God Never Desired Patriarchy!
After reading the historical accounts throughout the Bible, one can easily be mislead into believing that male leadership is God’s intended design for marriages, families and for mankind in general. But, a closer look at God’s word clearly reveals that God never desired patriarchy.
In fact, it is instead a testimony to God’s mercy and grace that throughout history, and even in Jesus, God met and worked with us in our fallen state of patriarchy.
The pre-Fall account (Gen 1:27-28), the historical glimpses into God’s heart in the midst of patriarchy seen in women like Deborah (Jdg 4:4-5), the uplifting ways in which Jesus treated women in the highly patriarchal society in which He came, and most especially the New Covenant in Christ (Gal 3:28), all point to the fact that God did not plan to leave us in our fallen state of patriarchy, but intended on restoring the gender equality once enjoyed in the Garden.
Men ought to treat their wives and all women with the gender equality that God wants them to enjoy, because in Christ Patriarchy has Fallen.
Women, don’t wait for men to grant you equal status when Christ already has. However, if your environment is highly patriarchal, be wise in how you walk in your status, even being prepared to forgo your status for Christ’s sake, being winsome for Him in your context.
The misunderstanding of the Scriptures keep us captive in our patriarchy. Here are links to common questions that some might have:
What of headship?
What of submission?
I would like to recommend a post by Ruth Perry entitled, Was Jesus Really a Complementarian???. I have enjoyed several other very good posts on the topic of gender equality on her blog, The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors.