Marriage and Family | CBE International

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Marriage and Family

For the past two years, I have been blogging on a variety of issues—and one specific issue I've written a lot on is the complementarian versus egalitarian marriage debate. I follow many writers across the spectrum of this discourse. Lately, there has been a flurry of activity on social media intended to defend marriage. As I scroll through Twitter, I find article after article about how marriage ought to look and I find myself growing weary. Lately, I've see a big push (yet again) for women to be submissive wives and keepers of the homes, if they want to have biblically based marriages. Titles like, "Building a Marriage Culture | Wives, Serve Your Husbands," bring up old wounds—of trying to fit this model and failing miserably. When I first met Ray, the man... Read more
I attended a few weddings this past year that left me feeling a little uncomfortable with some small traditional details. When the pastor introduces the bride and groom as a married couple for the first time, he/she often refers to the couple as, “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith,” not “Mr. and Mrs. John and Mary Smith” or even “Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Mary Johnson” (if each partner chooses to retain their last name). The woman’s name is erased—completely removed from their identity as a couple. Her individual identity is swallowed up in his identity, as if her name and personhood no longer matter. Although many women do not generally continue to use their husband’s first name in place of their own after their wedding day, the tradition st... Read more
tim+anne evans
Love and Marriage—can you think of many other words that have such life-giving potential? At the upcoming Christians for Biblical Equality "Becoming New: Man and Woman Together in Christ" Conference, we have the privilege of leading a workshop titled, "Together: Reclaiming Co-Leadership in Marriage." We invite those in attendance to consider a pre-fall marriage perspective—before sin entered the story.  In the beginning [1] the triune God (Father-Son-Holy Spirit) created humankind in his image according to his likeness.[2] Male and female he created them.[3] Maleness and femaleness are God's gifts, reflecting his creativity. In the beginning in paradise the husband and wife became one flesh,[4] celebrating... Read more
Jeannette Cook
[Editor's note: This is a post in a series on egalitarianism and autism. The first post, written by Jeannette's daughter, Katia, can be found here.] I grew up longing for fatherly acceptance and love. My dad was very creative in putting my sister Shari* and I down. Shari’s nickname was Big Pig, and mine was Little Pig. We soon learned that he didn’t think we were very smart. He often sang the following to the tune of a famous classical piece by Schubert: Nette is a gob of goo, And Shari is a gob of goo, too. If we made a childish mistake, he would say we were dumber than four hogs, among other things. We learned to stay out of his way because when he was home and spanked us, it was painful. Thankfully, his spankings were rare, but the verbal abuse was nonst... Read more
Katia Cook
[Editor's note: As we near the end of our content series on youth and egaliatarianism, we'll be presenting the stories of two women at the intersection of two seemingly unrelated topics: egalitarianism and autism. Katia, who lives with autism, and her mother, Jeanette, will share interesting insights into these two topics through their own stories and their analysis of how egalitarians can work towards equality in realms that include people with high-functioning autism. We hope you enjoy the seres.] It was at a homeschool group pizza party when I was almost 12 that I faced the cold reality: I was different. The other girls in our group fit together. I was the misfit. So was my family. Unlike the other homeschool families in our area, Dad was not as involved as the other fathers,... Read more
We’re rounding the corner to summer, the perfect time to look for a new Sunday school curriculum for your kids’ ministry. As you research and compare resources, it’s important to consider how gender is communicated in the materials so that children in our midst don’t need to “unlearn” patriarchy when they grow up. Here are five tips for choosing a Sunday school curriculum rooted in gender equality. 1. Check the scope and sequence The scope and sequence is the list of lessons and Bible stories included in the curriculum, and the order in which they are presented. This is usually available on the publisher’s website—if it’s not, ask a sales representative to send you a copy. Look to see what stories are chosen. Are there Bible stori... Read more
It is hard to understate the influence of childhood experience. In a very real sense, the past makes us who we are. Some of the most vivid recollections human beings have are from childhood. Psychologists, counselors, and other social researchers tell us that the first phases of a person’s life—whether from birth to toddler or birth to puberty—are the most formative. Few would disagree. While the brain remains somewhat elastic throughout life, the basic biological structures, neural and otherwise, are carved, shaped, and erected until a tipping point of around 18-25 years of age, where the brain begins to stop developing and the body physically begins processes of long-term decay, finally terminating at the last phase of life. Interestingly enough, I have not met a... Read more
I try very hard not to dominate conversations when the topic turns to gender and faith. I really do! But when a pastor came to our home for dinner, joined by a member of his board, I just couldn’t resist. We were discussing the incidence of abuse in among American Christians. Holding court, I found myself citing the research from Beyond Abuse in the Christian Home: Raising Voices for Change (Wipf & Stock: Eugene, OR, 2008). These researchers interviewed pastors and Christians on their experiences of abuse. Here is what they found: According to pastors: 1 in 5 couples in their congregation is violent 8% feel well-equipped to respond to domestic violence 9% have counseled 5 or more abused women in the last year 83% have counseled at least one abused woman 31% have... Read more
Identity is what defines you. It's where you find your value, the very essence of your worth. It's a concrete state of being. It is not a passing quality or characteristic, but rather, identity is who you will always be. Growing up, I was given a false concept of my identity as a woman. I was well loved, cared for, and protected. I was taught that my responsibilities in the church and in the world were to love God, get married, have kids, and obey. Obey God, obey my father, obey my elders, and obey my husband. For many years, I never questioned any of this. I never wondered why such an emphasis was placed on a women's submission, but men's call to love and respect their wives was deemphasized. I never questioned what I believed or why I believed it, because I trusted... Read more
New parents are overwhelmed with advice. There are websites, blogs, and, of course, people full of opinions on how you should raise your children. There are theories, experts, and condemnation on everything from diapering to sleep. The message that Christian women receive all too often from the church isn't merely advice on good parenting. It is far more insidious than that--it tells women that motherhood is the core of their identity. When women receive this message, it is all too easy to lose sight of their identity in Christ. Galatians 3:26 teaches that "in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith." When you replace Christ with motherhood, there is also great pressure to be perfect. After all, if being a mother is all that you are, t... Read more

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