One reason I’ve continued these posts, and made the original response, is that it is truly a formative issue. As I discussed before, if a woman is to submit, she needs something worthy to submit to. In other words, she needs a man that carries himself with authority and holds authority well. When a man doesn’t, you end up witha supplicating beta. Instead of holding authority in his life, he begs to others and holds back in the name of being nice. Instead of holding authority, he begs and bargains with his wife to not rebel against Him.
This has to do with the discussion as unbelieving husbands — “beta” or otherwise — don’t negate the commands put forth in Scripture to wives. Wives are commanded by Scripture to be their husband’s helpmeets as well as respect and submit to them.
This is only furthered by such things as Deep Strength has been writing:
“They are incompatible. You have to examine them as two separate fraweworks. Most of this post will be on distinguishing between the two framworks, with reasoning on why headship is not exactly authority as stated from the Scriptures.”
To cut to the chase, the issue with his posts is the creation of a separate model out of whole cloth (authority-submission), which is not consistent either with the meanings or usages of the word. In the process of complicating matters and giving women free license to rebellion, he confuses the issue of status with action. He would do well to see how words are used in the Scriptures, instead of staying in the Greek concordances. This is further illustrated here:
“Paideuo is only used in the context of a parent-child relationship which is an authority-obedience relationship and not of the husband-wife which is a headship-submission relationship.”
Note that I plainly stated that the word is used in application to the Scriptures as well. This decouples the use of the word from any relationship that is specified.
The problem here is incorrect conference of the that which is God’s with that which is the husband’s.
It is specifically Scripture that is used for teaching, rebuking, correction, and training (Paideuo). It is the Scripture that is God-breathed, and it is God the Father who disciplines His children as parents can disciple their children.
The husband, as the head, has the role and responsibility to point out where the wife is in violation of the Scripture, thus fulfilling the Jesus’ headship role of the Church as a husband to the wife. But he doesn’t have a paideuo relationship with his wife.
Now I will explain the error in play. Headship reflects one kind of status. “Boss” represents another. Generically, we can call that a “leader”. As I posted here, the word “head” is best understood as master, ruler, chief. Barnes goes on (1 Corinthians 11:3) to say that Christ is the ruler, director, or Lord of the Christian man. The verse then extends things to the man and the woman, which makes it legitimate to also say that the husband is the ruler, director, or Lord of the Christian wife.
This is consistent with the dictionary as well:
noun 1. the position of head or chief; chief authority; leadership; supremacy.
So headship is a noun (a person). Authority is quite different though in nature:
1 the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine.
2. a power or right delegated or given; authorization: Who has the authority to grant permission?
So a head, ruler, or leader possesses authority – a person is never simply “an authority” in the hierarchy of things. Simply seeing how the word is used brings this to light. Scripture is clear that Christ, as head, has authority over His Church. He then delegates that authority to husbands in Christian marriage. The “head” is a status, “authority” is something to be exercised as part of the privilege of being “head”.
Authority is best thought of as an authorization from a leader or head to do something.
I agree that authority can be delegated as I have quite a few posts on this, but the Greek gives no indication that kephale is exousia. If Paul meant that husbands would have authority over their wives in the exousia sense then he would have used that word. This is a stretch.
More specifically, if Jesus refuses to submit to the Father’s plan for Him to die on the cross in the garden would the Father have compelled Jesus to obedience? No, because otherwise Jesus would not have been a willing sacrifice to endure the cross for the joy (us) set before Him.
Likewise, does Jesus as the bridegroom compel the Church to obey Him? As I have already pointed out in the first post headship is not authority in marriage, Jesus allows those who did not want to be his disciples anymore to walk away. He’s not going to compel or punish anyone who doesn’t want to be with Him to continue to follow Him.
These examples show that headship/kephale is different than authority/exousia when you compare them to the husband-wife relationship.
Finally, the Scripture that applies directly to the issue:
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. (1 Timothy 2:11-12)
Most of the other Bible versions translate this section very similarly. A woman shall not usurp authority, exercise authority, or exercise dominion over the man. If authority is not a factor in Christian marriage, then this Scripture becomes nonsensical. If a woman can usurp authority, then that must mean that the man/husband possesses it as a component of the DS’s correct headship-submission model.
I would agree if this was used in terms of husbands and wives. However, this is used in congregational setting where apparently women were attempting to teach and taken authority over men. That is specifically what Paul is writing about.
Also, authenteo is only used once in Scriptures, and it is not exousia either:
G831 — αὐθεντέω — authenteō — ow-then-teh’-o
From a compound of G846 and ἕντης hentēs (obsolete; a worker); to act of oneself, that is, (figuratively) dominate: – usurp authority over.
Simply put, as the Centurion illustrates, and described here, submission can not exist in and of itself and must be performed to those in authority. DS’s separate model encourages authority to not be exercised and therefore eroded. This only results in an inversion of the marriage roles. If a husband does not hold authority over his wife, his wife will hold authority over him. Genesis 3:16 guarantees this.
This is a mischaracterization of my position.
I’ve encouraged that headship be exercised which includes rebuking and correcting wives (in love, kindness, and humility as necessary). Additionally, for instance if a wife is out of control with spending the husband should be a good steward of that which is in his household and money and shut it down.
There is one other major error that has existed throughout all of Deep Strength’s post: Everyone has free will. We are never forced into obedience in any capacity, ever. Not in the Old Covenant, not in the New Covenant. We can refuse to obey God, the government, His word. Wives can refuse to obey husbands. Husbands can refuse to obey Christ. Everyone has free will. However, those in authority (God, bosses, husbands) can (and ultimately must to keep their authority) respond to disobedience with certain measures. The presence of this authority explains my observation of how wives submit to their bosses more faithfully than their own husbands, as well as the erosion of the fitness of marriage for the average man today.
Why are there so many supplicating betas in the churches? This is why. Men are taught from a very young age that they are not “loving” if they exercise any authority, are never supported as heads of their families, and then actively cut down in that capacity. Since authority has been decoupled from Christian marriage, as well as the Church, all a husband is reduced to is begging and pleading and hoping that his wife will lead the family in the way that is right before God, submitting to her all the while.
This is also a mischaracterization of my position.
Everyone has free will and may choose to disobey (at their own peril), but as it states in the Scriptures they should be submitting to proper headship and authorities.
I’ve stated all along that headship has all of the weight of authority in regard to the husband-wife relationship except the ability to directly compel to obey especially through direct punish. That’s the only difference between headship and authority. It’s this way because Jesus works out of love and not fear.
The love of Jesus works through environment/experience when we love other people. When we change the environment/experience of someone, we show others the love of God (John 17) and it leads to different thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
The problem with a fear-based model is that it strikes at the heart of behavior instead of experience. Only those with sufficient humility and/or strong core Christian values will be able to see their behavior and correct it when rebuked. Most so-called Christian would rather never admit they’re wrong and disobey God.
This is why judgment of behavior (albeit often in an unkind manner) only serves to force others to double down on their folly. This is why 1 Peter 3 is extremely wise in advice to wives with unbeliving husbands essentially saying to win your husbands without a word. This love through their behavior changes the environment. It is the environment which is affected in their husband’s life which starts to change his perception/beliefs and emotions/motivations and may bring them to the saving knowledge of Jesus.
This will be my last post on this. If ballista has any else I probably won’t reply as I want to get to other posts, especially talking about identity and behavior cycles like the above.
I figure that most men reading the manosphere blogs may need a hard line approach to marriage which means that Ballista’s point about nice guys is correct. I wouldn’t say there’s anything wrong with taking a more authoritative husband role to marriage. Going through this post again, I can see that the Scriptures are quite vague on exousia versus kephale. Thus, I can see how both interpretations may be true to the measure of faith that you have (see Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8 on food sacrificed to idols).
In any case, we can keep quibbling on the details, but at the end of the day Donal’s summation of Chrysostom’s interpretation is what I agree with as an end result:
This approach squares with my understanding of Sacred Tradition. I’ve linked to Chrysostom’s interpretation of the relationship between husband and wife before on your blog, and it basically states the same thing. If either party in a marriage fails to uphold their end of the bargain, that is on them. The virtuous spouse must maintain their own duties as best as they are able until the recalcitrant spouse mends his or her ways.
As I stated in the sexual marketplace and the marriage marketplace, there are elements of reciprocity in terms of personalities. If you’re looking for an authoritative headship-submission relationship you will most likely find what you are looking for.
Personally, I’m pursuing marriage in the vein of headship-submission like in the Chrysostom’s interpretation. As I’ve grown in my relationship with Jesus I don’t see the hardline authority in headship anymore.
Take it or leave it. Feel free to mention why in the comments.