Many husbands see it as the main responsibility in marriage to get their wife to submit to them. The relevant scripture says this:
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Eph. 5:21-27)
What do we learn here?
- Relationships between husbands and wives derive their character from v21 which says: submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. In fact v21 is the controlling verse for the ensuing relationships as described in Eph 6:1-9 between parents and children and masters and slaves.
- In marriage there should be this attitude of mutual submission. The husband willingly gives up his rights for the benefit of the wife and vice versa.
- The wife displays this attitude through her submitting to her own husband.
- The husband displays his willingness to give up all for his wife by loving her as Christ loved the church. This is love in its fullness. Our Lord’s love meant that he gave up his life for the church. That is the call to the husband.
- The call upon the husband is not then to get His wife to subject herself to himself. The call of the husband is to give himself for his wife.
- Never does the Word say that the husband’s duty is to get his wife to submit to him. Many men seem to think that this is their “cause” in life. They aspire to a state where their wife is in complete submission to them and view that as their great goal.
- What husbands should be doing rather is striving, with all the enabling of their LORD, to love their wives sacrificially desiring the good for her in every way.
- The more that a husband advances in love then the more he will see his wife responding delightedly to submit to him
- This does not take away from the fact that there are times when husband and wife have to speak about how they relate to one another. This will mean, that for good and proper order, there are times when the husband will ask his wife about her responding to him in submission. This is particularly necessary in bringing up children for example. The children need to know how the relationships function in the home.
So we conclude that the focus of the husband’s role is to love his wife. Surely we men have got enough to ponder upon in seeking to achieve that. Oh LORD please be my helper to be a loving husband.
(Originally published at Venabling on 26th February 2014)