Complementarianism, Women in the Church, Gender Roles, Proper Church and Family Roles
This series is a review of God’s Design, a children’s book which teaches children about complementarity. For an introduction of the book, click here. All of the underlined subtitles below are chapters from the book.
Today, children, we will talk about God’s design for the church and how to learn God’s ways (as if this hasn’t already been said enough).
Men and Women in the Church
The above diagram is the start of this chapter. The idea is that since there is an order and design to the family, there is an order and design to the church. We can discuss in the comments whether the design of the family looks like a “team.” For now, let’s talk about the church.
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Ephesians 5:23 (ESV)
Those who believe in Jesus and make up the church are a part of the “Household of God.” Just like a family, we are adopted in to this household. And, like a family, since the man is the head of the home, a man must be the leader of a church.
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 1 Timothy 3: 2-5 (ESV)
But there is even better news! Women are not to be pastors! Woo hoo! Because of:
Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. 1 Timothy 2: 11-15 (ESV)
Why is this good news? Because this means that men have the responsibility for leadership of the church and women can “enjoy church ministry just right for them.” What is “just right” for women? Teaching other women, helping other women, ministering to the sick and poor, teaching children, being a missionary, musician or Bible translator. I’m guessing the missions and Bible translation is good for you single women out there.
Learning God’s Ways
Maybe you have wondered ‘Why do I have to know this? I am just a kid!’
Oh, don’t we all wonder why kids need to know this!
This chapter is pretty much rehashing what the book promotes. There are three paragraphs that focus on girls learning from older women on how to be a woman. There is one paragraph for boys that tells them to learn from dad on how to be a man. This book continues its trend of making sure that girls absolutely know their place.
The authors admonish children to not be like Peter Pan and just play all the time. Children are encouraged by a story of a 15-year-old boy in the book, Do Hard Things. The boy raised money for water wells in Africa. He is a shining example of not being Peter Pan.
For goodness sake! Who exactly is the audience of this book? I’ve said before that I think that this is a book meant for 6-10 year-olds. These are children we’re talking about! Children are meant to play and learn from play. They are using an example of a 15-year-old to tell 6-10 year-olds how to live. Are they really expecting young children to start a non-profit business? I know some young kids have been able to do that, but to push this on a young child who may not be ready is too much. Let kids be kids. Encourage kids to follow their passions when they arise. I’m afraid that parents will read this book to their kids and then expect incredible things from them. Not all kids are able to do that, and that’s okay.
The final activity for this chapter is:
Talk with your family about how you can take responsibility or learn to be a godly man or woman. Make some definite steps this week to walk in biblical manhood or womanhood.
If you would like to read prior reviews on God’s Design, here are links in the order of the book chapters: