‘Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour.’ Ephesians 5:22-23[/su_note]When they are in public, one of my closest friends relates to his wife as though he is a king and she a humble serving wench. He snaps out instructions and she scurries over with a second portion of food or a glass of refreshment. Hang it, she practically walks two steps behind him when he enters or exits a gathering. Now this is definitely not a glorious display of male headship, but just a cultural convention they adopted from early childhood… so relax all you female readers, I am not advocating this practice. Actually, I wouldn’t dare because my wife sometimes reads these blog posts 🙂Headship in a family has to do with structure, function and unity. God has ordained that the husband assume the role of head of the home. This is not because men are more intelligent than women, or more capable of making decisions, or superior in any way. In any equal partnership one of the two must have a casting vote and one must be responsible to a higher authority for the wellbeing of the partnership. If both partners have exactly the same authority and accountability, then any major difference of opinion has the potential of bringing the partnership to a standstill and of damaging relationships.Why did God decide to allocate headship to the husband and not the wife? In other words, why is it gender specific? I don’t really know, but the Bible is pretty clear on this issue. We know that there are physical, emotional and psychological differences between the genders, so why should there not be spiritual differences as well?Being the head of the home does not mean that the man is superior to the woman. It simply means that he has a different functionality and responsibility within the marriage partnership. Verse 25 of the Ephesians text goes on to say, ‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…’ So a husband is responsible for placing his wife’s wellbeing above his own self-interest. The essence of headship is sacrificial service. This is a far cry from the male chauvinism that so many people associate with family headship.If you are a married man, do you accept the responsibility of headship? How do you display this role of sacrificial service?Share |
‘Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” 1 Corinthians 4:6[/su_note]A few years ago I had a Sunday off (actually this happens more than just every few years) and decided to visit another church in the area. The preacher’s message, delivered with passion and conviction, was that we had the biblical right to ask God what He was doing and then, if we didn’t like it, to tell Him what He should be doing! His source of scriptural authority was Isaiah 45:11 which he quoted from the King James version of the Bible as, ‘Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, “Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!
Isaiah was actually speaking a severe divine admonition to the people of Israel. He wasn’t saying “Hey guys, feel free to question my plans, and by all means tell me what to do if you don’t agree.” God was saying the exact opposite. The NIV translation makes this very clear: ‘This is what the Lord says — the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?’How could that preacher have got it so wrong? Well, the man came from a name-it-and-claim-it theological background that set him up for this sort of error. His basic understanding of human importance and divine impotence was reflected in his biblical interpretation. However, the use of the King James Version of the Bible didn’t help either. Its archaic phraseology and word choices made it seem like God was sanctioning what the preacher proposed. Someone living in Elizabethan times would probably not have made such a mistake, but we live in the twenty-first century, and English just isn’t the same any more.
Some people mistakenly believe that the KJV is the only authentically inspired version of the Bible but this is obviously off the wall – does every language only have one authoritative version, or is Elizabethan English the only language that God can use? So, the lesson to be learned from the story of the misguided preacher is, ‘Use a good current version of the Bible.’ Most of the modern versions are excellent. I use the NIV extensively but I also use the New Living Version from time to time.What version of the Bible do you use and why?