“The head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” 1 Corinthians 11:3
Among the most controversial Scriptures are those relating to a wife’s obligation to “submit” to a husband’s leadership. This principle offends many women. Furthermore, it places power in the hands of men who sometimes misuse it. And yet, there it is, time and again: “The husband is head of the wife.” Those words can’t be brushed aside by those who rely on Scripture as their infallible guide. But what does this “headship” really mean?
The Bible makes it clear that the husband is to be the leader in his home, yet he has no right to run roughshod over the opinions and feelings of his wife. He is to love her as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25) and to serve her unselfishly and compassionately. A man should include his wife in making mutually satisfying decisions, always working to incorporate her perspectives and seeking compromise when possible. In situations where they simply cannot find common ground, Scripture gives the man the prerogative—and responsibility—to choose and lead. Yet in this case, he must be more sensitive and considerate than ever, bearing in mind that he will ultimately answer to God not only for his choices, but for his treatment of his wife.
Just between us…
- (husband) How would you rate my leadership as your husband?
- Does our decision‐making process fit the biblical model? (wife)
- How do you feel about your role as “leader in the home”?
- (husband) Am I sensitive to your feelings regarding decisions?
Heavenly Father, in Your divine plan for marriage You have asked the husband to lead and the wife to submit, and we want so much to obey You. We come humbly now, asking for Your wisdom and help to do so. Amen.
- From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
- Tendencies of the single man from Sexual Suicide by George Gilder (New York, N.Y.: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Company. 1973).