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Marriage Advice From A Christian Perspective

The Five Priorities of a Godly Husband – Part I

  • Jay Sklar, Ph.D. <i>Two Becoming One</i>
  • 2007 6 Jun
  • COMMENTS
The Five Priorities of a Godly Husband – Part I
I meet very few husbands today who feel like they do not have enough to do. It is quite the opposite! Between work, home, wives, children and church, we husbands sometimes feel overwhelmed by the tasks and obligations that we are responsible for. There is a subtle danger here: In the midst of the busyness of life it is easy to lose sight of the priorities that should guide us in our responsibilities to our wives, children and the Lord.

So here is a quick checkup on the first two priorities of a godly husband.

First Priority: Love God (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Once a week I lead a group of nine seminary students who come together to talk and pray about being godly husbands. At our first meeting we established that being a godly husband is not first and foremost about technique and it is not first and foremost about learning the latest relational skills. No, being a godly husband begins with being a godly man, and being a godly man begins with loving God above all else.

Our Lord Jesus himself said that the greatest commandment was to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30; see Deuteronomy 6:5). This is the greatest commandment because God has created us first and foremost to be in relationship with himself. This is the foundation of life and foundation for our marriage. If God is not our greatest priority, we have no foundation upon which to build our lives or our marriages.

So what does this look like for husbands? First, it means obedience. Loving God above all else is not first and foremost a feeling, it is first and foremost obedience to his Word. Notice how Jesus defines what it means to love him: “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me” (John 14:21a). Loving God above all else will mean repenting of any known sin in our lives and surrendering the control of our lives to God.

Loving God above all else will also mean that we seek to cultivate our relationship with him. This is done primarily through reading his Word, prayer, and fellowshipping with other believers through church and through spending time together. It is important for us to be committed to these things but also to be realistic about what stage of life we are in – be flexible according to your time constraints and set your expectations accordingly.

Second Priority: Love Your Wife (Ephesians 5:25-29)

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her …” (Ephesians 5:25). This is a sobering command! Consider the implications carefully: The way that you love your wife should be a reflection of how Jesus loves the church. To put it a bit more practically still: Your wife should know what Jesus’ love is like simply by the way that you love her.

So what was Jesus’ love for the church like? Above all else it was self-sacrificing. “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her …” (Ephesians 5:25). Husbands will love their wives the way that Jesus loved the church when they live self-sacrificing lives in marriage and put their wives’ good ahead of their own.

Perhaps one of the most practical steps we could take is simply to ask our wives: “Honey, are there any areas in our marriage where you do not feel like I am loving you? Are there any areas where you feel like I am putting myself ahead of you and your good?” These are bold questions to ask! Moreover, we should not ask them if we are not willing to hear the suggestions that might come! But if we are serious about loving our wives as Christ loved the church, we will probably need our wife’s help in order to understand how better to love her.

Consider seeking out a brother whose marriage you respect and meet together on a regular basis to pray about being a godly husband. God consistently tells us in his Word that relationships and accountability are powerful tools for growth (see Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Hebrews 10:24-25). How can you make use of these tools to love your wife better?

In Part Two of this series on the priorities of a godly husband, we will consider the priorities of managing your family, providing for your family, and being involved in a local church.

Read Part II.

 2003 Christian Family Life

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