My studies into the Greek word hupotasso, which we translate submit or subject, led to learning that it was a military term—soldiers who arrange themselves under a leader. Upon waking one morning, a word popped into my mind and I said it aloud, “Oh, support!”
If you read Ephesians in its entirety, the theme was preparing the saints for battle against this corrupted existence, not just how to live life. We, in the flesh, forget we are at war. Believers must support one another as we support Christ’s continuing mission in the Earth.
The word for head in Hebrew is rosh (רֹאשׁ), meaning leader or first. For example, Rosh Hashanah is not just a holiday [Yom Teruah (יוֹם תְּרוּעָה)], but the start of the Jewish calendar. Moses and the Israelites chose certain men, famed for their good character, as heads of the people (Exodus 18:25, Numbers 1:16, Deuteronomy 1:15). Let us break down the word by each of its Paleo-Hebrew hieroglyphs:
The head of the Ekklesia is the First Power determined to fulfill all the Father has desired; the Beginning of His Father’s strength that fed us the Word; the Top Leader who is a double-edged sword. According to the example Yahshua set, His service to others was His means of leadership, and He said many times, “Follow me.”
John 13:15 I have set you an example so that you should do as I have done for you.
1 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore I urge you to imitate me.
1 Corinthians 11:1
You are to imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:6
And you became imitators of us and of YHWH when you welcomed the message with the joy of the Holy Spirit, in spite of your great suffering.
2 Thessalonians 3:9 Not that we lack this right, but we wanted to offer ourselves as an example for you to imitate.
Philippians 3:17 Join one another in following my example, brothers, and carefully observe those who walk according to the pattern we set for you.
Philippians 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
For us mere humans, the man was first; therefore, he better set the example.
Only Yahshua succeed. Only through Christ and the Holy Spirit can anyone succeed, never through humans.
If the husband sets the example via the Spirit, then the wife has something to support. In turn, the husband must provide what the wife needs in order to support him, whether it is emotional, financial, mental, physical, or spiritual. That is agapé (love in action). Yes, this is a mutual thing, just like the heart needs its cells to their job to keep a body alive. This is like war—making plans, having the equipment, ready to fight.
Matthew 20 (BSB)
25But Jesus called them aside and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. 26It shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10 (BSB)
42So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. 43But it shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Luke 22 (BSB)
25So Jesus declared, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in authority over them call themselves benefactors. 26But you shall not be like them. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who leads like the one who serves. 27For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines? But I am among you as one who serves.”
1 Peter 5 (BSB)
1As a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings, and a partaker of the glory to be revealed, I appeal to the elders among you: 2Be shepherds of God’s flock that is among you, watching over them not out of compulsion, but because it is God’s will; not out of greed, but out of eagerness; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
2 Corinthians 1:24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we are fellow workers with you for your joy, because it is by faith that you stand firm.
Yahshua did not want us to lord ourselves over one another like the Gentiles did. He did not call anyone to be passive, either (Follow me is a battle cry). Even Abraham heeded the voice of Sarah. Paul told the readers of Romans to give Phoebe whatever she needed. Praise, pray, serve, support, encourage, and state your needs. Get your egos out of the way (Deny yourselves and take up your cross).
Deuteronomy 28:13 (BSB) YHWH will make you the head [the example for the nations] and not the tail; you will only move upward and never downward, if you hear and carefully follow the commandments of YHWH Elohim, which I am giving you today.
For those with an unbelieving spouse or one weak in faith, set the example as the Holy Spirit guides you, not by playing Holy Spirit. Pray and trust the Father to do His work in your spouse. Keep the atmosphere full of Him by daily worship and service. Even the spiritual weaker spouse will be used by Yah for your benefit.
Etch this into your brains: your validation come from Yah, the Creator of all. No believer is greater than another in His sight; only your willingness to follow Him sets you apart from others. Your worth, your specialness, your holiness, your everything is His work. Give Him credit and your effort in doing what He wants from you (aka praise and glory). Amen.