Drinking Deeply

Friday, September 01, 2006 at 9:04 PM

As Christ loved the church

Random thoughts on a husband's duties.

Lead – The husband is commanded to lead the wife. This is especially true in the spiritual realm. Paul gives the command that women are not to speak in the church, but rather are to ask their husbands.(1 Cor. 14:34-35) Whatever we believe of the relevancy of those commands, we must acknowledge that husbands still are commanded to be able to lead their wives spiritually. Adam is the first one called out in the Garden (Genesis 3:8-13). The husband is also responsible for promises made by the wife and his daughters (Numbers 30). Husbands are also commanded to bring up their children in discipline and fear of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). All of these point to the great responsibility given to the husband to lead the family. To he whom much has been given, much will be demanded.

Faithfulness – Not only must the husband be strong in faith, capable to lead his wife and his household, but he must also be faithful to her, (even if she does not return the favor!), and with her, produce godly offspring as the Lord desires (Malachi 2:16)

Ephesians 5

25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30because we are members of his body. 31"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Sacrifice - The life of a husband is to be characterized by loving sacrifice. Christ gave up his body while the church was still sinners. The husband should also be willing to do the same, not just a physical life, but one's entire life lived out in sacrifice (One might draw an analogy to the active righteousness of Christ, that was for us too!). This means going without personal desires in order to satisfies the wife's desires. Going without a coat so she can be warm. Small things, and great things as well. Is he willing to sacrifice his life for her? The husband should love his wife as his own body. That's huge! Nourish, cherishes, treasure, just as Christ does the church! A husband's love for God cannot rise much higher than his love for his wife.

As I have said that a wife should submit even to a husband who doesn't love her, a husband should sacrifice (just as Christ did) even if the wife is not submissive. That means even if she is nagging, angry, a non-believer, rebellious. He should still put her sanctification and her needs before his, making that sacrifice and so imitate Christ. It would be better to have a corner of a rooftop than live with a quarrelsome wife, but if you do have a quarrelsome wife, then you still have to sacrifice for her! Or was Christ's sacrifice a conditional one? One based upon the submission of the church? Of course not! A husband's life should be joyfully and willingly laid down for his wife and her sanctification.

1 Peter 3:7

7Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you[a] of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Know the wife, her strengths, weaknesses, talents, desires, needs, so forth and treat her accordingly. With her weaknesses (as she's a sinner just like you are), seek to complement them and protect her from them. Honor wives as weaker vessel. Weaker possibly because they are in the weaker role, called to submit? Or maybe just physical strength? But anyway, the call is to honor such a wife. Not lord it over her, not force her to one's every beck and call, but honor such a wife. The last shall be first, and the greatest will be servant of all. She's in a role where God has called her to serve. Are you going to act like a Gentile with your position or a Christian?

Personally, I see the husband's call just as great as that of the wife. Yes, there are ugly times when wives are to submit to a sinful authority. But a husband's going to be held responsible for that sinful authority, and in fact, for every decision that household makes, whether he wants to be held responsible or not. He's asked to lay down his life for his wife, to sacrifice himself for her sanctification, to cherish her more than himself.

Finally, and I mention this because it seems to be brought up a lot, I don't see Scriptual evidence that the husband is supposed to submit to his wife. He's to sacrifice for her, but not commanded to submit to her. One exception: 1 Cor. 7:3. I have previously posted on Ephesians 5:21.

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Anonymous Panayiota said...

At my girls bible study we looked at James 3:13-18, talking about wisdom. Here's a verse:

17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

wisdom is submissive, women submit to husbands, therefore women are wise :)  

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Blogger Wielding the Sword said...

Loved it :)  

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