Friday, November 26, 2010


I've often heard that the Husband is the leader, and he is to "lead" his

I've done a search, of at least the NRSV, for the term "leader" in the
NT and I can't see that it is applied to any Christian. I see the
"leader of the synagogue", the "leader of the Jews" the "leader of the
Pharisees". Once it is applied to Christ (Acts 5:17), but never to a

I don't think we should automatically ascribe the description of the
husband as the "head" to a proscription that every husband should be a

What is the leadership of a husband if it isn't Christ like love and

Should we change the way we talk about a husband having "leadership".
Yes. I think so. I don't think it's a helpful or a Biblical term to use.


  1. Helpful thought! Maybe it's not the best word. It would be interesting to look at the subtleties of the meaning of the word "leader" and "head" and how they're different, what semantic ingredient is therefore NOT applied to husbands...

    Although, maybe the data pool is too small, if husbands are only talked about 4-5 times in the whole NT, it *may* be coincidence that "leader" isn't used.

  2. A couple of quick points:

    (1) The concept of leading is much bigger than the word 'leader' ( and particularly so when the (English) word 'leader' has its own semantic range and connotations).

    (2) There's more to leading than serving. I've heard this primarily about church leadership. The most extreme example was an ethics position paper from a Moore College student on church leadership which was all about servant-heartedness. I love the idea of a servant-hearted leader…but they've still go to lead. There's a whole work to be done on the content of leadership which goes beyond the attitude of servant-heartedness. And it'll be different in the different contexts in which one might lead — in marriage, parenting, employment, church, nation, etc.