April 1, 1991 Issue
by Ronny F. Wade

Question: In 1 Cor 11:7 man is made in the image of God, and apparently not woman. Why? Because God is male? 

Answer: The verse in question reads: "For man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of man." The answer to the above question involves the unique position that man occupies in his relationship to God. Beginning in verse 3 Paul has explained the ladder of authority that exists i.e. God, Christ, man, and woman. Man was made in the image and likeness of God. (Gen 1:26,27) Many commentators feel that this refers, not only to the fact that man is a spirit being like God, but that he also has been given a position of dominion in the present order. Whether this be true or not, we know for certain that the male has been charged with duties and responsibilities that are peculiar to his position in the creative order. The blessings of the spiritual realm in Christ give him a place of authority in the home (Eph 5:23) and in the public administration of the gospel. (1 Tim 2:11-12) God created woman from one of Adam's ribs. But because she was taken from man, it is said that she is "the glory of man". We should not conclude from this, however, that the woman was not in any sense made in the image of God. To do so would be a mistake. We cannot take the comparison farther than Paul did. Every human being is made in the image of God. But man in a special way because of his position in creation and the authority invested in him by God. The passage, however does not teach that God is a male and that men today bear his image because they are males.

Question: How are a man's prayers hindered by not respecting his wife? 

Answer: "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." The idea expressed by Peter is that husbands should dwell with their wives in the marriage relationship, with due understanding of; and appreciation for not only the relationship itself, but their mutual obligations to each other as well. The woman is spoken as the "weaker vessel" not because of mental inferiority, but rather because of the fact that she is usually physically weaker than her husband. When husband and wife do not dwell together as the apostle says they should, then prayers are hindered i.e. short-circuited or interrupted. It is noteworthy that our writer says husbands should give honor unto the woman. This embraces the idea that she is to be accepted into this relationship with respect, dignity, and unity. Any attempt on the husband's part to belittle or make her an inferior partner to the relationship is dismissed as being inappropriate. For a man to treat his wife as he does one of the children strongly suggests that he is sadly lacking in the knowledge and behavior necessary to nourish the marriage and make it what the Lord would have it to be.

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