LiveAsIf.org - 'Winging It - Gender Complementarity

''Winging It' with Stan Smith
Originally posted on 07/10/2019

Gender Complementarity

I learned a new phrase: "gender complementarity". Cool! I like new things like that. So ... um ... what does it mean? Well, "complementarity" is "The state or quality of being complementary". "Fine," you say, " ... so what in the world does that mean?" Well, obviously it's when you say nice things about people. No, kidding. "Complementary" (as opposed to "complimentary") means "completing" (in short). The idea is this. Presence A has these qualities and thoseshortcomings. Presence B has those qualities and these shortcomings. Put them together and what do you get? A complete, working model. The idea, then, behind gender complementarity is that men have these qualities and thoseshortcomings while women have those qualities and these shortcomings. Put them together and you've got a great working model. Apart, and you might hear, "It is not good for Man to be alone" or something like it. So where am I going with this?

Perhaps you've heard this before. "Children do best growing up in a home with a mother and a father." Now, I dare you ... toss that grenade out in an open forum and see what happens in the fallout. You see why, I assume. If we agree that "mother and father" are best for kids, then what do we do with "mother and mother" or "father and father" kids? You can likely see fairly quickly that the idea of same-sex couples raising children becomes questionable.

Of course, it will be instantly repudiated. But have you ever looked at the repudiation? Here are the types of responses you'll see. "Married couples are no better than other family forms at raising children." (An argument in a vacuum.) "Children do best in a family where the adult relationship is steady, stable and loving." (One of the all-time favorites.) "Abuse is rampant in the traditional family." (Similar to and related to the previous, but different.)

What's wrong with these repudiations? They're fair, aren't they? Well, not quite. Going in reverse, claiming "abuse is rampant" may or may not be a true statement, but in this argument it is irrelevant. (Wait for it.) In the same way, claiming that children "do best in a family where the adult relationship is steady, stable and loving" may (or may not) be true, but the claim is irrelevant. You see, these responses pose the conditions this way: "Which is better, adults who love each other or adults who don't? Which is better, adults who abuse the child or adults that don't?" See the problem? The way these responses are stated, the suggestion is "Married couples likely hate each other and abuse the children, while same-sex couples likely love each other and don't abuse the children." This argument, of course, is unsupportable. You see, we all agree that children do best in a family where the adult relationship is steady, stable, and loving. Who is saying otherwise? And we all agree that abusing children is bad. Who is saying it isn't? Further, the failure of some relationships (two gender or same gender) to be what they ought to be either toward each other or toward the children is not relevant to what is best for children. The question is this: Given a married mother and father who love each other and love their child(ren) and a same-sex couple who love each other and love their child(ren), which is better for the children? All that folderal about "loving couples" and "abusive parents" is smoke screen. Let's compare the choices under the same conditions.

Now, the argument would next be made, "Well, if 'Married couples are no better than other family forms at raising children' is an argument in a vacuum, then so is 'Children do best growing up in a home with a mother and a father'." And that is true. Is there any reason to say that a married mother and father who love their children are best for the children? Indeed!

First, the science. According to Patricia Morgan, sociologist, "We've had 20 years of very well-controlled statistics and all the time we get this repeated conclusion: children do best educationally, behaviorally and in every other sphere when raised by two original biological, married parents." Dr. A Dean Byrd reported "the results of decades of research showing that children need both a mother and a father in order to grow into emotionally mature adults." The good doctor says "There is no fact that has been established by social science literature more convincingly than the following: all variables considered, children are best served when reared in a home with a married mother and father." (I recommend reading the report. It is interesting and brings up many valid points.) Regardless of what you've been told, both tradition and science agree: "Children do best growing up in a home with a mother and a father."

Of course, I've got this whole thing backward at this point, but I did it just to demonstrate that that which is true is not necessarily only true in the Bible; it is most often also true in the secular world. But I, of course, am most convinced by Scripture. So what does Scripture say? Well, I've covered that at length in multiple other places. The Bible structures families as "man and wife", "father and mother". There are no "same sex couples" in biblical reference anywhere. Nowhere do you find a single command that hints "in the case of 'non-traditional' families I give these instructions". No, no. They are always instructions to fathers and mothers, husbands and wives. Someone might choose to argue, "Well, doesn't it say 'Children, obey your parents'? How is that 'gender complementarity'?" Well, let's think about that for must a moment. What does it take to make "parent" plural ("parents")? It takes ... two. Okay. How do you define "parent"? "One who begets, gives birth to, a child; a father or mother." If one parent is "mother", then two parents is "father and mother" (or vice versa). No same-sex couple can beget/give birth to a child. Of course, regardless of modern definition, "parent" in Scripture is abundantly clear. Children are commanded to "Honor your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12), not "parent-generic". Where children are told "be obedient to your parents in all things" (e.g., Colossians 3:20), the command is prefaced or followed with commands to husbands and wives (Colossians 3:18-19) and, interestingly, fathers (Colossians 3:21) (not mothers). (Compare with Ephesians 5:22-6:4.) Clearly the biblical (godly) plan is "husband and wife" who are parents to "children".

Since the Bible is clearly in favor of a married mother and father as parents to children, and since science "by coincidence" agrees, it would seem that there is no reason to deny that gender complementarity is God's ideal for children -- "in the best interest of the child". Now, I know that people will dispute it, but they do so against both science and Scripture and, from every argument I've seen, with bad logic.

Meet the Author:
Born and raised in a Christian home, I've been treated to immersion in the Word and squandered it. "But God ..." I love the phrase. God has been faithful when I was unfaithful. At every turn He has crowded me to Him.

I'm married with four grown children and (currently) four grandchildren. My wife and I live in sunny Phoenix by choice. I hope to encourage people with my words and to share with others what God has shared with me.

For more writings you can see my blog at birdsoftheair.blogspot.com.

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