I tend not to quote Mary Kassian approvingly on this blog, but today I will.
Because complementarianism could have unhealthy influences* on relationships, Christians who cannot embrace egalitarianism should be taught to live complementarianism in a way that avoid certain traps. Traps like, for example, wives encouraging selfish (selfishness is sinful) attitudes in husbands by their willingness to comply with whatever his way of thinking in a matter is . And who better to teach that than gender hierarchy supporters (complementarians)? The people who need this message are not that likely to believe us non-endorsers of gender hierarchy.
For that reason, I quote complementarians on how to avoid some pitfalls that are certainly not Christian living:
A Christian’s first responsibility is to submit to the Lord and His standard of righteousness. A wife is not called to submit to sin, mistreatment, or abuse. The Lord does not want “weak-willed” women—women who lack the discernment and strength to respond to the right things and in the right way. Godly women do not submit to sin. They carefully and intentionally weigh and discern how to submit to sinful human authority in light of their primary responsibility to submit to the ways of the Lord. No brain-dead doormats or spineless bowls of Jello here! Submission is neither mindless nor formulaic nor simplistic. Submitting to the Lord sometimes involves drawing clear boundaries and enacting consequences when a husband sins. Submission is an attitude of the heart. A woman can have a submissive spirit even when saying “no” and refusing to go along with sin.
When thinking about that, I would encourage the reader to not define sin too narrowly. It is not just sin when the husband ask you to do a directly sinful act. A man who commands his wife to bring him coffee while she is busy and he is watching TV is selfish – and that is sinful. If the wife knows better where the family’s money will be wisely invested, but goes along with his plan even though she knows it will cost the family a lot, she is not using her God-given discernment. For reasons like these submission should, as Mary points out, not be mindless, but carefully weighed.
Thank you, Mary Kassian.
* Unhealthy influences: Dominance by the one partner is a major factor in intimate partner abuse, and complementarians tell women to accept at least some degree of dominance.