As a husband one of my primary responsibilities is to shepherd my wife. If we start to think of this as a patronising activity, whereby we consider them to be lesser entities to ourselves, then we have got things completely wrong. This is rather a ministry of self-sacrificing devotion to our wives so that they prosper in all their life and callings. What does this entail?
We are protect them. Peter says in 1 Peter 3:7 that husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honour to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. We are to make sure that they are not shamed, but rather honoured and respected by us. This means that we will physically protect them if necessary. But also we will shield them from happenings or information which will be harmful to them,
We provide for them. The husband has the primary responsibility to be the provider into the family unit. Although our wives may work, we must not shirk this responsibility.
We encourage them. We have a relentless ministry to encourage our wives in their ministry. Their responsibility of looking after home and family can often be a thankless task. Moreover, we live in a society that belittles these activities. We must aware of this make them know that their labour is oh so valuable.
We study them. We should truly know our wives as to who they are. We should know their interests. We should know their loves and hates. We should be able to tell what circumstances have a negative or positive impact upon them.
We bear with them. As we understand our wives we will be inclined to bear with them in all of their challenges and vulnerabilities. We will understand the impact that the monthly period has upon them and respond accordingly.
We speak well of them. In our conversation with we should be willing to speak of our wives in a wholesome way. We should not seek to belittle them in the presence of others. This does not exclude humour, but it does me that any humour is never to their harm or embarrassment.
Growth. We long and labour for their growth in the Lord. We must make sure that they are spiritually nourished and built up. This may well mean scheduling our day so that they can have time with the Lord and attend church activities.
Usefulness. We want them to be useful in serving the Lord. So we work to see them equipped for their service. We seek to make sure that their opportunities for them to serve the Lord. And when we see them being useful for the Lord we rejoice that this should be the case.
Prayer. We pray for them in everything. We pray concerning the responsibilities that they have. We pray for their prospering in all their ways. We give thanks to the Lord for them. And we make sure that we pray with them.
So dear brothers in the Lord let us hear this from the Lord: Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Eph 5:25). Let us give ourselves unstintingly to this ministry of caring for our wives and be glad to do so.