There is an analogy I have heard a few times, including in church, and it really bothers me. I have decided that since this is my soap box, I can take a moment to address this, and you can join me for the ride.
I have heard it said that the man is “the head” of the family, but the woman is “the neck” and turns the head where she wants it to go. That really bothers me! My husband is the head of our family, and he is meant to be. I have spent some time thinking about this and I came up with my own metaphor. I believe that if we are to discuss this in a physically symbolic way I would suggest that we women are the heart of the body. That the head (logical, study, etc) and the heart (spiritual, feelings/intuition) working together create the best decisions for the body (family). When just the head rules or just the heart then things are out of balance. It makes me think of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Now I don’t really believe that men have no heart, just as I don’t believe that women don’t have any (figurative) heads. I think it is just stereotypical strengths for each group. Of course I know that speaking stereotypically can really get a person into trouble these days. Perhaps I should refer then to the stewardships that are divinely appointed to the different roles we take on as husband and wife, father and mother in our families. There is honor and beauty in fulfilling the mission that our Heavenly Father has set for me. I don’t feel the need to try to minimize the importance of my husband’s mission and role to try to raise my own up. It doesn’t need that. The moment someone tries to tell me my role does need that they are showing their own misconception that my role is less. It is most emphatically not. I rejoice in my womanhood, motherhood, wifehood.
I also must admit to finding it a little minimizing to be called a neck. I realize that the neck has an important job to do, physically speaking, but honestly, what would you think if your husband came up to you and said something like “My neck belongs to you.” How about “You are my neck-mate.” I don’t know, it just doesn’t “Wow!” me, kwim? Now, I know that it can mean something if someone has a “lump” in their throat. But, again, I don’t like the idea that someone would be thinking of me as being lumpy…. No matter how true that may be. No, I like the idea that I feel was whispered into my heart as I sat pondering why that metaphor bothered me so much. I will let my husband be the head…. I like being the heart.
Stand for Something.