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More Conversation with a Friend

John: Trev if it truly is this way and my wife wants to agree I think you might have won me over.

Trev: Rachel may be perfectly comfortable with you taking responsibility John. Her own Christian background may include that expectation, ie. that you should lovingly lead her and take a "headship" responsibility within the home. That's why I don't want to rock your boat too much if that's the way things are expected to be done and you are both happy with that. All that I'm pointing out is that is not the only way that things can or should be done in running the home. I'm suggesting that there is a more inclusive way but some women may feel insecure in that in the same way that you feel that your manhood is threatened if that were taken away from you. Other women feel totally demeaned by the thought that when they were courting their mental competence was acknowledged and celebrated but now that they are married she is expected to become a "kept" woman with nothing to contribute but her biological function as a sexual partner and bearer of children. Scripture is timeless and the picture of women throughout Scripture is one of participation. In fact in Jesus day the men conducted the religious and civil affairs and the women controlled the home. Jesus came to set men and women free to serve God together in all spheres of life, domestic, civil and religious. His ministry was entirely counter cultural, that's why the Pharisees hated Him so much.

John: When we muck up God forgives us everytime and sometimes for me any way he will take care of even the repercussions but not always. Especially if I want to start going up my own track.

Trev: Isn't God good John in that He does fix up, even our pig-headed blunders. 

John: To me it seemed simple. Were my wife wants to pray it through we do so. We are looking for an answer from the Lord especially me because if it goes wrong as head of the home I have to fix it.

Trev: Now we are getting to where the rubber hits the road, "as head of the home I have to fix it." I know that this is a very popular teaching, but how sound is it biblically? Where in Scripture will you find the expression, 'head of the home?' It's just not there. Yes, in Ephesian 5:23 it says that the husband is the "head of the wife!", but what does that mean? Most thinking commentators these days believe that it is not about authority but about nurture and the verses that follow in Ephesians seem to bear that out because they talk about husbands loving their wives sacrificially and caring for them in the same way that Christ cares for the Church. That was radical in that culture because wives were considered to be a chattel, a possession and were treated like children by their men. Women had very few rights and couldn't exist in that culture without the protection of a man. Paul is urging Christian men to go beyond simply doing their duty of care to their wives but actually loving and considering them above and beyond the norm. From their position of cultural male dominance they could love and nurture their wives in a way that spoke volumes to the world around them.


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