Spiritual Headship in the Church and Home

(from Rev. Mark Hein) When I was first approached to write a column for this website, I was more than just a little hesitant. With a busy ministry, I wasn’t sure if anything more would fit on my plate. That is, until I was told the topic that was being considered.


To say that there is great confusion over spiritual headship, be it in the church or home, would be an incredible understatement. There is both confusion about it as well as an all-too obvious absence of it. True spiritual headship, biblical headship, is rarely seen anymore. What this has caused is nothing less than great “spiritual hardship” both in the church and in the home (we will get into some horror stories later).


The fact of the matter is, we now have generation upon generation of men (and women) who have little or no idea as to what spiritual headship is all about. Consequently, we have a countless number of families and congregations who are running around “like chickens without their….”


In some cases, you have men who have abandoned their post (if they even ever assumed it). They have willingly abdicated their responsibility as spiritual heads, avoiding it like the plague or conveniently claiming it when and only when it is beneficial. These individuals, for whom we fervently pray, fall under the categories of the spiritually spineless and the cowardly.


In other situations, you have men who would genuinely like to carry out their divinely given headship roles. The problem is, they simply do not know what to do. They do not know what is indeed required and expected of them, but also what they have the great joy and privilege of doing… of BEING!


A third group of men would be those who have assumed spiritual headship in the church or the home, but truth be told and if they were honest with themselves, they would admit that they could be better at it – far more consistent and diligent.


So where do you fit in with all of this? Thanks be to God that we do not live in a past that is, for all of us, filled with shortcomings. Rather, by faith, we live in the present reality of the forgiveness that is ours in Christ Jesus and the divine assurance of the Spirit’s power to help us walk from this time forth and forevermore in the way of the Lord.


Of no surprise, our discussion of spiritual headship begins with Christ, He who is our ever-living Head. In the weeks to follow, we will consider spiritual headship defined by Christ and lived out in Him and through Him. As always, Holy Scripture and our Lutheran Confessions will be our guide.


Our first setting will be the home… your home… and then we will move to the church… your church. Yes, this is going to get personal. This series of articles will be evangelically “in your face,” but all for the good, right and salutary purpose of helping you “get your head on straight.”


In Christ, Pastor Hein, St.  Pauls Lutheran Church, Lockport, Illinois

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