By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 31, 2010 ( – It's a concept largely discarded as an antiquated view of gender roles, even in most Christian circles: the notion that a husband leading the home is the best way to keep a family running smoothly.

Yet Monsignor Charles Pope, a blogger for the Archdiocese of Washington, pointed out in a post earlier this month that rejecting this model is at the root of “one of the biggest problems today in marriage.” This Bible-based tradition, he says, is vital for couples hoping to dodge the destructive “power struggle” of the modern marriage situation.

“Marriage makes two people one. The trouble comes in determining which one,” wrote Pope.

“God establishes a husband in authority in the home,” he wrote. “Every organism and organization requires headship. A creature with two heads is a freak. A creature with no head is dead.”

Pope notes that the correct notion of a husband's leadership “is not a worldly, autocratic authority but a Christian, servant based authority (Cf Mark 10:41-45).”

“It does not follow that the husband always 'gets his way.' Rather, if he is smart, he listens carefully to his wife and her wisdom,” he continued. “Practically speaking women have great authority in the home and its daily running and a smart husband will not seek to micromanage and usurp his wife’s role and her practical authority there and with the children.

“But in the end, two have to become one. Oneness requires headship, common faith, shared fear of the Lord, and a heartfelt appreciation for the gifts of each.”