For the past few weeks I have been sharing some suggestions for your consideration in order to strengthen marriages. I have been amazed at how the Lord has used these thoughts to touch the hearts and lives of so many. Thank you for your willingness to contact me and share your thoughts, concerns, and hurts. I have been praying for each of you.
Suggestion #3 – Strong marriages have men who follow the Biblical model given to them by Christ.
Ephesians 5:22-33 states, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so 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. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
Please notice a few observations from this passage.
The husband is the head of the family (vs. 23)
This implies authority; however, this authority is qualified. The husband is head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. Being the head means he is vitally interested in her. He is her protector. The husband is to provide the needs of his wife. He is also to lead his wife and not boss her. As husbands we must lead as Christ lead; from the position of a servant. The authority given to husbands is not his. It comes from God and is a gift. He must be a good steward. As husbands, we will be accountable for how we lead our families.
The husband should love his wife (vs. 25)
The husband is commanded to love his wife with the same type of love which Christ has for the church. This love was a sacrificial type of love as Christ gave himself on the cross for the church. As a husband we must not have the attitude, “What can my wife do for me?” but, “What can I do for her?” A Godly husband must not be a tyrant. He must have a love for his wife, which is ready to make any sacrifice for her good.
A husband should live in consideration of his wife.
1 Peter 3:7 shares with us, “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
God is pleading for men to come to know their wife so well that he may consider her needs in all things. I have shared this passage for men for many years (and I have read it to constantly remind myself) of the need to get to know their wives on a deeper, more personal level. There are five questions of which husbands need to know the answers.
- What does my wife need?
- What makes my wife happy?
- What makes my wife nervous?
- What makes my wife feel relaxed?
- What makes my wife anxious or depressed?
Dr. James Dobson addresses the issue of depression in his book, “What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women.” Wives wish their husbands understood:
- Low self-esteem
- Fatigue and time pressure
- Loneliness and isolation
- Absence of romantic love
- Financial difficulties
- Sex problems
- Menstrual and physiological problems
- Problems with children
I also want to suggest some things a husband should do in order to make sure their wife always feels great about choosing to marry them!
- Hug and kiss your wife every morning.
- Tell her that you love her and give her a kiss before you leave for work.
- Show courtesy – 47% of the wives say their husbands omit courtesy.
- Call her during the day to see how she is doing.
- After work, call her before you leave for home so that she can know when to expect you.
- Praise her.
- Bring her flowers once in a while as a surprise (be sure to include a card that expresses your love for her.)
- Be gentle, tender.
- Help with the dishes after dinner.
- Be truthful.
- Remember special occasions such as dates, anniversaries, and birthdays with gifts that are sentimental, not practical. Learn how to shop for “your” wife.
- Don’t criticize her.
- Ask her regularly what you can do to help. Better yet, see something that needs to be done and do it yourself.
- When you arrive home from work, give her a hug and kiss and spend a few minutes talking to her about how her day went.
- Hug and kiss her every night, before you both go to sleep.
- Special times to give special attention:
- When the children are ill
- When she is ill
- During “that time of the month”
“For some strange reason, human beings (and particularly women) tolerate stresses and pressures much more easily if at least one other person knows they are enduring it.” – James Dobson
A good husband always strive to be aware of…
- Cruelty, crudeness, offensive language or jokes
- Not recognizing her attempts to please you
- Unfavorable comparisons with other women
- Rejection of her opinions as unimportant, makes her unimportant
- Hurting her feelings
A husband should honor his wife
A great husband remembers that his wife is made in the image of God. (Gen 1:27) Each husband must each make up their mind she will have a permanent place of honor in their life – because she is Christ’s. 1 Corinthians 11:11-12 reads, “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born or woman. And all things are from God.”
I am deeply convicted that when husbands learn to soften their hearts and open their minds to the blueprint given from God, they will begin to experience His peace and harmony promised through obedient living. There is such a dire need for all men everywhere to reexamine and evaluate their own walk with God and seek His will within their marriage relationship.
May God continue to bless you richly and all of us who are husbands, that we will learn to live a life of obedience and submission.