The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood offers this resource, which is an adaptation of chapter two of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. Here are a few of the questions and answers for you to ponder on this Monday:

1. Why do you regard the issue of male and female roles as so important? 

We are concerned not merely with the behavioral roles of men and women but also with the underlying nature of manhood and womanhood themselves. Biblical truth and clarity in this matter are important because error and confusion over sexual identity leads to:

  1. marriage patterns that do not portray the relationship between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32);
  2. parenting practices that do not train boys to be masculine or girls to be feminine;
  3. homosexual tendencies and increasing attempts to justify homosexual alliances (see question 41);
  4. patterns of unbiblical female leadership in the church that reflect and promote the confusion over the true meaning of manhood and womanhood.

God’s gift of complementary manhood and womanhood was exhilarating from the beginning (Genesis 2:23). It is precious beyond estimation. But today it is esteemed lightly and is vanishing like the rain forests we need but don’t love. We believe that what is at stake in human sexuality is the very fabric of life as God wills it to be for the holiness of His people and for their saving mission to the world. (See the Rationalesection of the Danvers Statement.)

2. What do you mean (in question 1) by “unbiblical female leadership in the church”?

We are persuaded that the Bible teaches that only men should be pastors and elders. That is, men should bear primary responsibility for Christlike leadership and teaching in the church. So it is unbiblical, we believe, and therefore detrimental, for women to assume this role.

3. Where in the Bible do you get the idea that only men should be the pastors and elders of the church?

The most explicit texts relating directly to the leadership of men in the church are

  • 1 Timothy 2:11-15;
  • 1 Corinthians 14:34-36;
  • 1 Corinthians 11:2-16.

The fifth, six and ninth chapters of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood present detailed exegetical support for why we believe these texts give abiding sanction to an eldership of spiritual men. Moreover, the Biblical connection between family and church strongly suggests that the headship of the husband at home leads naturally to the primary leadership of spiritual men in the church.

4. What about marriage?   What did you mean (in question 1) by “marriage patterns that do not portray the relationship between Christ and the church”?

We believe the Bible teaches that God means the relationship between husband and wife to portray the relationship between Christ and His church. The husband is to model the loving, sacrificial leadership of Christ, and the wife is to model the glad submission offered freely by the church.

5. What do you mean by submission (in question 4)?

Submission refers to a wife’s divine calling to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts. It is not an absolute surrender of her will. Rather, we speak of her disposition to yield to her husband’s guidance and her inclination to follow his leadership. Christ is her absolute authority, not the husband. She submits “out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). The supreme authority of Christ qualifies the authority of her husband. She should never follow her husband into sin. Nevertheless, even when she may have to stand with Christ against the sinful will of her husband (e.g., 1 Peter 3:1, where she does not yield to her husband’s unbelief), she can still have a spirit of submission – a disposition to yield. She can show by her attitude and behavior that she does not like resisting his will and that she longs for him to forsake sin and lead in righteousness so that her disposition to honor him as head can again produce harmony.

6. What do you mean when you call the husband “head” (in question 5)?

In the home, Biblical headship is the husband’s divine calling to take primary responsibility for Christlike leadership, protection, and provision.

7. Where in the Bible do you get the idea that husbands should be the leaders in their homes?

The most explicit texts relating directly to headship and submission in marriage are Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:1-7; Titus 2:5; 1 Timothy 3:4, 12; Genesis 1-3. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood gives detailed exegetical support for why we believe they teach that headship includes primary leadership and that this is the responsibility of the man. Moreover, in view of these teaching passages, the pattern of male leadership that pervades the Biblical portrait of family life is probably not a mere cultural phenomenon over thousands of years but reflects God’s original design, even though corrupted by sin.

There are 50 questions in all and it would be well worth your time to read all of them with their answers. Perhaps you can bookmark the site and return to it for future reference. If you would like to purchase a copy of Piper and Grudem’s book, I have an Amazon link over at Our Sovereign Joy.