Who Really Cares about Male Headship?

Tim Evans

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I recently had a conversation with a good friend and shared some frustrations I had about ways many husbands live out headship and perceived authority in marriage.

My friend is in his sixties, a “PK” (pastor’s kid), and a good guy who has loved God his entire life. He’s a husband, dad, grandpa, and successful in his career. As we talked, he paused and declared; “Tim, you talk so much about equality/inequality, authority, submission, hierarchy, and headship. Seriously, sometimes I wonder why you get so worked up and make such a BIG deal about those things.”

He continued; “in my marriage, as the head, I include my wife on most decisions—certainly the major ones. And I typically ask her for input. I don’t want to burst your idealistic-egalitarian-equality-bubble, but none of the men I hang out with, elders I serve with, or male leaders in my church, really care all that much about what you are so passionate about.”

While my friend was talking, as a pastoral counselor I was monitoring what I was feeling. A part of me felt angry, discounted, offended. And a deeper part of me felt sad. My friend interrupted my thoughts, and said in a self-satisfied tone; “Tim, with all of life’s stressors, and with everything going on in people’s lives, marriages, and families … the bottom line for me is HEADSHIP—SMEDSHIP! Nobody really cares!”

Frankly, I was surprised at the sting I felt in his words.

My friend seemed to sense me beginning to shut down, so he switched subjects and began to talk about our favorite sports team. We ended our conversation and I continued my day.  But, our conversation kept coming back to me. Especially his confident declaration; “HEADSHIP—SMEDSHIP!—nobody really cares!

That evening I shared the conversation with my wife Anne, and she encouraged me to go on a hike. I took her suggestion and headed to the mountains. On my hike, I poured out my heart to God. I recounted the conversation with my friend and unpacked my feelings. I let go of the sting and negative energy attached to my emotions. Then I asked God out loud; “Lord … do I make too big of a deal about these things? Is my friend right … does nobody really care?

My questions seemed to bounce off the mountains; and for the better part of a mile all I heard was the sound of my hiking boots on the trail. I took a short break and breathed in the cool mountain air. I suddenly sensed in my mind and soul a thought. It wasn’t an audible voice, but to me it was crystal clear. Tears filled my eyes. In my heart-of-hearts I recognized God was speaking to me—three simple words …“Tim, I CARE!”

Friends, looking back over sixty-plus years going to church, forty years of marriage, and counseling for decades, I believe with my whole being that GOD CARES about equality/inequality, authority, submission, hierarchy, and headship. GOD CARES about women being restricted from using all the gifts God has given them. GOD CARES about ongoing male privileges. And I believe GOD CARES about how men and women, husbands and wives, functionally live out being made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27).

The Bible talks about the reality of spiritual struggles.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Although it’s important to wisely engage in healthy dialogue and debate, I believe the primary struggle for functional equality is not with my good friend, not with husbands, or with church/ministry leaders. The truth is my friend is a good guy who loves God—he is not the enemy. Likewise, the overwhelming majority of husbands and church/ministry leaders are good men who love God—they are not the enemy.

I believe the major struggle for full functional equality in marriages and communities of faith involves an overlooked spiritual struggle. A struggle against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

I believe the enemy understands the untapped kingdom-of-God-advancing potential in mutual equality and mutual authority. And that is why he initiates so much drama and disagreement between followers of Christ.

Nevertheless, be forewarned. If you choose to engage in the struggle for functional equality, it will come with a cost. Anne and I are familiar with some of the costs, including disappointment, discouragement, toxic religiosity, control, and rejection. That is one reason why we often pause and give thanks to God for those who have gone before us—the gallant women and men who took the initial blast from the religious resistance to the full functional equality message.

Thankfully, we are seeing more and more married couples living out functional equality and mutual authority (co-leadership).

And many church leaders are becoming champions for the full inclusion of women to use all the gifts God has given them—without restrictions. All that is to say, my ongoing goals include taking ownership and responsibility for my part in living out co-leadership with my bride; and passionately promoting full functional equality in communities of faith.

I pray for those who continue to faithfully engage in this struggle. I pray God’s favor, blessings, and protection over you. I pray you see yourself as God sees you—and always remember that you matter to God. For me personally, since I know that GOD CARES about full functional equality, it encourages me to continue to care.

Are you up for a challenge?

Set aside some time, and ask God to share with you what GOD thinks about equality/inequality, authority, submission, hierarchy, headship, and ongoing male privileges.

My humble sense is you just might hear God say; “I CARE!”

Tim Evans

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57 Comments

  • Hey Tim+Anne,
    I have been blessed to be married 35 years to a team player. Will has valued my opinion and has always taken my thoughts in consideration from the beginning of our marriage. He has never made a decision that would affect me without considering my thoughts. So, I have known nothing different. We love your green light/green light concept and believe it is Biblical. Who is the Head of the Trinity? We would both agree that the God Head: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit heads our home & marriage and that the two of us are His co- pilots. It has worked for us all these years and wouldn’t want it any other way.

    • Hi Cindy, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      We celebrate the unity and mutuality you and Will have modeled throughout your marriage–yea God!

      Our experience is both couples (and singles) are observing the benefits in co-leadership, and in husbands and wives together implementing the Traffic light Principle in their decision making process.

      … my sense is I that Will (like me) married UP!-:)- /tim

    • Tim + Anne,

      By now, you’ve already read and responded to Cindy’s comments, and I wanted to take a few moments to weigh in on the topic, as well. Here is why I believe you’ve always been on the right track with the “headship thing”. Genesis tells us that of all God’s creatures, only Man (male and female) are made in His image. In fact, with all His other creations, God begins His creating with, “Let there be…” But with the creation of humans, He begins with, “Let US make…” As you and Anne teach, there has always been a co-equal relationship in the Trinity––an “us”/”we”, rather than a “me”/”I”. Those critics of this view seem certain of their position until asked the question, “Which member of the Trinity is the head?”

      Recently, I spoke with a mutual friend of ours who spoke highly of you, right up until we began talking about the “co-leadership” viewpoint. Suddenly, he became defensive, (almost vehemently), about traditional “headship”. After letting him rant for a few minutes, I asked him if he had ever made a decision in his thirty-year marriage that ran counter to his wife’s viewpoint. “Only once,” he said immediately. When I asked him how that went for him, he paused briefly, then admitted, “Not well.”

      We both smiled, and agreed to change the subject. Bottom line, “co-leadership” is not only biblical, but it works!

      Keep up the good effort!

      Love,
      Will and C

      P.S. Would love to meet you in Springs for lunch soon.
      P.S.S. Your new book, “Naked”, is refreshing!

      • Hi Will, thanks for taking the time to comment.

        Your insights are refreshing. And throughout the years I’ve experienced many conversations that when the discussion turned to “co-leadership” men became triggered. Regarding “headship” I remind them about what we wrote in “TOGETHER Reclaiming Co-Leadership in Marriage.” Namely, if a husband wants to live out headship as described in Ephesians, “nourishing- cherishing- and being willing to die for his bride as Christ died for His bride the church” … go for it!

        However, i also gently challenge them to justify male headship from a pre-fall perspective, before sin entered the story. “In the beginning” the man and woman were intrinsically equal (both made in God’s image). And “in the beginning” the man and woman were functionally equal (both given the procreation and dominion mandates). The text describes the man and woman becoming “one-flesh” (Gen.2:24); as they celebrated being “naked without shame” (Gen.2:25). TOGETHER the man and woman “ruled” (Gen.1:28) over the fish, birds, creatures…

        “In the beginning …” I find no evidence in the text of hierarchy, headship, the man designated the wife’s leader, spiritual cover, or the man given any measure of authority over his wife.

        Tragically, after the fall, one of the first consequences to sin was the man “ruling” (Gen.3:16b) over his wife. Post-fall gender and marriage views were spawned, including: male rulership, patriarchy, hierarchy, and more recently complementarianism.

        Returning to Ephesians chapter 5, it’s interesting that at the end of the chapter, the Apostle Paul goes back to God’s pre-fall marriage design “in the beginning” Furthermore, in Matthew 19, when Jesus talked about marriage, He also returned to the “in the beginning” marriage principles of paradise.

        Personally, after over 40 years of marriage, and reviewing decades of counseling experiences, IF hierarchy and headship are the best ways to view marriage, since the vast majority of Christ followers live marriage this way … wouldn’t Christian marriages be doing better? Makes me wonder … might it be worthwhile to revisit God’s original marriage design?

        Here’s an idea … Will, you and Cindy are very well connected. How about gathering some of your friends who are firm regarding headship and male authority, and who may be triggered or resistant to the functional equality and “co-leadership” marriage message. Anne+i would love to hear their perspectives … and we’d love to share our marriage perspective. My sense is we could learn from one another. Love/tim+anne

        PS- yes, let’s the four of us get together soon. As i recall … i think it’s your turn to buy lunch

  • We are so grateful you care! We have learned so much through you and Anne and we are forever grateful for all you have poured into our lives and our marriage. We continue to grow and learn through your materials and the way you live life. Blessings as you and Anne continue to fight the good fight for all those coming after you!

    • Hi Kem, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      You truly have an amazing gift of encouragement!
      … praying God’s best over you … and everything you put your heart to. /tim

  • I just discovered the Junia Project and this blog article. I have been struggling with these doctrines for years and years. I’m only really a Christian because of Jesus, not exactly because of Christianity. I do know the Holy Spirit and He has tried to bandage up the pains of abuse in family and church. I’ve learned a number of things. He has always pointed me to the first two chapters in Genesis to show me His original design. Then He points me to the way Jesus lived. Then He points me to 1 Corinthians 13 and the attributes of love. He has since then, pointedly taught me that love is always an equalizer. If love always seeks after the other, prefers the other, is committed to lifting and holding the other to the point of self-sacrifice, there is no time to think about someone being “less,” “in charge,” or anything else. I can’t tell you how many times God has told me over and over again that the mind of Christ doesn’t think that way. God loved us and preferred us over Himself – He sent His son to die for us and reconcile us back to Himself – that IS not preferring self but preferring other at great cost. If we acknowledge God desires us to be like Him, we have to acknowledge how God helps us, comforts us, but invites us, holds His hand out – covenant is an invitation. God doesn’t remove our free will or our choice to love. Love isn’t love when there is zero choice. If God doesn’t make my own decisions for me, but invites me to be like minded with Him exercising my free will to bend to His, why would He place people – mere people who are fallen, in a position over me to remove my choice, to command I bow, and to force the issue with verbal or physical violence, rejection, or abandonment? The God I know, even when I don’t make right choices, doesn’t leave or abandon me, but loves me more and corrects me with the intent to be reconciled in His love. These doctrines actually destroy people. There is no such thing as nice control, nice patriarchy, nice lordship…there isn’t…..the Bible is concise – when we turn toward something that isn’t God, it will rule over us.

    • Hi Apryl, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      And thank-you for sharing a part of your story …

      I’m so glad that you discovered The Junia Project,
      I believe you will be encouraged, challenged,
      and grow in receiving God’s head-over-heels-love for YOU!
      /tim

  • Thanks for contributing your time and effort to help the church be free!

    • Hi Brooke, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      It’s exciting for anne+i to be part of a team of women, men, and organizations like The Junia Project and Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE), who are “all-in” for equality and mutuality. /tim

  • Tim is an articulate champion of equality/co-leadership in marriage, and I know that he+Anne practice what they preach. That said, I don’t believe there is a God who cares about such things, or an Enemy who is out to undermine them. What I do believe is that ‘God’ is a word for the sacred goodness at the heart of all of us, and that when we live attuned to this Goodness/Godness – which would mean living lives of love, compassion, mercy, inclusivity, equality, etc. – we incarnate/manifest God. A Godless marriage is one that doesn’t honor the holiness of one’s self or one’s spouse. A marriage that does honor both becomes a sacrament revealing that God is wedded to humanity in good times and bad, sickness and health, until death and beyond.

    • Hi Tom, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      I agree when you write: “A Godless marriage is one that doesn’t honor the holiness of one’s self or one’s spouse. A marriage that does honor both becomes a sacrament revealing that God is wedded to humanity in good times and bad, sickness and health, until death and beyond.”

      Praying God’s best over you … /tim

  • Interesting thing about men who say headship is not an important issue.

    If you press on with living and communicating the biblical message of egalitarianism to their wives, and the wives start to rock the boat–suddenly male headship is FOUNDATIONAL.

    Until they manage to settle the boat down and regain control.

    Those who have control have a vested interest in not seeing it and a very personal interest in nobody else seeing it or throwing it off.

    • Hi Terri, thanks for taking the time to comment.
      When i read your comment … it brought a smile to my face.

      After forty years of marriage and decades of counseling, Anne+my experience is often when a couple comes in for a marriage tune-up, the husband begins by explaining that he is a “complementarian.” He confidently declares that he views his wife as an equal, he includes her in their decision making process, and they “compliment” each other.

      However after a few sessions, if they reach a log-jam, impasse, or their marriage boat begins to rock, the same “complementarian” husband responds to their marital chaos by quoting Ephesians 5. And his focus dramatically shifts to him being the “head” and his wife “submitting.”

      When this occurs, I encourage the husband to focus on Ephesians 5 verse 21 “be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” I challenge him to read the rest of the chapter, and to take note of the passages that command the husband to nourish, cherish, and be willing to die for his wife (just like Christ died for His bride).

      Sadly, Anne+my experience is often the issue beneath the issue involves male CONTROL.

      Nevertheless, instead of arguing about the root meaning of “head” (kephale); we prefer working with teachable couples who are eager to base their marriage theology on the principles of paradise before sin entered the story.

      “In the beginning…” we find no evidence of headship, hierarchy, female subordination, or male privilege. /tim

  • A “PS” from tim:
    After The Junia Project posted my blog, I emailed it to Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian, who we fondly refer to as: “Dr. B.” Gilbert, Gil—and our beloved Schmeekah rabbi.
    Dr. B. (along with Bill Hybels) co-founded Willow Creek Community Church;
    he is also professor emeritus at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.
    For over thirty-five years Dr. B has been our teacher, mentor, spiritual father—and friend.
    He is also a forerunning and passionate egalitarian.

    As I wrote the post, I had Dr. B in mind when I mentioned those who have gone before us—
    “the gallant women and men who took the initial blast to the full-functional-equality-message.”
    If there was ever a “Mount Rushmore” dedicated to foundational leaders in the equality/mutuality movement, Dr. B’s face would be carved into that monument.
    To hear Dr. B. share some of his story you can watch this Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/197622758

    After Dr. B. read the blog—and with his permission to share the following—he wrote:

    Tim, your cry from the heart makes me aware that, too often, our egalitarian discussion has been confined to the academic, exegetical realm. Your mountain-hike experience should remind all of us that the one who has the highest stake in this matter is our loving, forever giving, interactive and deeply caring Creator.

    His will is important. He wants everyone to be saved, not only for heaven and eternity but especially to become real disciples of Jesus during our lives on earth.

    Indeed, the Bible shows us that every time that the dignity of a person is crushed under the weight of human pride, hierarchical claims, preferential treatment, and egotistic power-plays, the first to be hurt and grieve is the Father of our human family.

    He comes to us as self-sacrificing giver. The least we could do in return would be to treat each other with the same deferential solicitude shown to us by the ultimate Uniter of all things.

    gB

  • This was a great article. I just received my copy of your Naked: Reclaiming Sexual Intimacy in Marriage book, and I’m looking forward to reading it!
    Thanks for this blog and thanks for caring about what our Good Father cares about.

    • Hi Amy, thanks for taking the time to comment.
      We pray you enjoy our latest book. With the ongoing debate between complementarians and egalitarians in regard to who has “authority” in marriage … it’s interesting that God clearly commands “mutual authority” in sexual intimacy (1 Cor. 7:4) /tim

  • Great article! Loved the story woven in of the personal revelation that God cares!! Thankful for the way the author passionately casts vision for equality.

    • Hi Colleen, thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Believing God cares truly is a game-changer.
      And the idea that God gives people amazing gifts; and then restricts half of them from using the gifts He gave them just makes no sense to me-:)- /tim

  • I was JUST thinking something along these lines this morning…I have been feeling the urge to write more about my journey regarding egalitarianism, but realize that it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Obviously there are those who firmly disagree, but I thought this morning that there will be those who don’t think it’s a big deal. Like, why are you complaining? Why cause trouble?

    But as someone who’s been on the receiving end of some of the inherent biases against women that are too easily maintained thanks to complementarianism, I feel so strongly that even if “most” of the scenarios aren’t bad, why would we settle for less than God’s design?!

    It is an inherently privileged position to be able to say that nobody cares about headship. There are many of us desperately and emotionally working out our theological stance, knowing that we will be viewed critically because of it when we speak out. So, thank you. Thank you for caring, for rocking the boat, for writing.

    • Hi Rebekah, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Anne and I often say; “life is lived in a story…”

      We thank God for YOUR story, and we pray for upcoming chapters that are filled with increased intimacy with God and others. And we pray God’s wisdom and favor over you as you continue to work our your theology in humility and with passion. /tim

  • Tim, your friend’s own comments say it all. None of the (presumably complementarian) MEN he “hangs out with”, none of the MALE elders or MALE leaders, “care about headship”. Of course they don’t think it’s a big deal. They’re the ones in the comfortable – and pride breeding – position OF “headship”.
    They’ve never felt the sting of being casually, thoughtlessly dismissed. They’ve never been the ones in the position of weakness, told they must submit to a male authority figure at every turn or they are rebellious, ungodly, and ignoring the Bible!
    They get to make the rules, they get to decide how scripture is interpreted and applied to other people’s lives, and they get to pat themselves on the back for being a great, loving husband who “includes” his wife in “most” decisions.
    Of course people care, or websites like this and so many more wouldn’t exist. Pretty much everyone in the Body outside your friend’s complementarian male bubble care.
    And yes you’re right. God cares. I believe very, very much about this concept of “headship” that has been so twisted and used to oppress his children for so long.

    • Hi Suzanne, thanks for taking the time to comment. It is great to know that GOD CARES!

      My personal experience, as I review hundreds of conversations over a number of decades, is after I describe God’s pre-fall design for relationships. And after endlessly debating fallible interpretations of a handful of controversial NT passages…

      As I think back to specific conversations where I have pressed religious leaders for an answer to my question: “will you even consider giving functional equality and co-leadership a three month try?”

      Sadly, on many occasions, a religious leader has looked me directly in the eyes, and confidently stated; “I hear your arguments, in fact many of them make sense. But, truth be told Tim, as a man I guess the bottom line is I like having authority, and the final say in church … and in my marriage.”

      Makes me wonder if a primary reason, one that is often UN-spoken, regarding many male religious leaders resistance to full functional equality may have more to do with their perception of being a man, as well as issues related to their perceived authority, and having control.

      Nonetheless, thankfully as anne+i work with younger couples, the vast majority are totally open to the equality and mutuality message – yea God!
      /tim

      PS- Suzanne, after re-reading your comments, before i hit “post comment” … as a man … i want to say i am so sorry for any ways you may have personally felt “the sting of being casually, thoughtlessly dismissed.” God NEVER thoughtlessly dismisses ANY person made in His image. I pray God supernaturally enables you to see yourself in all the amazing ways that He sees (and treasures) YOU.

  • Thank you so much for caring about this issue and doing so much to help those of us who suffer under crushing weight of all that wrong teaching brings to our lives. You help us hold onto our trust in God who does not despise and reject us, which is how such teaching makes us feel.

    • Hi Dawn, thanks for taking the time to comment.
      I encourage you to keep passionately trusting God … and to focus on your TRUE IDENTITY.
      You are so-spot-on regarding the truth that God never “despises or rejects us”

      Dawn, I sense you already know this, but I want to remind you again that…
      YOU are God’s “beloved” and treasured daughter!
      Never allow any human being or institution to determine who you are in Jesus Christ.
      Praying God surprises you with His love and goodness in “only-God” ways! /tim

  • Who cares? I am not a history buff; however, in my experience in every situation where a privilege has been denied, e.g., right to vote, citizenship, women’s rights, etc., someone of privilege has considered themselves empowered to convince others that no one cares, it is not important compared to other pressing issues, only they know God’s will, it is a slippery slope, etc.

    • Hi Jeanine (&Lorna), thanks for taking the time to comment.
      It seems after the fall, the enemy quickly distorted God’s mutual equality (both the man and woman made in God’s image – equal intrinsically and functionally).
      And the enemy distorted the mutual authority (both the man and woman given the procreation and rulership – dominion – mandates) that God gave to both the man and woman.
      Thankfully, we are seeing more and more women, men, and couples reclaiming God’s original design. /tim

  • Hi Tim. My husband Francis and I read you and Anne’s book before we got married. An excellent and helpful book.

    • Hi Rebecca, thanks for taking the time to comment.
      We are thankful “TOGETHER Reclaiming Co-Leadership in Marriage” blessed you and Francis-:)-
      Shoot me your mailing address and we will send you a complimentary copy of our just released book; “NAKED Reclaiming Sexual Intimacy in Marriage.” /tim

  • Thank you for such a well written and heartfelt article. Yes! God does care and always has. I am privileged to serve in a denomination who ordains women and holds a commitment of support to them.

    I am even more privileged and truly blessed to be married to a man who sought God’s Truth when his wife was called to fulltime vocational ministry 25 years into their marriage. God is good.

    • Hi Tammie, thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Anne+i celebrate your denomination, and your call to ministry!
      And we pray God’s favor and protection over your marriage! /tim

  • I liked this post and that Tim wrestled with the question as to whether or not God cares about headship. It seems to me the headship doctrine has become entrenched with an overblown sense of male authority that can discourage women from wanting anything to do with church so that is a great cost to our faith. ‘Head’ can also be translated as ‘source’ so I think consideration of this is prudent in exegesis and translation. Full inclusion of women in the Church requires equality; that seems the only way to resolve this. I am an egalitarian in all aspects of life so of course I expect no less in my Christian faith.

    • Hi Annabel, thanks for taking the time to comment. I resonate with your post. Our mentor Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian translates head as “servant provider.” Nevertheless, instead of arguing about head/headship, Anne+i prefer to return to the marriage principles of Paradise … “in the beginning…” before sin entered the story. /tim

      • Hi Tim,
        So nice of you to reply to all in this conversation thread. I think ‘servant provider’ is good for a mutual role in marriage. I think that’s what you mean and if so I agree. I also like the picture from the creation narrative, when there was equality before sin entered the story.
        I did a degree in Christian Studies where I first ran across Paul’s use of Kephale and the professor posited the possibility that (as it can be used as head or source, like that of the source of a river) Paul could have been referring to the creation narrative: God created Adam, next Eve ‘from’ Adam, in a sense, but ultimately the Creator is the source of all life. It is not something one wants to argue to divide, but to unite. Personally I think we should jettison the word ‘headship’ from the 21st Century vernacular as a relic of patriarchy.
        Cheers, Annabel

  • Tim, thank you for caring!!

    I can appreciate your friend’s perspective, based on how he and his wife seem to have a system that works for them, and being perhaps “too busy” with seemingly more pressing concerns to pay attention to the subtleties of power structures. However, when people say “nobody cares,” I’m immediately curious if they can also say, “I asked my wife/daughter/mother/niece/sister whether she cares.”

    I grew up in a church where “male headship” was so extreme that some women were not allowed to even pray aloud in their own homes — because that was the husband’s role. I won’t go into how damaging this was to both women and men (and marriages). I’ll just agree that I don’t believe these were evil men, I think most were doing their best to live out what they sincerely thought God wanted, they felt like it was working for them, and so it never occurred to them to ask.

    The amazing thing about freedom from inappropriate power structures (gendered and otherwise) is that it doesn’t take away freedom from men and give it to women, it makes everyone more free to discover & embody Christ: personally, in their relationships, and in the world. And that, as you said, is only truly frightening to one enemy.

    Blessings on you & your ministry!

    • Kate, we must have been in the same circles! I never heard a woman pray, ANYWHERE, EVER, until I was in college! We could probably swap some stories! 🙂

    • Hi Kate, thanks for taking the time to comment.
      I sense from your loving response that you have received healing from the toxic-religiosity from past church experiences. My take is often people who come out of difficult, at times abusive, circumstances are amazing advocates for full functional equality, and the quintessential oneness in our Triune God.
      Kate, I thank God for YOUR voice … and I pray YOUR voice is anointed in ways that supernaturally advance God’s kingdom! /tim

      PS- JO, thank you for commenting on Kate’s comment-:)-
      … I bless YOUR voice and all it’s kingdom advancing potential!

  • Thank you Tim for caring and sharing your passion. My husband of 33 years is my best advocate and encourager and we both try to spread the beauty of shared leadership. We look to Jesus and how he never spoke of ruling over others except when be referred to the “gentiles” in a negative way. I empathize with the stsrugfle as it’s real and there have been big costs do us but we are so thankful that we have grown even stronger through all our transitions.

    • Hi Ruth, thanks for taking the time to comment. I smile as I read you describing your marriage. I pray this next season is filled with increased intimacy with God- and with each other.
      Anne+my experience is the best argument regarding the amazing benefits in equality and mutuality is to live in such a way that people ASK what is different about you and your marriage. This opens the door for all kinds of meaningful conversations! /tim
      PS- tell your hubby I said that he married UP!-:)-

      • Thanks Tim for taking the time to answer all of us! I think you’re right about the best “argument ” is a life living it and people asking what is different!

  • Sources: New Testament “household table of rules,” [for all the relevant passages], replicated as guidance to Roman Households, this literary form, which, when taken seriously, as “form” (how content comes to us), and this, considering what “legitimate” [mostly German] New Testament Scholars have to say about it, forces one, based upon the “original evidence,” to minimize the significance of headship / subservience language, altogether. It was mainly a first century Roman thing, for us now, to be thought of as the “was-ness” of the “was” not the “is-ness” of the “was.”

    • Hi Roger,thanks for taking the time to comment. I love when men with notable credentials add to the discussion. Your spiritual fire power is a blessing to advancing equality and mutuality. /tim

  • Hi Tim (and give a hug to Anne from me) I am so glad to know that you and Anne are still fighting the good fight.

    Yes, this does take a toll on our emotional and spiritual life, but I personally am learning a deeper level of trust in God; that taking a risk to struggle against the wrong of gender inequity and fighting for, what I believe is the higher-calling of the Gospel.

    Striving for that implied higher calling embedded in Jesus’ teachings are what ended the slave trade; this higher calling is what will end inequality.

    Sending you both my love!
    Lisa Guinther
    Boulder CO

    • Hi Lisa, thanks for taking the time to comment.
      I just gave anne a hug from you
      And … after re-reading your comment … I just want to declare “AMEN!”
      With love/ tim+anne
      PS- As an aside, Colorado Springs is in the process of resurrecting a CBE Chapter – “yea GOD!”

      • Whoo whoo! That’s great news.

        And re: “Amen”, I would treasure your prayers on this next, very difficult adventure.

        I’m pretty sure I still have your email, so I’ll keep you posted…I’ve got to get into grad-school first. 🙂

        Love,
        Lisa

  • As I read your post I had the same thought Lori raised: would he still not care if he weren’t in charge? Just because he takes it for granted doesn’t really mean he thinks it’s not important.

    People do care about headship. For the women, men and children who have suffered under that false doctrine, the reason to care is quite clear.

    • Hi Tim (I often say that I never met a “Tim” I didn’t like)-
      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Even though my friend tells me “no one cares” … after a twenty-five year friendship, deep down I think my good friend truly cares. My sense is as a pastor’s kid he automatically defaults to the religious-hierarchical-mindset that was present in his family generational line, and in his life-long religious training. My prayer is as he observes his married children living out equality and mutuality, and as he is exposed to ministries like Christians for Biblical Equality- and The Junia Project, his heart and mind will become more open to change. /tim

  • I am sad to say this Tim but in my book your Complimetarian Friend is not only wrong, he is not fundamentally “a good guy.” Good guys do not have the need to relegate women to a lesser status. Good guys do not merely “include” wives in decision making as if it were a gift of his to do so. Good guys do not dismiss the feelings of many if not most of us that equality in marriage, in the workplace and in the pulpit matters a great deal. Good guys want and work for equality. It is in their nature because it is good.

    • Hi Carla, thanks for taking the time to comment. My sense if you met my friend you would see that he does not do many of the things you mention above. In my humble opinion, he is a good guy. He passionately loves and treasures his wife, kids, grandkids, and he is one of the most kingdom focused and generous people I’ve ever met.
      I often tell him I think he may have a “speck” in this eye surrounding mutual authority and mutual equality. But, often when I start to comment on his (or other’s) “specs” … the Holy Spirit gently reminds me of some “LOGS” I’ve had in my own eyes over the years. Please join me in praying God ambushes my good friend with revelation surrounding equality and mutuality- thanks. /tim

      • Yes there are some wonderful Godly men in my Church who are Complementarian. At least in theory as far as their marriages are concerned. Closer inspection reveals a more balanced, realistic arrangement. My pastor’s wife for example would not take any messing, while he is actually a pussy cat. They’re lovely but the theory is complementarianism. I have wondered that I am not meant to be married as a Christian woman it is much harder to break free of sexism in personal relationships in the church, sadly it is much more of an issue. I have recovered very well from childhood abuse, being totally side-lined as a valid human being due to my gender by a group of men. I’m happy now! I had a long journey to recovery and it is wonderful, so I will never, ever give that up. There is no way Jesus wants his good work un-done. Mutual submission – Oh Yes Please. But one sided submission, never ever again. I have drank from that cup enough.

  • I hear this message too. But I think many people dont question the status quo, cuz it’s convenient, comfortable for them. Questioning would mean, I have to change. And so of course, I don’t really care.

    • Hi Andrea, thanks for taking the time to comment. Change is typically met with push-back. Thankfully anne+i are meeting many men, especially millennials, who are passionately pursuing equality and mutuality- yea GOD! /tim

  • As you describe your conversation with your friend , he said, “I include her in all decisions, especially the major ones”…reveals that he cares about Headship. I wonder what it would be for him if the roles were reversed?

    • Hi Lori, Thanks for taking the time to comment. I think a week of “role-reversals” would soften a lot of men’s hearts … and it would make a great movie-:)- /tim

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