What is true headship?

What is true headship?

With all of the talk on submission of a wife, we should at least grant that submission is not related to suppression of God’s gifts. In other words if a woman is gifted to teach, her submission to her husband and her desire to honor him should not be a means to stop her from using her God-given gifts. My husband’s position as my head is “worked-out” by his sacrificing for me. He gives up his life for me in order to provide me every opportunity to use my gifts and in turn I honor him by serving him and stepping outside my comfort zone in service to the body of Christ because of his encouragement. In my shyness in the past I have stepped back from using all of my gifts because of fear of man, but my husband has continually pushed me and prodded me to grow and mature. He has used his headship wisely for my good and my growth just as a physical head feeds the body.

True headship nourishes and encourages and lifts up the woman to be everything that she can be in Christ. True submission allows the head to nourish and sacrifice for her benefit. When my husband “works out” his headship in a godly way, it will always lift me up and will never suppress or hold back my God-given gifts.

10 thoughts on “What is true headship?

  1. I really look forward to a series about the husband and wife relationship.

    A marriage can be so beautiful and wonderful when both parties serve each other in love as Jesus Christ thought us. I’m not married though so its just my understanding of scripture.

    Today I watched part 4 of WIM with a sister in Christ and a question popped up in my mind, maybe you can help me out. BTW it was all new to her, your teachings, as it is to I guess most people, and it certainly makes us think.

    Well to the question, In 1 Corinthians 14:36 you teach that Paul was referring to only the men of the Church in Corinth.
    Usually I have interpreted this scripture as Paul referring to all of the Church in Corinth, but in your teachings you link it to only the men of the church.
    Can the scripture rightly be interpreted as that?

    Also I wondered, was it likely that only some people of the churches would send Paul letters? Or was the letters representing all in the church, both women and men.

    In Christ

  2. Thank you for your question. In 1 Corinthians 14:36 Paul is referring to a letter from the Corinthians that he has been answering throughout 1 Corinthians. Verses 34 and 35 of chapter 14 are a quote from that letter. Immediately after the quote, Paul addresses the letter writers who are trying to force their legalistic restrictions onto the women in the congregation. Since the letter is commanding a restriction onto only women, it is unlikely that the letter writers would have included women and it is also unlikely that it came from every man in the congregation. Paul has already discussed women speaking in the church through prayer and prophecy in chapter eleven. Since women apparently had freedom to speak in the church by praying and prophesying, it certainly wasn’t the entire congregation who were restricting the women. The Judaizers were the ones who were trying to bring Jewish traditions into Christianity and they had already infiltrated the Galatian church. These Judaizers would also have insisted that the congregation follow the Jewish way of restricting women from learning and from speaking in the congregation.

    The American Standard Versions renders verse 36: What? was it from you that the word of God went forth? or came it unto you alone?

    Here the question is on whether there is a restriction on who can have the word of God come to them (question of learning) and who the word of God came through (question of who can prophesy God’s words). Paul is amazed that they are trying to take control of God’s words by restricting who can learn and who can speak forth in the congregation. Verse 37 is now written to anyone in the congregation. Paul says that if anyone thinks himself as a prophet, or as a spiritual person, then that one must recognize that Paul’s command to allow all to have the freedom to prophesy (verse 31) is a command of the Lord.  God’s commands through Paul directly contradict the prohibition in verses 34 and 35.

    So in answer to your question, it would not be likely that the letter written to Paul came from both men and women since the letter was commanding restrictions on women’s participation in the church.

  3. Hello again Cheryl. I’m really enjoying reading your stuff.

    Regarding headship, I completely agree with what you have said about attitudes of husband and wife. I however, have noted some other things. Most people center on the husband being “head of” the wife and interpret it as “head over” and then build a proper response of the wife into that. But that is only half of the metaphor. The whole metaphor is that the husband is to be considered BY HIS WIFE as her head; and the wife is to be considered BY HER HUSBAND as his body. Thus in order to get the full picture that Paul is painting one must hold both parts of the metaphor in conjunction with one another. Head and body joined together are crucial to fullness of life. This to me, is a picture of giving ones strengths to your spouse and also depending upon their support: interdependency and interconnectivity. And the attitudes would end up as you described.

  4. TL,

    Excellent, excellent comments!! I would like to “paint” a picture just like this in the next DVD series. Marriage has been so misunderstood when the complementarians make it an issue of authority. Only when there is a united body is marriage the true symbol of Christ and the church. I really enjoyed these comments.

  5. Thank you. 🙂

    It is my observation that making Christ’s relationship with the body to be solely about authority is also greatly missing the message of salvation. Christ came to bring us life, true life in the Spirit. If it were only about the authority and right of God to tell us, His creation, what and how to live, we would still be in the old covenent. But God in His great wisdom crafted a plan that would first give us direction as a child under the tutorship of His Word, and then give us the power to live it, by the giving of His very life into us for our ultimate benefit and to His greatest joy.

    And one of our responses to this is to receive His gifts and live life to the fullest, becoming and blossoming forth into the unique creations that we were meant to be. And of course showering Him with praise, honor, and glory for His goodness.

    In this respect the meaning of the word kephale, usually translated as “head” (and interpretated as authority), has been missed. All words in every language have a range of meanings that lean in different angles according to context and usage. ESPECIALLY when a word is used metaphorically we must lean heavily on the whole metaphor and context to determine the “flavor” of
    the word in the metaphor.

    I look forward to reading your research on this and to any future DVD’s.

    Blessings IN Christ,

  6. TL,

    Once again GREAT comments! These are also my thoughts and I will bring build on this in my next post on how to understand Paul.


  7. How nice that we are looking in the same direction. It is great to share discoveries and insight about our wonderful Lord and God. 🙂

    Wish you were closer. Bet we could have some great fellowship in person.

    Do you have any kind of fondness for Gods furry creatures. 🙂 🙂

  8. Hi TL,

    Yes I am certain that we would have great fellowship in person!!

    As far as a fondness for God’s furry creatures – I have only had one pet in my entire life and that was my best dog friend Buddy. He died last year and it took me a long time to get over him. I don’t think I could ever have a pet again because part of my heart was buried with him and I don’t want to hurt like that again.

  9. Sorry to hear about Buddy. I had a dog friend like that, Akamai. When he died, that was the last dog I had. Although I have thought about getting another one some day. It’s hard to explain how a person can be so bonded with an animal. They are very special.


  10. Hi TL,

    Yes, there is a special bonding with animals. My Buddy was truly a special dog. I got him when I was in treatment for cancer in 1995. It was a very emotional time for me and the possibility of death hung over my head. In the middle of my treatment my husband took me into the pet store to let me hold this fuzzy little white puppy. Little did he know that I would instantly fall in love with the little fur ball as he snuggled his nose in my blouse. When my husband told me that I couldn’t have the puppy because he only wanted me to hold him and maybe want a pet some day, but he didn’t want a dog right now, well the tears flowed.

    My husband took pity on me and the next day we were back in the pet store and left with a load full of dog supplies and a very lovable pet. Buddy brought joy to my life during a very hard time for me. He wouldn’t let me feel sorry for myself because he was full of life and wanted to play constantly. He bonded to me as I was the one who fed him and walked him and loved him every day. In his later years, when he was afraid or needed attention, he always looked up to me. I do hope that Jesus will somehow find a way to bring animals back because for many of us it would bring us so much joy to see our beloved pets again.

Comment to join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: