Recently I’ve written a about what headship is not. I have stated true headship must flow from love and be rooted submission to God. Okay, but what should headship look like?
To some degree, it will vary from couple to couple because of things such as unique gifts and callings, past experiences, and current season of life. However, there are some basic principles. The husband who is exercising headship well will do the following:
- He seeks the best for his wife. Not what makes her happy, but what God wants for her.
- He prayerfully seeks God’s will for his wife and their marriage.
- He sacrifices for his wife.
- He works to expose and nurture the gifts God has given his wife.
- He knows when to shut up and let God do a work in his wife’s life.
- He protects his wife from harm, including harm she would do to herself.
- He listens to his wife, working not only to hear her, but also to understand her perspective.
- He learns his wife’s needs, dreams, and her fears.
- He seeks ways to communicate so his wife understands him. (Including her love language.)
- He is fast to forgive, and quick to extend grace. He gives the benefit of the doubt and refuses to operate based on assumptions.
- He understands providing for his wife means far more than bringing home a pay-check.
For another good look at the issue of headship, try Submission to authority by Robyn of “up with marriage”. What she describes seems it would be over the top for some women, but as she says, it is what works for her. There is a lot of good stuff in her article, but the following stood out to me:
“Finally, a word of caution: to want to have authority over your wife’s power is a good and godly thing; but to want to make your life easier or to just get your way because you are stronger and bigger, or thinking you are better or more privileged in any way just because you are the man, is not the way of the Lord – it is the tradition of men. This is the seed of feminism: men following the tradition of ‘wearing the pants.’
Satan twisted the direction and purpose of the authority God gave men because he could not diminish it, so men hated the power of femininity and abused women, seeing them as less valuable. Women, being responders, have merely reflected that twist of direction and purpose; but they move in what they are – power – so women are usurping the masculine authority that originally hated their femininity.
Satan subtly shifted the direction of authority and power in marriage so that husbands and wives would be at each other instead of one synergistic unit directed at him.”
I have long said feminism is a wrong response to a real problem. Many men treated women in general and their wives in particular in ways that were wrong, ungodly, and just rude. Oppressed groups do not stay oppressed forever, they eventually they rise up. If most men had been good, loving heads, feminism would have been a big flop.