God's Design For Husband and Wife [1 Corinthians 11]
1Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. 2Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.4Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head.7For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. 10Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.12For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.13Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?14Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him,15but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering.16But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.
The historical context of this passage makes it a little harder to understand whether Paul's teaching is still pertinent for us today. There were some pagan practices in Corinth that were being brought into the church. One of those practices included pagan women priestesses with shaven heads becoming believers and bringing their shaved heads and authority over men into the Christian church setting. In this passage in Corinthians 11, Paul addressed that issue. I have yet to see that issue surface in a modern day church. However, some of what Paul said in these verses provides us with truth that is useful for us today. I am going to list these truths in bullet points so you don't miss them.
- God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of the husband and the husband is the head of the wife
- The man is the image of the glory (good reputation) of God
- The woman is the glory (good reputation) of her husband
- "For indeed man was not created for the woman's sake,but woman for the man's sake."
- In the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman and all things originate from God"
Paul made it clear that men and women are interdependent and equally precious in the eyes of God. However, there is a clear design and purpose for male and female. And here Paul was referring to married couples and not to singles. These truths go against the grain of todays culture. Nonetheless, God's truth stands. And it is my strong conviction that when married couples embrace God's design, they enjoy the marriage relationship more and reap benefits of God's grace in their lives.
May you embrace the truths of God's word today by His amazing grace.