Complementarian cosmic role play between god-husband and church-wife


 For we are members of His body of His flesh and of His bones For this cause shall a man leave father [and] mother and follow hard [after][1] his wife and they two shall be one flesh[2] This is a great mystery but I speak concerning Christ and the Church[3]

Ephesians 5:30-32

[1] Ephesians 5:30 is a quote from Genesis 2:24 and is directed to men. Upon marriage, in ancient times, women typically left their parent’s homes and went to live in the homes of their husband’s parents. This left the bride exposed to abuse from possibly hostile in-laws and from a possible abusive husband with no natural protectors in the form of father or brother[s]. 

 This arrangement is the exact opposite of the command in Genesis for the man to leave his parents and be joined like cement glue to his wife. The old English word, “cleave,” and the modern English “cling” are not strong enough to convey the strength of the voluntary bond a man must have with his wife. 

Besides equality with no hierarchical gender roles, the Hebrew and Greek words (Strong’s H1692 and G4347) translated as "cleave to" or "cling to" require a man to follow hard after and move in sync together with his wife. This does not line up with either traditional-role-religion or complementarian male-headship, which teaches that men must always lead and women always follow. Additionally, the Genesis command was clear that God’s way was monogamy, which was not obeyed up to New Testament times, when polygamous men were disqualified from Christian leadership.  

[2] In summary: In his foreknowledge and providence, our Creator commanded all new husbands to separate themselves from their nuclear families and follow hard after [attach themselves like cement glue to] their wives. If they chose to live in a parental home, after their marriage, it was not to be with the husband’s family. But history records that from the Fall onward, this command has been generally disregarded. The command for a man to leave his nuclear family and follow hard after his wife would have served as a natural safe-guard for women against marital abuse and violence, as her family would have served as natural protectors. 

As a side note: Obedience to leaving the husband's parents and sticking like cement glue to the wife, would have also protected against the practice of polygamy, which is against God's command for one husband to have only one wife. Some have defended the practice of polygamy claiming it is a benefit to women and cite disparity in numbers of male to female populations. For the most part smaller male populations could be attributed to war and other testosterone driven violence and adventure. Much early violence had to do with the stealing of women from enemy tribes. If, in the beginning, humanity had not fallen [through sin], these things would not have served to reduce the male population. There would likely have been a much greater balance between female to male ratios.

[3] As the apostle stated, the relationship between Christ and His Church is a great mystery. It is something the finite mind cannot begin to fathom. Since all our righteousness [the very best we can do] is as menstruous rags to an infinitely Holy God, complementarian efforts at cosmic role play between god-husband and church-wife is a useless and misguided attempt to “flesh out” something humans are not capable understanding, much less of doing.

This is an excerpt from The Hungry Hearts Bible Commentary edited by this author.


Woman this is WAR! Gender, Slavery & the Evangelical Caste System: Andersen, Jocelyn: 9780979429323: Books

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Woman this is WAR! Gender, Slavery & the Evangelical Caste System: Andersen, Jocelyn: 9780979429323: Books

 Author and speaker, Jocelyn Andersen, is an eclectic Christian writer. She is a Bible teacher who writes about many subjects including Bible prophecy and equality of the sexes. She is best known for her advocacy in domestic violence awareness. Her book, Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence, has been a staple in the library of resources on that subject.  

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