Many pastors today proclaim from their pulpits that wives are taking over the leadership role God has assigned to husbands. Is their charge valid?
First, what is the directive to husbands? Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.
Where is leadership in this directive? There isn’t any. It is all about love and sacrifice.
So where does the headship idea come from? We have to look at the directive to the wives. (Doesn’t this seem backward?) To the wives, Paul says “Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church and he is the savior of the body.
So it is the word “head” that Christian leaders translate into "authority" or "leader." But does the context support this definition? If Paul meant that husbands are to rule their wives, wouldn’t he have said so? If they are to make the final decisions, wouldn’t he have said that? Instead, he tells husbands to give themselves up for their wives. How? Like Christ did for the church.
This is not just once in a while. This is daily, hourly, moment by moment, no matter what. It is such sacrifice of self and such caring for and focusing on the needs of the other, that if I were a man, I would not be insisting on the “right” to this headship.
And it is this sacrificial headship that wives are to submit to. Wives are to submit as to Christ, in other words, to a person who acts like Christ. There is no way a wife can submit to a self-serving, and/or demanding husband as she would submit to Christ. It is impossible. A woman who submits to such a man is submitting as to Satan. The marriage would no longer symbolize Christ and the church.
So if a man’s “headship” is to love self-sacrificially, are Christian wives taking over their husbands’ role? I have to concur, yes they are. In the majority of cases, it is the wives who put themselves last, who put husband and children first. It is wives who focus on their husband’s desires and try to fulfill them, who lose sleep to care for their family, whether child or husband. It is Christian wives who sacrifice their own desires and goals to help their husbands reach theirs. And wives continue to work when they come home from work, or after the husband comes home from work, while the husband uses that time to relax or play. Wives have taken the leadership role by becoming the loving, sacrificing servants that husbands are commanded to be.
If husbands really want to be Master of the House and take back their God-decreed role of “headship,” they need to put their wives first, and themselves last. Then, and only then, will they be the leaders and masters of their homes.
Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" Please visit www.wanetadawn.com
Chronically Self-Centered Spouse Series - Nope, I'm not doing this series. Nope, Visionary Womanhood is not doing this series. But I do thank Natalie for linking to it over there a couple years back...
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