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Who's the Head of Who?

For many years in the church the words 'Submission', 'Headship' and 'Silence' have sent shivers down the spines of so many women.


Women who love God and genuinely want to follow the Bible. Women who love the Church and genuinely want to be part of seeing the Kingdom of God grow. Women who don't want to burn any part of their underwear (and let's be honest the cost of underwear has gone up dramatically in recent years), or be seen as 'militants' simply because they have questions.... actually it turns out God is OK with questions. The Bible is littered with people desperately seeking answers from God Himself, from Job asking 'If person dies, will they live again?" (Job 14:14-15) to David crying out "how can a young person keep their way pure?" (Psalm 119:9), to Hannah asking God for a child (1 Samuel 1:10-11)... God hears and God listens.

As women in God's family it is important that we understand exactly what the Bible teaches, on all topics but especially those that can either limit us or release us.

Headship and Submission are two vital theological truths. What do they actually mean, do we truly understand them and are we sure we are living these truths out?


We recently conducted a poll on our Rise Women Leadership Network Instagram story. We asked over 3000 female leaders the following questions:


  1. Do you think Headship is taught on in your church? 70% said no, 13% said they weren't sure and only a staggering 17% said "yes". This means 83% of female leaders following Rise (across denominations) have not had clear teaching on Headship (if at all).

  2. Does Headship affect single women leading? 53% said "Yes', 21% said no and 26% were unsure.

  3. Does Headship limit what you can do in the church? 29% of you said "Yes", 47% said 'no' and 24% were not sure.


One of the key scriptures we need to understand is 1 Corinthians 11:3 which reads

"But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of every wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God". Some translations have the word 'woman' instead of 'wife' but the Greek word is 'gynaikos', which is used specifically for wife. This passage is about the husband/wife relationship. This is not about leadership roles in the church. 


If you really want to understand this topic we strongly recommend our new online Masterclass (prerecorded so you can watch at a time that suits you). Watch Keely Morley interviewing Roy Morley (Senior Pastor and Keely's husband) and theologian Dr Glenn Balfour as they discuss what the Bible really teaches on Headship. How does biblical Headship work, how does it function in leadership, what does it practically look like in relationships? This masterclass will aid your own understanding. To sign up to watch simply click here:


A great article that will also aid your understanding, has been written by the Junia Project entitled "5 myths of male headship'. Just click HERE for this article.


We would love your feedback after watching our masterclass - what do you think? Email heretohelp@risewomen.co.uk and let us know. Let's use our head and take the time to wrestle with these theological truths and deepen our own understanding.


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