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Covid-19 Devotionals

What Does Biblical Headship Look Like?

Every August is “Woman’s Month”, with the 9th being the Public Holiday “National Woman’s Day” originating out of the Women’s march in 1956 to the Union Buildings. The extract below comes from an article in The Daily Friend entitled “Stop Patronizing Women”, written by Ivo Vegter (freelance journalist, columnist and speaker). He writes:

Each Women’s Day, the usual suspects go on about how terrible it is that women are victims of what they term ‘gender-based’ violence. Then they promise to ‘uplift’ women. As if women are victims who can’t achieve anything without men.

It’s become a ritual. To celebrate the brave women of all races who marched on the Union Buildings in 1956 to demand an end to pass laws – a demand which fell on deaf ears – the president makes a carefully calibrated speech in which he decries violence against women, and promises to give them preferential treatment.

The Women’s Charter, adopted by the Federation of South African Women two years prior to the march, was a great document. It made many just and necessary demands. In particular, it demanded equality in political, legal, marriage and property rights. It sought the removal of all laws and customs that denied women these rights and treated them as minor dependents of their fathers or husbands.

Most of these demands were ultimately met with the liberation of South Africa from Apartheid oppression, and the adoption of the equality clause in the new Constitution.

Inasmuch as unequal treatment of women persists, particularly in traditional law, cultural practices or religious communities, this struggle for equality must continue.

The tenor of modern Women’s Day celebrations, however, caricatures women as victims of violence at the hands of men, and patronises them as unable to achieve success on their own merits, without the help of preferential treatment or handouts from benign men in government and business.

Much of the rhetoric around women’s rights today seems designed more to reinforce the divisive ideology of identity politics. This ideology attributes value to people based not on the content of their character, but on the basis of their physical features. It attributes moral standing to people based on their membership of an oppressed class, rather than on their individual achievements.

I know many women who strongly resent this simplistic, binary, adversarial approach to women’s issues. In this, too, the struggle for equality must continue.

(You can read the full article here.) The newspaper takes a liberal view on all newsworthy matters, especially those in the political domain. The writer’s agenda is (amongst other things) to take a swipe at the president and those who have authority who only make promises to women … promises that never find realization … because their arguments are repeated year in and year out!

If you read the complete article, you will see that there are many things the writer mentions that you will readily agree with. The word “patronize” can be used in many ways and could have slightly different meanings depending on the context. In the article, it is used like this: “If someone patronizes you, they speak or behave towards you in a way which seems friendly, but which shows that they think they are superior to you in some way.” So, to patronize a woman would mean to help her by pushing her forward because you feel she is unable to get the appointment in the company (or anywhere) without you. In other words, she would never get the job or contract or placing without a male helping her! In the political arena, we understand the reason those in authority play to the women this way because they are “a huge segment of the voting population”!

I have said this before, but it needs to be said again and again to encourage men to fulfil their God-given responsibility in the home, church and society. From a Biblical standpoint, the male and the female are equal in God’s sight. He created us equal, though there is the aspect of “headship”. Headship never suggests that women cannot lead an enterprise such as in being a team leader, manager, director, professor, president or prime minister. It never suggests that a woman cannot come up with brilliant ideas and design great road networks, buildings, engines and spaceships. It never suggests that a woman is inferior in the home or church or political platform. It never suggests that a woman cannot perform academically, politically or raising children or making a home. In fact, often a woman performs far better than men!

When thinking of headship, as we have stated before, there are two areas where, although totally equal, headship needs special focus and attention. I personally believe that when we as people, and more specifically as Christian people, hold to what God says, we shall have far happier families and churches. The family is a microcosm of the church … meaning that every family in Christ is a ‘little church’, and together they form the local church. The husband and father will be the functional head of the family (little church) and the church family (local church).

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

(Read from verse 22-33 for a better understanding of the passage.) This headship or leadership is functional, for the best interest of the marriage, family and church. And this headship and leadership must be executed as per Ephesians 5:25-26:

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy …

This means the husband and father or church leader needs to be the biggest servant, sacrificing himself for their benefit.

Dear God, help us as Christian men and women to execute our Biblical roles correctly. Help us to love You and Your Word passionately by obeying Your requirements and not submitting to political correctness or secular trends. We pray for the family unit as well as the Church. Please protect us from all evil influences. Amen.

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