In chapter 11 of this book, Paul speaks to that which a great many women today take strong exception to, and that is the headship of man over a woman (particularly in the relationship of husband/wife). In part, Paul said: But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God (11:3, ESV). The word “head” is a key word in this verse; the man/husband has a head (Christ), the woman/wife has a head (man/husband), and Christ has a head (the Father).
How is the word “head” to be understood?
Albert Barnes said it plainly enough when he wrote:
The word ‘head,’ in the Scriptures, is designed often to denote ‘master, ruler, chief.’ The word ראשׁ ro’sh is often thus used in the Old Testament; see Num. 17:3; 25:15; Deut. 28:13, 44; Jdg. 10:18; 11:8, 11; 1Sam. 15:17; 2Sam. 22:44. In the New Testament the word is used in the sense of Lord, ruler, chief… (E-Sword).
The significance of this this is apparent to each reader. So significant it is that many refuse to hear and submit to the Lord regarding it. Thus, those who have so chosen to operate have refused their ultimate “head” (Christ). Do they think they will escape His judgment regarding this? Evidently. But in this they are mistaken!
Some women respond to the Lord’s will by concluding (falsely) that the female is relegated to a second-class person. The words of the apostle Peter fit right here concerning those who twist the Scripture in actual words of implied teachings (cf. 2 Peter 3:16). There is no truth in this at all – from the Lord’s perspective (which is a holy perspective). The problem is, and has always been, man’s interpretation and application of God’s word. This approach of man is in accordance with a hermeneutical standard of self, something God does not recognize.
Just like the female who refuses to interpret what she clearly sees is the sense of the passage, there are males who abuse the authority given them by the Lord. Both will stand before the Lord on judgment day (2 Corinthians 5:10).
In the context of the passage – for that is always what we need to keep in mind – in the context of the passage, Paul was addressing an issue the Corinthians asked him about (head covering). In this context Paul addresses roles that each have in the Lord’s plan concerning the family. The male is given a heavier responsibility in regards to the family, and that pertains to his leadership in things holy. To minimize the role of the female in that same family, however, is a tragic mistake.
Speaking for myself in regards to my family, I have a tremendous responsibility placed upon me by the Lord in the leadership of my family. If I fail to exercise my responsibility in accordance to the Lord’s will, then I will have to account to the Lord for that. More than that, however, it is very much the case that I am instrumental in setting the direction my children go in life, and if I don’t take serious my responsibility, then the direction I send them won’t be heaven! A grave responsibility is given to the man in this role of leadership.