This is the first in a series about marriage and the connection between marriage to women’s gifts in the church.
Some people in an effort to keep women’s ministry gifts away from the benefit of men, teach that the term husband as the “head of the wife” means that men are to have authority over women and this eliminates women as having any kind of teaching authority in the body of Christ.
So does the term “head” mean “boss over” or “authority over” when it is connected to the term “body”? Also is the purpose of the head as one who holds back the body? Let’s do a biblical search to find out what God means so that we can fill in this sentence: The purpose of the head is to _______ the body.
In Colossians 2:19, Paul gives us a great word picture to show the relationship between the head and the body.
Colossians 2:19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
Notice it is “the head from whom the entire body being supplied“…. The purpose of the head is to supply the needs of the body. This is a service to the body not a withholding from the body.
In Genesis we can clearly see this when the man became the first source of supply for his wife. Adam’s body was used by God as the source of the flesh and bone that was used to make the woman. When the man first sees his flesh and bone mate, he identifies her as his very own. He is the source of her body and she is the fulfillment of his own flesh.
Genesis 2:23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”
The woman was taken out of man and this makes her unique among all of God’s
creation. God then tells us what is to happen because of the intimate relationship
between the husband and his wife.
Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
We are told “for this reason” a man is to leave his home and join himself with his wife. For what reason? It is for the reason that God created the man and the woman to be joined together as a one flesh union. For this reason the husband is the one who leaves and cleaves. He is the one who joins himself with his wife. He is the one who sacrifices of himself to come to her. She is the body and he as the head that joins himself to her so that they become a true one-flesh union. A man has a great responsibility to initiate, establish and nurture this one-flesh union.
This is the beauty of the original creation. Yet there are those who see the distorted relationship between husband and wife after the fall as an extension of the original creation. Nowhere do we find the man ruling over his wife in the original creation. The original creation is the reason for unity. Rulership of one human over another was the result of sinful and selfish desires distorted by the fall. Genesis does not say that a man shall leave his father and his mother and rule over his wife. His purpose was not to rule over her but to cleave to her. The Hebrew word for “be joined to” or “cleave to” is the word “dabaq” and it means to stick strongly together like two pieces completely glued together. The meaning is intended as a complete unity. The man gives himself up and leaves his place to join himself to his wife. The purpose of the head is to join himself with the body in order to have a one-flesh union. The result is unity and intimate fellowship.
In this unity, a man will not hold his wife back from serving God with her gifts. He is to supply what she needs in order for her to use her gifts and to become the best that she can become. He is to open the doors for her so that she can serve without opposition. Marriage is not a hindrance to ministry. Marriage should be a way for a woman to be nourished so that she is able to minister in the body of Christ.