<<leader, top>>

To be the head is to rule, or be in the place of authority over another. God has put all things under the control of Jesus Christ, and because He gave His life to redeem humanity was appointed the head of the church (1 Cor 12: 27; Eph 1:22,23; Col 1:18, 2:9,10). This line of authority flows down through the church structure (from pastors and elders to members), and also the family setting where the husband is to have authority over his wife (Gen 3:16; 1 Cor 11:3; Eph 4:15, 5:23). There is accountability by each one to the other in love, and in God’s eyes He views all humans as equals, although there are different roles and functions in society and family life. This God-ordained structure is not about superiority or domination; 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.

With sinful mankind, unfortunately, abuse of delegated authority can arise in the various relationships and leadership stuctures. The instruction for church leaders is not to be domineering over those under their care (1 Pet 5:3). In the home situation the husband is not to be dictatorial and overbearing but to protect and care for his spouse, providing the spiritual leadership which Christ summed up as

Being a 'head' comes with responsibility

servanthood (Mt 20:26-28). The responsibility for husbands is to love their wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Eph 5:25).

A healthy relationship of communication and interaction is vital both with Christ our spiritual head and on the human level with others otherwise there is no effective connection to the ‘control centre’ (Col 2:19). Any disregarding or failing to comply to the directives of those with greater authority, is disobedience and breaks or weakens the powerful line of command. If you disagree with directions given, raise the issue with the person in control and maybe a different course of action can be decided. The only time we are permitted to disobey is when an order violates a direct command of God, and as believers we must choose to be faithful to God (Act 5:29). Understand there are consequences for disobeying both God and man, and we must accept them. We can't be loyal to two masters who have conflicting values and corresponding orders (Mt 6:24).

In the physical body this critical area (the head) houses the brain (the soul part of humanity considered to be the mind, will and emotions) which must be protected 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).

Immediately after Adam and Eve sinned, it was declared the descendants of man will crush Satan’s head (Gen 3:15). This was foretelling the conquering power of Christ to defeat Satan and offer salvation to the world. As believers we are not to be subservient to Satan. On a personal level our responsibility is to resist him, and put off

Christ is my head

the old way of life that characterises his nature and replace it with godly qualities (Gal 5:19-24; Eph 4:22-24; Jas 4:7,8). Our duty to others is to live in a way that reflects God's values and extend His Kingdom was sharing the gospel of Christ and helping people to come into spiritual wholeness.

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).

This promise of the Lord God was dependent on the Israelites obeying what He had told them, “The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God…and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom” (Deut 28:13). As we walk in correct alignment to the authorities over us we can expect to recieve His favour on our lives too, and experience protection from the evil one (2 Thes 3:3).

See also: abuse, authority, control, government, leaders/leadership, responsible/responsibility, servant/serving, submission.