In the continuing debate between complimentarianism/egalitarianism and patriarchy (although most are not debating for patriarchy, but running from anything that smacks of patriarchy), the ambiguity still reigns supreme.
A recent example of this is Todd Pruitt’s article: I Am Not A Complimentarian in which he argues for returning to the position of being simply confessional. I agree with his end result. Being confessional, as one holds to the Westminster Confession of Faith, is where Reformed Presbyterians should always be.
However, it seems to me, that either I’m missing something, or he is missing something because from how I read the WCF, and the Book of Church Order, neither expressly state what a woman’s role is to be in marriage. The closest the Confession comes is in WCF 14.2. This is the chapter dealing with marriage and divorce. Chapter 2 reads:
Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife; for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed; and for preventing of uncleanness.
This really isn’t speaking to the issue. But then again, it is. What most are missing in the entire argument is that the Bible is very clear about our roles in marriage. The man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. The woman is to submit to her husband, as to the LORD, and bring forth children for the glory of God. I’ve written more about this here.
The greater truth is that those who lived during the days that the WCF was written, were not confused about our roles in marriage. They didn’t need a section in the Confession detailing these roles because it was so abundantly obvious to anyone who was reading the Bible. It is only confusing because we, the church and society in general, have moved so far away from those declared roles found in scripture.
I know that by saying this, people will accuse me of patriarchy. I’m not sure what to make of that. But the reality is: this debate will continue as long as we do not hold to what Scripture declares concerning these roles.