Sunday, November 19, 2006

Who's really the Head of the Home, and what does that mean?

I hear this term stated so often in the church. Then I hear people interpret it to mean nothing like what it says. Because of so many complaints by women to the church relative to husbands misusing their authority, the GAs have begun to advise a system of no clearcut leadership within marriage. This is done in sincerity. In the hope of maintaining love in families. But what has God said in regard this? I realise that those things I'm about to quote won't be popular with women. But if women would take hold of this concept and follow it they would have a wonderful marriage, in spite of the fact they think they wouldn't. This is what is known as "faith". Faith isn't doing what you think works, it is doing what you don't think will because God said so.
Moses 4:22 "Unto the woman, I, the Lord God, said: I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." (See also Gen 3:16)
That is about as clear cut as it should need to be. The tendancy is to water this down. But any dictionary will tell you what "rule" really means.
1 Pet 3:1 "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands..."
1 Pet 3:6 "Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord..."
1 Tim 2:12-13 "But I suffer a woman not to teach, nor to asurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve."
Eph 5:24 "Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be subject unto their own husbands in every thing."
No doubt many will want to quote one side of this by giving examples of abuse by husbands - feeling that somehow God was unaware of this when he presented this commandment. I've seen some bad things both ways, also. God has seen them too, but still knows that what he has expressed is true.
On my mission one senior companion I had made a lot of crazy decisions which were not inspired. The Holy Ghost kept saying to me, "follow him and I'll bless you." I followed and we were extremely blessed. It was painful at times. But it worked. God wanted to demonstrate to me to follow church leaders (within their areas of authority) regardless.
I say to women, trust God and just do what he says. I say to men be wise and truly love your wives, not abusing such a trust that they place in you. Listen to their counsel. And above all use the Spirit to guide your decisions.


Anonymous said...

Actually, I think the real Head of a home should be Christ. If that is the case, everything will fall into place.

While I understand what you are trying to do here, it seems a bit out of place to be second-guessing our prophets' interpretations of what this all means, calling it a simple "watering down" of doctrine. So I'm not sure the answer is to develop our own definition of it all. It seems to me prophets' definitions and what the Spirit can teach are much more reliable.

I'd be interested, though, to see what this means to you in a practical sense. How do you think a woman should submit to her husband?

(As a sidenote, I am not one who gets all up in arms about this whole thing; I don't mind the idea of my husband being the patriarch of our home. I'm just curious to hear what you think that means in a little more detail. You haven't really explored what it means to be the head of the home. I think this is worth discussion.)

Doug Towers said...

Thanks for your comments M&M. I have read some things you have said in other blogs and have found them interesting also.
I agree with you about using the Spirit to guide in regard understanding of subjects. I also agree that Christ should be our head. I ended up saying that the man should use the Spirit in making a final decision. And I would agree that the wife also should be using the Spirit in giving advice. The only place we may differ is that where a prophet doesn't state that the Lord has actually instructed him I hold scripture above the opinion of a prophet. In fact prophets themselves have presented this concept (even in regard that said at conferences).
But as to your question of how man being the head of the home works on the ground; I think the best example would be that of a bishop and his counsellors. The bishop puts forward the point that someone is needed for a calling. Then the bishop and his counsellors put forth ideas of people who may be available. These are discussed fully. But in the end it is left to the bishop to seek for inspiration as to whom it should be. And he makes the final decision. His counsellors may have other opinions, but it must be the bishop who takes the responsibility and makes that final decision.
A man needs to learn to make responsible decisions. A wife has to help him in this by not making them for him. It takes a good woman to do this properly. But the end result will be a better man.

Mayan Elephant said...

i was considering posting a comment on here. but, then i decided i would just post and beg you to ban me from your site. this will remove any temptation of coming on here and telling you just exactly where the bear 'poops' in the woods, cuz you apparently have not yet been told.

oh, if jesus were to become the head of my household tonight, what would he suggest would be the most appropriate bedtime for my sons?

hmmmm...... oh, wait. jesus doesnt know? well then he cant be the leader.

Doug Towers said...

Unfortunately I have seen where the bear poops in the woods. And it certainly wasn't in the right spot. That is why I wrote this article.
And I think it time you did accept Christ as your head, because, unlike people's concepts from year to year, his never alters. Because they were correct in the first place. Mankind will just lead you to enless nonsense with their philosophies. God has watched it all over and over. He knows; mankind guesses.

Anonymous said...

M&M: You're my Gem!
I have some thoughts for you, but just give me a moment with Mayan Heffa...

Mayan Heffalump, I am reading Winnie-the-pooh currently - just for your sake!
I will let you know of the bear's placements when I am finished.

QUESTION re Precise operation of “submission of wives to husbands as the Church submits unto Christ, and He is the head of it:
[Question posed by a sister: M&M]

Well M&M, I think Bro. Towers has given a great analogy here, and it's one that I often use when trying to reason with my wife at times over our homely roles, because they both need much polishing up!

But when I do get it right, having been on stake leadership and on bishoprics before, I think that the Lord has given us the Church, and its various callings and responsibilities to perfectly teach and train us for reality, and in preparing to be like Him and live with Him. ... and though we struggle to find the formula, really, it's all quite there in His own Church.
Bishoprics and Stake presidencies are classic examples.
The Lord has given us the clue by telling us that the Bishop is basically the father of the ward.
Therefore, his role and duties will be in accord with that calling.
As we have been instructed before, our wives are our counselors.
Let me tell you that re the Priesthood work such as this that I have been involved in, discussions and considerations of the bishop as in my experience have been calm, agreeable considerations.
Even if the bishop has a different view from his counsellors, they wholeheartedly support his decision, and that is the order of the Priesthood, even if, personally, they might still hold reservations related to their own reasoning or experience.
Those decisions are sustained amicably by all, and each of us functions in our responsibilities and assignments accordingly.

This also brings us to the item of money.
To a certain degree, this is a separate issue.
The Bishop rarely consults his counsellors re such items.
Problem situations can be discussed in general terms, and depending on the specific matter, this can sometimes be with the Relief Society President.
This she merely brings to his attention.
It is then up to him in his role, as father of the ward, to decide per the Spirit, keys and office of his calling, exactly what he should do.
The instruction is then given, on most occasions, to his clerk to physically enact the monetary task, and the bishop personally signs.

I think if Both – man and wife – were to carry these principles of function into their homes, and self-discipline as to do so with joy, the Gospel and Church will have achieved what the Lord set out for it to achieve for families.