Have you ever stopped to ponder that in complementarian circles men and women are told in Christian premarital counseling that they are entering an adversarial relationship? They are. It is the cornerstone of biblical premarital counseling.
Christian Premarital Counseling
In Christian 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 if she wants to be a godly wife who pleases God and her husband. She must be very careful to not overstep her bounds and infringe on the man’s leadership. She must submit in all things. 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. The man must always be aware that his wife, his adversary, will be instinctively trying to take his place because women basically can’t help themselves.
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.
Enter the Adversarial Christian Marriage
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?
How can this possibly be promoted as biblical?