I’ve heard men actually say that in counseling sessions. I’ve had to laugh when someone has said that. I thought for a minute that they would start beating their chest to prove their dominance. I remember reading in a book that if you had to announce your headship, you weren’t the head.
1 Corinthians 11:3 (NASB95)
3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.
Ephesians 5:23 (NASB95)
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
These two verses are the two that point to the fact that a man is the head of his wife and therefore is responsible as such. What does it mean for a man to be the head of his wife?
Here are a couple of thoughts about this Biblical principle.
- It is a God-given responsibility. It does not say anything about the man being smarter or better than the wife. It is a position that is given based on God’s order and design.
- This responsibility has a perfect example as Ephesians 5 says. A man’s example of how to be the head is Jesus Christ. You might be thinking that it is an impossibility to follow that example, so why try? We try because it is what is best for our marriage as well as our relationship with God.
- This position can be misused and abused easily. Many men try to dominate their wives which is not leading them. Other men try to pacify their wives, which allows the wives to be the leaders. Both of these are abuses/misuses of the position.
Let’s look at our example and how He interacted with the people He was sent to lead.
- Jesus was a servant. The main stories of Jesus serving the disciples is found in John 13. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Understanding the humility of His actions is extremely important. Jesus could have required someone else to do this because he was the master, yet he chose to do it himself. As husbands we must be humble and be willing to serve as it is needed.
- Jesus was compassionate. There are several examples of his compassion with people. How he interacted with children, how he spoke with the “woman at the well,” how he was non-judgmental with the woman who anointed his feet with the oil and wiped his feet with her hair are a few of the examples that come to my mind this morning. Husband, are you compassionate with your wife? Do you care about her feelings, wants, and needs?
- Jesus was forgiving. On several occasions Jesus told people that their sins were forgiven. I guess the main story of that is found when the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery for Jesus to judge. If we are going to be the godly head of our wife, we have to have a forgiving spirit. No one has a perfect wife (mine is close tho) and therefore, we must be willing to forgive.
I could continue to show things about Jesus that we are to follow His example in doing as we lead our wives, but I am not trying to write a book with this blog post.
I want to conclude with what I think is the most important aspect of following Jesus’ example of being the head.
Jesus spent time with The Father. Men if we are going to lead our wives as we are supposed to, our relationship with God must be growing and dynamic. Without spending time with God through prayer and reading His word, we will not know how to follow Jesus’ example and will not be a good head.
When we follow Our Lord’s example, we will NOT have to declare that we are the head. It will be obvious!!