Someone has said the difference between courtship and marriage is the difference between pictures in the seed catalog and what comes up. Some of us have been disappointed by what comes up in our homes. Maybe we need to learn how to cultivate a marriage.
You cannot function in any area—church, work, school, or your home—if you don’t understand and aren’t willing to be under authority. Imagine the chaos if we tried to live without the laws God established for society. Imagine an army that didn’t understand who had what responsibilities. It would collapse. God wants to give us Kingdom authority, but He won’t give authority to those with a rebellious spirit.
The foundational problem in America today is in the family—primarily with husbands who haven’t understood the awesome responsibilities God has assigned them in the home.
God’s Word says, “For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the Church; and He [Christ] is the Savior of the body” (Ephesians 5:23).
What Jesus is to the Church, a husband must be to his home. If you don’t understand that and exercise the authority God has assigned, you’ll miss an incredible blessing.
Since the problem begins with the husband’s role, here are a husband’s three major responsibilities:
1. Servant Leadership
Those two words are linked on purpose. A home needs a head. Anything with no head is dead; anything with two heads is a freak. God established headship in the home as the husband’s responsibility. That doesn’t mean he’s a dictator, using the Bible like a club. As Sovereign Lord of the Church, has Jesus Christ ever forced you to do anything? Not once. He’s not the dictator of the Church; He’s the head.
The Bible says, “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
There’s no need for dictatorship among equals. Jesus is co-equal and co-eternal within the Trinity. Today, He is seated at the right hand of the Father on the throne, submitted to the Father because of love. So it should be in our homes. Husbands carry the weight of responsibility for the home just as Jesus does for His Church. As head of the home, the husband isn’t superior to his wife. In Christ, husbands and wives are equal. (See Galatians 3:28.)
But equality doesn’t mean sameness. The Bible is against the blending of genders. From the beginning, God created us male and female—different, not unequal—so He might make us one. In the home, gentlemen, the responsibility is on you. You cannot dodge it.
2. Sacrificial Love
Scripture says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
I’m to love my wife as Jesus loved the Church, and He died for the Church.
Sacrificial love is:
Not sexual passion. That’s part of married love, but this passion is something far deeper: emotion and commitment coming from the deepest part of your being.
Jesus loves the Church with a purifying love. Just as Christ is pastor, priest, and prophet to the Church, husbands are to intercede, teach, and lead in their homes.
Men are to protect their wives and children, (See Ephesians 5:28.) not just physically but also emotionally and spiritually. Satan wants to get at your family, but he can’t unless he comes through the husband, because he is the head, the door keeper. Stand in the place God put you as protector.
You provide for your wife’s emotional, physical, and spiritual needs (See Ephesians 5:29.) as you would your own body because she’s a part of you. Find those things God says make her radiantly beautiful: her patience, her love, her prayer life. Encourage and praise her for those.
3. Steadfast Loyalty
Love her as Christ loves. Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
She has become your very flesh and blood. (See Ephesians 5:30, 33.) Your wife is a member of your body (See Matthew 19:6).
When men begin to live with Servant Leadership, Sacrificial Love, and Steadfast Loyalty, wives will find it easier to submit. A wife can submit to a man willing to die for her and who shows it by the way he lives for her.
You say, “I don’t have what it takes.” Neither do I. The only way to fulfill Ephesians chapters 5 and 6 is to be filled with the Spirit. When you give your heart to Jesus Christ, submitting to Him, the Holy Spirit empowers you to love like Jesus. Then your home will be all God intends. Give your heart to Jesus so you can give your home to Him.
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