The purity of the early church was a goal for Paul
But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ. I Corinthians 11:3
Paul reminds the church at Corinth that God had an order in creation, including men and women. He puts the order in this way: “the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” The woman came from man, she was made for him, and was created to be the glory of man. She was meant to compliment, to be a helper, and an adornment to him.
The role of men and women is a very hot topic in our modern day. In Ephesians 5:12, it tells us to “submit to one another in the fear of God.” Although the woman should be able to freely share her thoughts and opinions, the man was appointed by God to be the head of the household.
Another verse people like to use is Galatians 3:28, where it says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ.” This verse doesn’t take away the original purpose, function, and order of the sexes. Even today the man provides the sperm and fertilizes the egg in the process of reproduction; the woman carries the child and gives birth. The man is the father, the woman the mother; the same as it was meant to be in the garden. The man was meant to be the spiritual leader and head of the home; that is true yet today.
As far as our spiritual relationship to God, we are all on the same level, there is no difference. We were all sinners at birth and in need of new life in Christ. In Matthew 22:30 Jesus said, “In the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels of God in heaven. As spiritual beings before God, we are all important and have our own unique identity.
In I Corinthians 11:10, Paul makes a controversial statement. “For this reason, the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.” At first glance, it seems as if Paul is contradicting himself. Didn’t he just say that man is the head of the woman, and the woman was to be a helper to man? Exactly what does this statement about “authority” mean?
The use of the word “authority” by a lot of people, appears to be a bad (poor) translation. The New King James Version, New International Version, and The English Standard Version all use the word “authority” in the verse. But if we look up the word in the original Greek (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, #1849), it is actually referring to “a sign of a husband’s authority over his wife.” We could also say it is an example of “submission and humility toward the husband.” This usage would take us back to the teachings Paul spoke of in verse two, and the examples of Sarah and Rebekah. It also makes much more sense and brings clarity to the passage.
Here are a view points to remember as we conclude this article.
1- The created order for men and women is still the best for us today.
2- The head covering that Paul asked the women to wear was a sign of submission, humility, and modesty.
3- The purity of the early church and the glory of God was the goal that Paul was trying to achieve.
Comments or questions, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published three books, “Common Thoughts on The Word” in 2016 and “Eye of a Needle” in 2017 and “Common Thoughts on The Word II” in 2019. He has also had articles published in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.