Principles of Gender Roles

God has designed men and women to accomplish distinctly different but wonderfully complementary roles in the order of Creation (Gen. 5:2; Mk. 10:6). Despite differences by design, men and women are co-equals before God and towards one another, both fashioned in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:27; 1 Cor. 11:11-12). Furthermore, the roles of men and women – whether in the home, society, or church – are equally honorable and significant (1 Pt. 3:7). Husbands are responsible before God to love and serve their wives wholeheartedly (Eph. 5:25-33; Col. 3:19; 1 Pt. 3:7), and wives are responsible before God to love and partner with their husbands in raising a godly seed and fulfilling God’s purposes in this world (Eph. 5:22-24; Col. 3:18; 1 Pt. 3:1-6). Functionally, in the church and home, women should follow the leadership of their husbands, and husbands should follow the leadership of Christ (1 Cor. 11:3; 14:35; Eph. 5:23; 1 Tim. 2:11-12). Scripture prohibits women from holding positions of authority over men within the congregation, whether as an administrator of church affairs or teacher of doctrine to groups including adult men (1 Cor. 14:34; 1 Tim. 2:12; 3:1, 4-5, 11-12; Tit. 1:6).

God has ordained marriage to be a permanent union between one man and one woman, dissolved only by death (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:1-3). Though scripture recognizes the unfortunate possibility of divorce, from a legal perspective and only in response to the moral unfaithfulness of a spouse (Dt. 24:1; Mt. 5:31; 19:7-8), God clearly considers all instances of divorce to be a breach of faithfulness and the timeless sanctity of marriage (Mt. 19:6; Mk. 10:9; 1 Cor. 7:10-11).

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