When our nation has a divorce rate that exceeds 50%, I think it is safe to say that many either are or should be asking how to have a better, stronger marriage. I do believe people are looking for answers. For example, a search of Half.com for books on “marriage” yields more than 23,000 hits! These books were written to fill demand created by people searching for books on the topic. But rather than filling out an online quiz, attending couples’ therapy, or reading a dozen books, I believe the answer to most problems in most marriages is quite simple. It is time for Christian husbands to get back to Biblical basics. It is time for us to understand and fulfill the role God has designed for us, as defined in Ephesians 5:25-31.
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: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 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.
I am a relatively young man, still south of 30. Though we do not pretend to have a perfect marriage, in our almost 9 years of marriage, my wife and I have attempted to fulfill the role of husband and wife as commanded in Ephesians chapter 5. The most accurate description I have heard for the husband’s role is “loving dominion” and for the wife’s role is “influential submission.” Almost every reader of this blog likely knows the word for love used in this passage is agape, or God-like love, yet many men fail at this basic task – loving like Christ. His love is a…
As I John 4:19 puts it, “We love him, because he first loved us.” Similarly, when we display Christ-like love to our spouse, we create a desire within our spouse to reciprocate. This is basic, but it is important. And it is important because it places the burden on the husband to create an atmosphere of love in the home. This also means that if there is a lack of love in our relationship it is squarely our fault! But be careful not to love or care for your spouse in order to create a sense of indebtedness or obligation. Rather, love in order to lay the proper foundation for your marriage. Would your wife say that you create an atmosphere of love in your marriage?
In order to properly respond to problems your wife or marriage might experience, you must react in a spirit of love. I John 4:8 says that “[t]here is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear[.]” Whether it is a problem your wife is experiencing at work, an issue with the kids, or a financial difficulty that seems to be out of your control, confronting the problem with an attitude of love will be calming. More than knowing that “you have all the answers,” you have a “plan,” or you have the money to pay that bill, your wife needs to know you love her unconditionally. She must know that, despite how enormous the issue seems while you’re in the midst of the storm, you are there to help her get through it – and you always will be. Do you approach each marital challenge you face with an attitude of love?