Daily Archives: May 19, 2008
Many people charge the Bible with denigrating women. I’ve written and podcasted about how the Bible only elevates women. But I realize that I’ve missed something important–the concept of servant leadership.
Ephesians 5:22, the famous “Wives, submit to your own husband as to the Lord” verse, the apostle Paul seems to be denigrating women. Many atheists have pointed this verse out to me as proof of the Bible’s sexism without a true understanding of the biblical model of leadership. If the husband is supposed to be the head of the wife as Christ is of the church, what model does he follow? If he follows the world’s understanding of leadership, he’ll end up psychologically abusing his wife. He should follow the biblical model of leadership. What is that, exactly? Jesus said:
You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mt 20:25-28)
Of Jesus’ deity, Paul said, “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:5-7).
The Biblical evidence is clear: the husband serves his wife. He humbles himself, makes himself nothing, just like Christ did. What woman wouldn’t submit to a man who behaved that way?