Like Trillia, I bristle at this misconception, especially when people wrongly link complementarianism with abuse (or when people pervert Scripture to justify marital abuse). Abuse has no place—absolutely no place—in a complementarian understanding of biblical marriage.
I observed just the opposite in my parents' (complementarian) marriage, which has served as a powerful example for me. In my parents I've seen a marriage built upon mutual, sacrificial love; leadership expressed through servanthood and encouragement; respect expressed through kindness and honesty; submission that looks an awful lot more like teamwork; and a strong sense of valuing, honoring, and treasuring each other.
For Jenny, "The misconception that troubles me the most is the idea that egalitarians are ignoring Scripture or they don't have a high view of Scripture. I do have a very high view of Scripture."
The implication that an egalitarian view is not the "biblical" view is a common one that I, too, often hear perpetuated in Christian radio shows or read in books and Bible studies. And, to be honest, I once thought the same thing. Grappling with gender-related passages like Genesis 3:16; Ephesians 5:21–33; Colossians 3:18–19; 1 Timothy 2:11–15; and 1 Peter 3:1–7; it seemed to me that an egalitarian viewpoint could only be held if one conveniently skipped over those sticky passages, explained them away through questionable exegetical high jinks, or simply didn't take Scripture seriously. But, through research and study, I've learned that there are legitimate, scholarly answers to the tough gender issues in those passages that can buoy an egalitarian view just as strongly as the widely-accepted and equally scholarly complementarian interpretations of these passages. (For example, consider this egalitarian article or this one).
For Further StudyDownloadable resources to go deeper
- Reflections for Leaders: A 14-Day Devotional JourneyeBook Format Available! Fourteen days of Bible studies on Christian leadership principles for women.