What does the Lord require of a husband?
Husbands are to make sure that they are fulfilling their role in leading their wives with love. Husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25). The word for love goes beyond romantic affection. This word has to do with an unconditional loyalty and commitment – a love that keeps on loving. This kind of love is a picture of Christ’s love for His church (Eph. 5:25-33). What does this love look like?
A Sacrificial Love
It is not enough for a man to say, “I love you” to his wife with mere words. It needs to go beyond that. How did Christ express His love for the church? He “gave Himself for her” (Eph. 5:25). This was the greatest demonstration of love (Rom. 5:8). How do we know that Christ loves the church? He died for her. If the husband is going to love his wife, he needs to die to self. Life is not about his agenda, his priorities, his ambitions or his goals. He is to lead with a love towards his wife that will be sacrificial. He must even be prepared to give up his actual life for her. That is sacrificial love!
A Sanctifying Love
We know Christ loves His church, because He not only was a sacrifice for her but He also sanctifies her. How is this done? By means of spiritual nurturing (Eph. 5:26). As the Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the purity, integrity and holiness of His bride, the husband is to display a sanctifying love for his bride. He will make sure that he is assisting her in holiness. He will be concerned that she conducts her self in a God honouring way and he will be protective of her because he loves her. He will be studying the Scriptures so that he may lovingly open them to her and instruct her. He might need to put down the remote control and pick up a Bible. He must be concerned for his wife’s holiness. It is a huge and loving responsibility.
A Sensitive Love
If a husband is going to love his wife, it needs to be with a sensitive love (Eph. 5:28-30). We are sensitive to our bodies when they are in need. You are hungry, your stomach grumbles, you feed it. You are tired, you rest. You are thirsty, you drink. We become very sensitive to the cravings of our bodies. A husband must be sensitive towards his wife’s needs. They need to know their needs and study them so well, so that they will know in anticipation how to look out for her. Husbands need to display a sensitive love towards their wives – the same sensitivity they display to their own bodies in fulfilling various needs.
A Settled Love
The husband needs to let his wife know that he is loyal to her. Divorce ought not to be anything that is ever joked about in a Christian home. It is a word that should only be mentioned in sadness. The husband ought to display a settled love – a love that expresses loyalty and commitment (Eph. 5:31).
A godly husband must be man enough to declare and act upon the following: By the Lord’s enablement, I am going to protect, preserve, provide for and adore my wife to the glory of God!
Are you man enough?