During the Oct. 27 episode of their podcast “Thirty Minutes With the Perrys,” married couple Preston Perry and Jackie Hill Perry explore the challenges and blessings of biblical headship. After discussing God’s original design for marriage—and how sin messed that up—they talk about the trust and mutual respect necessary in any godly relationship.
The Perrys, married for eight years, are candid about their initial struggles with issues of submission and leadership. Christian marriage is an ongoing balancing act, they conclude, requiring mutual sacrifices, vulnerability, and lots of honest conversations. Thursday’s episode was part one of a two-part series about biblical headship.
Preston Perry is a Christian performing artist, and Jackie Hill Perry is an author, Bible teacher, and poet. In her book “Gay Girl Good God,” Jackie describes how God helped her overcome homosexuality.
Preston and Jackie Hill Perry: Sinfulness and Culture Corrupt the Concept of Submission
The Jackie Hill Perry and Preston Perry open the podcast episode by exploring various ways people twist and misunderstand submission. Jackie admits that the idea of headship in a marriage can be “off-putting and anxiety-inducing,” because “everyone wants authority.” In addition, she says many women have “negative experiences with men,” joking, “Y’all got issues!”
Today’s culture and negative perceptions from past relationships can interfere with God’s plan for marriage, says Preston. Looking at the first chapters of Genesis, he notes that God gave humanity dominion over creation; God didn’t give Adam dominion over Eve. Some people think the Genesis 3:16 curse of desiring your husband is “actually the beginning of patriarchy,” Jackie notes.
God’s “original design” was for spouses to come alongside one another and make Christlike sacrifices for one another, Preston says, but “human relationships are all jacked up because of the Fall.” Submission isn’t about “becoming less than,” he adds, but about helping each other fulfill the will God has for your lives.
That biblical definition is inconsistent with what we see today (and throughout history), Jackie points out. That, says Preston, is why “we’re supposed to correct that by modeling true Christlike headship and submission.” Doing so requires exhibiting sacrificial leadership, recognizing the other person’s strengths, and letting them “drive the boat” sometimes.
Leadership doesn’t mean the husband has to “dominate every single area” or “suffocate [the wife’s] strengths for the sake of your leadership,” says Preston. Rather, the husband needs to acknowledge the wife’s strengths and trust both her and God.