What makes for a healthy Christian marriage? What's the biblical role a woman should play? Or does there even need to be a gender-defined role?
Depending on who you ask, you might get wildly different answers to these questions. Some focus on the liberty both men and women find in Christ, stressing equality as well as mutual love and respect in marriage. Others emphasize God-ordained, gender-tied functions of leadership and submission, highlighting distinct but equally valuable roles for husbands and wives. Toss into the mix extreme views that relegate women to quiet-subservient-little-mouse status or exaggerated stereotypes of bra-burning, husband-dominating feminists, and you've got quite a mess to wade through!
So what's the correct view? How ought I best approach my marriage? These are questions I've wrestled with since even before I was married—when I was an earnest, ideals-driven, single university student. And, through Bible study, research, prayer, and discussions with pastors and mentors, I've come to a conclusion. . . . and then, as life continued on, I've leaned toward another conclusion . . . and then, sometime later, I've swayed back again . . . and so on. The truth is, these aren't easy matters to navigate. And now, a decade and a half into marriage, I'd say I've forged somewhat of a hybrid position: I'm a complegaltarian.1