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Divine Design: God's Complementary Roles for Men and Women

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For decades culture has blurred the lines between men and women, all in the name of equality. Yet instead of creating harmony, this approach has caused frustration and confusion, leaving families broken and hurting. Divine Design draws reader back to God’s intention for men and women, and tackles big issues such as authority in marriage, mothers in the home, and the innate For decades culture has blurred the lines between men and women, all in the name of equality. Yet instead of creating harmony, this approach has caused frustration and confusion, leaving families broken and hurting. Divine Design draws reader back to God’s intention for men and women, and tackles big issues such as authority in marriage, mothers in the home, and the innate differences between males and females. Readers will discover how embracing their unique design can foster security, balance, and love in a marriage and family.   


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For decades culture has blurred the lines between men and women, all in the name of equality. Yet instead of creating harmony, this approach has caused frustration and confusion, leaving families broken and hurting. Divine Design draws reader back to God’s intention for men and women, and tackles big issues such as authority in marriage, mothers in the home, and the innate For decades culture has blurred the lines between men and women, all in the name of equality. Yet instead of creating harmony, this approach has caused frustration and confusion, leaving families broken and hurting. Divine Design draws reader back to God’s intention for men and women, and tackles big issues such as authority in marriage, mothers in the home, and the innate differences between males and females. Readers will discover how embracing their unique design can foster security, balance, and love in a marriage and family.   

30 review for Divine Design: God's Complementary Roles for Men and Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    Frankly, when I downloaded this book I was expecting a book about gender differences from a biblical standpoint to shed light on the chaos of modern "gender free" culture. The opening lines, “The fact that men and women are different by design is no surprise to those who are committed to reality,” seemed to tell me I was heading the right direction. But the entire book ended up being about male headship/female submission. I have no problem with discussing these issues from a biblical viewpoint, Frankly, when I downloaded this book I was expecting a book about gender differences from a biblical standpoint to shed light on the chaos of modern "gender free" culture. The opening lines, “The fact that men and women are different by design is no surprise to those who are committed to reality,” seemed to tell me I was heading the right direction. But the entire book ended up being about male headship/female submission. I have no problem with discussing these issues from a biblical viewpoint, but they were not what I was expecting. You’ve got to hand it to MacArthur for tackling every difficult passage on male and female roles (Proverbs 31, Ephesians 5, Titus 2, 1 Peter 3, etc.). His very traditional views are hard for most modern women to hear since they (myself included) have been conditioned to feminist thinking in many areas. I agree with him that many women have put self-fulfillment outside the home above being faithful keepers of the home, but still found his cut-and-dry judgments to be irksome at times. While mostly writing about marriage, MacArthur also addresses widowhood, singleness and women in ministry. One quote: “Man’s authority over woman is delegated to him by God to be used for His purposes and in His way. As a fellow creature, man has no innate superiority to woman and has no right to use his authority tyrannically or selfishly. Male chauvinism is no more biblical than feminism. Both are perversions of God’s plan.” (p. 54)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Malia

    This was recommended to me by my pastor because I have recently been raising questions about the roles of women. It's a strong exposition of scripture, mainly 2 Timothy. I was affirmed in my decision to stay home with my children and challenged to value the impact I have in supporting my husband and investing in my kids.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Allison Anderson Armstrong

    Not my favorite. I felt like this book should have been title "all the do's and don'ts of women in Christianity." Too dogmatic for my tastes. He also wasn't super consistent in his views on women in the home.... Lots of scripture quoted which I can use to look up later, but I didn't really like the tone of this book... But maybe I'm just a touchy feminist.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Derek

    This book is less about “complimentary roles between men and women” and more about how apparently women today don’t follow the gospel by having day jobs. Pretty disappointed in MacArthurs writing style here. As someone who hopes to maintain a work-life balance that can better allow my wife to not need a job, I feel he spends too much time being critical on women who choose to work and “desire more independence” without examining how this has come about from a social or economic level. It just co This book is less about “complimentary roles between men and women” and more about how apparently women today don’t follow the gospel by having day jobs. Pretty disappointed in MacArthurs writing style here. As someone who hopes to maintain a work-life balance that can better allow my wife to not need a job, I feel he spends too much time being critical on women who choose to work and “desire more independence” without examining how this has come about from a social or economic level. It just comes off like he’s promoting rule following instead of Christ seeking. Secondly, he doesn’t address men and their role in any sort of similar fashion. As if men somehow follow their calling exactly as its written without any mistakes with a primary focus on task instead of heart. We can use and manipulate our roles for selfish reasons, yet this is barely touched on. At no point did I feel like this book helped me understand the roles of my wife and I to genuinely love Christ first before serving one another. Not worth your time. Go read Chandler or Keller instead.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Heather Denigan

    Did I just criticize John MacArthur? Meh The chapter on singleness made it sound like having a spouse gets in the way of serving the Lord -- rather than focusing on the unique ministry of singles (especially in a world that regards chastity as inhumane), the author focused on the negatives of marriage. But I watch my momma make every word, thought, gesture, and feeling captive to the obedience of Christ, while I struggle to work for God and not for man as a single person (before I was ever in a re Did I just criticize John MacArthur? Meh The chapter on singleness made it sound like having a spouse gets in the way of serving the Lord -- rather than focusing on the unique ministry of singles (especially in a world that regards chastity as inhumane), the author focused on the negatives of marriage. But I watch my momma make every word, thought, gesture, and feeling captive to the obedience of Christ, while I struggle to work for God and not for man as a single person (before I was ever in a relationship). Also, instead of the negatives of feminism, how are the beauties of God's design so blinding so as to show how ugly feminism has been from the beginning? Pointing upwards would make better evangelism. The first half was helpful. The section on the Proverbs 31 woman was exhausting. How do I become this woman? Mere sleep deprivation won't make me like her. His exegesis on deaconesses was interesting. CS Lewis' That Hideous Strength, Keller's The Meaning of Marriage, and Gary Thomas' Sacred Marriage make a far more convincing case for the beauty of God's design for men and women.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen

    As always, MacArthur brings a STRONG exposition of scripture and backs up everything that is said in the book win scriptures that aren't taken out of context but rather have been taken back to their original roots and meanings. There is no possibility of misunderstanding the intent of the Bible when discussing male/female roles after reading this book. MacArthur's Biblical stance is always the same and one hat I admire: one may not LIKE what it says, but that doesn't make it less true or one les As always, MacArthur brings a STRONG exposition of scripture and backs up everything that is said in the book win scriptures that aren't taken out of context but rather have been taken back to their original roots and meanings. There is no possibility of misunderstanding the intent of the Bible when discussing male/female roles after reading this book. MacArthur's Biblical stance is always the same and one hat I admire: one may not LIKE what it says, but that doesn't make it less true or one less responsible for living its precepts if one claims to be a Bible-believing Christian. Highly recommend.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy DeValve

    I have very mixed feelings about this book. First, I struggle with John MacArthur and his style. He just has a tone of legalism and harshness that I don't find winning. Things are one way only and if you don't see it that way you are sinning. I think he could convince more people if he had a more winsome tone. On the other hand, he did say some things I agree with, so it's not that I hate everything he said. I do think that he sees marriage as looking one way only: you must home school, Mom must I have very mixed feelings about this book. First, I struggle with John MacArthur and his style. He just has a tone of legalism and harshness that I don't find winning. Things are one way only and if you don't see it that way you are sinning. I think he could convince more people if he had a more winsome tone. On the other hand, he did say some things I agree with, so it's not that I hate everything he said. I do think that he sees marriage as looking one way only: you must home school, Mom must stay at home, and if Dad isn't the main bread winner he's not doing his job. In my family, raised by very godly people, my parents were very much a team. They both worked outside the home, they both worked on chores in the home (my dad was just as likely to cook supper as my mom), they talked through every major decision together, they both gave 100% to their marriage, and they both deeply loved and respected each other. John and I are pretty much the same way. And I don't feel that a Team approach to marriage is not biblical. I think that is what God intended when he gave Eve to Adam. Yes, it's true that Eve sinned and a tension of leadership/submission was introduced. Pain in childbirth entered the arena and work became a struggle and a toil. But just as it is not wrong to use methods in childbirth to reduce pain or methods in the work place to reduce the struggle to work, I don't think it's wrong to work in marriage to restore the Team Relationship. I think that MacArthur also thinks that adultery happens because women in the church are not dressing modestly. One could almost believe that only immodest people have affairs. And maybe he didn't mean to make it sound like it's usually the woman's fault, but that's how it sounded to me. I do agree that men and women aren't the same and there is no reason to try to force us to be each other. We just never will be and we are happier when we accept our differences.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tina Parry

    In a world that’s so confused about biblical manhood and womanhood, it was refreshing to hear a clear, biblical perspective that celebrates the design of both men and women to complement each other in marriage and the body of Christ. The opening chapters were a little heady, but the rest of the book was very practical, so don’t let the beginning weigh you down! I appreciated how he articulated God’s high standard for holiness for both genders, both for lay people and those in ministry, and the w In a world that’s so confused about biblical manhood and womanhood, it was refreshing to hear a clear, biblical perspective that celebrates the design of both men and women to complement each other in marriage and the body of Christ. The opening chapters were a little heady, but the rest of the book was very practical, so don’t let the beginning weigh you down! I appreciated how he articulated God’s high standard for holiness for both genders, both for lay people and those in ministry, and the wonderful blessings that result. He discusses the role of men and women in the church, which I found very helpful. Some may disagree with his personal interpretation of a woman’s place in the home, but I believe his over-arching principles are biblical and well-presented. As a single, I greatly appreciated his biblical view of singleness and his inspiring challenge to use it to the full for the kingdom. Would highly recommend to all Christians as we try to articulate God’s design for men and women in a world that’s very confused!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Noel Burke

    I thought this was very well done. It provided a lot of useful insight into the topic of manhood and womanhood. It even went into roles within the church. I appreciated the discussion about eldership. The discussion about deacons was good except I was very surprised that MacArthur held the view that women could be deacons. The two passages in question (Romans 16:1 and 1 Tim 3:11) just dont seem to point to a clear connection for women to be deacons. It's clear that men are to fulfill this role b I thought this was very well done. It provided a lot of useful insight into the topic of manhood and womanhood. It even went into roles within the church. I appreciated the discussion about eldership. The discussion about deacons was good except I was very surprised that MacArthur held the view that women could be deacons. The two passages in question (Romans 16:1 and 1 Tim 3:11) just dont seem to point to a clear connection for women to be deacons. It's clear that men are to fulfill this role but I find those passages as weak in making a case for women as deacons. I did appreciate this book though and highly recommend it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Susanne

    I agree with MacArthur's assessment about roles, overreach of the radical feminist movement and how it's tainting the church and its ministry. I read this as a e-book and didn't realize it had discussion points for each chapter until I was finished with the whole book. Seeing it now, I would like to have studied it with others. I'm sure with the influence feminism has had in society, it would be a lively discussion!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Beachy

    I really appreciate how he went back to the Greek text frequently and taught context and culture in his Biblical exposition. I didn't expect him to go into roles of elders, deacons, etc; but he did spend some time on that. He pointed out the errors of feminism, but also stressed that our value and position in Christ is equal with that of men. It wasn't a super interesting book, but from what I remember, I would say it was Biblically sound.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Adam C

    Great Book on how Men and Women are Created Differently Great book how God has created us differently. Men are not superior or women inferior; we are created differently. We complement one another and make up the beautiful body of Christ.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Helpful thoughts, but I think more attention should be given to exploring the subject, especially scriptures, within today's culture.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike/Diane Davis

    Great book for all Family I like the context supported with bible verses historical references and reference authors. The study section as great to go through with my spouse

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christina Smith

    Infuriating!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Smith

    Not even worth the time it would time me to write a scathing review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Danette

    2020 A book about a controversial subject

  18. 4 out of 5

    A.C. Thompson

    Very well written, and the author backed up his thoughts with a lot of scripture. While I didn't agree with everything presented, there are a lot of great aspects and thoughts for how we as believers can better relate to each other in our relationships. Until next time, stay safe, and above all, be true to yourself. That Aaron Guy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    I really enjoyed the final two chapters, which seemed more specific, practical, or expository than some other sections did. There were some sections in the book that seemed overly generalized, or possibly more heavily weighted by opinion than expository interpretation. I would love to see more pages devoted to what a woman CAN do in fulfilling her role.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Raquel

    It's not that I disagree. I just found it a very accusatory writing style which isn't easy to keep reading.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    Though I didn't agree with every single sentence, this book tackles a not-often-discussed subject and was an interesting read. I appreciated the many Scripture references and direct, bold statements on female and male leadership within the home and church. Good brain food.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Luis Alexandre Ribeiro Branco

    Very sound theologically, well based not exclusively in the Scriptures, but also in harmony with science. Two things I enjoyed reading: 1. The likeness and difference between male and female. 2. The description of women serving as deacon.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Pendley

  24. 5 out of 5

    Juvie Gubat

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rick Perry

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Vigneault

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

  29. 5 out of 5

    Randy Stone

  30. 4 out of 5

    Phil Smith

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