Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Incarnate Complementarity

Photo from Star-Telegram.com

Alright, I admit it. I watch Olympic couple’s figure skating.

I don't follow it with the passion of some folks, and I know none of the technical terminology, but the combination of technique, athleticism, and sheer beauty amazes me. But last night while I was watching the finals, I was struck by something more important. While misguided academics and theologians point us to the “freedom and fairness” found only in egalitarianism and androgyny, couple's figure skating reveals a different approach: complementarity. Couple’s figure skating incarnates complementarity. Men and women are fundamentally different; they are designed that way.

As John Piper writes, “At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead; provide for and protect women in ways appropriate to a man's differing relationships." On the other hand, “At the heart of mature femininity is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive, and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman's differing relationships."

A picture is worth a thousand words.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love that image of the skaters. I think that complementarians, to the extent that I understand them, are closest to the biblical perspective of the relationship of husbands and wives. The hierarchical perspective is too simplistic on the one end, with its rigid patriarchal view and its failure to deal with such rich and nuanced texts as Proverbs 31 and Ephesians 5. The egalitarian view wants to solve that problem on the other end by denying any God-given differences in the sexes. However, all three views can be guilty of reading contemporary cultures into Scripture, whether it was Abraham reading ancient pagan culture into his relationship with Sarah as he bartered her to save his own neck or modern fundamentalists reading a middle-class model of "the wife who stays home" into Scripture to sanctify a mostly 20th century image of marriage. I think Scripture describes a more beautiful and complex relationship of husband and wife than this. Also, I always warn young women that this is about husbands, not about all men. They owe no obedience to any man but their husbands, before him their fathers, and any man or woman that might play the role of pastor/teacher. In other words, this relationship is with specific "dance partners" not just any male of the species.

What are your thoughts?