“In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.”-Ephesians 5:28-29
Unfortunately for many families, husbands have adopted a philosophy; that if they bring home a paycheck then they have fulfilled their duty as a husband. They trumpet their role as provider and protector as being their exclusive responsibility towards their family. Although providing for our family is of utmost importance (see 1 Timothy 5:8); it is curious that God does not place a lot of emphasis on it here in Ephesians Chapter 5.
In the above passage, feeding and caring correlate to providing and protecting. In the book of Genesis we read how God gave Adam a job to provide for himself. So bringing home a paycheck for his family did not begin when Adam got married. He was already doing that before he had a wife. That is why God spends very little time addressing “providing and protecting” in this chapter; because as men we should already be doing this.
However, becoming married does create a new relational dynamic that we, as husbands, must embrace and take seriously. That is the dynamic of spiritual headship:
“But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”-1 Corinthians 11:3
Most mane embrace the idea that the head of the woman is man, but neglect the rest. They tend to forget that the head of Christ is God and more importantly the had of man is Christ. Ultimately it is not knowing who you are leading that is important, it is knowing who you are following. You must know what it means to submit to the headship of another if you expect others to follow you.
So who are you learning headship from? If it is not Jesus, you will struggle in your marriage. There is a lot to learn from Jesus that can help us lead our families: Jesus didn’t bark out orders, demand selfishly, or expel to be waited on hand and foot. He demonstrated headship by donning and apron and washing the disciples feet.
He spoke words of comfort and encouragement, laid hands on the sick, prayed for peoples needs, taught them the word of God, fed them, protected them, and who it was tax time…He did that too! Why?
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”-Matthew 20:28
The “I’ll do as I please attitude,” that prevails in so many homes is not the example provided by Jesus:
“So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.-John 5:19
Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. As husbands we ought to be only doing what we see Jesus do. Who we learn headship from will have a huge impact on our marriages. As husband our primary responsibility is to sacrifice and serve our wives and families. Although we are not to neglect caring for their physical needs, we have been given an even greater responsibility to nurture the spiritual health of our families.
Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church