Why did I think it was a good idea to preach through 1 Corinthians? That's what I was wondering as I set about 1 Cor 11:2-16 last week. Head hurt and lost sleep over such a varied set of interpretations, some of which I thought were pretty disgraceful.
V.3 and headship - what's that about then? There seem to be three options.
1 - to have authority over
2 - to represent
3 - to be the source of
The general idea seems to be that the language points to #3, though I have an inkling that #2 is helpful too. Not so convinced by #1 but some very intelligent people would disagree and I might be wrong. Feel a little like Alesha Dixon asked to judge Strictly, though to be fair she would be better qualified for her task than I feel for mine.
In the end does it matter much? If headship is about ruling over and having authority (which I don’t think it is) then what should it look like? How should a husband have authority over his wife? By loving her and being prepared to lay down his life for her, according to Ephesians 5. Ephesians 5:21 – “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”.
I don't think you'd see a lot of difference between people who read head as meaning #1, #2, or #3 if they are seeking to be like Christ in all they do.
After that the hat issue was a doddle. We will still have the role of women to address in 1 Cor 14 but at least we can relax a bit in the meantime while we talk about the gifts of the Spirit!
The biggest encouragement of Sunday was where people disagreed (as a handful did). They were each so gracious and loving as we talked and it's what family should be like. We were able to discuss and even laugh about the subject and to do so with the security that this needn't and shouldn't change anything between us in terms of relationship.
That feels very precious indeed.