By: Dr. Ab and Karen Abercrombie
Excerpt taken from Christian Shrinks Answer ALL Your Questions…(No Couch Required), Xulon Press, 2005
What does the Bible say about the role of the husband in the home?
Biblically, the man is called to be the priest of his home. He is directed to love, honor, protect, and lead; indeed he is held to a very high standard of accountability. One of the first instructions given to the husband is the most basic, yet the most demanding:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. (Eph 5:25)
This scripture is a powerful calling. It is an instruction to minister to our home as Christ ministered to the church. If we are to love as Jesus loved, then we are to be close and active, not distant and passive.
There was nothing passive about our Lord’s love for us. God could have loved us from the heavens, but instead drew near and demonstrated His love in an active, behavioral expression.
Jesus touched (Matt 8:1-3); He healed (Matt 14:14); He instructed (Mark 10:1); He provided (Mark 6:37-44); He prayed (John 17:13-21); He forgave (Matt 9:2); He resisted temptation (Heb 4:15); He served (Mark 10:45); and finally, He sacrificed all (John 19:30).
Using our Savior as the template of comparison, allow us to inquire:
- Do you touch your wife as Jesus touched? His touch was filled with understanding and compassion. It was a touch that gave but did not take. Touching your wife physically in this way assures her of your commitment and love for her (2 Cor 7:3).
- When your wife is in pain, do you promote healing? Our wives need to know they can bring their injuries and needs to us. They need us to be engaged, interested, and invested in reestablishing their peace (Gal 6:2).
- As the spiritual leader of the home, is your study of God’s Word faithful so that you can instruct and encourage your wife? A man cannot feed others unless he is fed. Your fervent attention to learning the Bible will allow you to lead your family from a Christian worldview and will transform not only your message but also your heart (Heb 4:12, 1 Cor 14:35).
- Are you providing for your family’s financial needs and security? So many families today are overburdened by debt and commitments beyond their means, creating tremendous stress. Financial problems are cited as the second leading cause of divorce. Fiscal responsibility and leadership from the husband is central to protecting the home (1 Tim 5:8).
- Are you in prayer for your wife and with your wife? Do you make it a priority to lift her needs to God and to share the intimacy of prayer together? Research tells us that less than 1 percent of couples who regularly pray together get divorced (Jas 5:16).
- Do you forgive as Christ forgave? Can you resolve and release the issues that divide you, or do you harbor them in your heart, allowing anger and sin to take root? Studies tell us that the capacity to forgive is fundamental to the maintenance of good healthy relationships (Eph 4:26-27).
- When temptation comes, what do you do? There is no safe level of thought or deed when it comes to sin. Any compromise or concession made by the man will affect his family (Gal 5:9). Boundaries are essential if we are to preserve the marital covenant. We must actively pursue God’s cover and protection for our homes on a daily basis (Eph 6:10-18).
- How do you serve your bride? Whether in small matters or large, serving our wives is one of the foremost ways to demonstrate honor. It expresses consideration, it defines her as valuable, and it produces a climate of mutual respect and loyalty. Do something unexpected that reminds her of her precious place in your life (John 13:14-15).
- Finally, is your love sacrificial? Jesus gave everything for those entrusted to His care, and husbands are called to do the same (Luke 9:23). What can you sacrifice today that will bless your wife? Is it time at work, hours watching T.V., attitudes or ambitions, behaviors or habits? If it limits or injures the marriage, it needs to go.