Is the man the head of the woman? This appears on the surface to be the plain statement of 1 Corinthians 11:3 Now is every man the head of every woman? Assuredly not! A man may be the head of one woman -his wife. But he is not the head of every woman.
The Greek word used for “man” and for “husband” in the New Testament is the same word, aner. The Greek of the New Testament had no separate word for “husband.” Likewise, it had no word for “wife.” Therefore, the Greek word for “woman”, gyne, has been translated both as “woman” and as “wife”.
Hence, it must be determined by the setting which of these significations should be given to the words in the English passage. For instance, you must tell from the context whether it’s talking about women in general or strictly about wives. Sometimes Paul is talking about women in general- but at other times he’s strictly talking about wives. And such passages should be interpreted as relating to the role of a wife.
Our text 1 Cor 11:3cannot mean that every man stands in the same relationship to every woman as Christ does to every man. That could not be true.
Christ is the head of the woman just as much as He is the head of the man. If He isn’t, then the woman is not in the church, for Christ is the Head of the Church.
Paul was simply illustrating that from the family standpoint- the domestic standpoint- the husband is the head of the wife, just as from the spiritual standpoint Christ is the head of the Church. He is not saying the husband is the wife’s head spiritually. If that were true, the born-again wife of an unsaved man would have no spiritual head. But, praise God, she does have a spiritual head- the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit” 1 Cor 6:17.And in the same chapter it says, “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh” (v 16).
The scriptures use this same terminology, “and the two will become one flesh.” It is only in the husband-and-wife relationship – in the domestic situation – that the husband is the head of the wife. From the spiritual standpoint, he or she who is joined unto the Lord is one spirit, with Jesus as the spiritual head. The woman is a member of the Body of Christ just as much as the man is. And Christ is the spiritual head of the woman, just as much as He is the spiritual head of the man.
Every woman can come to Christ directly, without the mediation or consent of any man. I’ve heard some say their wives are not even to pray without their consent. That’s foolish. Any woman can come to God without the mediation or consent of her husband or any other man. She can come into the same close personal fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ that any man can. In fact, many women are walking in closer fellowship with Christ than a lot of men.
But as a wife, in the natural human relationship, she has a subordinate place in the family. (She does not have a subordinate place in the Body of Christ. And this does not mean that husband and wife are not equal before God.) For the sake of good order in the family, the husband should be the head of the house. No intelligent woman should think of marrying a man who in her estimation is not worthy to take that place.
Great calamites might have been averted if God’s order in the family government had been accepted and followed. The husband is not to be contrary and lord it over his wife. Rather both are to be helpers together in all which concerns their temporal and eternal welfare.
The husband must carry the greater responsibility; therefore, he should have the highest authority. If both husband and wife are what they should be, the husband will take his place naturally as the head of the family, and it will be a joy to his wife to see him there. No real woman wants a mere echo or a puppet for a husband. There is no escape from the plain teaching of the Word of God on this point.
Thank you for reading, God bless you. Kindly drop your comments, I love to hear from you.
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