Equality is just one possible (and entirely inaccurate) relationship that can be used to describe or define men and women. There are others who suggest that Complimentary is the best description for the relationship between men and women. While Complimentary can be useful in describing this relationship, there is yet an even more accurate “equation” that exists between them that honors God and mankind. It also puts to rest the inaccurate concept of equality between men and women.
In order to fully understand what this relationship is, I must tell you about two different accounts. Now these two separate accounts may seem unrelated, yet God’s actions in creating relationships between men and women will wrap up both of them with a nice, fine bow.
The first account is something that happened a number of years ago when I went to a debate between a female pastor and another woman debating whether women should be pastors or not. During the debate the female pastor made the claim that if Jesus Christ was a man, then He came to save only men and not women. She insisted that Jesus Christ was fully God and not man so that the salvation He brings would be for both men and women. There are serious and exceedingly dangerous implications for any such view that does not hold Jesus Christ as the one and only God/man, a unique creation all his own. So, this first account brings to light the idea that Jesus Christ as both God and man saves both men and women. How? We’ll find out shortly.
The second account deals with a situation that I found myself in at least three times and maybe four. I have gone to many weddings; and in these cases the pastor will recount the creation story and infer, or say outright, that when God made man it was good; but when God made woman it was very good. Now a lot of feminists would really applaud this declaration. It stems from the idea that while God is creating the known universe, each subsequent thing created is greater than the one created before. So, each created thing is out-done by what is created after it to the point that man is not God’s crowning achievement; but woman who is God’s last creative act. She is God’s real pride and joy. And there is a good argument for this, for God creates something more miraculous each following day of creation. I would agree with this feminist idea if it were not for how God created woman. In a demeaning sort of way, feminists have referred to Adam as the mud man (just a boy wallowing in the muck); for God created him from the wet earth of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Now I would agree with the feminists if God decided to play in the mud right next to where He created Adam and create woman in the same way. But, God did not do that. He did something remarkably different. Instead of making woman from a separate lump of clay, God took a part of the man, his rib, and fashioned a whole woman from it. So woman was not created all on her own, but she was created FROM MAN. And this is where we hit paydirt.
For in making woman from man, God tied her inexorably to him. So that if man berates woman, he is really berating a part of himself. And, if woman berates man she is berating the one from whom she comes. God created man with glory, honor, and splendor. Then he took a part of that man and made woman whose glory, honor, and splendor now comes from the man from whom she was created. The glory she has is because he (Adam) first had it, for it was derived from man. If God would’ve created her separate from man, then she would have a glory, honor, and splendor all her own; but that is not how God created woman. She is not a separate creature from man, ie. a different creature independent and not related, but she takes her very existence from his existence. In God’s foresight and foreknowledge He made woman from man so that she may share in his glory, honor, and splendor just as the church shares in the risen Christ’s glory, honor, and splendor. Because Adam first had glory, so too the woman has glory. Just as Adam sinned and all now suffer death as a consequence to that sin, so too woman has sinned and dies as well. Now that Jesus Christ, the firstborn of creation risen from the dead who is also true man, has proclaimed salvation to mankind through his death and resurrection, so also women who are inexorably tied to man and who share his glory and his fate also share in man’s salvation through God’s Son.
In a theological sense, if we were to say that men and women are equal, this rationale would have blasphemous consequences. For in so doing, we would then make Jesus Christ equal to the Church, and the Church equal to Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22). For if men and women are equal, then husbands and wives are equal. And if husbands and wives are equal, then Jesus Christ and the Church are equal making either the Church Divine or Christ only mortal. The Church would equal God, or Jesus Christ equal only humanity. Either of these outcomes is a serious heresy.