Complegalitarianism…..Both/And, Not Either/Or

As I talk with a number of female friends, students, those with whom I journey in spiritual education or spiritual counseling, etc. this issue of appropriately biblical marriage dynamics comes up again and again.  As 45 years of marriage will attest, these can be turbulent waters.  And in many of those conversations I, like this author, Kelli Trujillo, have come to see that an either/or construct suggested by these two schools of thought – egalitarian versus complementarian – is not helpful.  It is more of a both/and situation and each marriage has to find the balance between the two…. egalitarian in terms of equality of value and status in Christ, but complementarian in terms of roles and responsibilities in marriage.  The latter may shift from time to time depending on stage of life, the gifts and abilities and training of each, etc. But the biblical instruction to each to be committed to relationship with Christ, then to love, respect, and mutual submission in the relationship does not change. As this author notes, there is NO ALLOWANCE FOR ABUSE…..any kind- physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, psychological, relational, etc.  Recognizing and addressing any of those kinds of issues in a marriage requires experience, wisdom, prayerfulness, healthy boundaries, humility, forgiveness, and unquestionable commitment to work through the issues. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the partners to do the work.  A counselor’s role, in my opinion, can be biblically and psychologically educational…..teaching principles and techniques….and supportive while the couple work through the necessary changes in perspective, value-system conflict, communication styles, etc. and get more in synch with one another’s needs.  Each partner has to be willing to die to SELF and consider the needs of the other partner and the family overall daily.  This is hard work and contrary to the way most people live who have indoctrinated by the individualism of our culture.  I grieve for those partners who do not find the help and support they need to wade through such turbulent waters in their marriages.


What’s the correct view?
Complementarian Versus Egalitarian