Honoring Headship


speech bubble representing person 4 talkingWhat if we’re praying for someone and the Lord lays on your heart something for that person—do you also speak to your husband about it first before you pray?

speech bubble representing person 1 talkingI know what you’re referring to. It would depend a little on the circumstance. Yes, if your husband is right there and he is a believer. If he’s not a believer and he is not there, then that obviously changes everything.

Think about this, as a backdrop: I don’t have a daily relationship with every person every single day. I have that kind of “quality” of relationship with everybody, but nobody is humanly capable of seeing that many people every day. I do see a number of people every day and that group of people changes every day even though there’s some overlap. Some I’m more likely to see every day than others. Sometimes there are a couple new people every day, but it is all through the flow of life. There’s no plan or assignments. It’s just how Life is.

So, let’s say the whole church is together and there are many people there, and let’s say I’m a female. Then the same situation would be true, that I just mentioned. I just don’t see all these people every single day, male or female. So they don’t really know me that well. They trust me because they trust the people that are around me. They know I’m not a loose cannon. They know that I’m not arrogant or domineering. They know I’m not. And it’s not because every single person knows me, personally very well, because some of these people don’t see me as often as other people do.

But they do know a half a dozen people who are involved with me all the time. And those people would never let me get away with being bossy or arrogant or thinking I know better than everyone else. So, they can trust that I’m not domineering and pushy. I’m not like that and the reason they know that isn’t because they know me personally so well, but because they know the environment I live in would never tolerate that unChristlike behavior. So they can be confident of me even though they don’t see me every day. But they still don’t really know me that well, and I appreciate and respect that.

On the other hand, let’s say I’m sitting in a group this small and I see just about everybody there all the time because they live very near to me. They know my submissive life because they see it every day. They see how I am with the children and with my husband. As a female, if we are all praying together, I would have no hesitation at all just to pray openly in that environment, because I’m under headship. That’s the principle in 1 Corinthians 11. Headship is the dominating principle. Are some cultural things mixed in there? There may or may not be. Scholars disagree on that. But what nobody disagrees on is that the principle being taught in 1 Corinthians 11 is headship.

That Christ is the head of the man and man is the head of the woman, nobody disagrees about that, for sure. Now whatever you say about a little doily or cloth or handkerchief on the head—there’s a lot of disagreement about that. But there’s NO disagreement on what the principle teaching of that scripture is—that because of the angels, something way past all of us, that there’s a headship issue involved. And if I honor that, then I can work out the details on the external stuff as long as I honor the principle. A lot of women wear head coverings and are not under authority AT ALL in how they carry themselves. So they violate the principle and follow a form, which may or may not have application to them, while at the same time violating the principle they know has application.

So praying and prophesying with your head uncovered—what does that mean exactly? One thing we know for sure it means is that man is the head just as Christ is the head of the man. We know it means that. There’s no debate about that. If I as a woman am with some brothers that know who I am (They know I’m under their headship. I’m not coming over the top of them. I’m not being haughty or arrogant. I’m not flaunting and I’m not trying to make them look bad. I’m there for them) then I’m going to pray freely, because they know me.

Let’s say I’m in a much bigger environment though. As a woman I’m much more hesitant to pray publicly because not everyone is going to understand me. So I’m going to be much more cautious and wise. I’m still not going to bury my talent because that’s a wicked and slothful servant, and a co-heir shouldn’t bury their talent. But I’m going to be much more wise in that larger environment, where I might whisper something to my husband sitting next to me. And then he’ll say, “My wife would like to pray, is that ok with everyone?” Ahh, now headship has entered in. Who could question that?

If one of the brothers is insecure about his masculinity he might say, “You know, actually, I do have a little bit of a problem with that.” We know he’s not a male chauvinist because he has a bunch of people around him every day. What we’re talking about here, this isn’t about a meeting! This is a lifestyle where every single person is involved every single day with all kinds of other people on this level, just like what we are talking about right now. The Kingdom of God is more than just talking about cricket or soccer. They might talk about golf or baseball or whatever for a few minutes here or there. There’s no problem with that. But their life is centered on what we are talking about right now. They’re having these kinds of real conversations every single day,

“Well, what about this situation…”

“You know, I was reading this morning about…”

That’s what their lives are centered on. It’s not a day of the week.

We know this brother isn’t being a male chauvinist. How do we know that? Because we know six guys that see him every day would never tolerate him being that way in his home or anywhere else. Maybe he’s just having a strange day or perhaps he’s discerning something about the sister who asked to pray and he would just rather her not because he could sense that it would feed her ego. Even though she went about it the right way, there is still something about it in his spirit that didn’t seem right. In that case he might say, “You know what? Let’s not do that right now.” And she’s fine with that. That does not offend her. She will say “Fine” and trust that is God’s will on that.

So the dynamics change based on the level of intimacy and the kinds of situations involved. Maybe what that brother knew was that there were a couple of unbelievers there that have serious problems within their culture in regard to women. Women in Africa are considered possessions. They are just like a saltshaker on the table to be used when you want to. We are helping them to break that culture in Africa and replace it with the culture of the Kingdom of God.

If there were a couple of people in the room with that culture and if that woman prayed, it might be offensive. It’s of course not required that women pray in order to have a good time together. We can have a good time without that. So if a woman praying would throw a couple of visitors over the edge and that brother knew that, he may stop her. We know there are unbelievers at times the whole church is together. Remember when Paul said the unbeliever is with you in this environment and he falls on his face and cries out, “God is among you.” So in this case, perhaps the brother said to that sister, “You know, let’s not do that this time. Not right now.” It might be because he knows something you don’t know. You couldn’t have known those two guys were even there. The crowd is too big.

So there are a lot of reasons, but that’s why we submit these things to each other. The submissive heart and nature of a woman whether it’s in a crowd or in a small living room comes through because that is her heart to submit to the man as the man submits to Christ which is an honorable thing. The gifts are celebrated, but the character filters the gifts through the specific role that God has given the male versus female.

(Laughter happening). See, we have right here a perfect example: she just handed her water bottle over to her husband to open it! We all have different roles. :) Guys open bottles. :)


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