The below is written by Jory Micah. She shared it on facebook, and I asked her permission to share it on my blog. I liked how she made key points in a succinct way. If you don’t know Jory Micah, check out her web site. You can also find her on facebook and on twitter @jorymicah. Jory has become a voice for women in the church over the last couple years.
From Jory Micah, bold added by me:
Scripture never calls for husbands to be “leaders” over their wives.
The debate is around what the word “head” means in Eph. 5, and I don’t believe it is a command for husbands to “lead” but rather to love and sacrifice power and privilege for their wives benefit.
Love is never about having authority over another person; but rather, using authority or privilege to authorize and empower one who may have less privilege and power than you.
This is an upside down kingdom principle of Jesus Christ – which was counter cultural to New Testament times.
In Eph. 6 (the very next chapter after the “husband headship/wife submission” passage), we see Paul tell slaves to submit to their masters, but if the enslaved would have taken this passage literally in the United States, they would have never been freed from slavery, because it was many Christians who used this Bible verse to keep them enslaved.
Both slavery and patriarchy are cultural backdrops to the Bible’s message, but Gal. 3:28 is the message of the Bible:
“There is no male nor female, slave nor free, Jew nor Gentile in Jesus Christ. For we are of one Spirit.”
If you claim that wives have some sort of unique role to submit, then you must also hold to slaves having a unique role to submit, as these are both part of the customs of Paul’s day.
Here is the truth:
Once the Bible told husbands (who were the master’s of their wives in Paul’s day) and ‘masters of slaves’ to love their wives and slaves as Christ loves us, it was the beginning of ending slavery and patriarchy; because one who loves their wife or slave, will set them free from unequal submission.
Which leads us back to Eph. 5:21 (the foundation of the passages above), in which Paul tells husbands and wives, as well as all believers to mutually submit to one another.
Thanks again to Jory Micah for allowing me to share her thoughts. For more on submission being for all believers (not only for women), here is a past post of mine: Submission – ugh not that. Thoughts from Richard Foster