"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Eph 5:25

Sunday, September 1, 2013

This Is Headship??


It's a hot topic that has been bantered back and forth for a long, long time.  Most folks have the wrong idea about it, including (especially) those in christian circles.

Don't get me wrong.  I've been taught by some very well informed, scholarly christian men. But many of these same men believe in the husband as the strong leader, the decision-maker who often steamrolls over his wife's wants and desires in the name of  God's biblical pecking order for married couples.

I've read many blogs, books, and articles on the subject, and recently came to the realization that the thinking in much of the christian community may be somewhat misguided. 

Popular thinking in christian circles is that the husband is in charge, and the woman must submit to his authority.  That thinking is, in fact, correct.  Well, that is, to a point.

You see, this has been gnawing at me for quite some time, until a series of blog posts and Bible readings made me think outside the box. 

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. (Ephesians 5:23)

The husband is the head of the wife.  That means the husband is the big cheese, The head honcho. The man with the plan. The boss.  Right?

Wait a minute.

Being the head and being the leader are not the same thing.

Think of the human body.  When the body feels pain it sends a signal to the brain (the "head") and the head reacts.  When the body is hungry the head gives the body food.  When the body craves a particular food the head does its very best to give the body exactly what it craves.

Also, the brain sends signals to the body whenever danger is near.  By way of knowledge and senses it steers the body in the right direction.  When the body obeys the head everything is okay.  However, when the body rebels and proceeds in a direction against the instruction of the brain, all is not well.  

This puts an entirely different spin on the idea of headship in marriage, doesn't it?

When my wife desires something, it is my job as the "head" to do my best to get it for her, if at all possible.  When I can't deliver, I am acutely aware of her disappointment, just like the brain feels the disappointment when it isn't able to provide for the wants of the body. 

Sometimes I have to disappoint my wife, giving her not what she wants, but something less.  I sometimes fill a need but not a want.  In this case I am usually filled with angst at the knowledge that she is left wanting.

The same holds true for my family.  I try to give my family what they need, and when I can't I feel the pain as much as they do.

Is it difficult?  Yes, at times it is, but I always remember that I've been given the responsibility of loving my wife as Christ loved the church, giving Himself up for her. 

What about my wants and desires?  I've made (and continue to make) my wants known.  To the extent my wife is ready and willing, she meets those wants.  If she doesn't, then it's all part of the sacrifice.  
It's good to know I have Jesus Christ as my head.  He guides me in all that I do, and with His help I am able to steer my marriage and my family in the right direction.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

1 comment:

  1. I like this. Indeed it is a two way street of signals/communications of wants and needs between the body and the brain. The brain that ignores the needs of the body is unhealthy. Annorexia, bulimia. Cases where the brain starves the body of basical nutritional needs on pain of death.

    In the same way, a brain that completely gives over to wants of the body can also end up unhealthy.

    Some times there are needs of body the brain simply must address and is not really a decision at all.