This issue of Mutuality explores how the Bible uses the concept of “headship” to emphasize unity, sacrificial love, and mutual submission between men and women, as a means of imitating Christ and advancing God’s kingdom.
Clearly, it is easy for us to lose sight of God’s ways and resort to our own default way of doing things. The popular concept of “headship”—the idea that the man is the leader of his wife and family and that he exercises authority over his wife as her spiritual covering and priest—is one such example of this. “Headship” is a word you won’t find…
If the Bible teaches that men are the spiritual leaders of their homes as the Courageous characters suggest, and if their resolution fleshes out what that leadership looks like, then what is uniquely “male” about these challenges? Is it not also the calling of Christian women to be engaged, prayerful, respectful, kind, and integrity-filled?
What the example of Deborah reveals about gender authority: As women have gained increased influence in society, and as Bible scholars offer a consistent egalitarian interpretation of Scripture, gender traditionalists have had to work harder and more creatively to justify the subordination of women within the church and family—even to…
I can be a theoretical egalitarian, one who embraces biblical equality as a kind of cultural marker that makes me feel superior to other Christians. But I cannot truly be egalitarian if I cannot submit to my wife and family.
In 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, Paul is concerned that both men and women should exercise their leadership gifts—with appropriate authority—while presenting themselves in a manner that celebrates the uniqueness of their respective genders.
Upon first acquaintance with Ephesians 5:21–33, I was pretty turned off. The husband is the head of his wife? How could this be taken as anything other than an insult to women? My reaction: I already have a head, thank you very much. It may not be perfect, but it’s at least comparable to that of any male I know.
Dr. Vinces has worked for over twenty years on pastoral and integral mission issues, which includes defending, from a Christian perspective, the rights of women and children victimized by sexual and domestic violence. His work focuses on educating and equipping evangelical pastors and lay leaders.
The only authority Christians have over one another is to love and serve each other, just as the emphasis of Ephesians 5 is not on the authority of husbands, but on their obligation to love their wives as they love themselves.