The ESVSB takes a decidedly complementarian position on texts that are pertinent to gender roles in the home and church. For example, S.M. Baugh, New Testament professor at Westminster Seminary California, wrote the study notes for the book of Ephesians. Of Ephesians 5:22-33, Baugh writes, "The first example of general submission (v. 21) is illustrated as Paul exhorts wives to submit to their husbands (vv. 22-24). Husbands, on the other hand, are not told to submit to their wives but to love them (vv. 25-33)." Baugh then carefully unpacks, in verse-by-verse fashion, the structure of that section of Ephesians, pointing out the significance of the original language where pertinent. He also provides a helpful chart-the study Bible is filled with these-that offers biblical principles of marriage "at a glance." These color charts alone are profoundly useful teaching aids and typify the entire ESVSB package.I would not recommend this Study Bible. I realize that others have found me to be unnecessarily negative towards complementarianism. Some believe that defending equal rights for complementarians is as important as defending equal rights for women. Complementarians are those who believe that women do not have the same roles and functions as men. (Complementarians do not believe that women function as equals.)
I would like to take a practical step to reduce the impact of complementarianism. I am personally against wedding vows including "obey" or "follow" on the part of the wife. I believe that these should be outlawed but I don't know whether that would be productive.
Perhaps putting this into the mental cruelty list of examples in Canadian law,
- persistent criticism and belittlement;
- persistent and willful withdrawal of companionship;
- refusal to have sexual relations; and
- domineering or tyrannical behaviour.
- asking the other person to obey
Clearly many people who experience things on this list will not want to divorce, for the sake of their children and their family or because of a joint social and collegial lifestyle which they consider to be more significant at the time than companionship in marriage. I don't think this would cause any rush to divorce. But I would like to see the concept of "the wife must obey her husband" repudiated in law and in the church. Theoretically even complementarians should not have difficulty with this, because they do not always define "submit" as "obey." There are many semantic games played in this sandbox.
Kinda sad, isn't it?