The "Headship of Man" doctrine and women's roles in family,
church, workforce, politics...
The "headship" principle, stated simply, is that a woman's role is to follow
the leadership of men.
A common belief among conservative Christians is that God instituted the
headship principle (male in leadership; female in a supporting role) at the time
of creation. This is shown in the following ways:
|As a child, this means she must obey her father.|
|As a married woman, she must submit to her husband's decisions, and to
|God created Adam before Eve; he was the firstborn of the human race and
thus had special responsibilities|
|God told Adam about the restriction on eating the fruit of the tree of
knowledge of good and evil. This gave him the responsibility to teach Eve to
avoid the tree|
|After they ate the fruit, God addressed Adam first, holding him
accountable for the disobedience.|
|God cursed Eve, saying that Adam shall rule over her.|
"The headship principle was instituted by God at creation, re-iterated
after the fall, and upheld as a model of male-female Christian relationships in
the home and church." 1 Since there is no Biblical
passage canceling the headship principle, many feel it is still in force. Thus,
women should not be in a position of authority over men.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Dr. Helmut Koester, "The role of women in the Christian churches of Paul's day."
This is a series of excerpts from his speech titled "St. Paul: His Mission to the
Greek Cities & His Competitors," given to the Foundation for Biblical
Research, Charlestown, NH, on 1997-SEP-13. It is available at: http://www.bibletexts.com/terms/women01.htm
- William Einwechter, "Should Christians Support a Woman for the Office of
Civil Magistrate?" Vision Forum Ministries, 2004-JUL-08, at:
Copyright © 2007 by Ontario Consultants on
Original posting: 2007-JAN-11
Latest update: 2007-JAN-11
Compiled by B.A. Robinson