Wednesday, 30 May 2007

The Husband's part in marriage

889. The husband's part- By John Stott
We picture the 'authoritative' husband as a domineering
figure who makes all the decisions himself, issues commands
and expects obedience, inhibits and suppresses his wife,
and so prevents her from growing into a mature or fulfilled
person. But this is not at all the kind of 'headship'
which the apostle Paul describes, whose model is Jesus
Christ. Certainly, 'headship' implies a degree of
leadership and initiative, as when Christ came to woo and
to win his bride. But more specifically it implies
sacrifice, self-giving for the sake of the beloved, as when
Christ gave himself for his bride. If 'headship' means
'power' in any sense, then it is power to care not to
crush, power to serve not to dominate, power to facilitate
self-fulfilment, not to frustrate or destroy it. And in
all this the standard of the husband's love is to be the
cross of Christ, on which he surrendered himself even to
death in his selfless love for his bride.

--From "The Message of Ephesians" (The Bible Speaks Today
series: London: IVP, 1979), p. 232.

--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 371, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Tomorrow: Gender, Sexuality, Marriage and Divorce (cont'd.)

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