Godís Blueprint For Husbands
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 3/10 & 3/17/02
EXPLANATION & OVERVIEW
The goal of marriage, according to the Bible is completeness,
oneness and unity. Genesis 2:24 says, Therefore shall a man leave
his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall
be one flesh. (See also Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:6-9; Ephesians 5:31).
In order to achieve this oneness or unity in a marriage the husband must know
and fulfill his biblical role and the wife must know and fulfill her biblical
role. The problem is that there is mass confusion and chaos today concerning
what the role of the husband is and what the role of the wife is in the marital
Can you imagine the utter confusion that would exist on a
football team if the players did not know what their specific responsibilities
were? Or, picture the chaos and frustration in a business where there are no job
descriptions, where everything is everybody's business and nothing is
anybody's business, where everyone is a "chief" and no one is an
"Indian". This is the kind of confusion, chaos and frustration that
exists in many marriages today because there has never been a sorting out of
the responsibilities. The Bible defines the wife's God-given
responsibilities to her husband as well as the husband's God-given
responsibilities to his wife. In this section we are going to focus on a
husbandís responsibility to his wife.
- A Husbandís Two Key Responsibilities To His Wife
1. He is to love her
2. He is to lead her
Let's look at the first pointÖ
1. A Husband Is Responsible To Love His Wife
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. Twice husbands are
instructed to love their wives as themselves and once as Christ loved the
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as
Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as
their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in
particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence
We men usually spend a great deal of time, money and effort
on ourselves. Our own desires and comforts are very important to us. When we are
hungry, we eat. When we are thirsty, we drink. When we are tired, we sleep. When
we want our "toys" we buy them. When we want entertainment we turn on
the TV or video. Very naturally and carefully and fervently we nourish and
Men, the Scripture indicates, the true 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. Scripture also says, So
ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife
loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and
cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: Ephesians 5:28-29 "Husbands,
love your wives just as Christ also loved the church." Ephesians
How did Christ love the church? To be sure we cannot fully
understand the love that Christ has for the church. Scripture speaks of the
breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ, which surpasses
knowledge (Ephesians. 3:17-19).
- Some Things We Do Know About Christís Love For Us
He chose to love us (volitionally) Ė 1 John 4:10;
His love is an intense love -- John 13:1; Ephesians
His love is an unending love Ė Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 8:38-39
His love is an unselfish love Ė Philippians 2:6-7
His love is a purposeful love -- Ephesians 5:26-27; He
works for our improvement, our development, our happiness, our welfare.
His love is a sacrificial love -- He loved us and gave
himself for us. He died, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. In love,
He endured the horrible death of the cross with all of its physical and
spiritual torture and agony. In love, He bore the guilt and penalty of sin and
the wrath of God in the place of His people. In love, He personally bore our
sins in His own body on the cross so that the penalty and power and
devastating effects of sin in our lives might be broken (Ephesians 5:2, 25;
Galatians 2:20; I Peter 3:18; Romans 5:6-11; I Peter 2:24).
His love is an obvious (manifested) love -- Christ
manifests (shows) His love in words and deeds. He tells us He loves us. He
shows us He loves us. He protects us, prays for us, guards us, strengthens us,
helps us, defends us, teaches us, comforts us, chastens us, equips us,
empathizes with us, and provides for all our needs (John 10:1-14; 14:1-3;
13:34, 35; 15:9-10; Romans 8:32; Philippians 4:13, 19; Hebrews 4:14-16).
- He loved us despite our sin (unconditionally) Ė
Since we are to love our wives like Christ loves the Church,
(that is, as individual Christians) this then is the standard by which a husband
is to judge his love for his wife!
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is another very helpful passage. It
goes to great lengths to describes
biblical actions of love...
Suffereth long -- The Greek word is Strongs # 3114. It means to be
long-spirited, patient, particularly with people as opposed to circumstances.
Kind -- The Greek word is Strongs #5541. It means to be kind,
obliging, act benevolently, to be kind.
Envieth not -- The Greek word is Strongs #2206 which means to have warmth of feeling for or against
or to be jealous over. It is in the negative form, so it is not to be done.
Vaunteth not itself -- The Greek word is Strongs #4068 which means not to boast or brag.
It is in the negative form, so it is not to be done.
Not puffed up -- The Greek word is Strongs #5448. It means to blow, to inflate or puff up.
It is used figuratively here referring to someone who is conceited,
self-centered and filled with pride. It is in the negative form, so it is not
to be done.
Not unseemly -- The Greek word is Strongs #807 which means to act unbecoming or to behave
in an ugly, indecent, unseemly, unbecoming manner, hence to be rude. It is in
the negative form, so it is not to be done.
Seeketh not her own -- The Greek word behind seeketh is Strongs #2212. It means to
worship, to plot, to strive for or to seek after. The Greek phrase "not
her own" is the Greek word Strongs #1438 which means of himself, herself or itself. Therefore love
does not worship or focus on self but focuses on others.
Not easily provoked -- The Greek word is Strongs #3947 which means to sharpen alongside,
easily provoke, stir, irritate or exasperate. It is in the negative form, so
it is not to be done.
Thinketh no evil -- The word "thinketh" is Strongs #3049. It means to take or keep an inventory.
Therefore, love does not keep an inventory of evil.
Rejoiceth in truth -- The Greek word "rejoiceth"
is Strongs #5463 which means to
be cheerful or calmly happy. The Greek word for "truth" is Strongs #225. It means what is true. The indication is that
love rejoices in conduct that conforms with the truth of Godís word.
Beareth all things -- The Greek behind the English word
"beareth" is Strongs #4722. It means to roof over or to cover with silence (endure patiently):
forbear, suffer. In other words, love covers over or hides shortcomings and
Believeth all things -- The Greek word is Strongs #4100 to have faith in, upon, or with respect to, a
person or thing. In other words true love trusts or has faith in the person
that they love.
Hopeth all things -- The Greek word is Strongs #1679 to expect with desire, to hope. In other
words, love desires the best for the one loved.
Endureth all things -- The Greek word is Strongs #5278. It means to stay under, remain, bear
(trials), have fortitude, persevere:--abide, endure, (take) patient (-ly),
suffer, tarry behind.
Men, when you measure your love for your wife by the 1
Corinthians 13 yardstick, how are you doing? Do you really love your wife as you
love yourself? Are you really pressing toward the goal of loving your wife as
Christ loved the church? Is your love for your wife unconditional, volitional,
intensive, unending, unselfish, purposeful, sacrificial and obvious? This is
the kind of love that we are to have for our wives.
- Tangible Ways You Can Love Your Wife
Listen to her and talk to her while giving her your full
attention (Proverbs 25:11)
Provide for her needs (1 Timothy 5:8; Ephesians 5:28)
-- Physical, emotional, social, intellectual, sexual, spiritual needs
Protect her (Ephesians 5:29; 1 Peter 3:7) ...from
trying to do more then she can or should do ...and give her a breather from
the demands of the children
Help her (Ephesians 5:25)
Encourage her (Ephesians 4:29)
Sacrifice for her, choose to do her will (Ephesians 5:25)
Share your life with her and encourage her to share hers
with you (1 Peter 3:7)
Be satisfied with her (Proverbs 5:19)
Make her first place (1 Peter 3:7)
Express commitment to her (Matthew 19:6)
Treat her tenderly, courteously, respectfully (Ephesians 4:32)
Overlook her faults (1 Peter 4:8; Colossians 3:13)
Openly show that you cherish and appreciate her (Ephesians
5:29, 2 Timothy 3:2 Ė not unthankful)
Godís Will For Every Husband Is That He Love His Wife!
Now on to the second pointÖ
2. A Husband Is Responsible To Lead His Wife
Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly
multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth
children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the
wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the
1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the
head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and
the head of Christ is God.
1 Timothy 3:4-5 One that ruleth well his own house,
having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how
to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
1 Timothy 2:11-14 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man,
but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was
not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
The Bible is clear. The husband has the God ordained
responsibility to be the head of his wife and the head of the home. He will be
accountable to God for how he exercises that leadership!
Now, since men have that responsibility and will be held
responsible for how we lead our wives and our homes, we need to understand what
headship or leadership really is!
- WHAT IS SOCIETY'S CONCEPT OF LEADERSHIP?
Many think of a leader as one who barks out orders and
bosses others around. Others hold the dictatorial view of leadership
looking at leadership as empowering the leader with absolute power and supreme
authority. Others look at leadership as one who guides the group.
The dictionary definition of a leader is thisÖ
"A person or thing that leads; directing, commanding, or guiding head, as
of a group or activity."
Then the dictionary gives several illustrations of leadership
Music: The conductor is a leader; the main performer in
an instrumental or vocal section is a leader.
Horses: A lead horse is first in the harness before all
others in the same hitch.
- THE BIBLICAL DESIGN OF LEADERSHIP
Matthew 20:20-28 reveals Christís Design of Leadership. It
shows us what leadership is and what it is not.
Matthew 20:20-28 Then came to him the mother of
Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing
of him. 21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that
these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left,
in thy kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye
able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the
baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith
unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism
that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not
mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my
Father. 24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against
the two brethren. 25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the
princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them (2634
-- katakurieuo, kat-ak-oo-ree-yoo'-o; to lord against, i.e. control, subjugate),
and they that are great exercise authority upon them (2715 --katexousiazo,
kat-ex-oo-see-ad'-zo; to have (wield) full privilege over: domineer). 26 But
it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him
be your minister (1249. diakonos, dee-ak'-on-os -- to run on errands;
a waiter); 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant
(1401. doulos, doo'-los -- a servant, a slave; one who is in a permanent
relationship of servitude to another): 28 Even as the Son of man came not
to be ministered unto (1247. diakoneo, dee-ak-on-eh'-o; -- to be an
attendant, i.e. wait upon) , but to minister (1247), and to
give his life a ransom for many.
This passage gives us the Bible's concept of a leader.
According to this passage, a true leader is first and foremost a
servant. His concern is not for himself or having his own
way but the main concern of a leader is to meet the needs of others. Indeed, if the
best interests of others are not on his heart, he is not a biblical leader.
When I refer to the "best interest of others" I am not referring to
helping others do or get what they want, but helping them to do or get what they
need. And this is within a biblical context. For instance, a father will train
up his children in the way they should go, not the way they want to go (Prov.
22:6). This is in the childís best interest. This is biblical leadership.
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. Like a lead horse, he is first in the harness and leads by
example. Therefore a husband is to be the chief servant, first in the harness,
pulling his load and helping the others to pull their loads.
- More Examples of New Testament Leadership
Pastors and Church Leaders -- 1 Peter 5:3
being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
The word "lords" is the Greek word (katakurieuo -
kat-ak-oo-ree-yoo'-o; 2634) which means to lord against or to control,
subjugate. "Ensamples" is the Greek word tupos (too'-pos -
5179) which means a model or pattern. In the context, pastors and church leaders
are to be models or patterns of Christ. Therefore a husband is to be a model or
pattern of Christ in his home!
1 Thessalonians 2:5-11 For neither at any time used we
flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness: 6 Nor
of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have
been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, even
as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8 So being affectionately desirous of you,
we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but
also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. 9 For ye remember,
brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would
not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 10 Ye
are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and
unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: 11 As ye know how
we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a
father doth his children.
- The Biblical Concept of Leadership Applied to the Husband --
Being a leader, biblically speaking, means that the husband
must be the family's biggest servant. He leads by example. He is not a cruel
dictator, but a loving leader, with the best interests of his wife on his
heart, leading by example. (Colossians 3:19)
Men, we need to measure our headship by the following
Ephesians 5:23-29 For the husband is the head of
the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of
the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be
to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as
Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might
sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might
present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any
such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love
their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even
as the Lord the church:
What do we see about the husbandís headship in this
he is to be the head of his wife even as Christ
is the head of the church. What does that mean?
Men, our 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 have his wifeís best
interests at heart as indicated by 1 Peter 3:7.
Godís Will For Every Husband Is That He Be A Servant-Leader
Not A Cruel Dictator.
Christís Example of Leadership
Specific Ways Jesus Christ Led His Disciples
Jesus Christ is to be our great leadership model. Therefore
we can learn a great deal about how we are to lead our wife and family by
examining how he lead his disciples.
- Jesus Christ practiced the principle of continuous
association with those whom He led.
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, 39-40;
6:1,30,31,32,35; 8:1,10,27,34; 9:2,30; 10:13,23, 46; 11:1.)
leadership requires association with those who are being led.
Application to Marriage
-- 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye
husbands, dwell (together with) with them according to
knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as
being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
We are to spend time with our wife. We are to get to know
what makes them tick and what makes them ticked. No husband is
fulfilling his God-given responsibility to his wife who does not delight in and
arrange for frequent and regular companionship with her.
- Jesus Christ carefully and relevantly taught His disciples
In many places, Scripture asserts that Jesus taught His
disciples. (Compare Matt. 5:1-2; Mark 4:10; John 13-16.) In fact, the word
"teacher" was one of the titles by which Jesus was frequently
called (John 3: 2; 13: 13).
How did Christ teach his disciples? Sometimes He taught His
disciples in a formal way (Matthew 5: 1, 2; John 13-16). On other
occasions He taught them in an informal way, in the midst of life
situations, when He was faced by a crisis or confrontation, or when He was asked
a question (Matthew 19:3-12, 16-27; 21: 12-32). But whether He taught them in a
formal or informal way, it is an established fact that Jesus Christ led and
served His disciples by teaching them.
Application to Marriage -- God also expects the husband
to lead his wife by teaching her. Wives, are you teachabale?
1 Corinthians 14:35 And if they will learn any thing,
let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak
in the church.
Ephesians 5:25-26 Husbands, love your wives, even as
Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify
and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.
- Jesus Christ led His disciples by being a good example.
Frequently as we read the Gospels, we hear Jesus saying,
"Follow me," (Matthew 4:19) or "Come after me,"
(Mark 8:34) or "I have given you an example." (John
13:15). He did not simply tell men that they ought always to pray, he lived a
life of constant prayer. He did not merely preach to men that the Scriptures
should be their final authority. He lived a life, which was an example of what
it means to make the Scriptures the final authority in your life. His life then
was an example in living color of what He wanted His disciples to believe and
how He wanted them to live. On the one hand, His exemplary life was a pattern
or model for His disciples to follow. On the other hand, it earned their
respect and made them willing to submit to His authority and leadership. The
disciples followed this same pattern and encouraged New Testament believers to
do the same.
Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both
learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall
be with you.
1 Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being
ensamples to the flock.
Application to Marriage -- As husband-leaders, we must
strive to be an example, a model, a pattern of godliness, holiness, compassion,
dedication, and devotion to God. To be sure, we still have our sin natures and
no husband will ever be a perfect example for his wife, but that is what we
should strive for. Philippians 3:12-14 says, Not as though I
had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I
may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren,
I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting
those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are
before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in
When we fail, we should be quick to confess to God and our
wife that we have failed and ask for forgiveness. Even in failure, the husband
must be an example to his wife of how the believer should deal with sin. In
failure, as well as at all other times, the Christian husband is to lead his
wife by the power and authority of a good example.
- Jesus Christ led His disciples by making decisions and
delegating responsibility to them
John 4:1-2 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard
that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2 (Though Jesus
himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
Matthew 21:1-6 This passage makes it obvious that Jesus
made decisions and delegated responsibilities to His disciples. Note that when
Jesus delegated, He gave clear, concise, and specific directions so that the
disciples knew what was expected of them and how they should go about their
tasks. He also took into consideration their fears, needs, questions,
spiritual, emotional, and physical state (See John 11:20-40). He gave
them a basic framework in which to work but he also gave them freedom within
Application to Marriage -- 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. Husbands are supposed to lead, and leading
involves making decisions and delegating responsibility. NOTE: Any
organization where only two people are involved needs someone who is final
authority, or chaos and confusion will result. Fifty-fifty marriages are an
impossibility. They do not work. They cannot work. 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. Her
opinions, advice, desires, suggestions, requests, fears, and questions should be
given serious consideration. The wife is to be the husband's helper. She
is to be his chief adviser, resource person, and consultant.
He may decide to allow his wife to make decisions (e.g., where they will go on
vacation, what rugs or drapes or furniture they will buy), but he must
never relinquish his overall decision-making responsibility. God has
called the husband to be his wife's leader, and he cannot be her leader
by being her follower.
In summary, of the many elements involved in developing
genuine oneness, none is more important than leadership. 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.
God's Will For Every Husband Is:
That He Lead His Wife! Are
You Being A Loving Leader?
[Adapted from Strengthening Your Marriage by Wayne