Foundations of Sexuality (Part 2): Men and Women Were Created with Different Roles

Posted on 05/19/2014 by


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Let’s continue our series on God’s design for sexuality and marriage. Last post, we looked at the foundation that God created men and women with equal dignity. Today, we will explore the foundation that men and women were created with different roles.

Up front I want to state that most of this material will be coming from a Secret Church on Family, Marriage, Sex, and the Gospel by David Platt from 2011. I highly recommend that if you want to know more about this topic that you visit where video streams and other materials are available for download. Additionally, I have found most of David Platt’s work to be extremely grounded on the Word and without a lot of fluff.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” –Genesis 2:18-23

It is very clear in this passage that man and woman were created with a distinct connection to each other. Not only are man and woman created with complementary anatomical differences, man and woman were created with complementary roles. It is clear that despite that Adam had all of God’s creation before him, God did not see Adam as complete when he was alone. God created Eve as the perfect complement to Adam. So, what are our God given roles?

Man Was Created To Be The Head

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. –1 Corinthians 11:3

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. –Ephesians 5:23

David Platt goes on to describe this idea of man being the head as, “having leadership and even authority in the relationship with woman, not in a way that leads to male domination, undercutting the equality or value in any way.” In many ways, in the context that is given here, God’s designed role for man is one built more around sacrifice than power.

Woman Was Created To Be The Helper

In Genesis 2:18 and 2:20, God establishes that man needs a helper and that man shouldn’t be alone. The solution was to create someone also in God’s image but with a different role from Adam. David Platt describes this as, “man was created to exercise loving authority over woman while woman was created to extend glad submission to man. So, while submission is looked upon with such a negative tone in today’s culture it is important that we approach it with the balance of a man’s role of sacrifice.

Let’s look at some things that emphasize this idea of different roles for man and woman.

Order of Creation

For man was not made from woman, but woman for man. –1 Corinthians 11:8

When the Bible talks about animals being created they were created male and female at the same time. God chose the creation of woman to be distinctly different and distinctly complementary to man.

Design of Creation

And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. –Genesis 2:22

In the Genesis package at the top, we see that God brought all of the animals to Adam to be named, but it was through this process that Adam can see that he is a special creation and that there was no animal that was like him. So, it is totally in God’s design to create a helper fit for man.

Naming of Woman

Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” –Genesis 2:23

Naming of Human Race

This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.  –Genesis 5:1-2

Representation of Man

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. –Romans 5:12-14

The importance here is that even though both Adam and Eve were involved in bringing sin into the world, God recognizes Adam as the representative for both.

Responsibility of Man

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” –Genesis 3:8-9

This one is kind of scary one for men, but God has placed a responsibility for leadership and responsibility for sin on man. This does not mean that women have an out when it comes to sin, but man has a role in accounting for sin in his family.

Effect of Sin

To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” –Genesis 3:16-19

Redemption of Sinners

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her –Ephesians 5:22-25

One might be able to make the case that man and woman’s roles may have changed once Christ paid the price for our sins and gave us victory over sin. This points out that God’s design for man and woman’s roles were in place before sin came to the world and remains in place after Christ died and was resurrected for our sins.

Next time we will look at the last foundation of sexuality. We will look to see how God created men and women as a reflection of the Trinity.