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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Nov. 10, 2007

  • 2007 Nov 10
  • COMMENTS
 

IS MARRIAGE YOUR priority?

Part 3 continued from November 9th

 

The Husband’s Mandate in Marriage

 

There are, of course, many passages[1][3] in the Bible which speak of the man's part in marriage. Some of the key passages are Genesis 3:16; Ephesians 5: 23-33: 1 Timothy 3:4,5; Psalm 128; 1 Peter 3:7: 1 Corinthians 7:3,4: Proverbs 5:15-19; Colossians 3:19. As I read these passages I hear God saying that the husband has two primary responsibilities to his wife.

 

He is to be his wife's leader.

He is to be his wife's lover.

 

The husband is to be his wife’s leader (Eph 5:23; 1 Tim. 3: 4, 5, 12; 1 Corinthians 11:3). Matthew 20:20-28 gives us the Bible’s concept of a leader.

 

Husbands, God call you to be your wife’s leader. This means that you must be your wife’s servant, that you must spend much time with her, that you must give her useful, scriptural and practical instruction, that you must be a good example to her, and that you must make decisions and delegate responsibilities in your home. Of the many elements involved in developing genuine oneness, none is more important than this one. Unquestionably, it is the other side of the marital coin. If genuine oneness is to be experienced, the lifestyle of the wife must be genuine biblical submission. Conversely, the lifestyle of the husband must be the kind of leadership that has just been described. But the Bible not only says that the husband must be his wife's leader, it also asserts that he is to be his wife's lover.

 

The husband is not only to be a leader; he is to be a loving leader. The importance of husbandly love has already been implied in what has previously been said about the husband, but now it must be emphasized and amplified. The wife has such a great need for love or the husband has such a great lack of love, that God commands the husband to love his wife three times within the space of a few verses in Ephesians 5. Two times in this passage God enjoins the husband to love his wife even as he loves himself (vss. 28, 33). One time God instructs the husband to love his wife just as Christ also loved the church (vs. 25).

 

Oceans of truth concerning the husband's relationship to his wife are opened to us by these verses. Normally, a man uses a lot of time and gives a great deal of thought, effort, and money to take care of himself. His needs, his desires, his aspirations, his hopes, his body, his comfort are very important to him. He nourishes and cherishes himself.

·      He carefully protects and provides for the needs of his body.

·      He does not deliberately do that which would bring harm to himself.

·      When he is hungry, he eats. When he is thirsty, he drinks. When he is tired, he sleeps. When he is in pain, he goes to the doctor. When he cuts himself, he washes the wound and binds it up. When he sees an object coming toward him, he puts up his hands for protection.

·      He very naturally and carefully and fervently nourishes and cherishes himself. "Well," the Scripture indicates, "this is the way a man is to love his wife. He is to nourish her, cherish her, protect her, satisfy her, provide for her, care for her, sacrifice for her to the same degree and extent, and in the same manner as he does himself."

 

Now that is a lot of love that a husband is to have for his wife. That is a high standard for a husband to keep, but there is still a higher standard. Scripture says, "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church."

 

Who then can understand, who then can plumb the depths of the love of Jesus for His people? But this much we do know about love of Christ for His people.

·      It is an unconditional or free love (Rom. 5:8).

·      It is a volitional love. He chooses to love us (Deut. 7:7; Eph. 1:6,7).

·      It is an intense love (John 13:1; Eph. 5: 2,25).

·      It is an unending love (John 13:1; Jeremiah 31:3; Rom. 8:39).

·      It is an unselfish love (Phil. 2:6, 7).

·      It is a purposeful love.

·      It is a sacrificial love. Eph. 5:2, 24; Gal. 2:20; 1 Pet. 3:18; Rom. 5:6-11; 1 Pet. 2:24).

·      It is a manifested love. John 10:1-14; 14:1-3; 13:34,35; 15:9-10; Rom. 8:32; Phil. 4:13, 19; Heb. 4:14-16).

 

So how can we as husbands love our wives with Christ's love? Here are just a few ideas:

 

1.  A PRIORITY OF HUMILITY. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will be like Jesus. Jesus as a leader was first and foremost a servant. John 13:1-15 gives us the same picture of what it means to be a leader. In this passage, the emblem of leadership is not a throne or a club but a big towel and a basin. In other words, a leader must have a servant’s heart. And if he has a servant’s heart, he will act like a servant and react like a servant - when he is treated like a servant. 1 Peter 5:3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

2.  A PRIORITY OF SERVANTHOOD. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will be the family's biggest servant. He is to be the head of his wife even as Christ is the head of the church {Eph. 5:23). His great model in leadership is Jesus Christ, who made Himself a servant (Phil. 2: 6-8); who came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45); who is head over all things for the sake of the church (Eph. 1:22, 23). Whatever Jesus Christ does, He does for our sake; He does with our best interests at heart. In similar fashion, the husband is to live for the sake of his wife, always keeping her best interests at heart. He is to be his wife's servant-leader.

·      A servant stays close to those he serves. Jesus Christ practiced the principle of continuous association with those whom He led. He did not lead His disciples by long distance telephone calls, or by writing them a few letters or by infrequent visits. For over three years, He spent great amounts of time with them. (Compare John 1:39,43; Mark 1:17; 3:14; 4:10; 5:1,30,31,40; 6:1,30,31,32,35; 8:1,10,27,34; 9:2,30; 10:13,23,46; 11:1.) Biblical leadership requires association with those who are being led.

·      A servant clearly talks to those he serves. Jesus Christ carefully and relevantly instructed His disciples.

·      A servant clearly lives before those he serves. Jesus Christ led His disciples by being a good example.

·      A servant clearly does his job for those he serves. Jesus Christ led His disciples by making decisions and delegating responsibility to them. Compare John 4:1,2; Mark 1:35-39; 6:7; 6:35-43; John 11:39-44; Matt. 10:1-14; 16:21-23; 21:1,2; 28:18-20, where Jesus made decisions and delegated responsibilities to His disciples. Similarly, Christian husbands are called upon to lead their wives by making decisions and by delegating responsibility. To be the leader does not mean that he must bear all the responsibility and do all the work while his wife bears nothing and does nothing. It does mean that he will see to it that the work gets done and that everyone knows who does what. In marriage someone has to be the final decision maker. Someone has to delegate responsibility, and God has ordained that this should be the husband. Indeed, the husbands must make decisions and delegate responsibility as a servant of his wife.

3.   A PRIORITY OF KIND WORDS. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will practice one of the simplest, yet most neglected, ways of communicating love - by way of words spoken kindly, warmly, and directly toward his wife. John 7:46 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” Remember those words in the hymn In the Garden? “He speaks and the sound of His voice…”

4.   A PRIORITY OF KIND DEEDS. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will love his wife by providing for the satisfaction of her varying needs. Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

5.   A PRIORITY OF THE STRENGTH OF YOUR PRESENCE. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will You may love your wife by protecting her (Eph. 5:28).

6.   A PRIORITY OF HELPING. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will express love to his wife by assisting her to fulfill her chores and responsibilities.

7.   A PRIORITY OF SACRIFICE. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will express his love by sacrificing for her (Eph. 5:25; Phil 2:5,6).

8.   A PRIORITY OF SHARING. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will love his wife by allowing her really to share your life (1 Pet. 3:7-“heirs together of the grace of life”).

9.   A PRIORITY OF LOYALTY. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will express his love by refusing to compare her unfavorably with other people, especially other women.

10. A PRIORITY OF HER. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will express his love by demonstrating to her that, apart from your relationship to Jesus Christ, she has first place in your life.

11. A PRIORITY OF TENDERNESS. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will express his love by giving her a lot of tenderness, respect, chivalry, and courtesy (Eh. 5:28; Col. 3:19; 1 Cor. 13:4, 5). Do not use jokes about her or make cutting remarks to her in front of other people. Speak to her in a gentle and respectful way. Treat her as you would a valuable jewel rather than a piece of cinder or a garbage can.

12. A PRIORITY OF PRAISING HER. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will love her by expressing appreciation and praise generously and in large doses (1 Peter 3:7; Proverbs 31:28).

 

This sermon will continue tomorrow November 11th as we start by looking at how God calls husbands to be a leader and lover for his wife.

 



 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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