May 21, 2024

To Lead the Family

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series A Father's Responsibility

One of the most controversial, and anti-feminist ideas that can be found in the Bible is the idea that the husband is the head of the home.

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. – Genesis 3:16

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. – Ephesians 5:23

One wonders what the relationship was like between Adam and Eve in the garden if Genesis 3:16 was instituted because of sin.  Truly, with sinlessness we would be able to coexist as husband and wife with the same goals and with the same desire– to worship Him.  We’d have no problem in loving and yielding to one another.  We would seek each other’s desires above our own, and we would see this as the only way to do things.

However, when sin entered, pride, selfishness, and other self-sins entered as well.  This is why, I believe, God instituted the decree that a woman’s desire should be to her husband and he would be the ruler over her.  Someone had to be the leader– the person that would take responsibility.  Someone had to make the final decisions, otherwise, things could come to an impasse.  For any unit to function in a timely manner, there has to be a decision-maker.

In the family, God ordained the man to be the final authority– the one to rule over the family.  Since He is the Creator, He had the choice.  He created man first.  He chose to make covenants with man.  Man was what His Son came as.  There are many reasons why He could have chosen the man, but He only knows the exact one.

That headship does not come as a master leading a slave, however.  It comes with responsibility.  Husbands– you are responsible for what your wife does, who her friends are, how she raises your children, and for her growth in the Lord.  Christ doesn’t head the church by ordering it around and not taking responsibility for maintaining it, loving it, caring for it, and seeking its best good!

Christ also laid out a pattern of leadership that was different in that he said that his disciples (the twelve that followed Him physically and us today) would mark leadership through servanthood.  He demonstrated this by washing His disciples’ feet.  Husbands, therefore, are not to be lording the position over their wives, but we’re supposed to be caring and serving our wives and seeking the best for the family.

It’s quite the responsibility to be the leader in a Christian home!

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3 thoughts on “To Lead the Family

  1. As a former feminist, I totally agree with what the bible says on the husband/wife relationship, of course it wasn’t overnight by any means! I was sure that I’d NEVER think like this, but it’s funny, when you say never how God seems to make the never happen!

  2. Shelli– It’s funny because I believe there are many woman dominated homes across the country. Even women who want their man to lead and yet he doesn’t. I think part of that is that the man doesn’t totally realize that whether the woman leads or the man, the man will be responsible. He’ll also be responsible for not being a good leader.

    Thanks for your encouragement.

  3. Right on MInTheGap. When I read the covenant post a few minutes ago, the part that really caught me was the last bit where you mentioned that the husband was responsible for the actions of his wife. I thought to myself “That would be a great post in itself” ;-), looks like you thought so too, since this is a lot of what this post covers.

    Too many churches are teaching Christian men that its alright not to be the leader in their household. Its bad enough that the world is teaching this principle, yet to have it within the church is even worse. I think this is one of the primary reasons that the family structure is falling a part. Men have been taught not to stand up and be men, to lead and take responsibility. There is a reason why the bible clearly states that for an individual to be a deacon or elder they must have their family in order. The family is one of the primary building blocks of our society. When families are not in the proper order it is difficult for God to work. For one, if Men do treat their wives appropriately, God does not answer their prayers ( 1 Peter 3:7 ). I think in general that ineffective families create ineffective individuals and an impotent church. I wish I had more time to look up all the other scriptures that reference what happens when the order in the family is not honored.

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