God created the earth with intent that His Spirit will govern it. Hence, He made Adam who was to manager it in His own image—fashioning him after His likeness by fellowshipping with him in the Garden of Eden. As a loving and caring Father, He observed, having already known, that Adam needed help to fulfill his responsibilities to care for His earth and to love and worship Him. Being a Father of all providence, He created Eve from Adam seeing that nothing else He previously brought to him could help and satisfy him because they were not his kind or equal.
God Created Them Male and Female
The male and female were created with their individual and joint responsibilities to God and to each other. To examine this important topic of their roles, I intend to avoid treating it with circumstantial lenses which obscure’s God’s perspective.
When Adam woke up from His deep slumber after God had finished surgery on him to give him the suitable help needed, he was perfectly pleased with the image of God he saw in Eve. At last, flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone—his kind or equal! A person to share the communion and love he has learnt from God. One with whom to care for God’s earth!
To Love is to Protect
Eventually, Adam (the male) failed to lovingly protect Eve (the female). When he noticed that Eve had been deceived, sinned and failed in her responsibility to God, he did not call out to God on her behalf rather he partook Gen 3:6. But, when God inquired of him about what they had done, he accused and attempted to abandon her to be punished alone Gen 3:9 & 12. The recognition that he is one flesh with Eve as he used his own mouth to confess to God made no meaning to him in the moment of accountability Gen 2:23. He did not understand the truth that God came to him and not to Eve for the inquiry because he had failed in his responsibility to Him and Eve. The male has kept failing in his responsibilities since then. Hence, irresponsibility is a major male disease till date.
The Perfect Man
God’s original plan always stands. He does not make it up as He goes along like mere mortals. Therefore, He sent another Adam to His earth. This second Adam (Jesus) is a male and out of Him, God has created another female (the church). The male has to get it right! And to do that, he needs help and submission from the female. He is first (head or senior) to the female. So, must love, protect and care for her while she must love, submit and help Him make the Father glad by being one with the male in love, worship and caring for God’s earth.
For the perfect man to be born, the female is needed because she is not inferior—She is His body. She has her role and the male his. In the natural, the female bears and nurtures a baby. Males do not have this glory though, in Christ, there is neither male nor female. The female serves with her womb.
Jesus, the perfect Man, came as a baby, grew and taught the male and female how to love, worship and serve God. The female as His body is growing to His stature as a man-child. From that backdrop, the component of His body (males and females) must love and serve each other. Christ came to restore all things as they were in the beginning—showing mankind where God was taking them in His likeness. While it covers all aspect of man’s existence, as said earlier, I will focus on the relationship of the male and female in their roles to God and to each other which have produced two schools of thought—the egalitarians and the complementarians.
Egalitarianism doubtless, is a concept which has evolved based on the experiences of man—that is post fall. As such, its interpretations are hugely circumstantial though sometimes plausible. Man’s pleasurable and painful experiences have made man evolve in his modus operandi thereby creating cultures and conventions. But, these are inferior to the culture God has already laid down for man to walk in Eph 2:10. God’s ways must dictate the path for man and not the opposite. For this reason, I will delve into complementarianism which captures scriptures or the pre fall perspective that governed Eve and Adam, women and men of the faith in the Old Testament and the early church.
Before looking at the scriptures, it is to be noted that the subject deals with males and females as opposed to husbands and wives though it’s included. Its specific implications in the context of marriage will be examined in a different post.
The scriptures portray Jesus’ practice and teaching as complementarian and at His ascension, He sealed it by giving the ministry gifts only to the males Eph 4:11. The proof that verse 11 of Ephesians 4, is limited to the males is given in Luke 6:13. Though His disciples were men and women, when He wanted to choose, he chose males for these responsibilities—and it had nothing to do with superiority of males over females because both are perfectly equal in every sense Joel 2:29, Acts 2:18. However, males and females bear different functions e.g., males produce Y chromosomes and females produce X chromosomes— neither have the glory of the other. This is beyond cultural bias or evolution. Whether males actually produce the Y chromosome and the females the X, is not relevant to the truth that God designed each for that function. But, when they do, they glorify God by fulfilling His purpose on the earth Gen 1:28. Selah!
Though Eve was inside Adam when God created him, like twins, the male came first—so, by design, the male is senior to the female 1 Tim 2:13. Again, God made sure that the first offspring of the first male and the female He created produced a male Gen 4:1. This circle completed the principle of two or three witnesses.
Seniority of the male over the female:
- The male (Adam) first had fellowship with God, learnt what it means to love Him, worship and service or care for God’s earth.
- The male was given the privilege to name the animals Gen 2:19
- The male named the woman Gen 2:23.
- For the time Adam was lonely and desiring his kind or equal as he saw that other things God created had their kinds, he was not deceived 1 Tim 2:14.
- The woman was deceived 2 Cor 11:3 and then, both sinned.
In the New Testament, the major time God spoke to the female in preference to the male was related to the service of her womb—that is, the birthing of His body as a baby Luke 1:26-32, whose foundation is established upon the doctrines of the Apostles and Prophets. This foundation is to equip the church (the female) to mature to the full stature of Christ. This ministry of Christ is given to the males. For this reason, there was no mention of any female with any of the ministry gifts in NT except Anna the Prophetess. But, she is from the old regime which was a shadow already giving way for the reality of the things of God. As such, nothing was ever mentioned of her again after God used her and Simeon as witnesses to confirm the baby Jesus as the redeemer to the people in the temple.
So, while males and females are co-equals with respect to all of lives endeavors, the responsibilities of His body as it relates to the ministry gifts and eldership (different from spiritual gifts), is given to the males.
In 1 Tim 3:2 & 12 and Titus 1:6, Paul amplifies the practice and teaching of complementarian living among the people of God. Showing clearly that eldership is for males not because they are superior or any better than the females but, upon God’s design or pattern 1 Tim 2:13. I have tried to re-render these passages to read as, “Wife of one husband” in order to accommodate modern trend but, its screaming, “funny, funny! This may be the reason those bent on distorting the word of God and producing funny versions of the bible have not changed the rendition of these passages at least for now, till the image of the beast come to its full measure in those that are anti-Christ.
Post fall (Cultural) Effect
The fall of man (Adam and Eve) disfigured their minds! Males and females suffer for it in their unique ways— everything meant to bless and work for them rebel against them including beasts of the fields and nature. The corrupt nature man (males and females) acquired produces its greatest effect through their minds that seeks to rule and dominate each other and even tries to control God their creator.
The twisted mind of males now looks down on the woman with wickedness and exploitation—with fear and suspicion. Being afraid she will usurp him because usurping exists in his mind. The woman, having lost godliness, sees the male she is suppose to help as a weakling, deceiver and a traitor that must be challenged and fought against! Because males and females are equals, they have proved the worst rebels and enemies to each other! Till man returns to honoring God, the situation shall remain so—the male who is fittest, that is, by means of fleshly strength, will continue to win to his detriment because winning the one (woman) who is specifically designed and equipped to help him is not winning at all rather is losing immensely.
The fall affected the woman in a way that makes her fail to recognize the type of glory God gave her and as such, she competes for an inferior glory (inferior glory in the sense that glory is attached to assigned responsibility). If any person performs a task outside of their assignment, though it appears they do it excellently, there will be no crown available to the person.
So, the woman has become an epitome of rebellion such that, the spirit Jezebel (a rebellious spirit) is named after the female. A spirit that opposes anything God and male fiercely! And the male, having failed woefully before God and the woman, seeks to reclaim his long lost glory by his own selfish way which refuses to acknowledge the glory of God and that of the woman. Both males and females fail to understand that each other’s glory is not necessarily superior to the other but rather, is God’s design to create complementary roles— each being champions in their responsibilities. The glory of the man and woman shines only when the source of ALL GLORIES (Christ) is flowing through them.
Males must be regenerated (baptized into Christ) by faith through His grace and, learn submission to Him. That way, their irresponsibility will pass away with their Old nature—giving room for Christ to flow through them. Any man Christ flows through, will without fighting, discharge his duties to God, the woman and creation. Also, any female who wants to enjoy her glory from God, must be baptized into Christ (born again-regenerated) and Christ will flow through her helping her to fulfil her duties to God, help the males and care for His creation. For emphasis, we’re dealing with male and female not husbands and wives.
The wrong notion that for the male to love, cherish and protect the woman and for the female to love, submit and help the male includes sex or marriage is another myth distorting the subject. To dismiss these myths, the bible calls for the males and females to abide by Eph 5:1,2,21 and 1 Cor 13:4-7 which applies to all married or not. Mutual submission is advocated among believers married or not, male or female for the sake of Christ Who dwells in each individual’s heart Eph 5:17-21. Married or not, males and females have responsibilities to love Christ, submitting to Him and in same way, love and submit to each other.
Let the male not become a female neither should the female become a male. The wisdom and grace of God will keep His Church even in this disfigured world. May the males in Christ grow in loving and submitting to the female that she may be greatly blessed and may the females in Christ grow in loving, helping and submitting to the males that they may be greatly blessed.