9Marks of the Truly Complementarian

9Marks of the Truly Complementarian May 2, 2016

I have been asked of late why I have posted so much about complementarianism. Beside the routine reposting of material from Christians for Biblical Equality, which often brings up the discussion, it just so happens that (1) a number of items have come my way randomly and (2) the view has been shaped into a view that is not reflective of all complementarians. Last week I posted a response to Kevin DeYoung’s TGC post about the 9Marks of complementarianism, and I finished with this:

So, no christology, no pneumatology and a whole lot of manhood. Sounds like this piece has not only leaned into culture, it has lost his way in culture. The culture of the 1950s, suburban, white.

And no eschatology: where is the kingdom of God here? the incursion of God’s reign in Christ, anticipating in the now the kingdom of God, anticipating the visions of Rev 21-22 and Gal 3:28 and Col 3:11?

So, today, I thought I’d turn it all around and give my wisdom on how the “truly (male) complementarian” operates and I do so in conversation with some complementarians who have told me they are weary with the hard-core complementarian line that doesn’t reflect what the truly complementarian believe. The male complementarian view (which is not the same necessarily as the female complementarian view) is an influence as much from manhood and womanhood as it is anything else. So, today, I want to turn it all around and offer how I would see complementarianism.

First, the truly complementarian loves his wife and talks about his wife in respectful, loving terms. Not in terms of her body being hot.

Second, the truly complementarian doesn’t talk about hierarchy, authority, roles and assignments but about love and relationships and how his and her strengths and gifts complement one another — making each other better and the two of them a unity.

Third, the truly complementarian talks about serving his wife the way Christ served the church and tells us stories about what he did recently for his wife.

Fourth, the truly complementarian doesn’t lean into or against culture but into the future kingdom with his wife and into the past gospel tradition with his wife.

Fifth, the truly complementarian serves Christ along with his wife and doesn’t think his wife serves him and therefore Christ.

Sixth, the truly complementarian knows that he needs the Spirit of God’s empowering presence to do anything loving and serving and holy.

Seventh, the truly complementarian is the head of the house in that he models and mentors his family into serving one another the way Christ served the church and gave himself for the church.

Eighth, the truly complementarian, when talking Bible about men and women, knows God’s blueprint for relationships is the frolic and delightful play of the Song of Solomon.

Ninth, the truly complementarian…. you fill in the blank.

And when the truly complementarian lives like this he and his wife will sit at table with truly mutualists and the only argument will be over who pays the bill.



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