Welcome to the age where men are fighting for relevance, where they have to suppress their wives and children to get what they suppose is respect. Sometimes, fighting for something simply indicates that we either do not have it, that we aren’t worth it or that we have lost it! If a man still has his headship intact, he may not have to fight for it, he would just have to act on it! If a man hadn’t lost his headship, is there any need fighting for it? Sometimes again, people fight for what they have because they don’t even know they have it or because they can’t even operate it and identify what they have from the results it yields.
Until men concede to the true essence of “headship”, until they humble themselves and take up the cloak of service, they will continue fighting for relevance, seeking for respect and yet never get restored into the seat of “headship”. Efficient leadership is found in the place of effective co-operation. You don’t fight for it, you don’t blow the trumpet for it! You simply walk into it within the doors of service. This service begins with love and gets achieved with love. Leadership cannot be proven by manipulated submission, it is proven by willing followership.
Before we look into some things that the Bible said concerning the man in his family, we are very much aware that if we want to understand the true way God designed men to serve his own body by the reason of the woman becoming one with him and the children being the products of that union, we must look at how Jesus served and serves the Church as His own body! Jesus said in Mark 10:45
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus who is our Lord, the King of Kings and the saviour of the world never came seeking for people to serve Him! He came with service in His hands, He came offering service to anyone willing to receive. Yet, it is His service that got us all running to Him! You see the sick, the sinners, the rejected and even Children running up to Him because He serves, He wasn’t forcing submission on anyone as the religious leader would do, He was rather giving out Himself to people and these people, in turn, were bowing willingly to Him!
No wonder the women followed Jesus so well! They look at Jesus and they see the definition of the perfect man! They couldn’t see this kind of man in the religious leaders of that time, they couldn’t see it in the common men because the demands were heavy on them to always submit. It was a forceful submission to men and the ills of the society. A woman was caught in adultery, they passed judgment on her and almost stoned her in condemnation while the man was not even brought to the public but shielded! The same happens in our societies today, women are condemned if they ever cheat on their husbands while men are absolved by the society. Well, Jesus treated everyone the same! In Matthew 9:3, Jesus told a paralytic man that his sins are forgiven and in Luke 7:48, Jesus also told a sinful woman that her sins were forgiven. Jesus sees differently and if men must discover the place of headship, they have to learn of Christ.
We see something amazing about Jesus, He is aware that He is the Lord and the master, He is aware of His authority but the awareness of His authority only got Him into serving those that were supposed to serve Him. It was absurd when He bent low to wash the feet of His disciples, it wasn’t a ritual, it wasn’t a kind of ceremony, it was an example that He had set for every leader called by His name to follow. Jesus redefined leadership, He brought God’s meaning of leadership and in Him, we discovered that leadership simply means “serving others.” In John 13:13-15, as the disciples wondered why He would stoop low to wash their feet which is the work of the least of servants, He said to them
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
Jesus needed to set the record straight. By His actions, He was shouting on top of His voice “leaders are servants! Lords and teachers are feet washers! If you truly identify yourself as the head, you must bend low to serve. The head serves the body.” Have you ever studied the body? What is the duty of the head? The head serves the body in several ways until the body becomes strong enough to give back to the head. Before you started feeding yourself, your mother would bring your head closer to her breast and let you suck her milk. It is by this nourishment that you became stronger to the point of being able to feed yourself through the same head that had started serving you! It is with the same hand that had become strong that you wash your head, do your makeups and make the head attractive! In the same manner, Jesus showed us that the headship of man is greatly displayed in service to his body and turn, the body gives back to the man.
The reason many men don’t enjoy respect today is that they were fighting for it, they were mounting pressures for it and they never worked for it! You can’t earn what you don’t work for. Many times, we are forcing women into the position of headship by forcing them to serve! The leader is the one who initiates service, he is the model of service. Why leave women to train the children while you just make money and pay school fees? Haven’t you asked why many children grow up following their mothers? This is because it was the mother that they recognized her services, they are giving back to the leadership they felt and could relate with.
Why do we have to look up to Jesus to see what exactly leadership is in the family? First, Jesus and the Church is the reality of God’s design for the family (Revelations 19:7). Secondly, the Bible instructs us to learn from Jesus (Matthew 11:29) and thirdly, the Bible instructs men to love their wives just like Jesus loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25), the man must act towards his wife and family as Jesus acted towards the Church. However, there are still more that we can get from the Bible and if men can heed to this, they will explore the place of headship!
The submission of the wife to the man is by influence. The man influences his wife through his service; a pleasant display of love and true leadership. Someone would respond to you and even bow before you not because they respect you in their heart but because you have a gun and would shoot them if they disobey. Jesus didn’t come forcing Himself to us, He came saying “come unto me, I have the rest you seek.” This is the manner with which men should express headship. The authority of the man isn’t that of a dictator, the Biblical-leadership of the husband is expressed with Godly virtues. The Bible says in Colossians 3:19
“Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.”
I like the sound of that word “never!” The duty of the husband springs with love as Jesus loves the Church. The Bible also instructs that there isn’t any account on which the husband should be harsh to his wife. God’s desire in giving a woman to a man isn’t to get a new servant for the man but to allow the man to raise and model a Godly family! The woman is also a child of God, with the advantage of helping the man in his areas of weakness and the tasks given to him by God. This isn’t the sole reason women were created.
My previous articles have explained that beyond marriage, women also have the calling and blessing to subdue the earth and lead in society. In marriage, the woman possesses a strength that can help the man. God never graded the women as a second-place or an afterthought and this is why men are wired to care for them, not as though they are weak but because they are treasures that need protection. What will you do to the store of your treasures? Will you invest in security to keep it secure or will you leave it to the mercies of chances? Husbands influence submission by protecting and caring for their wives! There is no place of commanding the wife or pressurizing her into something. You influence her by your love, provision and utmost care! This is how a man initiates leadership. The Bible says in this regard in 1 Timothy 5:8
“But if any do not take care of their relatives, especially the members of their own family, they have denied the faith and are worse than an unbeliever.”
The husband sets an example of care and provision! Yes, the virtuous woman also provides, she is also engaged with several businesses and in the same vein don’t ignore her family and husband but the man sets an example of service and the woman also responds to this love wholeheartedly.
God never gave you a wife to use her as a punching bag! God never gave you a woman to experiment with your power and physical strength, she was given for companionship, to humble you and to help you become the best of you! It is wrong when you attribute leadership to your quest for power! Your physical strength is given to you to use and protect your wife and your children. It doesn’t make you superior, it simply brings uniqueness to your role as a husband. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:7
“In the same way, you husbands must give honour to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”
Wives aren’t to be treated as afterthoughts but with honour and understanding! This is one great way to discover and take your place as the head or leader in the family. Regardless of the physical strength of a woman, she is not inferior and should be treated as your partner! Sometimes men hinder their progress as “husbands” by the way they treat their wives. You need to also come to that place of submission, that place of accountability and that place of honour for your wife. The strength of the man was ever designed to be lord over a woman, the man should rather use that strength to care and love a woman. She will willingly follow as her followership is a gift for your awesome display of leadership.
Have you noticed that God designed both male and female in such a way that they would complement? Where the man is weak, the woman is usually strong and where the woman is weak, the man is usually strong! Technically, no one is truly stronger if we put all of this into consideration. We will always find the answer when we go back and look at the creation story. God brought the woman to the man because the man needed a companion and a helpmeet. The best of this woman can only be gotten in teamwork. When the recognizes and take his place as a leader in the place of true service, love and respect for the woman, he will build a successful home!
One way to dismantle spiritual order in homes is to fight for authority as a man. The kind of authority God wants the man to have isn’t that gotten through dictatorship, through pressure or even through emotional blackmail. It is the authority gotten through service and love for what God has committed to his care. When we serve, we win those who we serve and they gladly follow. A wife will always give back to the service of the man and this way the husband takes his place of ‘headship’ to raise a Godly-family.
God bless you.
~ George O.N