9th April 2016
Alright guys… I’m sure there were a lot of sighs of relief last week when you found out that I was writing about a wife’s role in marriage.
Well, I hope you didn’t think, for a second, that you were off the hook.
Because were at it again this week. This time we are going to take a look at just what it means to be a Godly husband.
Wait… what? I thought Paul said that my wife had to submit to me. No. Matter. What.!!!
Well, yes… you are right.
Paul did write that wives are to submit to their husbands.
Oh… wait… Did you think that meant you are in control and can do whatever you want because Paul said you could?
Not even close brother. Not even close!
Let’s take a look at what Paul says about marriage…
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
(Ephesians 5:25-32 / New International Version)
Wait… you didn’t know that there was more to this passage beyond the wife having to submit to the husband? That’s not overly surprising.
Most men only care about that first part.
I’M IN CHARGE!!!!!!!!
YOU WILL DO AS I SAY, OR ELSE!
I’ve heard many “Christian” men tell me how their wives just don’t “get it”. They cant, for the life of them, get why their wives wont submit to them.
Could it be that you aren’t worth submitting to?
Yea… that’s right. I said it. And Ill say it again.
If you want your wife to submit to you, you need to be someone worth submitting to.
And here is another little secret life, apparently, hasn’t informed you of: If you have to force your control over her… you have no clue what being a husband is about. Period.
So, then, what does it mean to be a husband worth submitting to? What are some of the ways to lead your wife?
I’m glad you asked!
The first characteristic of a Godly husband (aka being worthy of her submission) is that you need to actually be a leader. Seems simple enough, right?
Let’s get one thing straight from the very get go. It is biblically correct that the husband is to be the leader of the marriage and family:
“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.”
(Ephesians 5:23 / English Standard Version)
“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God”
(1 Corinthians 11:3 / English Standard Version)
So, yes, you would be correct in your thinking that it is your God-given right to be the leader of your home. But let’s go back and look at those two verse for a second. Notice a common theme in both of them? While the man is the leader of the house, Christ is his leader.
So, here is the first key point (and I will get into this more later as well:
If you want to be be the leader, you better be following the Savior.
If you don’t know Jesus, don’t even bother trying to lead your home. Seriously. Put all of this on pause and talk to Jesus and ask Him to become your personal Lord and Savior. None of this works without the understanding that we are ALL servents to the Savior.
Now… with all this leadership talk being thrown around, it is vitally important to make this point abundantly clear… God has never, does not and never will view women as second-class:
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Nor does this mean that we, as husbands, are dominant over our wives.
If you EVER hit your wife, for ANY reason, you definitely don’t deserve to be a leader in your home. To be honest you aren’t even a man if you have ever laid a hand on your wife.
Famed theologian was quoted as saying this about the relationship between husband and wife:
“Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”
When we, as husbands, refuse to treat our wives as the precious gift from God that they are and as our helpmate (notice: not slave), we cause them to look for significance and value as a person elsewhere.
Our wives want and need us to lead them. They were never created to be leaders.
This has become a huge failure on our part. Men have become so wishy washy and effeminate that we no longer wish to lead.
Man up guys. Take the lead. Be a leader.
OK… so we have hammered that pretty hard.
Are there any other roles that husbands should fill?
You better believe it.
The next thing we, as men need to be sure to do, in order to be a man worth submitting to is that we are called to love our wives unconditionally.
Right about now, there is at least one guy reading this thinking to himself “Yep. Got this one taken care of… I’ve never cheated on her. That should just about cover that!”…
While, yes, we are told that we are only to share our body with only our wife, I’m pretty sure that Jesus guy upped the ante a whole bunch…
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
(Matthew 5:27-28 / New International Version)
Yea… so about that magazine you picked up on your last business trip… Or that internet site you cleared from your browser history… Or that cute secretary you flirt with every time you go to work…
Yea… According to Jesus and His rules, you have already committed adultery in your heart.
That’s not really in line with loving your wife unconditionally, is it?
(I’m going to leave the rest of that alone as that topic will be the next article in the series…)
So, then, what are some ways that we can show our wives that we love them unconditionally?
Here are a few ways we can start…
1. Show her that your love for her is not based on her performance – it is based on her worth as God’s gift to you.
- Look back to the words Paul penned about loving our wives… “As Christ loves the Church”. Luckily for us, His love for us is not dependent on our performance. If it was we would be in a world of hurt.
- If we are to love our wives the same way, we need to love them unconditionally. Never threaten to withhold you love if she doesn’t (enter “requirement” here) or is she (enter “offense” here).
2. Always make sure that her emotional tank is full!
- Never leave her in a situation where she needs to find reassurance or affirmation of her worth from anyone but you.
- Last week, I mentioned that men need their wives to be their number 1 fan… Guess what guys… Women need us to be their first and biggest giver of affirmation. Make sure she knows she is loved. Even if you just said it this morning. Say it again. Hold her hand in public. Let her snuggle up with you. Let her know you are humbled that God allowed you to have her.
- Show her that you value, respect and love her everyday.
3. Don’t just say that you love her. Show her through your actions.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
(1 John 3:18 / New International Version)
- While the words help reaffirm to her that you love her, she needs to see it in action as well.
- One of the best ways you can do this is by sacrificing for her. Instead of going to play golf with the boys, take the initiative and, instead, take the kids for the afternoon and give her the house to herself. Or, instead of hiring a babysitter and going to see a movie, put the kids to bed and just sit and talk with her. Listen to her hopes and dreams! Encourage her to reach for whatever star she want to reach for.
The last and, to me, most important role husbands serve is that of servant to our wives.
Now, I know a lot of the guys reading this are confused (admit it guys… were, oftentimes, definitely not the smarter of the two sexes!)… You are probably wondering why you should have to serve your wife if she is supposed to be submissive to you, right?
Well, lets dig into God’s Word and see if we can clear this up…
“…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
(Matthew 20:28 / New International Version)
“rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.”
(Philippians 2:7 / New International Version)
As we see here, Jesus came to serve… not to be served. And if we are called to be like Jesus what makes us think that the same isn’t true for us?
Being a leader no longer means being served. Jesus came and flipped it all around. It means that we are to serve others.
This especially means our wives!
To be able to serve our wives, we have to know them. This means being intentional in getting to know them! Take the time to learn everything you can about her.
Here is a good litmus test…
If you can tell a person more about your favorite sports team or athelete than you can about your wife… your husband game is weak.
Talk to her! Learn about what her hopes and dreams are.
But once you do that, take it to the next step (and here is my next challenge)!
What are you doing to help her cultivate them?
What are you willing to give up for her?
The other way that we serve our wives is by providing for her. This may seem obvious but in today’s society, things are backwards!
How many times have you read or heard about how its now time for the husband to stay home and take care of the kids so that the wife can go work?
If we are to serve her, we need to provide for her.
Guys… Assume responsibility for meeting your wife’s (and family’s) needs
“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
(1 Timothy 5:8 / New International Version)
But providing for your wife doesn’t just revolve around monetary things. In addition to that we must be providing for them spiritually.
And, honestly, this is more important than any monetary support we could ever provide.
As the leader of the house, we are tasked with modeling a Godly character, praying with AND for her and spending time with her in God’s Word.
Guys… it really all comes down to this:
“ Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”
(Ephesians 5:25 / New International Version)
We are called to love our wives like Christ loves the Church.
Think about what that means.
What did Christ do for us? He died for us!
There should be absolutely nothing you are not willing to do for your wife, up to and including dying for her. Nothing.