A CHRISTIAN HUSBAND
The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)
Long hours, little time off. Must be willing to work weekends, holidays, and vacations. Energy, imagination, intelligence, understanding [especially the Bible], endurance, flexibility, and love required. Must have leadership qualities and the ability to instruct and guide, coupled with a warm personality. On-the-job training offered. DAD, thanks for taking the job!
When a Christian man selects a Christian woman to become his wife, she becomes the perfect compliment for him. She is exactly what is needed to make the man a complete and whole person. The two become one: "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh" (Eph. 5:31). This was the plan and the intention of God from the very beginning.
What a joyous and fulfilling experience it is when we do things in God's way and according to His eternal plan! A Christian marriage should last until death - one husband, one wife, for life. The Bible says, “The woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives” (Rom. 7:2; cf. Rom. 2:11). Whether the days together are few or many, words cannot really describe the happiness and fulfillment enjoyed by both partners from this God ordained relationship. There is no such thing as "married singles" to be found in the Bible. A Christian husband and wife are one in thought, activity, and purpose.
In 1 Corinthians 11:3 we read: "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." God's chain of authority for the home is as follows: God, Christ, the husband, the wife, and then the children. The husband should be the dominant figure in the family. Of course, it is impossible for the husband to be the dominant one if the wife does not allow him to be, and will not submit to his authority. It is not degrading, in any sense of the word, for a woman to submit to the authority of her husband. Instead of being degrading, it is ennobling and elevates a woman to a higher plane than she has ever enjoyed before! Ephesians 5:23 says: "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the savior of the body."
A Christian husband should be the leader without being a dictator. He is to be the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. Jesus is not an uncaring tyrant over the church. He is the Savior, protector, and supporter of His precious bride! This is the way every wise Christian husband properly leads in the home. He leads by love, understanding, and example. The more a husband learns to do this, the better leader he will be. The entire family will gladly and willingly follow his leadership and obey his directives, with very few exceptions.
On the other hand, when a husband continually forces his wife to do his will or follow his whims and fancies; he denies her the privilege of making her own choice. This is not biblical, practical, or even humane.
In Genesis 2:23 we read: "And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." The very fact that woman was taken out of man suggests that holy matrimony should be the closest union and the most affectionate attachment on earth. A husband should always consider and treat his wife as though she were part of him. This motivates him to always nourish and cherish her, just as he does his own flesh.
If a husband and wife really become one as the Bible teaches them to do, there marriage will become sweeter and more fulfilling each year. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it [her]" (Eph. 5:25). The key to being a Christian husband and loving your wife is loving her as Christ loved the church. Jesus loved the church with a self-forgetting and self-sacrificing love, even unto death. This is the way Christian men should love their wives.
"So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself" (Eph. 5:28). If a man cares about his own body, he will love, cherish, and protect his wife because they are "one flesh." Instead of hating our wives, we should nourish and cherish them as Christ does the church. In this passage, the word "nurture" means to care for one's own flesh. Because we have become one flesh with our mate, we care for her to the best of our ability and rejoice that we have the opportunity to do so!
The word "cherish" actually means to keep warm, like a bird protecting her young with her wings, shielding them from the chill winter air. A Christian husband keeps his wife warm and comfortable with tender, loving care. How lovely she will find her nest when she receives this kind of care.
The only thing that does not have needs is something dead. Rejoice and thank God every day that you have a living, breathing woman who has needs and, by the grace and strength which God gives you, you are able to minister to those needs! This is not a burden, but a rich blessing from God, and all the time you are ministering in a beautiful way to yourself! The Bible says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing” [Prov. 18:22]. “Rejoice with the wife of your youth” [Prov. 5:18].
Statistics show that one out of every two marriages end in divorce in America. This is frightening, appalling, and heart breaking! What has happened to the sacred institution of marriage that is ordained of God? How long can our nation survive when it is crumbling within like a decaying skyscraper? When our homes are gone, everything will be lost because the home is the foundation of our society. As the home goes, so goes the nation, and as the home goes, so goes the world. All it takes to establish and sustain a happy home is a Christian husband and a Christian wife who are totally committed to each other and to Jesus. All couples that truly share this commitment make the Lord Jesus the center of their home, around which everything else revolves.
It would be almost impossible to estimate the value of a Christian husband in a home. If you have one, you had better treasure your priceless jewel while you can and not wait until you are sobbing with regret. If he doesn't bring in "the green" quite as fast as you would like, but he prays at your table every day, you are a very rich woman! If your husband attends worship with you, you are truly rich. A home can operate without a Christian husband and even produce children who become faithful Christians, but how much better off the home is with a Christian husband as its head, provider, protector and guide.
The first thing a real, genuine Christian husband does is cleave. God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep and formed woman from one of his ribs. When Adam got his first glimpse of God's beautiful creation, he ended his classic response to God's handiwork by saying, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Gen. 2:24). One tie must be broken before another can be established.
There must be a more intimate connection between a husband and his wife than exists between parents and children. When this is not true, and for one reason or another, the husband does not leave father and mother, and cleave unto his wife, there is always friction and problems because God's will is not being obeyed and His word is not being honored. Husbands, when you leave father and mother and cleave unto your wife, you do not abandon your parents or any of the rest of your family. Certainly not! You are simply putting your wife first, above all other human beings, because this is what God tells you to do.
Are You a Considerate Husband? In 1 Peter 3:7 we read: "Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them [your wives] according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." To dwell with your wife according to knowledge you must do some studying! Study your beloved and find out what she really does need. What makes her happy? What makes her nervous? What makes her relaxed? What makes her depressed?
A Christian husband considers his wife very precious and gives her the honor that she is due. We always honor, protect, and cherish that which we consider precious, if we are wise. If your sweetheart is precious to you, don't hesitate or neglect to give her the honor that she deserves and craves. The husband should always consider the fact that his wife is physically weaker than he is and treat her accordingly. At least, this is the way it is supposed to work. Many women are not frail weaklings in any sense of the word, but generally speaking, they are weaker physically than men.
A Christian husband always considers his wife to be a fellow heir of the grace of life, or life eternal. This makes the relationship so much more meaningful than it would otherwise be. Being fellow heirs, both husband and wife has the same shining goal in life (Heaven). Everything they say and do should be directed toward reaching this worthy goal. Life may be like a roller coaster with its joys and sorrows, but there is still hope, strength, and peace when both husband and wife know where they are going. Nothing can keep them from reaching their mutual goal except their own unwise choice to be unfaithful and disobedient. This common goal adds a dimension to the marriage that enriches it, ennobles it and expands it.
Twelve Commandments for Husbands
1. Thou shalt love thy wife and commit thyself to her for a lifetime of oneness in marriage - divine and indivisible. Thou shalt make of thy marriage an exclusive relationship so that thy wife shall never have occasion to doubt thy love nor occasion for jealousy or lack of trust. As the scriptures say, "Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25); "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Mark 10:9); "Cleave unto thy wife" (Genesis 2:24).
2. Thou shalt seek to understand thy wife. Thou shalt not be able to understand her, but thou shalt make a lifetime effort to do so. As the scriptures say, "Husbands, dwell with your wives according to knowledge" (1 Peter 3:7).
3. Thou shalt talk to thy wife when thou comest home from thy work, when thou sittest in thine house, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Thou shalt at times turn off the television to assure thy wife she is more cherished than your favorite program, for communication is an expression of love. As the scriptures say, "Live a life of love" (Ephesians 5:2).
4. Thou shalt not talk down to thy wife nor use sarcasm or ridicule. Thou shalt not belittle her, for her sense of self-worth is much dependent on your appreciation and encouragement of her. As the scriptures say, "Love is kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4), and again, "Do everything without complaining or arguing" (Philippians 2:14), and again, "In honor prefer one another" (Romans 12:10).
5. Thou shalt listen to thy wife, asking for her advice and opinions, and recognizing her mental abilities and talents, as Abraham asked and followed Sarah's advice. As the scriptures say, "Love is not proud or rude" (1 Corinthians 13:4-5.)
6. Thou shalt not lord it over thy wife, recognizing that the two of you are equal before God and that leadership in the home does not mean dictatorship. Neither does it mean being waited on nor having the best piece of chicken. Leadership means moral, financial, and spiritual responsibilities. Headship in the home also means sacrifice and service. As the scriptures say, "Submit yourselves one to another out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians ), and "Husbands, do not be harsh with them" (Colossians 3:19). Thou shalt not abdicate thy leadership role because of apathy or indifference, for love cares and bears all things.
7. Thou shalt see that thy wife is thy best friend. The closest of all human relationships is marriage and it should know joyous comradeship, with laughter and good humor. Thou shalt share affection and confidences with thy wife and long to be in her presence. As the scriptures say, "Live joyfully with thy wife whom thou lovest" (Ecclesiastes 9:9).
8. Thou shalt help thy wife in all those ways that sacrificial love would help, giving her of thy time, money, attention, affection (yea, even washing the dishes as needed), remembering that the scriptures say, "Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2).
9. Thou shalt accept thy wife as she is. Thou shalt not expect perfection. Thou shalt forgive her of her mistakes and confess thine own to her, remembering that "love covereth all sins" (Prov. ). "Forgive each other as God in Christ has forgiven you" (Ephesians ).
10. Thou shalt practice tenderness as the essential emotion, realizing that sex is a gift of God which expresses and enhances love. Sex is giving joy as well as receiving it. Thou shalt consider that nothing can erode the sexual union more than selfishness. Remember the scriptures say, "The husband's body does not belong to him alone, but also to his wife" (1 Corinthians 7:4); "Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies" (Ephesians ); "As ye would that (she) should do unto you do ye even so unto (her)” (Matthew ).
11. Thou shalt in some way each day show thy wife that "I need you,” that “I appreciate you,” and that "I want to help you." So shalt thy marriage become a strong and blest tie that binds two hearts in Christian love.
12. And should thy marriage become trying and seemingly an endurance contest, thou shalt not give up. Thou shalt "bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things" (1 Corinthians 13:7). Thou shalt trust thy God who is love and who is the God of the resurrection to rekindle and renew thy love. Thou shalt treat thy wife as thou didst when love was new. And having done all, thou shalt "suffer long" and "cast thy burdens on the Lord" knowing that he careth for thee and thy mate (1 Peter 5:7).
The joy of a Christian marriage goes far beyond most marriages. Being considerate of your wife pays rich dividends in many ways. When there is strife and discord in the home, prayer is hindered until peace is restored. When an atmosphere of love and consideration exists, both husband and wife can join together in prayer before the Throne of God and expect some wonderful results and showers of blessings for their Christian home.
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