Hasn’t the gospel freed women from the headship of men?

“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).

Salvation is available to all (men and women), regardless of ethnicity or social class (Gal. 3:28). But the very apostle who wrote Gal. 3:28 taught that God’s order of gender headship was still applicable after Calvary “the husband is the head of the wife” (Ephesians 5:23). The idea that the cross has abolished gender role distinctions is not true by these post-Calvary statements. Even if headship were imposed only after and because of sin (Gen. 3:16), as some claim, the need for order and organization calls for headship in the family and church. And among equals there should be a head. A committee of men of equal rank still selects its chairman.

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” (I Corinthians 11:3). Three degrees of submission are here introduced. 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. Some see a reference here to a voluntary submission of Christ in the working out of the plan of salvation.

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 degradation. As the church does not experience dishonor by being dependent on Christ (Eph. 1:18–23; 3:17–19; 4:13, 15, 16), neither does women by being dependent on men.

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In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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