Husband and Wife: The Spiritual Leader

By: Tonya Parrott

Genesis 21:9-12 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son.12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.

In regards to Ishmael mocking Isaac, Sara ‘helped’ Abraham spiritually. And then Abraham went to God to confirm what his wife had told him.

When you look back at Adam and Eve, Eve was created as Adam’s ‘help meet’.

Compare these two Scriptures in the KJV:

Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

John 14:26 But the Comforterwhich is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

What is interesting is that in most other translations, ‘Comforter’ is translated as ‘Helper’. So the Holy Spirit is the Helper and the woman is the help meet.   This indicates a similarity with the Holy Spirit’s role in the redeemed to the woman’s purpose to the man.  (Spirit v/s Flesh)

John 14:26 N-NMS
GRK: ὁ δὲ παράκλητος τὸ πνεῦμα
NAS: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit,
KJV: But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Spirit
INT: but [the] Helper the Spirit

Now here’s where trouble came in:

Eve wanted to be ‘like God’.

Genesis 3:5 For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.

These are all things of the flesh.

This was a worldly wisdom Eve desired because she already had the wisdom of God from heaven. But Eve’s flesh desired another kind of wisdom.

James 3:13-18 Two Kinds of Wisdom

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Then, because of her failure to control her lust and desire of the flesh, she gave some to Adam and he ate it. This is what caused the fall: Eve gave in to her flesh and Adam gave in to Eve. So God says her desire is now for her husband and this is how he will rule over her.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”

So, the woman was created to ‘help’ the man.   But her flesh failed her in this.   So, God ‘fixed’ this by putting man over her flesh so that she is to now submit to the man in all matters of the flesh.

Notice how after they sinned and God pronounced the punishment, God still communicated with both Adam and Eve equally.

Verse 21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

This means Ephesians 5 has been misinterpreted and mistaught for years by claiming the husband is the spiritual leader of the wife. This whole chapter is actually about matters of the flesh (sexual immorality, etc.) v/s matters of the Spirit.   Note the comparisons in simile after simile, the first of which being ‘Christ is the head of the Church’ and ‘the husband is the head of the wife’. (I will provide the definition for the word ‘simile’ and underline throughout with notes to show emphasis on the Flesh v/s Spirit comparisons.)

simile: a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid (e.g., as brave as a lioncrazy like a fox ).

Ephesians 5:22-31 (KJV)

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Flesh v/s Spirit)

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (Flesh v/s Spirit)

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. (Spirit v/s Flesh-Note everything is on this side.)

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Flesh v/s Spirit)

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (Flesh v/s Spirit)

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

What this passages actually teaches is that the man is over the flesh of the woman. This means that God is still over her spiritually.

So, it looks like this:

Physical Realm Head (Flesh):

Christ>Man>Woman

Spiritual Realm Head (Spirit):

Spirit of God/Jesus (Jesus is God)=Holy Spirit>Over Man and Woman Individually (because of Christ’s redemption in order of physical realm)

This also shows how the Deity operates.

The Deity=Manifestations of God for different realms:

God the Father>Heavenly Realm

God the Son>Earthly Realm (to redeem us because of the fall although He existed infinitely)

God the Holy Spirit>Spiritual (Air) Realm and indwells flesh of believer

 

So, this whole “the man is the spiritual leader of the household” bit is actually the same exact evil influence as the Pope claiming to be the spiritual leader over the ‘church’ and the world. Scripture teaches that God is to be the spiritual leader over the woman, whether married or not. The wife’s job is to submit to her husband in all matters of the flesh, which in turn, enables her to assist her husband in spiritual matters as God instructs.

Viewed in light of the husband and wife being one flesh (Genesis 2:24) this makes perfect sense because the one spirit is reserved for all of those redeemed together.

I Corinthians 6:17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

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