Being a Christian head of household is not a Domestic Discipline issue. DD is one way to maintain a Christian household, but most HoH’s do not spank.
The HoH concept comes from letters by St. Paul and St. Peter, particularly Paul’s Ephesians and 1st Peter. My mandate is to follow what the saints told us about marriage. And that is so much more than DD or D/s (Dominance/submission).
In Ephesians 5, Paul states: “husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” Now that is one tall order, since Christ died for the church, and I take Paul literally: I must be willing to lay down my life to protect Tonna. That is, “take the bullet” by protecting her with my body.
Paul continues with his mandate: “…give himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word…” I interpret this to mean several things:
1. That all my interaction with her needs to be in accordance with the word of God (washing with the word). There is definitely a message here for husbands: We cannot misuse our authority; the wielding of it must always be about following the will of God.
2. That it is my role to be the spiritual leader of the family, to make sure she is “cleansed,” that she follows the will of God. Certainly each person is responsible to God individually, and my role as spiritual leader in no way absolves her from making sure that she is following the will of God. But the husband has an additional role as spiritual leader, a responsibility to each and every family member, starting with the wife.
3. That I “sanctify” her. My understanding of the word sanctify is to “make holy,” but even more, to “set aside for a sacred purpose.” So what is the sacred purpose of a wife? To bear children, and to rear them! And I must always keep this sacred purpose in mind, and especially keep it in mind when I am filled with sexual desire: She is not below me as the object of my pleasure; she has the holy purpose of bringing life to the world.
Paul continues: “having cleansed her … that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Now this is a mystery: that I present my wife to myself! So by sanctifying her, I gain! It is my role to make her my focus, and when I help her be holy then the marriage is holy, and when the marriage is holy, then I am holy. So my way to purity is through her!
Paul continues: “Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Now this is another miraculous idea for me. At times in my past I have had very low self-esteem, and for many years I did not know how to overcome that, though I spent much time and money with several different therapists. And even though some of them were Christian, not one suggested that the way to self-esteem was through loving my spouse! And I have found this to be true: knowing that I am loved, and that I have someone to love — spiritually and romantically – helps me feel better about myself. Now I am not saying that single people can’t have high self-esteem. And I know therapists warn that we each should be able to feel good about ourselves on our own, and not be dependent on a relationship for it. But I believe that a Christian marriage is the quickest and best way to self-esteem. It certainly is the way that works for me.
That’s it for now. A discussion of 1st Peter will follow!