Headship of the Husband in the Bible

Click to ViewEleven patterns of submission & headship in the New Testament

Click to ViewMan and Woman: Equal but different in 19 ways!

A. Summary Of Headship Passages:

  1. Lead selflessly and with love: Eph 5:25
  2. Lead as you would want to be lead: Eph 5:33
  3. Do not provoke to anger: Eph 6:4
  4. Do not threaten: Eph 6:9
  5. Lead lovingly, without bitterness: Col 3:19
  6. Do not exasperate so that they lose heart: Col 3:20
  7. Be just and fair to them: Col 4:1
  8. Lead in an understanding way: 1 Pe 3:7
  9. Grant honor as they are fellow heirs: 1 Pe 3:7
  10. Not Lording it over: 1 Pe 5:2-3
  11. Being an example: 1 Pe 5:3
  12. lead knowing you will be judged by God for what you do: Eph 6:9; Col 3:25

B. Husbands and Headship:

Dysfunctional Headship

Proper Headship

Gives orders without asking or permitting questions-others not as smart

Asks questions, seeks to truly hear, suggests alternatives, desires input-learns from others

Makes demands, dishes out directives, lays down the law, cracks the whip-but doesn't delegate

Delegates authority & responsibility; Respects freedom & dignity of others, keeps reigns loose

Insecure in personal identity and authority and is therefore defensive if challenged

Secure in self-identity, understands his authority, views challenging as positive

Requires compliance regardless of consent or agreement

Values willing cooperation, works for open agreement and understanding

Pushes and manipulates, one man rules in a ridged over-under position

Leads, attracts, persuades personal relationships in side-by-side identification

Says, "You do, you must do", or "Yours is not to wonder why, yours is but to do or die"!

Says, "Come, let's do, we might have done, can we try"

Depends on external authority to motivate others

Depends on internal integrity to motivate others

Generates friction, resistance, resentment, separates and isolates people

Generates acceptance, co-operation, reconciliation, unites and helps persons relate to each other

Leads by command and threat

Leads by example, understanding and kindness

Asks others to do things he would not

Asks others to do things he has and would do


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C. A wife "fine tunes" her husband's thinking



"Cooking is woman's work"

Jesus cooked: Jn 21:9-12

"Doing the laundry is a woman's job"

Jesus folded laundry: Jn 20:6-7

"Cleaning the house is not my work"

Jesus cleansed the temple: Jn 2:13-16

"Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him Lord":

1 Pe 3:6

True, but God also commanded Abraham to obey Sarah: Gen 21:9-12

"You must submit to me because I am your husband" Eph 5:22

True, and you must submit to me because we are both Christians and fellow-heirs: Eph 5:21

If I go to all the work of making a mess... the least you can do is clean it up!

If you go to all the work of making the money... the least I can do is spend it!

D. Headship doesn't negate that husbands must submit to their wife:

  1. Christ's example of leadership: He knew he was Lord, so was able to serve: He washed feet as a servant even though he was the Lord: Jn 13
  2. He is required to do so because she is a Christian and fellow-heir: 2 Pe 3:7; Eph 5:21; Rom 12:10; Gal 5:13; Phil 2:3; 1 Pe 5:5

E. God gave women the authority to make important decisions too

  1. They are managers/keepers of the home: Tit 2:5 (Greek: oikodespotes literally, "house ruler")
  2. A wife's judgement can be better than her husbands: Nabal & Abigail: 1 Sam 25:3,17,25,32

F. Put Another Log On The Fire: Song by Shel Silverstein

This song is a good example of a bad husband:

Put another log on the fire. Cook me up some bacon and some beans. And go out to the car and change the tire. Wash my socks and sew my old blue jeans. Come on, Baby!
Now, don't I let you wash the car on Sundays? Don't I warn you when you're getting fat? Ain't I gonna take you fishin' some day? A man can't love his wife more than that!
Ain't I always nice to your kid sister? Don't I take her drivin' every night? So, sit here at my feet 'Cause I like you when you're sweet. And you know it ain't feminine to fight! Come on, Baby!
You can fill my pipe. And then go fetch my slippers. And boil me up another pot of tea. Then put another log on the fire, Babe. And come and tell me why you're leavin' me.

Steve Rudd


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