Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Head...Small Word, Big Misunderstanding

1Co 11:3  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 

This is a verse of Scripture that has been misunderstood for a very long time.  In the original Greek language the word for head is kephale.  Kephale means source or origin.  The word head in this passage is meant to communicate that man is the source or origin of woman.  It was from man that woman was taken.  The entire reflection of God's image was found completely in Adam, the first man.  When woman was taken out of man, he was no longer the complete image by himself for the woman was the completion of that total image.  

The ancients believed that semen, the source of life, was produced in the brain of man which is in his head so then the head represented the very source of life.  David Hamilton points out in his book, Why Not Women, that "kephale was the word used for the source of a river.  This is why the Greeks often set up the head of a man at a fountain or at the source of a river.  We still refer to the source of a river as its headwaters."  Somehow in the church this meaning is often hidden and instead authority is what is pulled from this passage.

In his beautifully written book, The Shack, William Young has the Holy Spirit speaking to Mack, the main character, and He is answering his question regarding things that God seems to have hidden from man in this life.  Holy Spirit answers him saying, "The choice to hide so many wonders from you is an act of love that is a gift inside the process of life."  God hides some things so that we can have the pure joy of finding them.  Woman was one such gift for man.  She was there within him and God brought out what was hidden to bring joy to the man and complete him.  Man is her kephale, her source, her origin.  And that is why together they are one.  And that is why marriage based on this understanding of this verse in Corinthians is so fulfilling.  It is not about is about oneness.  Oneness, completion, the fulfillment of real intimacy...this is what man and woman were intended to know together and it is one of the very sweetest of His "hidden joys".