Here is the continuation of Part one where we looked at several scriptures written by Paul to see if they were literal or cultural, and saw that marital love is not controlling; it’s mutually submitting and looking out for the best interest of the other; it’s about serving.
Here is what the Bible teaches a healthy wife/marriage/woman looks like:
First let’s look at headship. This excerpt was printed in the Well Planned Gal (Fellow homeschool mom, author, and speaker.)
“The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church…”
If we want to understand “husband headship,” then we must understand Christ’s headship of the Church. So, how is Christ the head of the Church?
Christ’s “headship” in relation to the Church is mentioned 5 times in the New Testament:
Colossians 1:18 – Christ is metaphorical head of the Church, source of life after death
Colossians 2:18-19 – Christ as metaphorical head of the Church, to help her flourish
Ephesians 5:23 & 25 – Christ as metaphorical head of the Church, saving her, loving her, giving himself up for her
Ephesians 1:20-23 – Church is metaphorical body of Christ, Christ provides for Church’s growth
Ephesians 4:15-16 – Church is metaphorical body of Christ, Christ equips the Church for growth through love
These are beautiful and sacrificial examples.
I don’t see anger, a need to control, condescension, withholding, gas lighting/crazy making, authoritarian, usurped leadership, final decision maker, or supreme ruler anywhere in this verses.
Is Christ a leader? Yes. Is Christ a ruler who sits on a throne? Yes. Does Christ know the answer to everything? Yes. Is there anywhere in scripture that calls husbands to be this type of head/leader over their wives? No.
I came to this point in my thinking after often seeing that the results/fruits of male headship were abuse, control, codependence, inequality, pride, and the suppression of the Holy Spirit. I decided it was time for me to study the word and seek to find if scripture had been misapplied.
The analogy about Christ and the Church and marriage in Ephesians 5 is a metaphor that speaks of unity in marriage. It speaks to the oneness of a husband and wife.
In Ephesians 5:23, the verse says, “…the husband is the head of the wife.” It makes sense to interpret this as he is in authority over her; however, there are better ways that more accurately line up with the whole of scripture when understanding what Paul as saying. In its entirety it’s about unity. You may read a more detailed study of this here…Don’t lose your head over doctrine by Tim Fall.
The rest of the passage describes Jesus as a husband, but not in terms of authority, but rather as one who sacrificially loves her. This is a better way to interpret this passage and matches the heart of God.
“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.”
“For God does not show favoritism.” Romans 2:11
As for creation… “So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31. If men believe and teach otherwise they are contradicting God.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:8
Of course God knew all this before He created man and woman. Perhaps God wanted Adam to understand how alone and unsatisfied he was until Eve was made. Adam needed her and wanted her.
We will not find anywhere in scripture where the Lord mandates or suggests that that the husband holds the right to make decisions for his wife. I Corinthians 7:1-6 sets the precedence that decisions are to be made together. There’s no better way to make those decisions together than through prayer.
The more I study this topic the more I realize I’ve believed some lies about not only me and marriage, but about God, for many years. I’ve been guilty of believing what people have taught me instead of studying for myself. I don’t understand why male headship/authority/dominance has been taught in the New Testament church. This doesn’t fit the example, mind, or heart of Christ.
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 2:6-8
Scripture teaches love, service, humility, sacrifice. It doesn’t teach patriarchy but rather equality, mutual decision making, mutual submission; beautiful, purposeful relationship.
The wrong thoughts I’ve believed, or lived under, women have lived under for centuries to silence, intimidate, invalidate, objectify, and hold them down. The ideas are straight from the enemy; Satan – the father of lies, and I believe it’s one of the most crippling and damaging lies the church has believed.
He gives women their true freedom and equality.
Next time we will look at an abundance of scriptures that verifies these truths.
READ: For your consideration: A woman’s role…biblically; Part 1