99% servant, 1% leader.

In Exactly What Does it Mean for the Wife to Submit to Her Husband, pastor and Christian life coach Dr. Raymond Force explains that the reason women bristle at the New Testament verses on submission is that they mistakenly think the verses mean they are to submit to their husband, who is the head of the marriage.  Force assures them that the husband’s job is serve his wife, and only in the most rare occasions should he try to lead:

Some have an Unbiblical View of these Biblical Verses

In other articles, I talk about what biblical headship actually means, and I accentuate that headship is 99% service and 1% decision making. However, some seem to assume that headship means that the husband lords over the wife. I do not find that to be the spirit of these teachings at all.

This has always been my impression of the term Servant Leader.  While it sounds biblical, in practice it is a term used to deny headship.  However, I’ve never seen a complementarian put numbers to it like this before.  Note that 1% is the absolute smallest number he could assign to leadership without adding a decimal point, and this is what he is really communicating.  From this perspective, he could have just as well said headship is 99.99% service and .01% leadership, or 99.999% service and .001% leadership, etc.  No one is going to actually do the math, as the point is that leadership is to be portrayed as insignificant as possible while still claiming headship includes leadership.

This 1%, or .01%, or .001%  leadership (in theory) is what distinguishes complementarians from egalitarians, so it is extremely important to complementarians on a philosophical level.  But from a practical perspective, for complemetarians headship is always suspect and guilty until proven innocent of being abuse just as Force has framed it above.  In Force’s framing above, if you believe that headship is from a real and practical perspective about leadership, you are one of those people who thinks headship means lording over your wife.  Force reinforces this frame later in the post:

Religious Abusers

Everyone has met religious abusers that use the Word of God as a form of control over people. Because of the presence of people as such in the world, some have thrown the baby out with the bath water and followed their own ways and feelings rather than the Word of God.

When it comes to the above mentioned verses, we all know men that have abused these teachings. However, this does not mean that we should refrain from following these biblical precepts.

Having set the table to deny that headship means leadership/decision making in practice, Force can then explain that in theory it means the husband leads without risk of his words actually resulting in leadership.   At some point, in theory, after weeks, months, or even years of discussion, a wife should ultimately let her husband make a decision:

I see couples that will fight for weeks, months, and even years about where to move, financial decisions, what to purchase, et cetera. At some point, someone will have to pull the lever, and, from a biblical perspective, it should be the husband.

This in turn frees Force to present himself as the only real man/pastor in the room:

I know the temptation to play it safe, but, as a teacher of the Word, I am not called to keep the ship afloat. My responsibility is to please the Father. Though I preach to the masses, I still have an Audience of One, God the Father.

When it comes to verses on headship, I do believe that pastors are often afraid of teaching on these verses. Maybe it is because they are afraid of women (this is a consideration), or it is possible that they do not know how to articulate the true meaning of these verses. However, these verses are just as inspired as John 3:16 or Ephesians 2:8-9. And, if pastors are going to be true to their calling, they should be careful of conveniently omitting their responsibility to teach the whole counsel of God.

See Also: 

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This entry was posted in Attacking headship, Complementarian, Disrespecting Respectability, Dr. Raymond Force, Frame, Headship, Servant Leader, The only real man in the room, Turning a blind eye. Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to 99% servant, 1% leader.

  1. Scott says:

    It’s amazing how much ink is spilled trying not obey clear instructions and language

  2. earlthomas786 says:

    Maybe it is because they are afraid of women (this is a consideration)

    No it IS because they are afraid of women.

  3. Pingback: 99% servant, 1% leader. | @the_arv

  4. earlthomas786 says:

    In other articles, I talk about what biblical headship actually means, and I accentuate that headship is 99% service and 1% decision making. However, some seem to assume that headship means that the husband lords over the wife. I do not find that to be the spirit of these teachings at all.

    Where’s the biblical bases for 99-1? I don’t see that.

    ‘For the husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    ‘Dr. Raymond Force explains that the reason women bristle at the New Testament verses on submission is that they mistakenly think the verses mean they are to submit to their husband, who is the head of the marriage. ‘

    Seems this guy is making the mistake.

  5. Swanny River says:

    God’s Word is able to divide joint and marrow, but Dalrock’s exposure of Force’s playbook is a close second. How close? I’m not putting a percentage to it.
    Those last two paragraphs from Force could be taken as red-pill, if read separately. Interesting that he could write those thoughts and end up at 1%. He is authoring confusion, and should reflect on that.

  6. Joe Ego says:

    I see couples that will fight for weeks, months, and even years about where to move, financial decisions, what to purchase, et cetera. At some point, someone will have to pull the lever, and, from a biblical perspective, it should be the husband.

    You’re not a real man unless you give your wife every opportunity to contest and re-litigate major family decisions until 99% of the available time has been spent. And when you do finally decide, know it is because the decision defaults to you at the last second because any bad results will be your fault anyway.

  7. Sigma says:

    The message really does get watered down with all the qualifying, but he does seem to eventually get to the point that women are supposed to submit to their husbands.

    The first comment on the article by Laurie did make me chuckle, though. Hamstering of the top quality.

  8. Caspar Reyes says:

    There’s mottes and baileys all over them thar hills.

  9. Novaseeker says:

    Responsibility of figurative leadership without actual leadership power is figureheadship. All hail our new figurehead non-overlords, I guess.

  10. stickdude90 says:

    I loved the first comment on that post:

    The Bible read in the original context is not about men being in power over the wife. Call it living leadership, call in servant leadership it is still patriarchy. Benevolent patriarchy is still patriarchy. The Holy Spirit is my leader. My husband follows him too. We submit to each other. We make decisions together. He does not have a gender card to play so he can get his way. Sometimes I make the decision because I know more about it then he does. Sometimes vice versa. That is Biblical marriage!!!!! Submit to one another in love….the gentiles lord over one another, it shall not be so with you…there is no jew or gentile, no slave or free, no male or female we are all one in Christ Jesus… submit yourselves to GOD!!!

    See, even calling it “servant leadership” isn’t enough to satisfy rebellious women.

  11. Daniel says:

    Substituting Christ and the Church into Force’s section on democratic marriage:

    The [Church] Allows [Christ] to Lead in His Own Way

    Different is not bad, it is just different. And Christ almost always has a different way of accomplishing tasks than the Church. …They always have a different way of arriving at a destination. Though she may head west, He goes east. However, in the process of time, they usually end up arriving at the same place.

    When tackling something together, there are times when a purely democratic decision will lead to a standstill or a watered-down decision at best. In these situations, someone will have to have to have the final say. …I believe Christ should have the liberty to make the final decision.

    Of course, Christ will consult the opinion of the Church …He will also be humble enough to admit when she has a better plan. But, if the two cannot agree … then Christ’s opinion should win out. …At some point, someone will have to pull the lever, and, from a biblical perspective, it should be Christ.

  12. Pingback: Leading *is* serving. | Dalrock

  13. Swanny River says:

    Great catch Stickdude! That really lays it out there. I’d love for my pastor to show that quote on a screen and then ask which members agree with it, to stand and be counted. Likewise for those that disagree. Then let the maturity, sparks, and growth begin (unless he does the political splitting the middle and false equivalency routine, then it would be a lost opportunity ).

  14. Paul says:

    When it comes to verses on headship, I do believe that pastors are often afraid of teaching on these verses. Maybe it is because they are afraid of women (this is a consideration), or it is possible that they do not know how to articulate the true meaning of these verses.

    No sh*t!

    Let me add another reason; they are afraid to go against the prevailing feminist narrative of the present-day culture, maybe even ashamed themselves about these verses! “Did God really say…? You will not … for God knows …”

  15. SnapperTrx says:

    “99% service and 1% decision making”

    Try using this method as the owner of any business and see how quickly it fails. As the head of a household or a business you cannot survive if the boss spends 99% of his time helping his employees do their jobs and 1% making decisions, or even spending 99% polling his employees about how THEY want to run the company. Someone has the be the lead. Someone has to be able to concentrate on what is going on, where the ship is going and make the hard decisions on what jobs to pursue, where to cut losses, etc., etc. If you spend 1% of your time making decisions your family/marriage will eventually crash.

  16. feministhater says:

    Yeah no, that’s not Biblical marriage. Men have to lead, women are to follow. Just as the Church must submit to Christ to be saved, a wife must submit to her husband to gain his leadership and protection, no ifs or buts. I don’t care to hear women whine anymore, either be in submission or get lost.

  17. SnapperTrx says:

    This is the mainstream attitude for both Christian men and women, despite that the whole “there is no Jew or Gentile” and “submit to one another” is speaking about the body of Christ, not marriage, but, hey, no point in bringing up those pesky facts. And since the majority of Christians wont look above or below the scriptures they are fed, with preloaded interpretations from their pastors, they would never know this. Even if they DID read above or below it would still be too far a stretch from their reality for them to change their minds or hearts.

  18. SnapperTrx says:

    Well when you put it THAT way!
    Ouch…..

  19. feministhater says:

    Try using this method as the owner of any business and see how quickly it fails.

    Even better, try it in the military and see if you have a country left after a war. These people are in denial. If it’s 1 percent decision making, then you only bear 1 percent of responsibility. Nothing will be done. This is why we are in the mess we’re in. There is no concrete decision making. Wives stall everything, they need to put to the side. Stripped of their rights and told to get into the kitchen and STFU.

  20. BillyS says:

    I hear many preachers speak against those who preach proper Biblical roles, yet I have heard very few preachers actually preach in favor of proper Biblical roles. They rail against a strawman that unfortunately does not exist much today.

  21. feministhater says:

    My response was not to you Snapper, it was to the post itself.

  22. BillyS says:

    Bad video example of another foolish preacher.

    I personally like the teachings of the head pastor at the church (Bill Johnson) and agree with a great many things he says, but the associate pastor is unfortunately very whacked.

  23. ys says:

    BillyS-
    Yes, your assertion is correct. Empath (from Feminism is Empathological fame) also had a good takedown on that which I remember reading.

  24. Gage says:

    If the husband is only leading 1% of the time, is it Force’s position that the wife lead the other 99% of the time?

  25. Per Desteen says:

    Sometimes I wonder if a good loud “Heresy!” from amidst the audience would provide a bit more entertainment on a Sunday morning.

  26. James says:

    I read the linked blog post by Force. A few OK points, many more cringeworthy points. I won’t give my percentage on good vs. bad, except to say it’s heavily weighted toward bad, such as the following:

    If a woman allows the man to lead, it is vital that she allow him to learn gracefully.

    This whole thing about how, from the woman’s point of view, he’s only leading if she’s “allowing him to.” I’ve been talking to my wife about headship, and she seems to want to have this arrangement, however, I often hear her say how she’s “letting me.” That being said, I still am continuing to talk to her about this.

    Perhaps Force means by “allowing him” that she is not contesting his leadership, but the one who gives permission is, or believes they are, in control, right?

  27. James says:

    That is, the one “allowing” leadership is the de facto leader, and the “allowed” is the deputy leader, whose power is subject to revocation at any time.

  28. earlthomas786 says:

    Perhaps Force means by “allowing him” that she is not contesting his leadership, but the one who gives permission is, or believes they are, in control, right?

    The good news is that there is already a term in the Bible for that…it’s called submitting.

    If a wife submits to her husband, it is vital she allow him to learn gracefully.

  29. The Question says:

    The Force isn’t strong in this one.

    I couldn’t resist.

  30. American says:

    As I watched the families around me fail and break up in divorce, with heinous consequences for the fathers/husbands (and their children who invariably were turned against them by the female divorcees despite these men footing the bills through their eighteenth birthdays); I realized that was not for me so I bypassed the entire threat/liability of marriage and fatherhood and chose MGTOW instead.

    Sure, I had to adjust my expectations and normalize certain feelings but the result has been more than satisfying. Giving up the potential of severe liabilities that come with divorce to fully engage the opportunities and strengths which exist in the world was the right choice for me. 100 percent leader here with no regrets on that point. My life is not nor has it ever been managed for me by “family” court judges and plaintiff attorneys all dancing in sync to an ex-wife and it never ever will be. 🙂

  31. thedeti says:

    Joe Ego

    That seems to be pretty much how it operates now.

    Husband must eventually be made to/allowed to make a final decision. If the decision turns out well, joint credit goes mostly to wife since she argued and relitigated it for months and hashed out every possible scenario. It was a “well thought out, planned and executed course of action.”

    If the decision turns out badly, it’s all husband’s fault, since he’s the one who made the final call, after all.

    Husband has all the responsibility with none of the authority. Figurehead.

  32. SnapperTrx says:

    There are few who would dare cry “Heresy” and even fewer who would recognize it. The majority of the people sitting in the pew wont look above or below the verses their pastor gives them, much less take the time to research and understand it in context. They are given preloaded “interpretations” of scripture by their pastor and thus feel no need to actually study on their own. “Well pastor Bill said that headship is 99% service and 1% decision making, and the bible says that husbands have headship over their wives: Sounds good to me! Let me get those dishes for you, honey!” Maybe we need to start thinking about getting people away from these institutions of improper learning and back into studying the word in small groups at home, where people can be offended without the risk of losing the minimum monthly tithe to make the mortgage, internet payment, sound equipment payments, pastors car and house payments, etc.

  33. Marquess of Cuckbury says:

    Churchianity: 99 parts white knight cowardice, 1 part Jesus-is-my-boyfriend. 100% faggotry.

    Enough problematic cis-het grecosemitic misogypremisist hatescripture!

    ‘And, lo, through the holy iphone the angel of pumpkin spice texted her, “he ain’t shit. you deserve better. slay, queen. [lolface emoji]”‘ Dogmom 5:22

  34. PokeSalad says:

    Or, put another way,

    99.99999999999% responsibility
    0.000000000001% authority

  35. Jeff Strand says:

    This guy Force is just another cuck.

    I prefer how Pope Pius XI put it, in his encyclical “Casti Connubii”:

    With great wisdom Our predecessor Leo XIII, of happy memory, in the Encyclical on Christian marriage which We have already mentioned, speaking of this order to be maintained between man and wife, teaches: “The man is the ruler of the family, and the head of the woman; but because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, let her be subject and obedient to the man, not as a servant but as a companion, so that nothing be lacking of honor or of dignity in the obedience which she pays. Let divine charity be the constant guide of their mutual relations, both in him who rules and in her who obeys, since each bears the image, the one of Christ, the other of the Church.”

    This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband’s every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors.… For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.

  36. earlthomas786 says:

    the woman is the heart

    And if it’s rebellious, that leads to a lot of problems.

  37. (blue pill pastor) “So Tom, are you enjoying our single’s bible study?”

    (red pill Tom) “I do. I enjoy this immensely. I look forward to it week to week.”

    (blue pill pastor) “Good to hear.” (pauses) “Say Tom, do you fancy any of the young ladies in our parish?”

    (red pill Tom) “Certainly. Two of them are very physically attractive.”

    (blue pill pastor) “And yet, I’ve never seen you at any of the church dances. Some of our single women have approached me wanting to know if you might be interested in them.”

    (red pill Tom) “Not interested to date them. You really only should date if you are considering marriage. And I’m not.”

    (astonished blue pill pastor) “I don’t understand. Why aren’t you interested in marriage?”

    (red pill Tom) “Well pastor, here is the thing. I have 100% authority over every action and decision of my life. I work where I want. I choose whatever friends I want. I attend the church I want. I vacation wherever I want. I live wherever I want. I buy whatever I want. I invest in whatever I want. To marry, and I now must defer to HER authority on all those things. That is in violation of Genesis 3:16.”

    (blue pill pastor) “well…. yup. I guess that is it.”

  38. ray says:

    Related, the Episcopal Diocese of Columbia’s District recently resolved to cease using masculine pronouns when referring to God. The scamps.

    So, I guess the ruse is up, Jeshua. Fun while it lasted, but I expect you’ll just have to go bi and fit in with what wome . . . I mean, the times.

    Source:

    http://www.dailycrow.com/daily-updates-2/

  39. RichardP says:

    Consider a small world of only two people. One is the help; the other is the helped. Based on the clear and simple definition of the words “help” and “helped”, which one gives instructions? Which one follows those instructions?

    That is the dynamic that God established in Genesis. He created one to be the help, the other to be the helped. He created one to give instructions, the other to carry out the instructions.

    Whatever is said in the New Testament cannot redefine this dynamic that God created. But, by focusing on stuff in the New Testament, and then arguing about it, it becomes very easy to draw folks’ attention away from what God actually said in Genesis. He did not say to lead. He did not say to submit. He said one would help, the other would be helped.

    In that simple dynamic, which one gives the instructions? Which one carries out the instructions? If you want to create a union of which God says “therefore what God hath joined together …” you best be willing to do what God created you for. If you are not willing, you best not get married.

    That’s pretty simple. And I didn’t even have to write a book to get God’s point across.

  40. Deansdale says:

    A “servant leader” can only serve his family as long as it obeys him. Submitting to the leader is not optional, even a servant leader must be submitted to in order for things to work properly.

  41. Jim says:

    See, even calling it “servant leadership” isn’t enough to satisfy rebellious women.

    Cunts are gonna cunt. Put them in their place by force of law or they will do it to you (which should be incredibly obvious by now). Simple.

  42. feeriker says:

    God is gonna lay some ugly surprises on a whole lot of “pastors” who insist on perverting His Word out of greed, cowardice, or ignorance.

    This Farce character isn’t even trying to hide what he’s doing.

  43. Kevin says:

    He is afraid of the terrifying idea that the husband should lead 1% of the time. At least he knows his audience will be appalled at that prospect as well because even 1% suggests somewhere some woman might have to submit. And that is a horrible indignity no modern woman should suffer. So if men could actually in practice just drop even that theoretical 1% they could all live in peace under their wives dominion.

  44. mrteebs says:

    Hysterical. Force’s wrap-up is to basically say, “See – I am going to throw this ball AS HARD AS I POSSIBLY CAN. Did I mention I played AAA ball? 97 mph fastball back in the day? Most people hold back – but NOT ME. I’m a fearless man of God with an arm of steel who’s not afraid to use it.”

    Meanwhile, he has spent the other 95% of the article ensuring that what he is actually throwing is a Nerf, not a regulation ball.

  45. Patrick says:

    “And when you do finally decide, know it is because the decision defaults to you at the last second because any bad results will be your fault anyway.”

    Sounds about right. The 1% is a wife’s escape hatch to make the husband a patsy when things go awry.

  46. Paul says:

    @Jeff Strand

    The encyclical has some valid points, but on others I have a different viewpoint

    For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.

    Actually, the whole imagery of headship is based on the image of the human body. The head controls the body and determines its course, the body follows the commands of the head. Furthermore, there is the one-flesh-ness of husband and wife, where “flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones” is re-joined again in marriage. They are no longer two but one. Therefore when husbands are told to love their wives as their own bodies, it is said “he who loves his wife loves himself”. Similarly, the Christ nourishes and cherishes the Church, which is called His own flesh.

    Therefore the proper image is to speak of the man as the head, and the wife as the body.
    But we can also recognize there are two separate physical bodies, and hence, to show the spiritual reality of the one-flesh-ness, we are called to show in our behaviors the head-body relationship by husbands leading their wives and wives submitting to their husbands.

    To talk about the woman as the heart, and as main carrier of love is to create a false image as if the man as head represents the ratio and the woman as heart represents emotions. Furthermore it falsely asserts the man is less capable of love compared than the woman. This falsely elevates woman into a superior position above man, because we all know that the greatest command is to love.

    Now I can appreciate that women are usually more relationship-oriented and men more often task-oriented, and therefore the women play an important role in binding the family together, and offer “warmth” in the family houses (as a side note: check ancient-hebrew.org which explains the hebrew word for mother as literally “glue” that binds the family). But let society appreciate and recognize the task-oriented and leadership role of the man in the house again. The churches could be leading by example here, but usually do not.

  47. Godly Alpha says:

    I think the more subtle rejection of headship is the fact that a wife can argue with her husband about decisions for days, weeks, and months and this pastor doesn’t seem to be bothered by it. This is unacceptable. Women often want to “discuss” matters but what they mean is they want to debate. This is defiance. Don’t permit it. A leader doesn’t argue for months. He makes a decision and sticks to it, no matter how painful.

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