What is the role of a godly husband?

Steve Webb

The position of the husband in the home and his related responsibilities are defined in principle in Ephesians 5:22, 28-31, as follows:
Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the church . . . Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wife as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it . . . So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church . . . For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shal1 be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
The husband is thus to love his wife above all others.

This doesn't mean that the only responsibility of the husband is to be head of the house. Also note that "head" does not mean master as in a master-slave relationship, nor does it mean a relationship like a general to a private in the army. It is more like a partnership where one is the leader, guide or director. Probably without exception the husband should consult his wife when making important decisions, and be willing to accept her guidance in areas where she has greater expertise and knowledge.

Ephesians 5:25-28; and Colossians 3:19 teach that the husband is to be considerate and tender, cherishing his wife. Since love must be nourished, there is to be a warm demonstrative affectionate relationship. The husband has the responsibility of demonstrating his love and concern, and being verbal about it. Men are often not communicative enough and need to make sure they are sufficiently demonstrating their love mentally, verbally and physically. Your wife is a part of your body - you are a part of each other. For this reason Paul said, "Love your wife." He didn't say, "…if you want to." It is a commandment. If you fail to do this you are disobeying God. As you love her, you love yourself, and are fulfilling the role that God wanted you to have.

I Peter 3:7, teaches that the husband is to honor his wife. Honor means showing her respect, which involves courtesy, consideration, and emotional support. A husband must not hold his wife up to public ridicule by such things as cutting remarks. She is not perfect and neither are you, so do not expect perfection. As Ephesians 4:32 teaches, "forbear one another." This means being gentle. Controlling your temper, avoiding physical violence, and restraining a sharp tongue are ways by which you can exhibit forbearance.

Paul presents another responsibility of husbands in I Timothy 5:8: "If any provide not for his own, especially those of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel." Thus, the father should set an example for his family by working honestly and diligently. Marriage is partly a financial undertaking, and the husband has a responsibility to support his family. As husband, your earnings are not solely your own but belong to your wife as both of you raise your children.

As a final point, the husband must be involved in the discipline and rearing of their children. In I Timothy 3:3-5 we learn that men should wisely rule their own household. Ephesians 6:4 says, "Fathers provoke not your children to wrath," and similarly in Colossians 3:21, "Fathers provoke not your children to anger lest they be discouraged." The husband therefore does not leave discipline solely to his wife, but shares in the training of their children. He is to direct the household with concern for each member, and should see to their spiritual development by the life he lives and the direction in which he leads them.

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TagsChristian-Life  |  Family-Life  |  Personal-Relationships

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Published 1-9-14