Why is it so difficult for women to trust the headship of men in the home and church? During my straw poll, I heard three common answers:
The world, the devil and our sinful flesh all work hard to keep us from trusting our elders and husbands to lead us well. So how do we combat lies and walk in truth?
War Against Pride
We come by a desire for power honestly. This was a driving force behind why Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the Garden of Eden. They wanted autonomy. Ever since, we’ve been drawn to overtake authority and sit in the place of power.
The Bible has much to say about pride. Proverbs 6:16-17 offers a list of things God hates. And what tops this list? Haughty eyes! Haughtiness is an attitude that looks on others with prideful disdain. This is exactly what we do when we think we can do better than those in leadership. James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud.” He is actively set against the prideful person. But, in the same verse, we see that God gives grace to the humble.
Pride is something we must fight daily, and our weapon is the truth. Dwell on the fact that you were a slave to your sin when God found you (Rom. 6:17). Remember that He loved you and died for you when you were His enemy (Rom. 5:8). When we keep our eyes on His power and majesty, we become keenly aware of our frailty and sin.
Affirming male headship in the church and home is countercultural, to say the least. In James 4:1-12, the Bible tells us, “friendship with the world is enmity with God” (James 4:4). We take friendship with the world too lightly, believing we are more relevant when we fit in with our culture. God gives serious rebuke to those who love the world, but He also offers hope: When we submit ourselves to God, He gives us grace. When we draw near to God, He draws near to us. When we resist the devil, the devil must flee. When we humble ourselves before God, He will exalt us.
God will always offer a way out of our conformity to the world and into transformation. And how are we transformed? We must submit to the sovereign and perfect God (Rom. 12:1-2). We offer ourselves to Him no matter what He commands, and we do this by faith, not based on how we feel. In submitting to the earthly authority placed above us, we submit to God’s authority in our lives.
Fight Fear With Love
Often we equate submission with squelching our own opinions and bowing unquestioningly to the will of another. God-honoring exercise of authority always considers the views of those it serves. It protects the safety and best interests of those it serves, as well. 1 John 4:18 tells us that the perfect love of God casts out fear. Our earthly leaders will not demonstrate perfect love, but our Heavenly Father does. He loves us perfectly, so His plans for us are perfect. There are valid reasons to question and fear human authority; however, if our fears have to do with our preferences or opinions being honored in every case, we must submit them to the Lord.
When functioning as it should, the earthly authority established by God for the church and the home serves as a tangible display of God’s great love, protection and provision. By daily releasing your fears to the Lord, He will build your faith and give you greater glimpses of His love. These glimpses often come through accepting the care and protection offered by godly men in leadership.
If pride, conformity to the world, or fear keeps you from trusting biblical authority in the home and church, ask for help. Talk to a Home Group leader, friend or minister, and begin the work of healing. These things that keep us from trusting the headship of men will hinder our growth in Christ. He is jealous for every piece of our hearts. He loves us that much.