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(Editor's Note: The first three segments of this series may be found by using "Author Archives.")

The Glory of the Head
1 Corinthians 11:7 tells us, "For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man."

God gave the man headship over the family. He shouldn't cover that authority or duck out from underneath it, because he is the representation of God. This verse says that the woman is the glory of the man. The Greek word translated "glory" means dignity, glory, praise, and worship. The woman is the dignity of the man. The woman is the praise of the man.

Men, do you want to be seen as a success in life, for people to think highly of you? Look at your wife and you'll see how much praise is due you. A man can wear the nicest suits, have the most fluid vocabulary, and come across like a real winner, but if his wife is oppressed he deserves no praise, because his glory is his wife.

I've "missed it" a couple of times, and let the pressure come upon my wife. I have to accept total responsibility for that; I haven't done my job. Men, if you have the attitude, "Bless God, I have my wife in tow. She knows her place—three paces behind me", take a look at her. You'll see how much respect you deserve. Your glory is "three paces behind you." Our wives are our glory, our praise, our honor; we are to minister to them in such a way that they are a shining radiance unto us.

I recall dealing with one couple for a number of years. The man was becoming quite successful in business. He always wanted to talk about his success, how well he was doing, how much money he was making. And every time I saw him, the counsel that came out of my mouth was "So then buy your wife a new dress." Her image didn't reflect the success he was talking about.

Husbands, your success will be reflected in your wife. Ephesians 5:33 says, "Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself." You can't brag how well you are doing if your wife is a mess. All that she does represents you. The more glorious she is, the more glorious you become. The more praise she gets, the more praise belongs to you. What a great responsibility we have as the heads of our families! But God has given us the grace to bear it.

Our Homework Assignments
Whether at a job, at home, or in the church of Jesus Christ, the head cannot demand any more out of the submitted one than they have taken time to put into that position. Consider Jesus and His church. Where would we be if Jesus hadn't put anything in us, if He didn't take time to deal with us, to build us up, to develop His character and nature in us? We, as the church, couldn't grow.

As pastor, I can't run around saying, "I don't know what's wrong with my church. The people don't come often enough, they don't pray enough, and they're not growing." As the head, I have to consider what I've put into them. I have to keep working at my assignment rather than evaluating how they are doing.

Ephesians 5:25-26 instructs the husband to love his wife even as Christ loves His church. It says that Christ gave Himself for His church, so that He might sanctify and cleanse her. Jesus is our example of headship, so in looking at these verses, we might say, "that the husband might sanctify and cleanse his home" or "that the boss might sanctify and cleanse his business."

How does Jesus sanctify us? He washes with the water of the Word. Without God's Word, the church will not be sanctified and cleansed. He's got to keep talking to us. He's got to keep correcting, rebuking, encouraging and enlightening us, revealing Himself to us, in order for us to grow and be renewed. He washes us with His Word. Heads, you need to talk with the submitted one. You need to wash her with your words.

Wives, here's your assignment: "and the wife see that she reverence her husband" (Eph. 5:33b). According to Strong's concordance the word reverence means, "to be in awe of, to be in fear of." It's the same word that is used when the Bible says "in the fear of God." Wives, you should be treating your husbands with the same awe, respect, and fear that a believer does God. Do you give Jesus a list of His shortcomings: "Jesus, you just don't spend enough time with me," etc.? We wouldn't dare. We have too much respect, awe and fear of God to lay up charges against Him.

In the same way, wives are to reverence their husbands. Husbands need reverence to operate successfully. If there's no respect given to the head, the position is difficult, if not impossible, to fulfill.

As a pastor I've learned the awe of my position. I've heard of people who have worried all week long when they heard I was coming to see them: "What did I do wrong? What's he going to say?" I didn't realize the power that the position carries! But I don't want to use that power to destroy people; I want to wash them with my words. If there's a problem, I want to let them know. If there's not a problem, I want to let them know. If I'm pleased with how they're doing, I want to let them know. I want to wash them with my words.

Submitted ones need washing with words; heads need reverence. As we obey God's assignments, our relationships will reflect Christ and His church.

Submission and Agreement
In any relationship, there are times when the head and the submitted ones will disagree. That is why it is important to understand the difference between submission and agreement.

If everything goes the way that we want it to, we have no problem submitting. If your boss comes to you and says he wants to give you a raise, you have no problem submitting to that, do you? Are you submitted to your boss? We don't know yet. When he gives you an assignment that you don't want, what do you do? It is when there is disagreement that true submission can be demonstrated.

When members of a church are in agreement with everything going on, they often say, "I am submitted to this ministry." But you won't know if you are truly submitted until you disagree. Disagreement is the real test of submission.

We've all seen it—every church experiences it: people smile and nod and tell the pastor everything is wonderful, until he makes a decision they disagree with—then they leave. Their relationship was based on agreement, not on submission. As soon as there isn't agreement, they sever the relationship.

Amos 3:3 asks, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" I always thought, "No, they can't". With this same line of thinking, countless numbers of couples have decided to separate and divorce because there is no agreement. But there is a principle that goes beyond agreement. God's way is higher. Can two walk together except they are agreed? The answer is if one will submit to the other they can walk together through everything.

Consider the Army. If you are a private, will you agree with everything that goes on? You probably do not. But the Army demands respect for every position, and whether you agree or not, you must submit. You do what you are told because you have a role to fulfill. Later, promotion comes and you are the one giving the orders. Because you once took orders, you have a respect for those now receiving them from you. If the Army took someone right off the street, put stripes on his shoulder and said, "You are now drill sergeant," there would be no understanding or respect for the position of the private. But because the drill sergeant has gone through boot camp, he knows what is physically possible. He has a respect for what the private will become.

We are under a lot of pressure in the world. There's tension, strife, and depression all around. We need every tool and ability available to us to stand against it. A lot of the pressure can be removed when we make an adjustment in the area of our relationships, when we truly accept and are obedient to the assignment God has given us.

When I was playing basketball in high school, I didn't want to be in the game if the score was close. I would have rather sat on the bench. The thought that I could have been a hero never even entered my mind. But if the coach had me in the game, I had to stay in whether I was doing a good job or not. Even though I might have wanted to, I never asked the coach to take me out. It wasn't my responsibility to make that decision.

Don't ask Jesus to take you out of what you're in. Ask Him to equip you to do a good job in the assignment you've been given.

God's love for us is the same whether we fulfill our assignment or not, but His power in our lives is conditional. It flows along the lines of authority that He has established. If you get away from the principles of headship and submission, the power wanes. The only way to stay in the power of God is to stay along His lines of authority. When we usurp God's assignments of headship or submission, the power fizzles out.

When you follow God's guidelines as Jesus did, totally submitted to the authority of heaven, totally obedient to what He has asked you to do, the devil can't touch you. It is our disobedience that gives the devil a foothold. Satan had no place in Jesus, not because of who He was, but because He was obedient to the Father.

Remember the Roman centurion who sent for Jesus because his servant was sick? He said, "You don't need to come, Jesus. I understand authority. Just speak the word, and it will be done." Jesus said of the centurion, "I haven't seen such great faith in all of Israel."

It takes faith to walk in our assignments. If we are in the submitted role, we must have faith that God is directing the head. If we are in a headship position, we must have faith that God is true to His word and will deal with the submitted one. Faith means we believe before we see the results. Without faith, God's assignments won't work. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

There needs to be more than agreement in a marriage. There needs to be submission, respect, and love. True submission goes beyond agreement. If both parties submit to one another in respect, disagreement is not an issue; roles are fulfilled in spite of disagreement. If you are truly submitted, you will abide by the head's decision, whether you agree or not. Anything less is the sin of rebellion. But remember our roles are to be fulfilled in the fear of God. Being the head does not mean being a dictator or being abusive in any way. If you, as the head, become abusive, God will not overlook it. Jesus Christ is not abusive to His submitted ones, and He is our standard.

(Editor's Note: Please check for the final installment of this series.)

Word of Faith Church
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tim Davidson
Web site: Word of Faith Church & Outreach Center
Tim Davidson is the Head Pastor of Word of Faith Church and Outreach Center in Bismarck, North Dakota. A 1977 graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center of Tulsa, Oklahoma, God has called Tim into the body of Christ as a teacher and pastor. Called to the Body of Christ as a pastor and teacher, Tim Davidson pioneered Word of Faith Church in Bismarck in 1980. He served as its Lead Pastor for 35 years and now serves as Founding Pastor. Pastor Tim has pioneered 6 churches in North Dakota and now serves as Regional Director for Rhema Ministerial Association International. Teaching believers foundational truths from God's Word is his passion. He has authored 3 yearly devotion books that are used both here and overseas to help believers become "rooted and grounded" in their faith. God is now calling Pastor Tim to share the treasury of wisdom and knowledge God has given to him with other pastors and churches.

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