In my last post, I stated that for a marriage to function properly, a man must be the head of the household. Many of the women who read this post cringed at that statement. Many of the men pumped their fist in the air. I am guessing those reactions will reverse with today's post, even though I hope to make the same point.
For many women, being submissive to their husband is an insulting concept. They consider it demeaning at best, offensive at worst. Some of these feelings result from a skewed sense of women's rights, but a larger reason for this animosity is that men have not stepped up and fulfilled their role in a godly manner. I want to discuss what a head of household looks like from the scriptures, and then discuss what women really want.
First, let's look at Ephesians 5 again. Verse 23 states..."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." And Verse 25....."Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it:"
The savior of the body. Gave himself for it. Hmmmm, it seems that this head of household involves a lot of self sacrifice. Christ died for the church,but that is not all He did. He sacrificed more for her sake. I think it is the "more" that many men are struggle with. Often, men are willing to die for their wives, yet very few men will be asked to die for their wives. However, all husbands will be called upon to sacrifice themselves for their wives. In what ways?
Christ sacrificed His glory for the church. Scripture says He took the form of a servant and that He prayed to have His glory restored to Him after His death. He veiled His majesty so that he could come to where she was to provide for her needs. All she needed, even physically (remember the taxes in the fish's mouth), He gave her. But He loved His bride so much, he also provided for her comforts. Not her physical comforts, her emotional and spiritual comforts. The Lord didn't dress the apostles in fine robes, but He did leave them the Comforter. He left them the church. He provided a place for their emotional and spiritual growth.
Husbands, love your wives like that.
Don't just sacrifice yourself for her needs. That is good, but it is not all there is. Sacrifice yourself for her comforts. Don't consider her work beneath you. If the Creator of the universe humbled himself to the point he was laid in a cow's manger at His birth, you can humble yourself to the point of doing laundry, or changing some diapers, or putting up the dishes. If Christ gave up 33 years in heaven, surly you could give up 33 minutes of your evening to help her. Give her a chance to study her Bible without the interruption of children by taking them outside for a little while. Being the head of the house means you have to make tough decisions and be the bad guy sometimes. It means she will get mad at you and so will the kids. It means that if something is wrong in your house, it is up to you to fix it. Not in a harsh, authoritarian, violent, yelling manner. But in a self sacrificing, humble, loving way. You be the bad guy so that your wife will not have to be. You make the tough choices, so that she does not have to. Relieve her of the emotional burden. Consult with her so that her strengths can help you. But then man up and do what is right. You do it. You.
Being the head of the household means sacrificing yourself every single day for your bride. Christ gave all He had for his bride. Have you?
Why did Christ do this? Out of love, yes, but Ephesians 5 gives a slightly different reason. Verse 26-27..."that he might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of the word, 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." Now, fellas, I am not saying that if you sacrifice yourself for your wife she will become perfect. Perfection is not required for your wife to live with you. But perfection is exactly what Christ's bride had to have in order to live with Him in heaven, and He gave it all to make that happen. I am saying if you will sacrifice yourself for your wife, you will make her more suited for dwelling with you. Don't believe me? Keep reading.
The next verse says that loving your wife this way is like loving your own flesh. If you have a sore ankle, do you treat it by going on a 10 mile run on pavement? No, you baby it...ice it down....wrap it up...whatever it needs to heal. Well, if you have a sore wife, don't add to the injury. Baby her, or wrap her up, or do whatever it takes. Sacrifice your time and maybe even your pride, and give her what she needs and what comforts her. The result will be a happier wife, a happier home, and a happier you.
What do women want? A man. Not another child she has to direct. Not a master she has to appease. Not a stranger coming into her domain issuing edicts and demands. Not an animal to feed and clean up after. A man......who is strong, and kind, and loving. A man who cherishes and admires her as a precious treasure. A man to stand up and provide security and stability. A man who will wash dishes to give her a 15 minute break. A man who will fill her up emotionally after she has been sucked dry by the children. A man who recognizes that loving her requires hardship and sacrifice on his part, and who does so without complaint.
That's what we want, fellas. I didn't say it was easy. But that is what we are looking for. Are you up for the challenge? You can't do it by yourself, but you can do all things through Christ. Pray to Him to show you where to improve and for strength to do so. I have to think that Christ is particularly compassionate towards husbands, because He knows exactly what it means to be successful at that job. He knows the pains and the trials of self sacrifice. But, oh friends, He also knows the joys. And I must believe that He wants you to know those joys to.