It matters. Single, looking or not, married to a Christian, or married to a non-believer. It matters.
- When you're searching for a church home, it matters.
If you don't have a proper understanding of gender roles in the "little church", how can you have a proper understanding of gender roles in the "big church"?
I know (in real life) a woman who does not believe in (or at least practice) the "husband as head of household" model in her marriage. Yet she believes that "men in leadership in the church" is Biblical. What she is saying is that she wants men in leadership positions in the "big church" without having proved themselves in leadership positions in the "little church" (1 Timothy 3:1-7 says that "he must manage his own household well"). How is a man to qualify as an elder if he is not able to manage his own household?
This problem goes in the other direction as well.
A woman embraces God's plan for her husband as her head of household, yet insists that women are qualified to be a pastors and elders. How does this work? If (according to 1 Timothy), a qualification for elder is to be able to manage a household well, how can a woman who does not have leadership in her home qualify to have leadership over men?
An argument can be made that single moms can handle a household quite well - this is true, but that would mean that the "state of being married" would disqualify this woman as elder, while the "state of not being married" would disqualify a man who is single without children living with him.
Logic says that you must either embrace complimentarianism (men and women's roles compliment each other) in both marriage and church or...
you must embrace the notion that there are no gender roles in either marriage or church and that women have full access to all office of the church.
To have complimentarianism in one place, but not the other makes no sense.
- When you're looking for a spouse, it matters.
- If you're a man who is looking for a wife; if you are a leader and a woman does not believe that you would be her Biblical head of household, this is a power struggle in the works.
- If you're a woman who is looking for a Biblical head of household and a man does not want to be, this is a recipe for resentment on both sides. If you have a home with no leader, the home goes noplace.
Mark Driscoll said, "either the husband rules the home or the dragon [satan] does." If you are looking for a spouse without understanding what you believe on this issue, you are setting yourself up for a rough voyage.
- If you are the wife of a non-believing spouse, it matters.
Having an unbelieving spouse does not exempt a woman from "hupotasso", it makes it more important! 1 Peter 3:1 says that the "huptasso"/conduct of wives can be a positive influence on their husbands who do not believe.
- If you are the husband of an unbelieving wife, you are still the leader of the home and you have the responsibility to lead in a Godly way. This is a very hard road, and I believe the leading must be very gentle (although I have never had the experience).
- If you are a parent, it matters. Do you want your son to grow up to be a Godly head of household? Do you want your daughter to be an excellent wife? Teach them what these things mean.
conclusion: A proper understanding of gender roles has an impact on your marriage, your church, your search for a marriage, the raising of your children. If you have a marriage or want a marriage, if you have a church or want a church, if you have children or want children - it matter.