I thought this was an interesting perspective. What do you think?
When his disciples argued among themselves about who would be greatest in the kingdom, Jesus told them that "anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all" (Mark 9:35 updated NIV).
In speaking to them about authority he said,
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28).
This aspect of Jesus' legacy profoundly affected relationships in the early church, to whom Paul wrote:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8)
In the biblical narrative, hierarchy enters human relationship as part of the curse, and begins with man's oppression of women - "your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you" (Genesis 3:16). But with Christ, hierarchal relationships are exposed for the sham that they are, as the last are made first, the first are made last, the poor are blessed, the meek inherit the earth, and the God of the universe takes the form of a slave.
Women should not have to pry equality from the grip of Christian men. It should be surrendered willingly, with the humility and love of Jesus, or else we miss the once radical teaching that slaves and masters, parents and children, husbands and wives, rich and poor, healthy and sick, should "submit to one another" (Ephesians 5:21).
This sort of mutual submission worked best in our marriage long before we knew what to call it.
That's because I don't respect Dan because he is a man. I respect Dan because when one of his friends moves, he's the first to show up with his Explorer to help. I respect him because he's the kind of guy who treats everyone with the same level of dignity, from his clients to the clerk behind the checkout counter. I respect Dan because he'll come right out and say, "That's not funny" when someone makes a racist or homophobic joke. I respect him because he likes to do things right the first time, even when no one is watching. I respect Dan because he has spent countless Saturday afternoons at my parents' house, planting bushes and installing showerheads and fixing the computer.
I respect him because I've seen him cry on behalf of his friends. I respect Dan because he is smart enough to win just about any argument, but that doesn't mean he always does. I respect him because he gets as excited over someone else's success as he gets over his own....
I don't respect my husband because he is the man and I am the woman and it's my "place" to submit to him. I respect Dan because he is a good person, and because he has made me a better person too.
This is grace. And for us, it goes both ways.
(pg. 218-220 of A Year of Biblical Womanhood? by Rachel Held Evans)