I recently received my Focus on the Family (FOTF) newsletter which is about marriages and strengthening them. I appreciated this sentence: “The marital relationship was created by God to function as the greatest reflector of divine love, harmony, and mutual give-and-take in the entire world.” – Yes! I agree.
However, this statement by Jim Daly also puzzles me. Because when it comes to gender roles and marriage, the teachings of FOTF (and other authors/ministries they endorse) take a distinctly complementarian approach. Men and women are typically stereotyped/caricatured, placed in small boxes, and the man is portrayed as the unilateral leader of the home. These types of teachings are not conducive for fostering “mutual give-and-take” in marriage. Thus I find that the statement does not blend with their overall teachings on marriage.
My point is not to slam FOTF, as I actually respect and appreciate them, despite my disagreement on a handful of things. I like the new approach initiated by Jim Daly when he took over several years ago and toned down the culture war rhetoric. (More on that in this post.)
Rather my intention is to simply point out what I perceive as an inconsistency.
And in case you missed it, author Sarah Bessey recently shared a list of resources for couples who would like to shape their marriage on the biblically-based idea of mutual submission or egalitarian marriage. The list of 60+ resources including books, conferences, and ministries is found here.