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To be the head is to rule or be in the place of authority over another. God has put all things under the feet of Jesus who is the head of the church. He in turn is head over

Do I act spiritually as a head?

man, who is over his wife (1 Cor 11:3; Eph 1:22, 4:15, 5:23). There is accountability by each one to the other in love, as equals in God’s eyes, although God declared that the husband’s role is to be over the wife (Gen 3:16). He is to protect and care for his spouse, providing the spiritual leadership which Christ summed up as servanthood (Mt 20:26-28). This God-ordained structure is not about superiority or control; rather it is a challenge to act responsibility, honourably and wisely in the best interest of those under one’s authority, while those under authority willingly submit in love, respect, mutual co-operation and commitment, which brings about unity and strength.

Scripture also speaks of Christ as head of ‘the body’ – His people (1 Cor 12: 27; Col 1:18). It is essential to life for the head and body to be connected at all times, otherwise we have no ‘control centre’ (Col 2:19).

In the physical body this critical area (the head) houses the brain (the soul part of humanity considered to comprise the mind, will and emotions) to protect it from injury, and is closely linked with the spirit, often termed the heart (not the physical pumping organ, rather the spiritual aspect), which is the governing part of the body. Both head and heart are essential to life and have overlapping functions. The head can hang down in defeat and shame while being raised indicates success, hope and confidence (Jdg 8:28; Lk 21:28). We have every reason to hold our heads high in spite of the accuser’s (Satan) charges because Christ has overcome him (Rev 12:10).

Head coverings, or the wearing of hats, indicating the inner attitude of heart, was a cultural issue in Paul’s day. His specific instructions to the Church of Corinth may not apply in our culture but the principles of respect and reverence in worship still apply today (1 Cor 11:4-7)

See also: authority, leaders/leadership.

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