Lead: A Godly Husband’s Responsibility
I absolutely love my small group at church. I truly enjoy almost every study series we undertake. I do not enjoy most marriage Bible study series. However original they try to be, whatever the perspective they try to take, at the end of the day, they are all about the same. We are doing a marriage study this summer. Fortunately, we operate on a different schedule for the summer and meet fewer times for the study. One thing we are doing differently is the men and women are meeting separately. We are discussing the same topic; we are just discussing the topic from the perspective of the individual sex.
This past week the men discussed the responsibilities of a godly husband. As I was preparing the Bible study and discussion notes, I came to the opinion that all of a husband’s responsibilities can be distilled down to two: lead and love. The husband’s leadership role does not denote inequality between the wife and him. The leadership role denotes his responsibility to meet the needs of his wife and guide his family.
I want to share the passages from the Bible that we looked at and then some general observations we made about the Christian husband’s responsibility to lead. Many of the observations were inspired by “Life 101: Marriage Edition” by Bob and Ann Livesay. I want to encourage any Christian husband to pick a couple of the observations that you most need to improve on in your marriage and work on those specifically. It should help in your relationship with your wife.
Ephesians 5:21-33 (New Living Translation)
21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body.
31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
1 Corinthians 11:3 (New Living Translation)
But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
1 Peter 3:1-2, 7 (New Living Translation)
1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.
7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
General Observations for Christian Husbands
1. God intends for man to be the head of the household. This is God’s divine design.
2. Leadership does not imply superiority over the wife or inequality. The leadership role simply describes the function of the man in his family.
3. A Christian leader is always a servant leader, so the role of a Christian husband is to serve his wife and children.
4. The mark of a leader is that he makes decisions. Sometimes this means that a man must be willing to step outside his comfort zone as he attempts to bring order out of chaos.
5. The wife needs protection and direction (1 Timothy 2:12-15), and the husband should provide it.
6. The wife will resist the husband’s leadership (Genesis 3:16), but in spite of this fact, God still expects the husband to lead.
7. The Christian husband should never be detached from his family; he should always be engaged and involved , feeling the pulse of the family.
8. Husbands are commanded to treat their wives in an “understanding way”. The wives are described as “weaker than you are” (1 Peter 3:7). Thus, women are, by nature, more vulnerable and more sensitive. They should be treated more tenderly than men.
9. Because women are different from men (both emotionally and physically), God intends for women to be treated differently, especially by their husbands.
10. Failure to treat your wife with honor and understanding will have a negative impact on your relationship with God.
Which of these will you work on?