WATCH: Getting Beyond Headship Battles: Male and Female in Scripture

In this episode, Brad Belschner and Alastair Roberts discuss headship and submission in order to clear misconceptions concerning gender relations that are common even within Christian circles. While it may seem that Genesis presents man as the center of creation and woman as simply his sidekick or personal assistant, Alastair points out that man’s authority is primarily directed outward into creation (not over woman) and that he is created as God’s servant. The woman is his helper in this mission, of being God’s servant. Alastair again warns against “performative gender” and says man is the head in a marriage, not that he should be the head. The man must recognize his position and exercise his position, though he will either do it well or poorly.




00:01 – Intro

00:33 – Getting pas headship battles

00:46 – What does scripture tell us about things such as headship and submission?

01:01 – A mistaken view of Genesis: Man is center of the universe, and woman is a sidekick.

01:32 – Rather God creates man as his servant and woman as his helper. A helper in that task, of being God’s servants.

02:01 – This helps us on issues such as submission. Man’s authority is directed out into the world, not primarily over woman. So submission of a woman toward her husband is submission in that direction.

02:35 – This helps us in thinking about headship: Christ’s headship of the church is not just telling the church what to do. He is the pre-eminent of the church, in whom the church finds it’s authority in the world and who empowers the church as his people.

03:06 – This is an analogue of our own marriages.

03:15 – We are told that man is the head, not should be the head. Remember previous discussions on performative gender. The man doesn’t have to earn this position, though he must exercise his position well or badly.

04:20 – Many theories about gender relations among Christians have placed the weight of their understanding on those situations where there are differences, and headship there only become operative when there is disagreement, but that’s where it breaks down. This is not when headship and authority are truly working.

04:43 – King analogy. You don’t define a king as simply “that guy whom you’re not supposed to rebel against,” and it