Meets World”. In this book he affirms the biblical teaching that is called Complementarianism, which is a theological view held by Christians that men and women have different responsibilities but they are complementary roles.
“From the first two chapters of the Bible we learn that Adam and Eve were created equal in God’s sight. Within the context of their equality, God assigned men and women different roles. He made Adam first, signifying his unique role as leader and initiator. He created Eve from Adam and brought her to Adam to be his helper in the tasks God had assigned him. She was made to complement, nourish, and help her husband. God’s greatest gift to man was “a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). This doesn’t minimize a woman’s role, but it does define it.
Men and women were created equal, yet different. And the fact that we’re different is wonderful. God didn’t make us to duplicate each other, but to complement each other. The point here is not that Adam was better than Eve, just as God the Father is not “better” than God the Son. Father and Son are equal in essence, power, glory, but they have different roles; and the Son joyfully submits to the Father’s will (1 Corinthians 15:28). So in marriage a husband and wife are equal, even though Scripture tells the wife to joyfully submit to her husband’s leadership.”
As a woman, it may be hard to take in these truths, however that is a normal feeling. But I believe a husband can make his wife’s role of submission easier for her by first loving her as Christ loves the Church. In this way, it will not be a dictatorship but a marriage that will be modeling Christ and His Church.
As spouses we should heed to the instructions of the Lord and understand that whatever He has told us to do is actually for our good. As we follow His instructions, they WILL bring joy and fulfillment into our lives.