Man and woman roles

If God is anything, he is fair. Justice is one of his attributes (Psalm 89:14). "There is no favoritism with him" (Ephesians 6:9).

God's fairness is evident especially in the gospel. God so loved all the world (John 3:16). His son, Jesus, lived and died for all (2 Corinthians 5:15). God wants all to believe this and be saved (2 Timothy 2:4).

God's fairness means that every one has equal value in his eyes. He loves all with the same love. Jesus died for Hitler's sins as well as Mother Theresa's. The Holy Spirit tries as hard to convert one lost soul as he does the next.


Equality before God began at creation. God made both man and woman in his own image. After our parents fell into sin and lost this image, all people were still equal in God's eyes: equally sinful and equally in need of the perfection which can be attained only through faith in Christ. "There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:22-24).

Since the whole world has been reconciled to God by the work of Christ, God judges no one on the basis of age, sex, ethnic origin, or social status. He offers forgiveness to all in the name of Jesus (Acts 10:34-36). Reconciliation becomes ours by faith in Jesus Christ. God provides material blessing without bias (Matthew 5:45).


This same fair and loving God assigns each of us roles to carry out in life. And by the high value Christ gives us, God also provides the reason to carry out our roles willingly. "Each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him" (I Corinthians 7:17).

Our catechism lists the moral requirements of various roles in the "Table of Duties." Our dutiful acceptance of these roles is a part of God's will for our lives. Those who serve in their assigned roles faithfully are serving God himself (Romans 13:1,2; Ephesians 6:7,8; 1 Peter 3:5,6).

If we do not carry out the roles God assigns or perform them grudgingly, we sin. Under "Confession" the catechism tells us how to recognize our sins: "Consider your place in life according to the ten commandments." The Christian's daily walk with God, then, includes repentance for failing his roles, forgiveness from God, and a renewed commitment in Christ to "retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him."

A tough issue

Few people have ever questioned God's fairness in assigning role relationships in general. It's not hard to understand that God values the child as much as the parent even though he asks children to accept a role of obedience to parents. The same is true of citizens and government officials, employees and their bosses. It's common sense. It's good order. And it's what God says.