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Women and Children First: The Restoration Headship

1 Cor 11:3 “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.”

For the Corinthian church, the new liberation for women in the church was needing some instruction. For the first time, many of these women now had a sense of dignity. In roman culture they had no rights, now they are citizens of heaven.

They had no education, now women are learning at the feet of Jesus, and from Peter and Paul and Apollos in the church at Corinth.

They had no position in Roman culture… but now they are parts of the body of Christ... each gifted along with the men to serve the body, to proclaim Christ, to make disciples, as they worship Christ together...…

But the body is in chaos because they have not grasped some basic principles, and have not understood some of the differences in function that will lead to harmony in the family, and church, and in turn influence the culture around them. It will reinforce the clarity of the Gospel, and show the power of transformation for every family.... it all has to do with finding your head. It's going to be the difference between reviving the church and repulsing the culture....

Today we are looking at the biblical principle of “Headship, and “complementarianism”: means that men and women exist with a divine design that guides their life. Their values and dignity exist with full equality, and still their different functions in marriage and the church “complement” their differences. We are “equal, but different.”

As a complementarian, I believe the Bible teaches gender distinctions, and unique functions in the family that include headship, and submission (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:23), principles that are affirmed in the church in some governing and teaching roles(1 Cor. 14:33–34; 1 Tim. 2:12). It would also mean I believe biblical headship and authority of husbands are subordinate to God’s headship and authority (Eph. 3:15; Col. 1:18), that we are to be ruled by the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23), and that heads are essentially called to be servant-hearted and sacrificial, and not overbearing or abusive toward those under their authority (Mark 10:42–45).

Who would be opposed to this?

Let's see what God wants us to get a grasp on...

There are a few things for us to get ahold of here.

1. What should we get ahold of? The Blueprint of “Headship”.

  • Usually, it speaks of a literal head: So, when Herodias, the wife of Herod, ordered the head of John the Baptist brought to her on a platter because she knew that would slow John down to a point where she could handle him.

Wayne Grudem’s study of the word kephale shows the word use in 2300 examples of classical greek had the literal meaning in mind over 87% of the time.

  • Now when head is used metaphorically, figuratively, as it is here, it refers to priority in function. That is what the head of our body does; it runs the body; it is in charge; it is the direction setter of the body. Used metaphorically, therefore, the word head means primarily leadership, and this is its use in this passage.

Andreas Köstenberger: “While the senses “source” and “pre-eminent” have been proposed for kephalē, no passage is extant where that sense is favored by the context. In fact, every time one person is referred to as the “head” of another person in both biblical and extrabiblical literature, the person who is the “head” has authority over the other person and kephalē conveys the notion of authority.” (