How did Christ demonstrate headship in his relationship to his bride (the church)? He DIED for her. Many non-believers (and sadly, Christians) read verses like,
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
(Ephesians 5:22 ESV)
and shudder. Why? If you think that’s hard to swallow, try this one on for size:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
(Ephesians 5:25-27 ESV)
That’s not a picture of a man lording over his wife like a slave master. The husband’s headship is a call to lead his wife by surrendering his life for her in the same way that Christ died for the church. Our culture has so perverted the idea of marriage that we can barely even see it as a good thing.
For a secularist, what good is marriage, anyway? Is marriage just a promise of fidelity and the hope for companionship? If that’s all it is, then I’d say look elsewhere, a pastor and a piece of paper from the state aren’t going to get you that.