“For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He himself being the Savior of the body.” (Eph. 5:23)
This seems to be a pretty straightforward statement but is often disputed in both words and actions. Some would hold that this is an archaic point of view and that in our modern world it is no longer valid. Others hold that the viewpoint of Paul is valid but live an entirely opposite lifestyle. Either way, the scripture becomes invalid.
There is no question that our culture has morphed from that of the Near-East of two thousand years ago. However, a changing culture does not necessarily override the word of God. Part of the problem people have with this verse is that the interpretation usually given to the verse is that the husband is lord of the wife and can demand anything he wants.
What is often missed is that this statement is made as an “as” statement. The husband is the head of the wife as… Not just plain “head of the wife.” The husband is only the head of the wife in the same way that Christ is the head of the church. How does that work?
Point one: Christ is the Savior of the body, the church. He gave his life for the church.
Point two: Christ loved the church, giving himself up for her. He put her first. He was willing to give up all for her.
Point three: Christ’s treatment of the church made it holy and blameless.
Point four: Christ nourished the church.
Point five: Christ cherished the church.
Okay, now we know. Husbands are the head of their wives by reason of five points that resemble Christ’s headship over the church. The husband who can’t manage these five points can’t be the head of his wife. That is, he can’t be a God-appointed head. He can do it by force but it won’t be God approved and it won’t be based on the word of God.
Task for Today: Husbands, if you want to be the head of your wife do a quick point check. If you are going to use this verse as proof that you are head make sure you meet the criteria. Wives, assist your husband in meeting these points given above and then when he’s done so, make sure you recognize him as your head, just as the church does Christ.