Why is man the head of woman?


By BibleAsk Team

The concept of man being the head of woman, as found in Christian theology. This belief is often rooted in certain biblical passages, particularly in the writings of the Apostle Paul. To explore why man is considered the head of woman, we must delve into the biblical text, its cultural context, and its theological implications.

Biblical Texts:

The primary passages that address the concept of man being the head of woman are found in the New Testament, particularly in the writings of Paul. One such passage is found in 1 Corinthians 11:3, where Paul writes, “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (NKJV).

Another passage is found in Ephesians 5:22-24, where Paul instructs, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (NKJV).

Also, the passage in 1 Timothy 2:12-14 (NKJV), affirms the headship of man to woman: “And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”


There are three degrees of submission. The man is to acknowledge Christ as his Lord and Master; the woman, while recognizing the supremacy of Christ as Lord over all, is required to acknowledge that in domestic life she is placed under the guidance and protection of man; Christ, although equal with the Father is represented as recognizing God as head. Even among equals there may be a head.

Headship exists within the Godhead itself (1 Corinthians 11:3) and will continue to exist there after the end of sin (Matthew 20:23; 1 Corinthians 15:28). Perfect beings and perfect organizations use leadership. in our world today, a committee of men of equal rank still selects its chairman. Defined leadership is a positive organizational arrangement.

The power and dignity of the husband depends on the position he holds toward Christ, his head, therefore the dependence of the wife on her husband is in the true sense dependence on Christ through the husband. The dependence of the wife on her husband was a divinely appointed plan for the good of both spouses.

However, the dependence does not in any way imply the slightest degree of inferiority. As the church does not experience dishonor by being dependent on Christ. “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22–23 (NKJV) also 3:17–19; 4:13, 15, 16).

The Lord taught, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25). The response of the husband to the wife’s submission is not to give a command, but to love. The husband will properly provide for the wife’s temporal support (1 Timothy 5:8); he will do what he can to ensure her happiness (1 Corinthians 7:33); he will honor her (1 Peter 3:7).

The Role of Sin:

It’s important to address the assertion that “she sinned first” (1 Timothy 2:14, NKJV) as a justification for man’s headship over woman. The apostle’s second argument for the submissiveness of women is that when Eve tried to assert leadership she was deceived, It was Eve who was beguiled by Satan (Genesis 3:13; 2 Corinthians 11:3). Adam sinned with a full knowledge of the step he was taking. Because of his love for Eve, he voluntarily chose to share the consequences of sin with her (Genesis 3:17).

The good new is that the New Testament presents Jesus Christ as the ultimate redeemer who overcomes the effects of sin and restores humanity to right relationship with God (Romans 5:18-19). In Christ, there is reconciliation and restoration, as believers are united with Him and empowered by His Spirit to live according to God’s purposes.

Theological Implications:

According to Christian doctrine, all human beings are created in the image of God and are equal in dignity and worth (Genesis 1:27). This foundational truth affirms the inherent value and significance of every individual, regardless of gender. The concept of headship, as understood in biblical theology, involves loving leadership, sacrificial service, and mutual submission within the marriage relationship.

In Ephesians 5:25-33, Paul elaborates on the nature of Christ-like leadership within marriage, stating that husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. This sacrificial love mirrors the selfless love of Christ for His people and serves as a model for husbands to follow in their relationships with their wives.

Mutual Submission and Equality:

While the concept of headship implies a certain order within marriage, it is important to recognize that Paul also emphasizes the principle of mutual submission within the Christian community. In Ephesians 5:21, Paul instructs believers to “submit to one another in the fear of God” (NKJV), highlighting the importance of humility, mutual respect, and deference to others.

Furthermore, Paul affirms the equality of all believers in receiving the benefits of salvation, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or social status. He writes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28, NKJV). This verse underscores the foundational truth that all believers share a common identity and inheritance in Christ, irrespective of outward distinctions.


In conclusion, the concept of man being the head of woman, as articulated in certain biblical passages, must be understood within its theological and ethical contexts. These passages convey the divine order of authority in the Godhead, church and marriage, which is: God – Christ – man – woman (1 Corinthians 11:3).

Ultimately, the teachings of Scripture point to the importance of mutual respect, sacrificial love, and mutual submission within the marriage relationship, as well as the affirmation of the equality of all believers in receiving the benefits of salvation. By understanding and applying these principles in our lives, we can reflect the love and grace of God and embody His purposes for marriage and community.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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