Since the last post was short, here’s another brief one to round out my own thoughts on mutuality (see footnote). You can read the other three here, here, and here. Tomorrow, I’ll recap the week with my favorite posts from around the web, so don’t go anywhere.
My final thought on this subject has to do with same-sex relationships. As many of you know, this is a topic I love to challenge the Church on. Today is no exception, but it comes in the form of a question.
How do Christians in same-sex long-term relationships/marriages handle the issue of submission?
Okay, I get it. The majority of complementarians probably also believe same-sex marriages are outside God’s will. Fine. But for those who don’t subscribe to that view, this is a teachable moment. After all, being complementarian doesn’t mean being conservative in all ways (though the correlation is probably pretty high).
According to complementarian theology, men and women have certain roles within marriage. These roles can be very conservative, encouraging women to stay home, care for the household, and be the nurturing spirit of the family while men work and are strong and masculine. But these roles can be more flexible, recognizing that women can work and men can stay home, that household chores can be divided equally, and that children are everyone’s responsibility. The main point is really that men are the spiritual head of the household and that women should respect them as such, trusting their husbands to lead the family.
I am not certain this would work in a same-sex relationship.
Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve only ever been a woman married to a man. I’m not trying to be irreverent, nor am I trying to be ignorant. I’ve never asked this question before. I guess I never thought about it much. Come to think of it, I’ve never given much thought to what my role in my own marriage is “supposed” to be, much less anyone else’s.
I do wonder if this is what some people object to when it comes to same-sex marriage, though. Is it the idea that two men or two women couldn’t reflect or represent God’s relationship with the church properly? I suppose that is an issue, in some people’s minds.
Anyway, I am sincerely interested in the answers. I would love some of my Christian friends in same-sex relationships to help me out here. How do you read and interpret the Bible on the subject of submission? Is it irrelevant to you, or do you choose to read those words in a way that is meaningful within your particular relationship? Have you ever heard a message given on this subject that you found applies to you?
Chime in, don’t be shy! I’ll bet there are a lot of people interested in the responses. And be sure to let me know if I’m overstepping the bounds of being appropriate here—I’m not above loving correction and I will be happy to remove this post if it’s offensive.