Have you ever stopped to ponder that in complementarian circles men and women are counseled before marriage that they are entering an adversarial relationship?
In premarital counseling, a woman is instructed that part of the curse is that she will want to usurp her husband’s authority. She will want to take over and that’s just wrong. She must be very careful to not overstep her bounds and infringe on the man’s leadership. She must submit. But because she is a wicked woman, she must expect that she will be a usurper.
The man is told his wife will try to “take over” and dominate him. He has to be on his guard that he doesn’t abdicate his leadership or let his wife lead. He must be vigilant that he’s in charge and she is properly submitting. And if she isn’t submitting, it is his job to make sure she does. She is, in one sense, his potential enemy.
So we see a woman going into marriage who has been made thoroughly afraid that she will try to take over. And we have a man going into marriage who has been told his wife is his adversary and that she’ll try to take over his role.
Is there any other relationship in the Bible where believers are told to expect to become adversaries?
Even more than that, they are encouraged that this adversarial relationship is proof of biblical teaching!
Would you join a church that promoted adversarial relationships among its members? Of course not! We are called to live at peace with one another, encourage one another, build each other up, serve each other, etc.
Why in the world do we tell engaged couples that they can expect to be adversaries? Is this even biblical?
Understand What the Bible Really Says
What’s with Paul and Women?God’s Word to WomenWhat Paul Really Said About Women: The Apostle’s Liberating Views on Equality in Marriage, Leadership, and LoveI Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking I Timothy 2:11-15 in Light of Ancient EvidenceHow I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent EvangelicalsPartners in Christ: A Conservative Case for EgalitarianismMan and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters