Women Lead? Girls Initiating?

women lead 1

Q. Why does a man have to lead? Women are just as able. If a girl likes a boy, why can’t she initiate a relationship? Why does she have to wait for the boy?

A. I do not intend to jump into the egalitarian debate, as much had been written on the subject already, but let me give you a short answer according to design. A man should lead not because he is more able, but because that’s how God designed it. There are two main things to consider:
Gen 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Notice that both male and female were created in God’s image, in His likeness, so that they may have dominion over the rest of creation. Both are equally capable to rule, as that was their design.

But the order of creation is man first, then woman as a suitable helper:
Gen 2:18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
• Gen 2:20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.

Paul picked up on this to argue why a woman should submit and not assume authority over a man:
1 Co 11:8-9 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.
• 1 Tim 2:13-14 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

Since his rationale is based on the order of creation, it has universal application and not limited just to certain times and cultures.

Here’s my take on the issue. If your emphasis is on Gen 1, you’ll opt for the egalitarian position, that man and women are equal in all respects with no distinction in their roles. However, if you focus on Gen 2, you’ll choose the hierarchical view, that man is the head and woman should submit. But the Bible teaches both, not either one or the other. Therefore my position is complementarian, that while men and women are equal in their nature and abilities, God assigned men to lead in the home and the church, and women to help and complement him, to make both complete. Men leading has nothing to do with competency, but God’s intent and plan. Some scholars have proposed that biblical manhood consists of man leading, providing for and protecting his wife and family. So let him lead because that’s what he’s supposed to do, but supplement him where he falls short.

As to girls initiating relationships, I don’t see many biblical examples of that except the positive case of Ruth, or negative ones like the adulterous woman in Prov 7:10-23. Some men are slow and can use some help by way of prompts. Some girls have asked friends to drop hints, but it’s best to wait for God’s leading. He knows who’s suitable for each girl or boy, and there’s really no need to force His hands when the boys are dense.

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