Equality is observed in the first marriage as Adam and Eve were each created in the image of God and then given co-regency over the created order (Genesis 1:26-28). For believers in Christ, marriage is a covenant of companionship between two spiritually equal human beings (Galatians 3:26-28).
Yet equality does not eliminate roles in marriage and roles should never diminish the call to mutual love and respect.
According to Scripture, the husband bears primary responsibility to lead the home in a God-glorifying way. His leadership clearly involves authority and should be honored by his wife and family (Ephesians 5:22-24, 33; 6:1-3). His authority, however, must be based on love (see: Ephesians 5:25, 33, w/ John 10:11-13; I Corinthians 13:4-8a) and thoughtful consideration (see: Philippians 2:3-5). Scripture issues a strong warning to husbands who treat their wives with insensitivity (see I Peter 3:7).
Husbands must never forget that they are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Cultural limitations or biases should not be placed on this command any more than on the command for wives to submit to and respect their husbands. Biblical requirements for male leadership in the home were not related to or conditioned on cultural factors.