Home feminism The Man is the Head…But the Woman is the Neck

The Man is the Head…But the Woman is the Neck

by Kelly Crawford

the man is the head but the woman is the neck

“Ma, Dad is so stubborn. What he says goes. “Ah, the man is the head of the house!”

Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.”

This is one of my favorite lines from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” And although it’s meant to be comical, I wanted to point out truth in it, the way God intended.

God ordained that a wife would have tremendous power in her marriage, even as she willingly submits to her husband.

God, once again, reveals His power of irony which flies in the face of reason and the world’s methods. He says, obey Me, and I will give you the desires of your heart.

So while so many women on a crusade for “freedom, independence and power” struggle to make their case, God shakes His head…”Just do it My way.” This is one of several secrets to a happy marriage.

In a meek and gentle spirit is power. In a spirit of willing submission is influence. In the act of deference is freedom and preference.

God never says that women are less. Quite the opposite. Scripture calls women “the glory of man.” And because man is the glory of God, we are literally “the glory of the glory.” His crowning creation. (1 Corinthians 11:7)

Why do we feel the need to redefine His perfect Word? God so carefully designed the marital relationship that if we obey, we ultimately do have a great influence in our home…in fact, the greatest. For good or for bad. He made us the neck! That’s no little task, ladies.

And yes, a husband is given the grave responsibility as the head to guide and lead in total humility, love and submission to the Father, daily laying down his life, just as Christ did. Only then is he obeying Scripture’s command for him.

There is beauty, peace and harmony when we submit to God’s order. But we must remember how powerful our influence over our husbands is, and be careful to exercise that power with wisdom and godliness. In many ways, as the neck, we lead our husbands.

And may we all find contentment as our Lord gave us example…”I came to do the will of Him who sent me.” Not his own will…but “Thine be done.”


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Catherine R. December 21, 2008 - 9:05 pm

I love that movie and as someone who is half Greek, I can assure you, there’s a lot of truth to that movie…which is why I have committed a major crime by not marrying a “nice Greek man”! I have diluted the Greekness for future generations.

Yes, there’s a lot of truth to what those women say and it’s not like it’s some major brainiac insightful breakthrough, apparently that stuff just used to be common sense/ wisdom. NOT anymore, that’s for sure.

Angela December 21, 2008 - 10:36 pm

So very true. There is so much freedom in following God’s ways. I am a recovering feminist and as someone who has lived on both sides, His ways are infinitely better.

amy December 22, 2008 - 12:55 am

Great post Kelly, and so very true!

Mommy Reg December 22, 2008 - 1:08 am

Oh, that is also my favorite line in the movie too! We do have a lot of power, but with that comes a responsibility to not put our selfish ambitions in front of God’s best as we “turn our man’s head.”

Mrs. Lady Sofia December 22, 2008 - 3:40 am

You are definately correct – God’s word found in the scriptures of the bible are the only wisdom of the world. Blogs are nice, but they are NOT scripture! When we don’t understand something or want to know God’s stance on the matter, we need to be going to our bibles and searching God out in prayer. It’s so easy to reach out and be persuaded by worldly man-made views. But God has asked us to put our faith in him and not “man” because the laws of the world will fade away, but God’s laws will stand forever.

Terry @ Breathing Grace December 22, 2008 - 9:00 am

For the life of me, Kelly, I can NOT figure out why women, CHRISTIAN women, can’t see the beauty of God’s design for marriage. And why the idea of submission in marraige is automatically equated with the idea of opression and repression. I feel anything BUT. In those few times when I do, it’s more often than not the fruit of my own lack of disciplne, or selfishness, or prayerlessness. Certainly not a result of lovingly submitting to my Lord by lovingly submitting to my husband.

Of course, it IS human nature to insist on the “freedom” that comes from having our own way. If that’s the life we choose, then it would do us well to at least admit that we are following the dictates of our own hearts rather than insisting on putting a Christian spin on it, because the Bible is clear: If we are to follow Christ we MUST deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him.

Michelle (She Looketh Well) December 22, 2008 - 9:05 am

Oh Kelly,
You are so right on. I too ache for the women I know who are searching for this ‘freedom’. I am so thankful for the revelation of the Truth in this area.

I LOVED that movie and that line! Never thought of it that way, but it is so true!

Mrs. Anna T December 22, 2008 - 9:38 am

Greek? I was sure that’s a Russian saying! :o) Oh well. I suppose great minds all think alike. :o)

Word Warrior December 22, 2008 - 6:41 pm


“Of course, it IS human nature to insist on the “freedom” that comes from having our own way. If that’s the life we choose, then it would do us well to at least admit that we are following the dictates of our own hearts rather than insisting on putting a Christian spin on it, because the Bible is clear: If we are to follow Christ we MUST deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him.”

That is so well-stated! I agree completely!

authenticallyme December 27, 2008 - 3:19 pm

I see what everyone is saying, but I personally DO love Gods design for the marriage, and the husband and wife both playing different complimentary ‘parts’ (for lack of a better word). It isnt my ‘part’ that every caused me grief….it was being abused in ding my part.

I do not see mamny women who are treated like queens running around, speaking ill-ly about marriage or their husbands being allowed to be their ‘head’. Typically, it is the abused or oppressed women who get cnfused as to why, when they try to *obey* their husbands, or give them headship, why it makes for a miserable marriage? My ‘subnitting’ to my husband only made things terribly worse. I see and know, firsthandedly, many fearful women who dont want to be blamed for their messed up marriage, so they keep hubby happy by yet more obedience, and never questioning. Had I forever adopted that as b eautfiul marital submission, my husband might be 6 feet under today……it was my blatant standing up against him and his sin, and ultimately giving him the boot-that has possibly now began him waking up to what was REALLY occuring under our roof.

What ‘submission’ is being spoke of here? What is a husband is watching an R rated movie, in front of the children? What if he is drinking and playing poker in front of the children? What is he yells at them and shames them? What is he spanks them in anger, leaving bruises and marks, as a way of life? What is he cusses at them and name calls them? I can name 5 women immediately off the top of my head whose husbands do this….this type of treatment, by a husband/father, who was put there to love and protect-embitters people, and the bible warns against this. It is only consequential that a woman who has been treated poorly by her husband, father, or any authority in her life (mothers included here-im not man bashing)…will often be frustrated, confused, and angry at the call to ‘obey’. If she WERENT angry, something would clearly be wrong, because this type of treatment SHOULD make us all very angry.

I am just asking those of you who have not characteristically been treated, on a daily basis, like this by a husband, to consider that some of us are and were. It is nt the institution of marriage these women are likely against-or the concept of submission-but the flat out unruly, brash, insensitivity, and pleasure seeking on the husbands part that has left them bewildered. When I was going through this, my conscience KNEW that letting hubby have his way with me, the house, the kids even more would just breed more destruction.

Things are not always as they seem. Many of my choices in life-to not have more kids, to not homeschool any longer-were based on the ills on my marriage that needed working on. Often things in a marriage need to be healthy and ‘aligned’ in order for both people to move forward in aligning all the other things God wants them to do. It is not an excuse; it is a reason.

I am surmising that some of ‘us’ women who dont look like we are obeying, if you write it down on papaer….are really trying. We can only do what we can do-we cant speak for both people within the marriage, and nor am I held responsible for not being able to get my husband in line. I wonder if the women who you see acting in such a manner, if you were to sit down and have a heart to heart talk with them-if you may not learn why they feel this way? I find that understanding a person often reveals the *whys*, in their situation or experience-they feel the way they do. Only when those reasons are recognized, and made aware, can people move forward into seeking what God wants from them. Until I came face-to-face with the craziness going on in my household, and accepted its reality, and lifted my blinders-only THEN could I manuever myself in the right direction, and try to heal and allow myself to believe Gods ways always work…regardless if my marriage wasnt working.

authenticallyme December 27, 2008 - 3:21 pm

Gosh, I am apologizing on behalf on my quick impatient fingers. That last post was a typogrpahical disaster…….yikes…

Jennifer January 4, 2009 - 6:48 pm

Excellent post, Kelly. Thank you

Fred February 20, 2009 - 11:33 pm

As for the ‘favourite line from the movie’, remember that the Central Nervous System is located in the brain, and ‘it’ is what ultimately sends the signal to the neck muscles, to turn. However, the man’s or woman’s emotions and thoughts are what govern the generation of all actions.

As for the modern habit of so many millions of women seeking to denegrate men in as many ways as posible, I do not think that is biblically prescribed. If those women who so indulge wish to ‘get back’ at men for the suffering they caused them, these women could effectively and collectively lobby government to enact legislation designed to force the men to attend monitored/therapeutic sessions in which the women could constructively work toward regaining the dignity they had stolen from them (part of the process being mandated the right to confront their tormentor(s), and to have the men ‘sincerely’ apologize, make amends and make any restitution found to be necessary).

The modern media productions, which continually show men to be emasculated merely perpetuate the myth that bullying is ok.

As a man who in my school years was taunted, bullied, beaten up, sexually assaulted, suffered constructive emotional abandonment at home from my mother and sister, and who was emotionally mistreated by my father, I can speak with total authority and knowledge when I say that bullying is wrong, and that permitting the victims to ‘seek their revenge’ merely continues a very bad learned habit which society has adopted as a norm.

Carla October 18, 2017 - 12:05 am



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