· Headship – teaching on this subject stirs up reactions in both men and women!
· God’s order is for the blessing and benefit of the family, not an exercise for domination.
· Putting the principle into practice requires understanding the heart of God.
Jer 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you”
· Lovingkindness (2616) – to bow to an equal, show self merciful, steadfast.
· Drawn (4900) – to draw along, draw out, handle, sow.
· Lovingkindness – generosity, personal involvement and commitment in a relationship above and beyond any legal requirements, steadfast love and devotion.
· God does not use His power to control us but extends love to influence us.
· 1 John 4:10 “We love Him because He first loved us” ie, God’s love so influenced our life it brought forth love and commitment and submission to Him.
· Ps 103:11 “As the heaven is high above the earth so great is His mercy to them that fear Him”.
2. Principles that empower man’s leadership
· Prov 19:22 “The desire of a man is his kindness” ie, that quality which makes a man desirable, longed after is lovingkindness. Harshness, authoritarianism, selfishness, all destroy a mans influence. Jesus – the model man – influenced people by His loving kindness, His mercy.
i) Principle of headship
Headship – means:
a) Submission to Jesus Christ – to know, follow Him.
b) Assuming responsibility for leadership
· Having direction and purpose.
· Taking the initiative.
· Setting a personal example that inspires.
· Awareness of the needs and concerns of wife and children.
· Protection from destructive influences.
ii) Principle of bonding
· God’s law of bonding is activated whenever 2 people turn their hearts towards one another with desire and longing.
· Leave (2641) – to let go, leave behind, forsake all conflicting attachments. Man must let go all emotional and sexual attachments so he can cleave to wife.
· Cleave (4347) – to glue to, adhere to, join self to.
The bonding or cleaving process is activated by:
a) Sexual intimacy.
b) Turning heart consciously towards his wife through romance and intimacy.
· Time together or common activity.
· Communication – sharing your heart – thoughts, feelings, (date).
· Sacrifice – giving something that costs you, Matt 6:21, (gifts).
iii) Principle of partnership
· This is a relationship where man and woman fit together perfectly and complete each other.
· Not co-dependent but distinct, different, fitting like clasped hands.
a) Accept and celebrate the difference in giftings, personality, backgrounds.
b) Share responsibilities according to gifting not culture.
c) Listen, don’t react to her concerns and needs.
I Ki 12:7 “If you will be a servant to this people and will serve them and answer them”
· Answer – to eye, to pay attention to, respond, show sensitivity to their needs.
· Note – 2 passages speak of man’s headship – both also speak of interdependence. 1 Cor 11:3, 11 and Eph 5:21-23
· A proud insecure man won’t listen because it threatens his leadership.
· Only as man listens to his wife can he be successful in all areas of life.
· Husband who acts independently – deceived by own pride, misses warning signs of destruction.
iv) Principle of honour
· Do you want your prayers hindered? - (1465) cut into, impede, frustrate, neutralised?
· Honour (5099) – value, price, ie, show her respect and treat her as valuable.
· Honour – (i) give her special place in heart – (ii) communicate value to her.
a) Respect – listen to opinion; include in decisions, especially $’s; make her feel special; speak kindly; don’t compare or treat disrespectfully.
b) Manners – door open; walk together; seat; eye contact; hold hands.
c) Prayer support – practical help with home; children; encouragement and praise
d) Faithfulness – commitment to purity in mind, heart, speech.
v) Principle of lovingkindness
Eph 5:25 “Husbands love wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself”
· Jesus did not use power over people but to demonstrate lovingkindness.
· Jesus draws people to follow Him because of lovingkindness.
· What makes a man desirable – lovingkindness.
a) Extending grace when there is lack or failure rather than judgement/criticism.
Col 3:19 “Husband love your wife and be not bitter against her”
· Pray for wisdom.
· Refuse to harbour anger, blame.
· Release forgiveness.
· Speak gentle words.
b) Speaking the truth in love.
· Be honest with feelings.
· Face issues one at a time.
· Talk through issues where necessary.
· Be direct.
· Don’t conceal important facts.
c) Practical kindness that meets her needs (Jn 13 – footwashing)
· Small regular practical kindness.
· Give yourself – invest, costs you.