The ONLY way to come close to fully and accurately understanding God’s command that husband’s love their wives just as Christ loves the church is to study the Bible in search of other passages to support and further enlighten us since NO part of the Bible can ever be accurately interpreted to mean something contrary to anything written elsewhere in the Bible. And when we study to better understand the biblical relationship and roles of husbands and wives, we are told exactly HOW and WHY husbands are the head of their wives in 1 Corinthians 11:1-12, which says:
1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.
3 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.
5 And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved.
6 If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.
7 A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.
8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man;
9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.
10 For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.
11 In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.
12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
Since most of the above passage should speak for itself, I want to focus on the verses I’ve highlighted; which are two of the most significant and enlightening verses of this passage; yet the ones most people probably tend to miss and fail to understand. But we can’t possibly understand what God is saying when we totally miss or disregard why He said it, especially when this passage of scripture makes it abundantly clear that the purpose of placing a man in “authority over his wife is for HER PROTECTION AND BENEFIT and NOT to exercise control over her.
For instance, when a woman is married, knowledge of that should protect her from the advances of other men. That’s why Abraham wanted Sara to deny being his wife; he feared being killed so that another man could take her as his wife or for less honorable intentions as happened. But that’s another story altogether; though one that demonstrates God’s supernatural power at work to protect and save a wife when she submits to her husband; not to mention saving her husband from his own folly (Genesis 20). And since it was God’s intention for women to be pleasing to men; being in fact, “created for man” (Genesis 2), it is natural for men to want and desire to possess what God created for their glory (in the same way we are created for HIS glory and the glory of Christ); thus one reason a woman needs the protective covering of her husband’s authority.
But God also provided a woman with the protective covering of her husband’s authority to shield and protect her from the advances of angelic beings, which Adam clearly failed to do when Eve was deceived and tempted by the serpent, who was the fallen angel, Lucifer, also known as Satan (Genesis 3). We tend to think of angels only in their glorified state as those mighty angels doing the Lord’s bidding; but there is another realm of angelic beings who were cast out of heaven right along with Lucifer. And they’re all supernatural and demonic beings who are much more powerful than human beings, which is why man needs the protective covering of Christ’s authority and women the additional protective covering of their husbands’ authority. So just as we are told of the Lord in Psalm 91:4; it ought to be said of a woman’s husband that He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Everyone who knows how excited I get about God’s faithfulness to confirm what He wants to convey to us can imagine how I felt when He prompted me to visit Sam Soleyn’s website (which I hadn’t visited in almost two years) and I found the following messages. I couldn’t believe it when the first message I listened to was on the same passage of scripture I was using in this post! So I strongly encourage everyone to listen to the following messages, because they really explain why women need the covering of their husbands’ authority; just as man needs the covering of Christ and why Christ needed the covering of God, and many other aspects of the roles of men and women in marriage.
God – Our Defender and Protector
The Reminder of God’s Provision
Once we realize that a husband’s authority and position of headship is for the PROTECTION AND BENEFIT of his wife, it’s much easier to recognize and understand Adam’s failure and accountability when Eve was deceived by Satan and why her sin was attributed to him. But let’s not forget that they BOTH suffered the consequences of sin. And even though most men probably struggle with the notion of being held accountable for their wives” sin and wrong doing, we’re already familiar with another example of that found in Matthew 5:32, where Jesus said But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. Obviously, Jesus holds the man who divorces his wife even though she hasn’t been unfaithful accountable for causing HER to become an adulteress, and being held accountable when our actions, or when exercising the freedom WE have in Christ, causes a weaker person to sin is spelled out in even more detail in 1 Corinthians 8 (AMP), where verses 11-12 say And so by your enlightenment (your knowledge of spiritual things), this weak man is ruined (is lost and perishes)–the brother for whom Christ (the Messiah) died! And when you sin against your brethren in this way, wounding and damaging their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. So husbands being held accountable for their wives’ wrong doing and sin is not really as surprising as it might first seem. And in 2 Corinthians 11:2-3 (NLT), Paul sets an example for husbands to follow as he expresses the attitude and concern husbands should have concerning their wives’ walk and relationship with the Lord; he said For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. So just as Paul was charged and burdened with the responsibility to present the church as a bride to Christ; the same is expected of husbands concerning their wives, as confirmed in Ephesians 5:25-27, which says Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. And since we know that the marriage relationship is a representation of the relationship between Jesus and the church, His bride, which Ephesians 5:32 even declares a “profound mystery”, we have to conclude that just as Jesus did for the bride He so loved, husbands bear the sins of their wives. But that’s not really so difficult to comprehend when we accept and fully understand that husbands and wives are truly one in flesh and spirit (Malachi 2:15), and that in the same way an unsaved spouse is “sanctified” by marriage to a saved spouse (1 Corinthians 7:14), even a righteous husband can be made sin for his wife just as Jesus was made sin for us; God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
So the ONLY way to possibly understand this mystery is to consider it through the filter of understanding and by acknowledging that a husband’s biblical role in marriage is meant to replicate and portray the love of Jesus christ and His role and relationship with us as our Savior. Therefore, as Christian husbands standing for marriage restoration, it is vitally important to understand that God created and intended marriage to replicate and portray His love and everlasting faithfulness to us, because that’s the only way to truly grasp how to deal with every issue now threatening to destroy your marriage and family and reveal the glory of the Lord as HE brings about the full and complete restoration of your marriage. And while there are SO many passages of scripture in the Bible that powerfully illustrate how God uses marriage as a representation and illustration of His relationship with us, including the book of Hosea, Jeremiah 3 is one that is often overlooked. Yet it provides such wonderful insight and instruction for how husbands should unconditionally love even their adulterous wives, along with a reminder that our own disobedience and unfaithfulness to God is no less sinful and defiling than the sin of adultery. And for those men standing for marriage restoration who mistakenly believe that other than relying on the supernatural power of prayer, fasting, praise, humility and DEMONSTRATING UNCONDITIONAL LOVE to your wives, there is ANYTHING YOU CAN DO to change or restore deceived, rebellious, disobedient or adulterous wives, please read Hosea 2 (NLT) and realize that it is God and God alone who can and will do the work of correction and restoration in your wife’s heart and circumstances and that others are watching and will be influenced by your willingness (or lack thereof) to trust and obey the Lord. So learn to love your wives as Christ loves the church, and allow God to do the work of restoration He wants to do in you, and then you can rest in the assurance that HE will do the same in the hearts, minds, spirits and circumstances of your wives. May the Lord be lifted up and glorified in all of your marriages and lives today and forever, as you grow in understanding, wisdom and capacity to love your wives as God loves us!