Christian dating books are often filled with oversimplified advice that draws on cultural stereotypes about gender and describes them as God’s only way and intention for romantic relationships. This issue of Mutuality looks to…
There is abundant evidence that God delights in godly initiation and godly submission of all his people. God’s Word never says it’s normative that men be the initiators and women the responders. It’s simply not in the Bible.
Does the Bible really teach that men and women are truly opposites, with differing needs, desires, roles, and communication styles, as so many of these books argue? Are these gender stereotypes (which are clearly modeled after medieval concepts of chivalry or princess fairy tales) biblical and essential for godly relationships?
Having questioned the formulaic approach of so many other relationship “experts,” what’s left for us to do? Perhaps a return to the universal principles found in Scripture and the conduct modeled by Jesus is in order.
If you’re looking for a beautiful model of an egalitarian relationship in the midst of a decidedly non-egalitarian culture, the love story of Angelina Emily Grimké (1805–1879) and Theodore Dwight Weld (1803–1895) is especially inspiring.
When culture values women and men equally, these very attitudes stem the abuse of women. What is more, when dollars are invested in women’s health, education, and businesses, we not only raise women’s standard of living, but that of their families and communities.
Instead of seeing marriage as a hierarchy, with a husband in authority over his submissive wife, we came to believe a wife and husband should be equals in marriage. For us, that meant making decisions together and both being wholeheartedly involved in the planning of our married life.