The Head of the House - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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The Head of the House

"The man is the head of the home!"

What comes to mind when you read that statement? To most it is an authoritarian father demanding subservience from his family. When you read the statement, it usually sounds quite arrogant and angry and can actually sound like more of a threat than anything else. This statement is one that will send even closet feminists into twitches, second only to:

"Wives, submit to your husbands."

What comes to mind when you read that statement? To most, there is a picture of a Victorian chambermaid sweeping the ash from before her Lord's hearth. A battered woman pleading for her master's mercy. Or maybe a timid little wife tending the dishes in silence while her husband and his friends smoke cigars and sip brandy. Whatever comes to mind, it's not usually good.

Our culture's vehement hatred for these phrases is not because of the Bible saying them, it's because of the meaning people have read into the verses to support their own agendas. (We see the damage of this attitude with militant Islam; Jihad was originally written as a spiritual contention within a man's own heart.)

We will start with the second: wives, submit to your husbands. Note that it DOES NOT say, "Husbands, make your wives submit." Submission is not an act of force, it is an act of will. Further, it is not just an act of will, but an act of heart. If two children fight and their mother says, "Apologize to your brother!" And they apologize, have they submitted? I can promise you not... trust me, my brother and I proved that one. Submission isn't just about doing what you're told, it's a matter of purposefully lifting someone else above you. Supporting them in a way that raises them, not because you have to, because you want to. It means putting aside your rights for theirs and yes, even obedience. Something like this can start with choosing what you don't necessarily feel, but it doesn't need to stay there.

The major thrust of this little monologue, however, lies in the first thing I quoted, "Husbands are the head of the home." Most translations say that the husband is the head of the wife. The sad part of people using this quote to justify themselves is an ALL TOO COMMON case of "screw the context".

Yes, the Bible says that the husband is the head of the wife, but if you read the WHOLE section (context) you notice something....different than common understanding. You see, if you wish to impose one part of scripture and tout it as God's word, then you must also be willing to bow to another because it is God's word. If you're only willing to do the one, then you really don't care at all that it's scripture.

It says "husbands, love your wives." And the more pious among us may be willing to read to that extent and hold in their minds some awkward balance between forced submission and affection. But to understand what scripture says, we must examine the whole portion, else we do not understand the context and cannot understand the message.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her." Few may actually read this far and attempt to love his wife by apply giving of himself for his wife, as long as she submits. But think on this: give yourself to your wife just as Christ gave himself to the church. Christ is king and lord and God and saviour and and and and... so it fits that the Bible would equate Christ to the church as the husband to the home. Except it's so much bigger than head and submission!

The depth of this only comes in truly looking at what Christ's giving meant. How did He prove his love for the church? He died for her. Most men understand the concept of sacrificing themselves for their family. But wait! There's more!

Yes he died for church. How did this happen? On the cross. The most vile and violent and humiliating form of torture known to a people who were very, very good at killing. In fact, there was no word to describe the pain suffered on the cross as flesh and bone rubbed on rough wood and major nerves were pierced and crushed. So they made a new word, excruciating. It literally means, "out of the cross".

So not only did Jesus die for his church, he was tortured for her, violently. He was abused for her. He was humiliated for her. Silently. But wait! There's more!

Jesus said that he could call legions of angels to rescue him, but he didn't. He could have stopped the pain and humiliation, but he didn't. He CHOSE to suffer this so she could have a CHANCE at something better.

And finally, Jesus says that his Father sent him, that he knows his Father's face and will be seated with Him "again". He left heaven. For this. The king and creator of all abandoned his home, his glory, his life, and his very RIGHTS for the benefit of his beloved. He had the right to be served, to live in luxury, to use the earth as his cushion! Every right he had he gave up. For her.

So... husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.

And wives, submit to your husbands, because really, if your man lives like that for you, it's really not going to be that hard to lift him up.

But what if one doesn't do his or her part? That sucks, it truly does, but you have a role and duty apart from what other people choose. And who knows? Maybe your knight in shining armour doesn't know how to be your knight because he's never been treated like it? Maybe your maiden doesn't know how to submit to you because she's never felt safe?

Wives, submit.
Husbands, love.

Peace to you.

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 02:14 AM
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Re: The Head of the House

I just have to say that this is very refreshing and poignant portrayal of what it really means to be a loving husband who inspires respect from his wife.

It cuts to the heart and eliminates misconceptions of this Biblical truth.

Kudos!

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 10:16 AM
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Re: The Head of the House

I completely agree with you. It's not a lot of people (men especially?) that understand this balance.
Actually why do people always miss the verse right before that that says "submitting yourselves ONE TO ANOTHER"? This comes before the "wives submit..." and "husbands love.." verses. I see it as a title/summary/pretext of how a husband and wife should be towards one another, with the scripture thereafter expounding on it by explaining in more detail the roles and way in which the submission TO EACH OTHER takes place.

TQ
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 04:35 PM
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Re: The Head of the House

Serif,

Thank you. This really touched me. I don't remember the last time I heard this expressed fully, in my estimation the way you have.

"I'm significant!! Screamed the dust speck." - Bill Watterson

"And this, too, shall pass away."
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 05:03 PM
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Re: The Head of the House



Serif

That is the best explanation of those verses that I have seen!

This topic is so sensitive that a Christian forum has banned the topic of submission and those verses from discussion on that forum. They did this because the Christians would ague so much that it got out of hand. Now that is a very sad commentary that a Christian board that has mostly Christians posting have to be banned because of heated arguments.

I believe that Serif has explained those verses so well that any one really wanting to know God’s formula for marriage will not have a lot of disagreement about Serif’s explanation.

Is it hard to do what the scriptures say? YOU BET, especially when only one spouse is following God’s way. However, to follow God it takes a real man or woman and those that do are the salt of the earth.

I sure hope that explanations like the one that Serif gave will get us to start looking at the real way to have a successful marriage. It sure is a lot better than some of the secular pop-psychology that is mostly a bunch of Yada, Yada, and more Yada.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 03:27 AM
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Re: The Head of the House

OP
Thank you for reminding us of those verses and for your interpretation of them.

Might I add to this conversation that:

The sign by the front door of our family home says,

Christ is the Head of this House

The unseen Guest at every meal

The Silent Listener to every Conversation
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 04:23 AM
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Re: The Head of the House

As for me and my house we will serve the LORD, I like to keep HIM first, her second and me last. But it isn't easy! The World likes to but in!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 01:41 AM
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Re: The Head of the House

A tyrannical authoritarian husband will preach his or even God's message to his wife concerning what he thinks ought to be or ought not to be. In contrast a loving and respect-worthy husband will live out that message, and earn his wife's respect by being a loving leader.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 06:15 PM
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Re: The Head of the House

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serif View Post
"Wives, submit to your husbands."
Not long ago ...we had a woman speaker at our Mops Meeting.....what was the Subject.... Being "Submission" to our husbands...

I thoroughly enjoyed it... agreeing with her every word....(and of course this doesn't mean when the man is abusive in any way shape or form...it was explained as you laid out here >>>

Quote:
Serif said : We will start with the second: wives, submit to your husbands. Note that it DOES NOT say, "Husbands, make your wives submit." Submission is not an act of force, it is an act of will. Further, it is not just an act of will, but an act of heart. If two children fight and their mother says, "Apologize to your brother!" And they apologize, have they submitted? I can promise you not... trust me, my brother and I proved that one.

Submission isn't just about doing what you're told, it's a matter of purposefully lifting someone else above you. Supporting them in a way that raises them, not because you have to, because you want to. It means putting aside your rights for theirs and yes, even obedience. Something like this can start with choosing what you don't necessarily feel, but it doesn't need to stay there.
Even though I no longer call myself a Christian, I so agreed with the message that came forth... it's pretty much how we live... I know what works for us.... I was very happy to meet this woman ... this is her book >>
Weatherproof Your Home . . . Against the Storms of Life:

She gave her own story...she laid her faults & failings bear...how her way of living was hindering her own marriage/ her children.....for 20 yrs they were in a power struggle/ turmoil... came close to divorcing a couple times, separated a few times, she earned more than her husband.... she bulked, they argued , fights never ending...

Then in her 40's, their son on drugs.....his example of leadership from his parents was not there... no respect....she wanted to blame him.... she got down on her knees in desperation... the fingers were pointing back at HER.. she changed...she even quit her higher paying Job .......A lot of talk about respecting our husbands ..... her marriage revived... what she learned through that - led to many speakings & this book ~ helping many marriages.

I really loved this one thing she said....

A woman is meant to yield to her husbands Lead... and He, in turn is to provide for her NEED... How does one argue with this? IF he is a GOOD man leading the family in an honorable way...being the Provider & Protector he was meant to be, this being the heart of his concern as a MAN.

A couple needs to be on the same page....this = a workable marriage...
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 08:00 AM
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Re: The Head of the House

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serif View Post


The major thrust of this little monologue, however, lies in the first thing I quoted, "Husbands are the head of the home." Most translations say that the husband is the head of the wife. The sad part of people using this quote to justify themselves is an ALL TOO COMMON case of "screw the context".
My understanding of this biblical quote and its modern application , is that not only is the husband the authoritative figurehead in the home, but he is directly responsible when things go wrong in the home.
He is supposed to keep food on the table,
A roof over their heads,
Protect them from violent attacks, keep them warm in the winter and clothe them all through the year.

He should not be sitting playing with his " x-box " in his
" mancave" whilst his wife struggles with housework or the kids.
It is his responsibility to make life easier for her and his family.
Whether it means investing in the necessary appliances , an extra vehicle , or even a domestic helper, the responsibility is his to make the home environment a happy one where the children could be taught the necessary life skills, so that they could contribute in a meaningful way to the society.

A lot more could be said on this topic , but the concept is a very misunderstood one on both sides.


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 10:44 AM
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Re: The Head of the House

Interestingly enough this is such a realtive term, expression and action. What's sadly mis-used, is the true spiritual nature of the term Leader. In Business, a true leader will not look down on their people, but look up, they are the bottom rung of the ladder not the top, for they have the humility, honesty and respect to know that if not for their workers, staff, crew, etc, there would be nothing and if they lack to show them the respect they deserve, the honor they have earned, the loyalty they require, they will eventually abandon the post. Look in the military. The greatest leaders, are the ones the who looked up to their men and they would follow them anywhere. They were loved, honored, admired.. Leadership is a tremendous responsibility that requires a special person. They must first understand the role they are in. If not, well, we know that means. Hence, why it was put in the relative perspective it was. The ability to get out of their selves and see the other side, to love, to build up, to honor. Honor is a word long long lost amongst us humans. To be the head of the house, is to be the prime example, the one to take the fall, to protect the honor of all and to work with our partners to build a team as equals. Our wives, we took because they had qualities we didn't to balance our lives. We call them our better halves for a reason. You're explination is quite remarkable, and in the spiritual not religious analogy, is spot on. It doesn't just apply for relationships, it's applies to all areas of our lives. When we can find that balance, a serenity of none we have ever known will be ours. When we submit to the power of righteousness of honor, love, forgiveness, willingness and acceptance we are truly one with the universe and God. We don't have to resort to bullying, violence, etc. When our prayer is to only be a blessing unto all we come to contact with, and leave the place better than we came, we are leaders. We are the head of the our own personal house. We have our own house we must be leaders of first. If we can't lead our personal house, how can we be the true head of any house. Our mind is a house, we have to keep it in a reasonable clean, healthy state first. Or the rest will fall. Only with our Higher power as what ever we choose to call it, will we be good for anyone, spouses, children, co-workers, even the person we meet on the street. Althought, with the right partner, and good solid resasonably strong healthy balance with good boundry relationship and good communication skills, two can grow together and build a wonderful mansion. Once, a few years ago, I died during a heart attack. I met my grandmother, my grandfather was there too. they say we can't take material things with us. But we can take our love for another, the bonds we make into eternity. I hope to meet someone someday i can. Make amends, know thy self, change, don't be afraid. Now I'm on a heart transplant list. If all i can do is share a message, is. Live happy, live free from the past and love..
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 01:31 PM
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Re: The Head of the House

Taking in context is the key!
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 01:41 PM
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Re: The Head of the House

"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones."
Proverbs 12:4
There is an old story that beautifully illustrates the principle of honor within marriage.

A drunkard husband, spending the evening with his jovial companions at a tavern, boasted that if he took a group of his friends home with him at midnight and asked his Christian wife to get up and cook supper for them, she would do it without complaint. The crowd considered it a vain boast and dared him to try it. So the drunken crowd followed him home, and he made the unreasonable demands of his wife. She obeyed, dressed, came down, and prepared a very nice supper and served it as cheerfully as if she had been expecting them.
After supper one of the men asked her how she could be so kind when they had been so unreasonable and when she did not approve of their conduct. Her reply was: "Sir, when my husband and I were married, we were both sinners. It has pleased God to call me out of that dangerous condition. My husband continues in it. I tremble for his future state. Were he to die as he is, he would be miserable forever. I think it my duty to render his present existence as comfortable as possible." Not long after, her husband was saved.

The notion of honor seems quaint and outdated to many in the modern world, but it is at the very foundation of any healthy and loving relationship. The Hebrew word for honor means “to give something weight—to treat it as valuable or important.” When we show disrespect in words or actions, we are revealing a failure of love. Marriages do not usually collapse suddenly. Instead they fall due to a long process of erosion that continues unchecked, and undermines the foundation.
Today’s Proverbs Precept:
It is not possible to love someone as you should without also treating them with honor and respect.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 11:10 PM
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Re: The Head of the House

Does anyone else here think of Abigail, David, and Nabal? Abigail, of course, becomes wife to both of these men. David is a would be king but has flaws just like all people do. Nabal is mean, dishonest, ungrateful and overall jerk. Abigail shows truly what it means to be submissive to both of these men. Her submissiveness with David is markedly different than her submissiveness with Nabal. No Abigail does not meet the standard submissiveness definition in that Nabal would have expressly forbidden her going to David, but she circumvented him in a way that saved his honor (by taking his dishonor onto herself) and allowed God to to judge Nabal. She was also submissive to David by letting him know that he was chosen by God and that she would willingly follow such a man, but if he allowed himself to slay Nabal he would not be the man that God had chosen therefor he would lose all respect.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 12:50 AM
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Re: The Head of the House

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serif View Post
"The man is the head of the home!"

What comes to mind when you read that statement? To most it is an authoritarian father demanding subservience from his family. When you read the statement, it usually sounds quite arrogant and angry and can actually sound like more of a threat than anything else. This statement is one that will send even closet feminists into twitches, second only to:

"Wives, submit to your husbands."

What comes to mind when you read that statement? To most, there is a picture of a Victorian chambermaid sweeping the ash from before her Lord's hearth. A battered woman pleading for her master's mercy. Or maybe a timid little wife tending the dishes in silence while her husband and his friends smoke cigars and sip brandy. Whatever comes to mind, it's not usually good.

Our culture's vehement hatred for these phrases is not because of the Bible saying them, it's because of the meaning people have read into the verses to support their own agendas. (We see the damage of this attitude with militant Islam; Jihad was originally written as a spiritual contention within a man's own heart.)

We will start with the second: wives, submit to your husbands. Note that it DOES NOT say, "Husbands, make your wives submit." Submission is not an act of force, it is an act of will.
From the free dictionary:

sub·mis·sion (sb-mshn)
n.
1.
a. The act of submitting to the power of another: "Oppression that cannot be overcome does not give rise to revolt but to submission" (Simone Weil).

Of course it doesn't say ""Husbands, make your wives submit" because the Bible does that for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serif View Post
The major thrust of this little monologue, however, lies in the first thing I quoted, "Husbands are the head of the home." Most translations say that the husband is the head of the wife. The sad part of people using this quote to justify themselves is an ALL TOO COMMON case of "screw the context".

Yes, the Bible says that the husband is the head of the wife, but if you read the WHOLE section (context) you notice something....different than common understanding. You see, if you wish to impose one part of scripture and tout it as God's word, then you must also be willing to bow to another because it is God's word. If you're only willing to do the one, then you really don't care at all that it's scripture.
So we must bow to Leviticus when it says:

Leviticus 20:9 If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death.


And Deuteronomy when it says:

Deuteronomy 22:23-24 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city.

And:

Deuteronomy 25:11-12 If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

And Peter when it says:

Peter 2:18 Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

We must 'bow' to this otherwise we don't really care at all that it is scripture, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serif View Post
The depth of this only comes in truly looking at what Christ's giving meant. How did He prove his love for the church? He died for her. Most men understand the concept of sacrificing themselves for their family. But wait! There's more!

Yes he died for church. How did this happen? On the cross. The most vile and violent and humiliating form of torture known to a people who were very, very good at killing. In fact, there was no word to describe the pain suffered on the cross as flesh and bone rubbed on rough wood and major nerves were pierced and crushed. So they made a new word, excruciating. It literally means, "out of the cross".

So not only did Jesus die for his church, he was tortured for her, violently. He was abused for her. He was humiliated for her. Silently.
What kind of perverse being requires the torturing to death of his own son in order to be appeased? Why should I be happy that this horror was committed on my behalf?

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are c0cksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

- Bertrand Russel
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