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What do the roles of “head” and “helper” truly mean?

Download a sample chapter of Male & Female: Embracing Your Role in God’s Design to answer this question and more.

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God’s Design for Gender


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“God has designed men and women uniquely, with distinct gifts and dispositions that image different aspects of God’s nature to His creation.” (pg. 32)


Through the lens of complementarian theology, learn to answer big cultural questions and explore gender. Complementarian theology is the belief that men and women are created uniquely equal but in alignment with Christ to fulfill different roles. This isn’t about domination and submission, but about how we work together for the glory of God.


God’s Design for Man: The Head

“Adam is totally dependent on God. True manhood, true masculinity, and indeed, true headship is not machismo independence, but, first and foremost, utter dependence on the Creator. God is Adam’s Head. For us, true masculinity, like Adam, exemplifies dependence on God, being God’s creature.” (pg. 24)


God's Design for Woman: The Helper

“…Eve is God’s intervention to make sure the commission is carried out well and to improve on that job where Adam alone would fall short. The helper is God’s gift to the head: to advise him on how to better do his job, to offer vital counsel in decision making, and to call out the head should he fail to take adequate responsibility in his role. To put it another way, the head may have primary responsibility, but he should always seek the valuable input of the helper God saw fit to gift to him.” (pg. 25)


We meet a world every day with questions, doubts, and desire for fulfillment. In so many ways, it is confused and in crisis, especially in the areas of gender and sexuality. Inside the church, we have similar struggles. Where do we go? Who will put it all together in a way that is truthful, insightful and compassionately rooted in Christ and His Word? It is impressive to see how Jonathan and Christa Petzold tackle foundational issues and questions about sexuality and gender with grace and truth! You will find yourself reflecting upon and applying what Male & Female: Embracing Your Role in God’s Design had to say to your world and the bigger world in which you have been placed. Thank you, Jonathan and Christa, for equipping us to live our callings in the places we have been put and helping us bring God’s better plan to the world that longs for delight again. You promised to point us to Christ and you did! Rev. Dr. Allan Buss, President, Northern Illinois District

Sections of this book deeply resonated with me as a woman, wife, mother, divorcee, and a called female church worker! Jonathan and Christa do an excellent job of addressing sensitive topics with clear Scriptural teachings. Men and women in all vocations would benefit from their clear writings on our identity in Christ as male and female. The theological concepts are broken down without being watered down and presented with grace and love. I see this text being helpful for couples’ Bible studies, premarital counseling, and team ministry settings. I look forward to using it in my own family and congregation! Tara Darling, DCE, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Our world is increasingly confused about gender. Jonathan and Christa Petzold’s book, Male & Female: Embracing Your Role in God’s Design, is a clear Christian confession of the truth. Their writing is a journey through Scripture beginning with Genesis and continuing through the New Testament, driving the reader to what God says about man and woman, masculinity and femininity. This Christ-focused book is for the entire Church. Individuals and groups will find the practical discussion guides with Question-and-Answer format valuable for study and reflection. Deaconess Tiffany Manor, Director, Life Ministry, Office of National Mission, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod


Meet the Authors

Rev. Jonathan Petzold and Christa Petzold

Rev. Jonathan Petzold holds an MDiv from Concordia Seminary St. Louis. He serves as Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Roselle, Illinois. Christa Petzold holds an MA in Theology from Concordia University Irvine. She works as a stay-at-home mother, homeschooling their four children. Jonathan and Christa have been married since 2010 and enjoy learning and teaching God's Word together. They also love coffee, Star Wars, traveling, and quiet evenings at home.