Falling in love is easier than knowing what to do once you’re there. Marriage is similar to your final graduation. As long as you’re going to school, there is a clearly defined “next” (courses to complete, papers to write, tests to take, applications to fill out, etc…). Once you finish and can do “what you always wanted,” it is least clear how to make “it” happen. How do you get from degreed to employed? How do you get from employed to fulfilling work? How do you prevent fulfilling work from leading to burnout and find contentment?
Through the process of dating, engagement, wedding planning, ceremony, and honeymoon there is also a clear “next.” But, what do you do when you get home from the honeymoon? How do you get from being married to having marriage roles? How do you get from having defined roles to having a mutually fulfilling life? How do you find lasting contentment and avoid allowing roles from becoming stereotypes or relational ruts?
We will be looking to answer the following questions: (a) What does the Bible actually teach and what do Christians only culturally assume about gender roles? (b) What are the pre-requisites to the healthy and satisfying implementation of roles within marriage? (c) What kind of process can a couple walk through in order to effectively discover what roles will look like in their unique marriage?
There is an overlooked assumption in these questions – none of us know what we’re doing when we get started. Even if you grew up in a healthy family, there is no guarantee that what worked for your parents will work for you. Even within the guidance of biblical parameters, there is much that must be tailored to your unique personalities, skills, and schedules.
Another complicating variable is that gender mattered very little before marriage. Once you past the “cooties” stage of life, the only functional gender differences were which public restrooms you were allowed to use. Yet once we’re married, then God’s design for making us male and female takes on a significance that was largely irrelevant before.
“Up until then [testimony of a newlywed couple], we had pretty much lived in a unisex world, as students taking the same classes, competing for the same grades on a level playing field, rarely forced into any consideration of what God’s intention may have been in making us male and female (p. 171).” Tim Keller in The Meaning of Marriage
Is it any wonder that gender roles are a frequent point of conflict and confusion? We haven’t even discussed the abuse of gender roles as complicating variables. Fortunately, you are not fighting a culture battle in your home. As you think about marriage roles, you are merely discerning how to honor God’s design and enjoy one another in your family.
The following two job descriptions are meant to do more (but not less) than describe biblical gender roles. They are meant to couch biblical gender roles within the biblical character, biblical friendship, and biblical responsibilities that were meant to make gospel-centered marriage the blessing that God intended.
NOTE: These are interactive documents which will make more sense in light of the verbal presentation at:
CREATING A GOSPEL-CENTERED MARRIAGE: FOUNDATIONS
Part One: Saturday March 16, 2012
Part Two: Saturday March 23, 2012
Time: 4:00 to 5:30 pm or 6:00 to 7:30 pm
Location: The Summit Church, Brier Creek South Venue
Address: 2415-107 Presidential Drive; Durham, NC 27703