How does the order of creation demonstrate a model for male headship in the church?

by Daniel Spratlin

In 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul says that a woman should not teach or exercise authority over a man. The reason he gives for this command is found in 1 Timothy 2:13, “For Adam was created first, not Eve." The reason women should not function as pastors or teach men is rooted in the created order according to Paul.

The point we should notice here is that Paul does not argue for male headship because of sin. Male headship is not the result of the fall but stems from God’s good creation. What we must recognize here is that commands rooted in creation are still God’s will for us today. For example, both marriage and the eating of all foods is a good thing because both of them were ordained for our good at creation (1 Tim. 4:1-5). So, too, divorce is never God’s ideal because God indicated when He created Adam and Eve that one man should be married to one woman (Gen. 1:26-27, 2:18-25). Jesus argued from creation in supporting the permanence of marriage (Matt. 19:3-12). In the same way, homosexuality is wrong because it violates the created order, for once again the creation account teaches us that sexual relations are restricted to marriage between one man and woman (Rom. 1:26-27).

We see, then, that male headship is not due to sin or to a patriarchal culture but is rooted in the way God created males and females. Men, of course, are to lead with love and wisdom. Male headship is not a privilege but a great responsibility.

For more information, please visit The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.