Jul 17

6/39 The Question of Headship and Submission with Conflict Solutions

Jesus modelled what it means to be’ the head’.

childhood beliefs about conflictIn Christian circles we are often told that the ‘wife must submit to the husband as the head’, but what does this mean?  It is actually easy to explain, because Jesus is our model for headship.  Misunderstanding headship and submission has hurt a lot of Christians.  Keep in mind how Adam and Eve messed things up.

“Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”  (1 Corinthians 11:3 NIV)  In fact if husbands are not considerate and protective, then God is not interested in meeting the man’s needs.

Jesus talked about what it was like to be under authority (as a son) and to have authority as a ‘head’ of the Husband (and Church).  He had the following to say:

“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  (Mark 10:43-45 NIV)

Jesus defined greatness in terms of service.  In the service of His Father, He gave up His own life for many.  Us husbands are to do likewise.

The Bible tells us how to do it better.  Where Adam was passive, God wants husbands to be pro-active.  Where wives takeover responsibility, God wants them to back off.  These Scriptures best illustrate these principles:

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  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.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. “ (Ephesians 5:21-25 NIV)

As you can see, first of all we are all to submit to one another.  This is not just for wives.  One definition of submission is “the voluntary giving up of our rights”.  Husbands need to submit as well, especially to Jesus.  Notice that we do have ‘rights’ in the Worldly sense.  Jesus wants us to learn to give up Self.  Submission is a voluntary act, unto the Lord; no one can force us to submit.

Marriage does have its challenges, but they can be overcome with two basic principles: “Put God first and stop judging and criticising each other”.

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author

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