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Celebrating Our Strengths: What a Girl (or Boy) Is Worth

What’s a girl worth? Some say that it depends on your theology of men and women. People in Christianity typically divide into two camps, one (complementarians) that teaches that women and men have separate roles and that men are to lead women, and one (egalitarians) that teaches that men and women are equals and should have the roles for which they are gifted.

complementarian vs egalitarian in image form

I’m a blend of the two — I don’t believe that women’s permanent posture towards men must be “yes,” a characteristic of the submission teachings. I do not believe that we are the only ones who are to submit — Ephesians describes mutual submission just prior to the verse in which Paul writes about wives submitting to husbands. Nor do I believe that there are roles for men and separate roles for women, other than those biologically determined (for example, men cannot birth children). I believe that you should do what you’re good at, no matter what your gender.

But after reading the following, I do believe that people come together in ways that complement one another — they fill in each other’s gaps.

“God didn’t create the woman to bring half of herself to his global commission or to minimize herself when the man is around. The fanfare over her is overblown if God was only planning for her to do for the man things he was perfectly capable of doing for himself or didn’t even need. The man won’t starve without her. In the garden [of Eden], he really doesn’t need someone to do laundry, pick up after him, or manage his home. If Adam must think, decide, protect, and provide for the woman, she actually becomes a burden on him — not much help when you think about it. The kind of help the man needs demands full deployment of her strength, her gifts, and the best she has to offer. His life will change for the better because of what she contributes to his life. Together they will daily prove in countless and surprising ways that two are always better than one.”

(from “Half the Church” by Carolyn Justis James, emphasis mine)

This is what a girl’s worth. She brings her strengths and her best to the church and to her marriage, and she is valuable because those strengths are unique to her. When men and women all do this — bring their strengths and their all — to serve one another, I see tremendous opportunity to prize and value each other.

What do you think? What do you bring to your relationships that the other lacks?

A response to Tamara Outloud‘s call for responses to her original question, what’s a girl worth?


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