“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.”
1 Peter 3:7 NLT
“As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her”
Ephesians 5:24-25 NLT
Recently I got into a debate with a Twitter personality who has been warping the biblical guidelines God has given us for how to have a successful marriage. She has taken the concept of submit and has turned the wife into the slave of the husband down to her very physique which, according to this person, should be kept slim or else the husband has every reason to cheat.
Watching God’s structure for a good marriage be so drastically ripped out of context and twisted always gets my blood boiling. A relationship between two sinful humans is hard enough without all of these false ideas skewing the instructions we have that help make a marriage work.
The only way for me to calm down is to do my own Bible study and set the record straight. Today we will focus on the head of the family, the husband, and tomorrow we will look at the wife’s role.
The Bible says the man is the head of the family:
“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.”
Ephesians 5:23 NLT
At the end of the day when you have two people trying to work together someone has to have the final say. A ship can’t have two captions and unfortunately that includes relationships. Sorry, couldn’t pass up a bad pun.
Being the head of the household isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, however.
Who did God hold accountable when Abraham told Sarah to lie to Abimelech and say she was Abraham’s sister?
Abraham, that’s who.
Sarah obeyed her husband and wasn’t held accountable. (Genesis 20:1-16)
For that matter who did God hold accountable when Sarah doubted she’d ever have a baby and told Abraham to take her servant to bed?
Yeah, Abraham, again.
Sarah was wrong to doubt God, but Abraham was wrong to fall for his wife’s doubt. (Genesis 16:1-16) Being the head of the family means being the one to take the punishment when the family isn’t following God.
Men are also told to loves their wives as Christ loves the church.
“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her”
Ephesians 5:25 NLT
How does Christ love the church?
“and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.”
1 John 3:22 NASB
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
Philippians 4:6 NLT
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
Romans 5:8 NLT
“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.””
1 Peter 3:12 NLT
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”
Romans 8:38 NLT
“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
1 John 4:10 NLT
God’s love for us is self sacrificial. He gave up His only son for us. Not just that, but He loved us first, long before we loved him.
He asks us to come to Him in prayer, to bring Him our worries and our requests and He listens to us.
God’s love is unconditional. Nothing can separate us from His love.
That’s how God expects a husband to love his wife.
That is not a master slave relationship. That is not ruling the home with an iron fist. That is not dismissing the wife’s thoughts or cares because she’s the weaker vessel. Being the head of the family involves a lot of sacrifice and putting yourself second as you take care of your family’s needs.
I’m going to end with the 1 Peter verse I began this study with because I think its message is important.
I promise tomorrow I will preach at the women folk cause we have our roles as well and we struggle with those. Meanwhile, remember, marriage is ultimately meant to be a partnership. It’s never perfect because none of us are perfect, but if we keep in the Bible and seek God’s wisdom not worldly wisdom the pattern of our relationships can be fulfilling.