Ok, so a couple of posts from Dave Warnock (and the ensuing comments) got me thinking about the volatile subject of male headship (YOU MUST CLICK HERE BEFORE READING ON).
The original posts can be read here and there.
Dave basically equates male headship with forms of malicious discrimination, like racism. I don't agree, because my definition of male headship is based on this bit from Ephesians 5:
Wives and Husbands
22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."[c] 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
I find it hard to see how a relationship based on mutual love can be equated with racism, but it might depend how you define "submit". Either way, you can't just ignore this whole passage, or can you?
I can't avoid the issue because in six months I will be a husband. Me and Lis have talked about what headship means and how it'll be worked out. Basically, these are our conclusions:
I will love Lis sacrificially, honouring her and putting her before myself.
Lis will love, honour and support me.
We will take joint, although not entirely equal* roles in:
Providing financially *(I earn less)
Serving in our local church
Developing our marriage
...and anything else that we are involved in as a couple.
Over all these things (here goes...) I will have ultimate responsibility. Time for another one. In our team of two, I will be the team leader. Is it unfair that I get to be the leader just because I'm a man? Well, that question assumes that it's clearly better to be the leader, which isn't true.
Male headship is not about domination and control. It's about taking responsibility for the marriage unit with an attitude of sacrificial love and giving.
Male headship isn't, "you are my wife, do this for me!"
It's, "you are my wife, what can I do for you?"
In this context, Lis will be able to submit to my headship, knowing that I'm trying to bless and free her, not control her.
But in everything we are "one flesh", so the emphasis is on working together.
These are my ideas so far. If you think they sound ridiculous or fantastic then you can say so.