Yet even more on male leadership in the home

In reference to whether men should lead the home, someone wrote,

Obedience to man can never be more important than obedience to God,

She is correct – God always comes first. Yet, God is clear that we are to submit to all human institutions as the authorities. He included slaves submitting to masters and just a little while later included wife submitting to husband.

1 Peter 3:1-7

1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external -braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses ; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands ; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. 7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman ; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

Then God said it again in Romans 13:1-8, telling us there is no authority except that which is established by God and to rebel against authority is to rebel against God. We are to submit to our leaders (Hebrews 13:17).

1 Peter 5:5

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

Hebrews 13:17

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

She continued,

Nothing in the creation order or creation purpose suggest male leadership.

Even though the woman was created for the man, this does not necessarily mean that men are to lead. And yet, what does scripture tell us? 1 Corinthians 11:7-10

7 A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.

She continued,

The idiom “he is the head” do not mean, in the language it is written in, what it means to us.(6) Male headship, if head does not mean ruler or leader, is not a reason to believe that men are to lead and women are to follow men instead of God, or men as mediators/ covering between them and God.

Well, she and scripture disagree. See these posts for more information:

https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/head-of-the-house/

https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/even-more-on-male-leadership-in-home/

But basically, the same word that is translated as “chief” is translated as “head” in describing Christ in relation to men and men in relation to women. And before one thinks this particular passsage is in reference to anything other than authority, we see that in 1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” And then in 1 Corinthians 11:10 that the woman is to have a symbol of authority on her head, “Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.”

And we see in Ephrsians 1:22 that God put all things in subjection to Christ and made Christ head (leader) over all things to the church: “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,”

Of course, being head entails much more than simply leadership – it means source of sustenance (food enters the body through the head, and in the same way, the leader provides for his household).

She continued,

Nothing in the New or Old Testament tells men that they should rule the household. However, one verse mentions that Paul want widows to remarry and rule households.

Actually, Genesis 3:11-19 is a judicial decree that was passed in judgement of Satan and Eve and Adam.
Because of what the various parties did, God decreed certain things would occur.

The serpent is cursed; it will go about on its belly; there will be enmity between it and the woman and the offspring of both (indeed, this is thought to be a prophecy of Christ coming to conquer Satan).
God will increase Eve’s pain in childbirth, yet she will desire her husband and he will rule over her.
The ground is cursed because of Adam and he must toil all the days of his life to eat of it. Man will eat vegetables of the field. The ground will grow thorns and thistles. Man will sweat to eat bread.

She continued,

Following in the way of your father can actually keep you away from God

I agree. We are never to follow anyone into sin (Acts 5:27; Roman 6:12-13).

She continued,

There is one mediator – Jesus Christ.

I agree (1 Timothy 2:5).

She continued,

The Holy spirit leads the believer

I agree (John 14:26)

She continued,

Submission in the Bible is two-sided

I have never seen Christ submit to the church. It is always the other way around.

This person is referring to the idea that Ephesians 5:21 says submit one to another. Some take this to be not spoken to husbands and wives. Others take this to be spoken to the husband and wife. I happen to take the latter position, but this does not remove the fact that men are to lead the home. So how do we submit one to another and yet still have a leader? Because the leader still has the responsibility to lead. If the leadership is in the wrong, the follower is to go to him one on one and try to show him the error of his ways. If that fails, then he is to get one or two more and go to the leader. If that still fails, then he is to go to the church with the accusation.

Matthew 18:15-23

15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private ; if he listens to you, you havewon your brother. 16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so thatBY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17 “Ifhe refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church ; and if he refuses to listen even to thechurch, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 “Truly I say to you, whatever *you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven ; and whatever * you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. 19 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything * that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 “Forwhere two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and Iforgive him? Up to seven times ?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seventimes, but up to seventy times seven. 23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may becompared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.

1 Timothy 5:19

19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except * on the basis of two or three witnesses.

But until the elder is removed, he is still the leader and the church is supposed to submit to him. How is this applied to the family? The family is a small church and God can remove people from within it should He so choose.

Another clear area of submission is that of sex. Eaxh partner should meet his or her responsibilities to the other. 1 Corinthians 7:1-5

1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch awoman. 2 But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each womanis to have her own husband. 3 The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewisealso the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but thehusband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so * that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together * * again so * that Satan will nottempt you because of your lack of self-control.

The family is a small church with different roles and needs which must be met. Each person has his or her own responsibilities and roles.

She went on:

Several Bible verses mention women in important positions in the church.

Yes, there were several deaconesses – but no verse mentions women leading as elders or overseers, merely helping as deaconesses.

Character requirements are set for leadership in the New Testament. Nothing in the New Testament say that you can lead simply because you are a Levite/ male/ from a prominent family, or whatever. That would probably apply to leadership in the marriage too.

I agree with the fact that character requirements are set. But so is the fact that an elder/overseer is to be a man married to one wife.

Now, please do not confuse the fact that a woman might be better qualified to do certain things than her husband is with the idea of who is to lead. Leaders often do not know how to do many things people who are subordinate to them know how to do. Instead, they make decisions with the big picture in mind and often leave the little details of how or when to those who have more knowledge or experience with what needs to be done.

Neither am I saying who is better qualified to be a leader. It might be the man, or it might be the woman. But there are plenty of examples of inept leadership in the world. Ability is not the point of the idea that men are to lead in the home.

No, the point of all this is not that men are to lead the home, but that we should obey God rather than our own desires. God has laid out how people should treat each other (with love and kindness and patience and forgiveness). God has said we should meet our responsibilities in the home and in church.

What matters is that we obey God. Do you obey God?

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2 Responses

  1. Women are at the bottom of the hierarchical food chain. Any abilities or talents we may have, whether or not we are allowed to use them, and how and when we use them are subject to the discretion of men. We are only allowed to serve God vicariously through serving men. Women don’t matter.

    • I heartily disagree! I think women are very important. God made Eve because He created Man in need of a help-meet. But yes, there IS a hierarchy that God created.

      Women serve God as God has called them, just as men do.

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