Christianity News & Commentary

No, Biblical ‘Male Headship’ Is NOT Dangerous For Women, but the Abandonment of It Is

You might as well rail against lifejackets because some sailors have drowned after taking them off at sea.

The mainstream media is once again pushing the false narrative that the Christian doctrine of biblical “male headship” is dangerous for women.

Journalist and ABC host Julia Baird tweeted an article from the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday titled, Anglican church must rethink doctrine that has left a trail of devastated lives.

Baird commented, “An Anglican who survived years of domestic violence at the hands of her former husband – a church minister – writes here on how the doctrine of ‘male headship’ is pervasive in Sydney and dangerous for women.”

What is the doctrine of “male headship”? It’s the biblical view that males and females, husbands and wives, were created by God to complement, or complete, each other. The husband’s role, in particular, is to be the “head” of the family, to promote nurture and protect his household for their own good and wellbeing (see Ephesians 5:21-33).

As the “head” of the family, the husband is explicitly commanded to “love [his] wife, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25). It’s a self-sacrificial, servant-hearted leadership. Husbands ought to treat their wives with the love, nurture, and humility that Christ demonstrated, primarily in his sacrifice to save, protect, and sanctify his people.

In other words, a husband does not abuse his wife without first rejecting his biblical responsibility to emulate Christ as Head and to love his wife as Christ loved the church.

Contrary to what the media might have you think, the problem is not biblical male headship. The problem is a lack of biblical male headship.

It makes little sense highlighting an example of a man abandoning biblical male headship by abusing his wife, only to then imply biblical headship is what is dangerous and not the abandonment of it.

It would seem their solution is to essentially reject biblical male headship, but what they fail to realise (perhaps intentionally), is that it was the rejection of biblical male headship that cause the very problem they’re supposedly trying to solve.

You might as well rail against lifejackets because some sailors have drowned after taking them off at sea.