Daily Archives: September 18, 2007


Those who reject the Biblical teaching of leadership of the husband in a marriage, preferring instead to teach that there is no Biblical indication of leadership within a marriage (some teach a sort of "that was then, this is now" Biblical reading, meaning that yes, the husbands did have leadership now, but that was a "cultural thing" and not for today).One of the passages that instruct wives to submit to their husbands is

Eph 5: 22-24 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (ESV)

First, this is obviously a metaphor. A wife is not walking around with her husband sitting on top of her neck. We need to discern what it is a metaphor for. There are a couple of schools of thought - head means "source", like the head of a river, or head means "leader", like the head of a corporation.

Second, even if "head" means "source", you still have to deal with "submit".

Third - we can try to make sense of the grammar

Can we use "source"?

  • Christ is the source of the church
  • the husband is the source of the wife.

You can either reject this usage of the word, or you can submit to the idea that there IS a creation order, man was created first and woman second; man is the glory of God and woman is the glory of man. In this case, it would be clear why there would be an instruction to submit - because of the creation order.

Yes - we can actually use source and have it work, but that gives egalitarians a problem with submission within the creation order.

Can we use "leader"?

  • Christ is the leader of the church
  • the husband is the leader of the wife

Egalitarians don't like this one. But yes, the grammar works.

In either case, you still have to deal with the word "hupotasso" - submit.

Wives - submit. Why? Because the Bible said so.Whether the metaphor is used to indicate "source" or "leader" - the instruction is still to "submit" - hupotasso.

A husband's leadership over his household has been the teaching of the church for centuries. The legal term is "he who asserts must prove". Egalitarians must prove from Scripture that centuries