The Truth... What is it?

"Wives, submit to your husband"...Headship

Biblical "wives submit" through Jesus is actually not about male dominance of women or about males "ruling over" women. It is about family headship.

Most of the secular and Christian portions of the western world are concerned that society be fair, respectful, and dispensing of equality to women. Much debate is held about the various roles of men & women, both in general society and in marriage. And, there is fret about hidden barriers to women and the presence of "glass ceilings", "pink ceilings", and unequal pay. These are not only "worldly concerns" but concerns of true Jesus followers.

When God told Adam & Eve, "Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you (Genesis 3:16)". He was describing just one of the unfortunate  consequences of The Fall. These were not directions for a "righteous life"! When we look through the lens of the Christian view from the Bible, we see specific directions about the roles of men and women in the family...about the "chain of authority", so to speak. As you think about the apostolic commands Paul gave, remember that God speaks through Paul in scripture and does so in the context of other parallel commands.


You can't pick scriptural things apart and take them out of context if you want to get at The Truth. If you believe:

  • God is. And He is our creator and sustainer. Then He creates Truth. [check out attributes]
  • God's greatest messenger: God sent His son to be a messenger of The Truth and the Gospel...the apostles to continue it. Jesus = God's Word in living form.
  • Scripture. Through divine inspiration, people chosen of God have been divinely inspired ("breathed into" by the "breath" of God) to speak/record The Word of God which, protected by the Holy Spirit, has been recorded into The Bible. Being The Word of God, the Bible is a book of The Truth.
  • Christian marriages: the husband and wife are commanded (and can be divinely enabled to do so) to "cleave unto one another" (Ephesians 5:31-33).
  • Paul said to the early Christians: "Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. You are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:25-28)." God Himself chose Deborah as a judge to lead all of Israel (Judges Chapters 4 & 5). So the Old Testament plainly shows a women in the highest office of the land...the leader of God's chosen people. The first humans to tell the Gospel truth that Jesus had arisen were women (Matthew 28:1). And then Paul declares (see above) to the followers of Jesus & the organization of the universal Church...there is no difference between men & women!

    Female Pastors: So why do so many of our churches persist in applying the historical cultural practice of keeping women out of headship...blanketly denying women the roles of teacher, minister, pastor, senior pastor, etc? Now, I am not advocating for or against women as pastors. But I am advocating that we see what the Bible says and then think & pray about it in our churches when (1) we are in need of pastors, & (2) when we Jesus followers encounter a man or woman who thinks they have been called by God into the ministry.

    Broad, multinational Christianity probably requires a number of approaches to its practice (but also even in one nation...due to the fact that human beings are so different). Jesus spoke to the effect that whoever is not against Him is for Him (Mark 9:40). Does such an exclusionary "church" (men...are they being influenced/moved by the workings of Satan?) stance prevent many shepherds from being the shepherds God called them to be?

  • Paul's letter about headship (to believers @ Corinth): I Corinthians 11:3...God is the "head" of Christ...Christ is the "head" of every man, and the "head" of the woman is man (might this "man" be fulfilled in a group-leader-headship way of the church's ruling group of deacons, elders, or Board of Trustees, rather than by excluding women as pastors?).
  • Paul's letter about headship (to believers @ Ephisus): Ephesians 5:21-33...believers to submit to each other out of reverence for Christ...wives to submit to husbands ["to put things in order under" = to submit] as to the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church....husbands to love the wife as Christ loved the church. He who loves his wife loves himself [actually and truly loves himself].

Summary: In short, and considering all of the above, shouldn't churches dig really deeply into being certain of the fact that (1) a person has gotten a life's call from God to preach, pastor, teach, etc....and (2) has gotten a call to their particular local body of believers...and far less concern as to that person's gender? SUBMIT.

Scripture lays out God's formulae for God's best and His righteous way for mankind while in this brief life on earth. It is the procedure manual, the policy manual, the shop manual for how we humans can have a fulfilled, joy-filled, happy life...a life of peace. Happiness truly comes in holiness. But we aren't to judge our lives by how well we keep the rules...that is living life by "The Law"! When you consider church positions & relationships, consider the whole counsel of God...God's Word [the Bible]...through prayer, depending on God to lead you into The Truth. Yes, we are concerned about societal rights in free countries. But we need to be more concerned that we find the "Way" and the "Formula" to the maximally fulfilled life...that we find "God's Best" as He has so freely offered it to all of us! His best is when we rest in Him...when we accept the divine grace that desires an actual relationship with Him (not just "head knowledge" about Him).

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(posted: 10 August 2000; last addition 1 January 2006)