The Man as Husband
- God intends most men to be married: “Then the Lord God said, ’It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper, suitable for him.” (Gen 2:18).
- The husband is to cling to his wife, forsaking all other women; “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Gen 2:24).
- The husband must be the “head” of his wife, providing leadership and assuming responsibilities for the direction of the entire household: “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church…but as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” (Eph 5:19ff).
- The husband must self-sacrificially love His wife, willingly giving up his own interests for her holiness: “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Eph 5:25).
- The husband must cherish his wife: “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church…” (Eph 5:28).
- The husband must be understanding and gentle with his wife: “You husbands, likewise, live with your wives in an understanding manner, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman…” (1 Ptr 3:7)
- The husband must grant his wife full honor as a “fellow heir” in Christ: “…and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” (1 Ptr 3:7)
- The husband has a duty to be sexually intimate with his wife: “Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife and likewise, also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control (1 Cor 7:3-5)
The Man as Father
- The man must (in so far as God gives grace) bring a godly seed to fruit: “Be fruitful and multiply…”(Gen 1:16ff, Psa 127:1ff)
- The man bears primary duty to discipline his children; “Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them…” (Hebs 12:9 with Deut 6:6ff, Eph 6:4,).
- The man must not exasperate or frustrate his children by being arbitrary, inconsistent or unjust in his leadership: “And fathers do not provoke your children to anger…” (Eph 6:4).
The Man as Spiritual Leader
- The man bears primary responsibility for the sanctification of his wife: “Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing but that she should be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives… (Eph 5:25-27).
- The man bears primary responsibility for the Christian education of his children: “And fathers do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Eph 6:4) “And these words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house…(Deut 6:5ff).
- The man bears primary responsibility to lead in the church: “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. (1 Tim 2:11ff) “Let the women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak” (1 Cor 14:34-35).
Man was created in the image of God to reflect his glory, honor and dominion. Because sinful men are in rebellion to God, they therefore cannot help but attack His image, especially in terms of what it means to be a man.
In the modern world, there is perhaps no more offensive doctrine today (other than Jesus being the only way to God) than of the duty of godly wives to respect, honor and submit to their husbands’ leadership.
However, let us also never give the Adversary any ammunition, but instead focus on men being godly, loving self-sacrificial leaders in the home. Not only will this disarm the attacks against the truth of God’s Word, but it will also ensure that our homes are peaceful, rewarding and joyful to every family member.