August 30, 2010 by Stacy McDonald
“Wives, SUBMIT to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is HEAD of the wife, as also Christ is HEAD of the church; and He is the savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is SUBJECT to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, LOVE your wives, just as Christ also LOVED the church and GAVE Himself for her…” (Ephesians 5:22-25, NKJV)
“But I want you to know that the HEAD of every man is Christ, the HEAD of woman is man, and the HEAD of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3, NKJV), emphasis mine
- What is the opposite of submit?
- What is the opposite of head?
- What is the opposite of subject?
- What is the opposite of love?
- What is the opposite of give?
A growing number of Christians have the concept of biblical headship upside down. Too often:
1. Rebellious women want to be loved and cherished, but, do not recognize their obligation to respect and submit to their husbands. Submission is considered a weakness…rebellion, well, who is there to rebel against?
2. Rebellious men who think they are the ultimate authority, and are accountable to no one besides God, want their wives to submit and their daughters to obey, but demonstrate no obedience or accountability themselves. And sacrifice…what is that? How do you sacrifice for someone who is clearly supposed to be serving you?
“But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”” (Mark 10:42-45, NKJV)
Patriarchy – Father-rule (lead, love, sacrifice, provide, disciple, cherish, faithful, tender)
“For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body… Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” (Ephesians 5:23; 25-29, NKJV)
Patriocentric – Father-centric (selfish, demanding, egocentric, self-serving, rebellious, arrogant, lazy, harsh, tyrant)
The very fact that Jesus is given as a husband’s example of godly leadership exposes the error of true “patriocentricity.” However, while I don’t deny that this type of father/husband exists, I don’t agree that he is as prevalent as some would have us believe. Too often, I’ve seen those who adhere to biblical patriarchy (as described in Eph. 5) lumped together with egocentric tyrants.
As soon as we all get honest about what we believe regarding Ephesians 5 I think we’ll be able to rationally discuss biblical headship like…well, like Christians.