Biblical Headship, Part 2
tell us that the godly headship of a husband to a wife is like the relationship
of Christ to his church:
(Ephesians 5:23, 25, 29-30, NIV)
This scripture describes a head-body relationship that is loving, caring, and even self-sacrificial.1 Corinthians 12 tells us more about how a godly and healthy head-body relationship is to be:
(1 Corinthians 12:12,24b-25, NIV)
1 Corinthians 12 shows us that the relationship of the head to the body is meant to be based on cooperation, mutual support, and "equal concern". If the husband is the head of the wife, as it says in Ephesians 5:23, then his relationship to is wife should also be one of cooperation, mutual support, and equal concern. This scripture reveals that equal concern and equal honor are key to a relationship without division. They are essential to God’s design for marriage, where two people are to come together to form a single, thriving organism (Genesis 2:24).
Ephesians 4 provides another key to healthy head-body and husband-wife relationships:
This passage says that in the headship demonstrated by Christ, all parts of the body grow. In domestic violence, by contrast, one partner dominates while diminishing the other. It is like an organism having a head that keeps growing out of control, at the expense of a body that withers. Where there is godly headship, it results in a building up of all the parts in love and cooperation.
Ephesians 4:17-19 also shows us what can go wrong in a marriage with a corrupt concept of headship. The result can be hard-heartedness, lack of sensitivity, and a growing self-indulgence. This is so often seen in domestic violence, where an escalating lust for domination and control leads to coercion instead of cooperation, cruelty instead of love, and hard-heartedness instead of sensitivity. In Matthew 19:8, Jesus testified how toxic hard-heartedness can be to God’s design for marriage.
Ephesians 4:15tells something else, too. In order for a relationship to be one that allows godly growth, the members must be free to speak truth to each other in love. Christian counselors, Drs. Cloud and Townsend put it this way:
A word of caution here: if the relationship has become so unhealthy that speaking the truth in love to an abuser could be dangerous, the abused spouse should not act without taking steps to guard her safety and that of her children. This may mean developing a safety plan (If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader you can download it here: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html ) for herself and her children. It could mean applying the four-step safety procedure Jesus taught for confronting transgressors (read it in Matthew 18:15-17), using professional help as needed, and staying away from a persistent abuser when necessary. It could mean getting help to escape danger.
Satan doesn’t want us to grow in our relationships to each other or to Christ, and is working hard to destroy God’s original design for marriage. Jesus came to restore this design as He reconciles all things to Himself (Colossians 1:20). He not only taught and demonstrated the model, He gave us instruction in His Word to help us to make marriage a place of nurturing, growth, and love. Through godly headship and godly submission, man and woman can form a single organism that demonstrates to the world Christ’s plan for the Church.
1. Boundaries In Marriage, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Zondervan Publishing House, 1999.
|Copyright 2005 Judy Kennedy|