Come, Let us Reason
TIP OF THE SPEAR
What does that phrase mean to you?
The “Urban Dictionary” puts it this way: “An American idiom commonly used in military operations to mean the first soldiers to go into a war zone. In common usage it means the first to venture into a new endeavor. A trailblazer.”
The Bible uses a similar term to describe relationships between Christians in general and between husbands and wives in particular. The word is “Hupotasso”.
You will never find that word spelled, as such, in your Bible, though. It is the Greek word used for “Submit to” or “be subject to”.
The King James uses the word “submit” but, it reads this way in the New American Standard version of the Bible:
Ephesians 5:”21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
The word “Hupotasso” literally means:
1) to arrange under, to subordinate;
2) to subject, put in subjection
3) to subject one’s self, obey
4) to submit to one’s control
5) to yield to one’s admonition or advice
6) to obey, be subject.
HUPO – arrange under; TASSO – mutually agree upon
The intention of “submission or subjection” is found in the CONTEXT of the words in this chapter of Ephesians which encourages us to be wise and moral, kind and pure, gentle and forgiving.
The context is also found in the meaning of the words in these verses.
Specifically, “Hupotasso” comes from a Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”.
These troop formations were called a Phalanx. The Phalanx was the formation, usually in triangular form, in which The hoplite phalanx of the Archaic and Classical periods in Greece (c. 800–350 BC) was the formation in which the hoplites would line up in ranks in close order.
Hoplites were citizen-soldiers of Ancient Greek city-states who were primarily armed with spears and shields. Hoplite soldiers utilized the phalanx formation in order to be effective in war with fewer soldiers. The formation discouraged the soldiers from acting alone, for this would compromise the formation and minimize its strengths
The hoplites would lock their shields together, and the first few ranks of soldiers would project their spears out over the first rank of shields.
Those at the front were, what we would call today, THE TIP OF THE SPEAR or the POINT MAN. They presented the first defense against the enemy and were the first to engage the enemy and the first to take casualties.
The phalanx therefore presented a shield wall and a mass of spear points to the enemy. Making frontal assaults against it very difficult.
It also allowed a higher proportion of the soldiers to be actively engaged in combat at a given time rather than just those in the front rank.
This word, “Hupotasso”,
In non-military use,
is “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.
The Bible gives this as an example for husbands and wives to cooperate and to successfully navigate life and in waging wars against ‘their common enemy’, Satan.
The wife is fully engaged in the marriage relationship, but, God says the husband is to be the Tip of the Spear in order to protect and preserve and, if necessary, the first to fall.
Interestingly, Ephesians 5:22, “be subject to your own” uses the word “idios” which means, uniquely one’s own, peculiar to the individual. It is “stronger than the simple possessive pronoun (‘own’). This emphatic adjective means ‘private, personal’ “.
God gives each husband a wife, designed by God, Himself, to fulfill a role specifically for that husband. God gives the wife gifts, talents, abilities and a calling uniquely designed to serve God and to compliment and to complete the husband.
This is why the Bible says “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
“So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself”.
It is also why God says, ” Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
Neither, the husband nor the wife, can be made complete as persons, finding refuge, protection and provision as provided by God well as the God given ability to mature and sustain one another, until they understand this Spiritual principal and follow it.
Marriage has mutual strength through commitment and cooperation with one another under God’s Steady Hand.
Please take this to heart, dear ones. This message is so important.
The world and the Devil are deceiving the family in to thinking ‘what works for you is OK”. It is NOT OK. God’s design, His plan and His Word is what gives life, and life more abundant. Stop following the world and REASON through God’s Word. Understand it and live!
Your Brother and Friend,
PS: A great article and some excellent resources for marriage at https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/preparing-for-marriage/marriage-means-leaving-home-and-cleaving-to-each-other