What if Joseph and Mary had been complementarians?
You guys, the Christmas story would be no more. Things would be drastically different.
And what is described in this piece is exactly what happened with Joel and me. Different details, obviously. Ha. But, the 'gender roles' described here is exactly what Joel was being 'prescribed' (and here) in order to 'deal with me' and my needs. I was 'in sin' because I wasn't succumbing to acting in these roles. I probably would have if I could have (because of my own background)...but my physical need for rest didn't allow for that.
Thank GOD Joseph wasn't listening to 'mentors' and advice-givers like in this story, or like Joel did. "Well, an angel came and spoke to Joseph personally...that's the difference in Joseph and Joel." But...Joseph could have easily written off the angel's visit...could have easily blocked any voice from heaven by listening to the voices of (wrong) men too...just like Joel did. I do not believe that God just left, leaving Joel to his own devices. Rather Joel was deceived...and the voices of other men became louder than the voice of God in his life in the past few years. The voices of complementarian men all around are very, very loud and confident in their wrong thinking and beliefs. They are very persuasive. Not because they are evil. But because they absolutely think that what they are saying is right and is 'gospel'...and they speak as such (and here).
I share this to illustrate for you what complementarianism is really like. How extreme it is. This just so very clearly points out the absolute absurdity of 'man's religious ways.' Even complementarianism goes so far beyond what traditional gender roles were like back in the day in many ways…clearly shown in how Mary reacted to Gabriel…and how Joseph reacted to Mary.
Were these reactions of Joseph and Mary the norm? Maybe not. Maybe everyday life and roles truly were more like described in this piece. But that's just it...clearly those gender roles were not so among God's people. He came to set us free from that sort of thing.
Complementarianism just puts people back in that bondage.
The following is an excerpt. You can read the whole brilliant piece here.
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
Mary responded, “I will have to talk to Joseph, and see what he thinks. As a woman, I can’t be certain whether or not there is really a calling on my life, especially if it seems like a calling that will put me in a place of prominence over Joseph. Although we are of equal value, he has spiritual authority over me, and he gets the final say in matters like this.”
Gabriel face-palmed himself and let out a sigh of exasperation.
Soon after, Mary went to Joseph and explained that God had called her to carry the Messiah in her womb, and that she would become pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Joseph was skeptical, because Mary was a woman, and easily deceived. He wondered if she had actually talked to an angel, and supposed that even if she had, she must have misunderstood her calling. It didn’t make sense to him that God would call her to a position as prominent as carrying the Son of God, and expect Joseph, a man, to take a back seat. No, it just didn’t seem right.
Joseph thought about it, and he felt that allowing Mary to pursue this “so-called calling” was going to upset their traditional marriage roles, therefore it couldn’t really be from God. After asking the advice of some wise male friends, he had to make the difficult decision to tell Mary, that this was not a calling from God, and there should be no more talk of babies from the Holy Spirit. Mary questioned the decision, saying that she really felt that God had a calling on her life, but Joseph reminded her that she was not equipped to make that determination on her own, so she submitted to his will.