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Marriage and Family

Father’s Day is a great opportunity to thank the men around us for the job they have done raising us. My experience is no different. My father has been a great influence in my life, and as I grow older into a strong woman who fights the hold of patriarchy, I cannot help but think he has been influential in this. Even before I was born, it seemed that he knew the struggle for equality that I would have to go through. With his international perspective on the struggle women face, he equipped me with the biggest tool to survive this battle and named me Florkime: a traditional name from northern Liberia, his homeland. My name Florkime in the simplest terms means perseverance and to keep trying. He has constantly reminded me that my academic efforts are valued and my personal s... Read more
tim+anne evans
The following article draws extensively from tim+anne evans' new book,TOGETHER: Reclaiming Co-Leadership in Marriage, which is available for purchase from CBE's bookstore. The majority of marriage sermons, books, and seminars focus on different infallible interpretations of a handful of controversial marriage texts. This often results in confusion surrounding the issues of equality, headship, submission, and authority. After many years of marriage, counseling couples, and leading REAL LIFE marriage gatherings, we've reached the conclusion that there is much misinformation and confusion surrounding marriage. For this reason, whenever we have an opportunity to speak or teach, we begin by asking a question: What is God's mission, his purpose, for marriage?... Read more
“Wives, submit to your husbands,” says Ephesians 5:22. Just be careful not to commit idolatry while you’re submitting. The complementarians I know insist that husbands and wives should listen to each other and make big decisions together. The purpose, they say, of Paul’s instruction to wives is to prevent paralysis in decision-making. If the husband and wife face an important decision and they cannot agree, then the wife should yield to her husband’s view. This is God’s way of keeping order when the two are deadlocked. But is it really God’s way, or is it idolatry? Imagine my husband, Mark, and I cannot agree on an important decision. The answer is not obvious from Scripture. But I think my way is the way of obedience, and Mark is convince... Read more
It doesn’t take long before everyone who meets me is aware that I don’t like stereotyping and avoid it strenuously and yet……I have observed that often in families where there are children of both genders, the girls seem to be the more responsible ones, often to the annoyance of brothers who are being ‘bossed around’ by their sisters. I’m sure there are exceptions to this but it is often the scenario where a brother has another ‘mother’ nipping at his heels, trying to tell him what to do! Now…..if God made males to be in charge, to take initiative and to be more responsible, why are boys so often immature, irresponsible and need to be pulled into line by female siblings ? People often take delight in pointing out how boys sho... Read more
As an egalitarian I often write and speak on the importance of equality within male-female relationships. I do so because I strongly believe that power inequity prevents each partner from being all God calls him or her to be. Inequality diminishes everyone: those with power and those without. I hadn’t realized until recently, however, that an imbalance of power has actually been linked to brain functioning. According to Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, people with power share similarities with those who have damaged frontal lobes, a part of the brain which facilitates empathy and socially-appropriate behavior. Such a condition, Dr. Keltner reports, “can cause overly impulsive and insensitive behavior... Read more
Dear Complementarian: If you embrace the theological position that God the Son is eternally (read “permanently”) subordinate to God the Father and then ground your belief that submission of the wife to the husband is permanently true because of this theological position, then what does this text mean? At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. -Mt.22:30 Presumably the text suggests that in eternity human relationships will not include marriage (the question about human reproduction and human sexual relationships is equally suspect). The uses of γαμέω and γαμίζω (words for a man/woman marrying) make it clear that marriage is not part of the eternal st... Read more
Many engaged couples tend to read books together, and sometimes have a few pre-marital sessions with a counselor in preparation for marriage. When we were engaged, we too read books and met with our pastor, and understandably, both were invaluably helpful and hilariously uncomfortable. We also were lucky enough to stumble upon three key principles for a partnership in marriage through a hobby we both love: rock climbing. They are communication, trust, and give and take.  As Adam was maybe ten or twelve feet in the air, Caroline, his belay (the one connected to and supporting the climber by the rope), had the revelation, “Hey, this is sort of like our own pre-martial counseling!” Caroline continued, “Your life is literally in my hands! I could drop you if I wa... Read more
Many engaged couples tend to read books together, and sometimes have a few pre-marital sessions with a counselor in preparation for marriage. When we were engaged, we too read books and met with our pastor, and understandably, both were invaluably helpful and hilariously uncomfortable. We also were lucky enough to stumble upon three key principles for a partnership in marriage through a hobby we both love: rock climbing. They are communication, trust, and give and take.  As Adam was maybe ten or twelve feet in the air, Caroline, his belay (the one connected to and supporting the climber by the rope), had the revelation, “Hey, this is sort of like our own pre-martial counseling!” Caroline continued, “Your life is literally in my hands! I could drop you if I wa... Read more
I would like make some additional observations on the topic of Modern Marriage Concerns by taking up a statement I made in the closing paragraphs of a previous post on this subject. “I for one do not want to go back to gender hierarchy but I can readily understand it if my complementarian friends are quick to say that this ‘individualism’ is where egalitarianism takes us and is the very reason why they are so against it. Egalitarianism is not meant to manifest itself in rampant individualism. In fact it is meant to do the opposite, that is to work against individualism, especially as it relates to a male privileged environment. It would be a tragedy if the empowering of women led to the neglect of the men in their lives.”  While I may not want to go back... Read more
It would seem that my wife and I have come from a vastly different background to modern-day egalitarians who have grown up in a more secular egalitarian culture. What I mean by that is that we arrived at a stance of biblical equality after having been deeply enculturated in evangelical conservatism. While the church in general has been slow to come to terms with the acceptance of women in leadership positions and marriage equality this is generally accepted as a norm throughout the civilised world. It was not so when we began our journey.  While it is understood that women in executive positions, who arrived there on the basis of merit, still struggle to overcome the entrenched male domination that exists in these corporate sectors, great advances are being made and the more common... Read more

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