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So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27

We believe that God created mankind, male and female together in His image. Thus men and woman share equal dignity and worth in God’s sight. But God also assigned men and women different but complementary roles and purposes for their gender. Our views therefore are called complementarian–that men and women are equal but distinct in their roles.

In particular these role distinctions are applied most formally in marriage and in the church. Paul was careful to make clear that Christ is the head (leader) of all and in a similar way that the husband is the head of the wife (1 Cor. 11:2). He also told husbands to love their wives and serve them as Christ did the church, and for the wife to respect and submit to her husband (Eph. 5:22-29). In the church God has called men to fulfill the governing and teaching role of elder (1 Tim. 3:2, 1 Tim. 2:12).

While it’s true that in our sinful rebellion God’s good designs for roles of authority and submission have often been corrupted and abused, nevertheless when they are embraced in full obedience to all of scripture, with mutual respect, servant leadership, and sincere godliness, these roles do demonstrate God’s good and gracious design for men and women.

For more information about this topic we suggest the work of The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood specifically The Danvers Statement, as well as the affirmations and denials presented at Together For the Gospel in 2006 (Affirmations & Denials – PDF)

More information on Complementarianism

Our Sermon, “Complementarian.”
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Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, by Wayne Grudem
Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, by Wayne Grudem and John Piper (available as a free PDF download).