Headship Looks A Lot Like Submission


In our out-of-balance society, we often have a very distorted view of the Biblical teaching on headship in marriage.

The scriptures teach that the man is the head of the wife. This is evident in Ephesians 5:23 where God says:


For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”


A Distorted View


First off, I have found that when people hold a disdain for this teaching, they always (and I mean always) have a distorted view of this passage and its meaning. In fact, when any society moves away from the Biblical model of marriage, either men exert too much power over the women at the expense of the women or women exert too much power over the men at the expense of the men. In both cases, a society ends up with a win-lose scenario which always ends in everyone losing.

The Biblical teaching of headship exalts women and encourages men to use their masculinity to love and protect those whom God has given them. From my understanding of the scriptures, headship is more of a position of protection and love than decision making. In fact, I often say that Biblical headship is 99% service and 1% decision making. Is decision making involved? Certainly. However, I find that servitude and protection is the primary example Christ set.


Headship Looks A Lot Like Submission


Philippians 2 speaks of Christ’s love for His bride, the church. In Philippians 2:7, the scriptures teach that Christ “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant“.

In John 13:5, the scriptures tell us that Christ washed the disciples feet and wiped them with a towel. It should be noted that this was the lowest servant’s job in a house, yet Christ did not deem this to be beneath himself.

Matthew 20:28 further validates this point in that Christ said that He “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many”.

Christ is certainly the head of His bride, the church, however, His headship looked more like servitude in that He used his position to love and to protect rather than to simply demand what I call followship.


The Crown Upon The Head


The man that has to demand respect is the man that is least entitled to it. He will do much better earning respect rather than trying to verbally assert his control or lack thereof.

As previously stated, headship involves decision making. But, I have found that if I have to cling to my title rather than my influence over my family, then I am a bad chief as Davy Crockett would say.

Matthew Henry said that if the man is the head, then the woman is the crown upon the head. The meaning is obvious in that if the crown shines, the head always looks better.

It was a great day for me to realize that I felt the most like a man when my wife felt cherished. I also saw that I felt the most respected as the head when I served the crown which would in turn make me feel all the more like the man.


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3 comments on “Headship Looks A Lot Like Submission
  1. MitchG says:

    This understanding of headship is distorted and unbiblical. Headship is AUTHORITY just as Christ’s headship over the church means He is the AUTHORITY over the church and the church’s response to Christ’s sacrificial love is obedience. Service vs Decision making is a false dichotomy. Decision making IS service, especially since it emanates from the man’s primary responsibility to follow God’s leadership.

    This is another example of how complementarians have become closet egalitarians by using sleight-of-hand interpretations of scripture to re-define headship to mean what it doesn’t and not mean what it does.

    Our 50 year experiment with feminist insanity has infiltrated the church in so many ways.

    • Hitting Home says:

      Jesus took upon Himself the form of a servant, Philippians 2. Jesus said that even He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, Matthew 20. He also put an apron upon Himself and washed the disciples feet as a servant, John 13. He did all of this while still being the Head of the church. So what is unbiblical about this article?

      Dr. Force

  2. Niki sawyers says:

    I need HELP BAD!!

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