Duties of Husbands to Wives
I can state this chapter in two words: KIND and GENTLE. Be kind and be gentle. That's it!"Whosoever finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor of God."
— Proverbs 18:22
So, if you have found your wife, you've found a good thing and you have obtained favor with God. Therefore, I repeat the first sentence. I echo the words, please be kind and please be gentle to your wife.
The contents of this chapter are the most important - obviously to the husband. The husbands of the homes that dot our countryside, from the mountains to the oceans filled with foam must have God IN their home.
As we stated in a previous chapter, there has to be three living in the home: the husband, the wife and the Lord. It forms a perfect triangle. It is where three people come together in a very special union. The plaque that is in our kitchen says, "Each lives for the other, and all live for the Christ."
We have looked in the book of Genesis and read these words,
"God created man in His own image; in the image of God
created He them, male and female and God said unto them,
'Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it!'"
And God also said,
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and
shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall become
Therefore as stated above, "Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing."
Scripture is full of admonitions to husbands. We have looked at the subject of "How Married People Can Be Happy". I stated that marriage is a career and the main factor, of course is love. There are other components and they are:
- God (religion);
- Appreciation and understanding
- I cannot say it enough, men -bless your wife. I do not mean only in a "prayer", but I mean in the little things. Let me give you some examples. Never, never, let her hand "touch" a car door handle when you are with her.
- Always, always open the door for her and let her go first, even at automatic doors : Opening the door gives respect for your wife. (We'll talk about that later).
- Tell her "I love you." Many, many times a day. Show that "I love you" in expressions (we will look at some later).
- Complement her - raise her self esteem.
- Hold her tight….yes, even in public.
- and this is a good one. If you are seated in a restaurant or some other place and you have to leave. Say to her "I want to make sure you have your ring on. I don't want anyone hitting on you." "I will fight for you honey"
- In public places (eating and non eating) rise up when she gets up to leave. On returning, rise up - it is showing respect to "the queen."
- Help her out in the kitchen. (Actually gives you more time together.)
- Be polite!
- Seat her (yes, even in your own home) in front of guests or children. What a testimony of respect and honor.
- Never correct her in public.
- She is the best thing that has ever happened to you outside of your salvation.
- Help your wife around the house - it will bring you closer together.
- Watch your "nagging" - men can do that also. (It is a pin that can burst the love balloon every time.)
Proverbs 30:18-19, "There are three things which are to wonderful for me; no, there are four things which I just don't know about. 1. the way of an eagle in the air; 2. the way of a serpent upon a rock; 3. the way of a ship in the midst of the sea and 4. the way of a man with a maid."
An old time preacher of more than a hundred years ago said:
"A good wife is heaven's last and best gift to man -
his angel of mercy;
his gem of many virtues;
his casket of jewels;
her voice, his sweetest music;
her smile, his brightest day,
her kiss, the guardian of his innocence;
her arms, the pales of his safety;
her industry, his surest wealth;
her economy his safest store;
her lips, his faithful counselors;
her bosom, the softest pillow of all of his cares and
her prayers the ablest advocates of heaven's
blessings upon his head."
What does the word "husband" mean? The word literally means, "The band around the house. Not a musical instrument. A band round that house. Like a historical rock that needs to be preserved and is cracking a band is placed around it to keep that rock in place. A husband is literally the band around that house. Like the sheaf that holds the corn together. Like the frame that holds the puzzle together. That's the husband. Wow!
I Love Your Wife, - Husband is the Head
God has clearly stated that the husband is the head. It is recorded in Ephesians 5:23 and again it is clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 11:3. The husband is head of the wife.
Many marriages have been destroyed by unwillingness on the part to accept this role and the husband to take his position. I know it is a big pill to swallow, but the husband is first and the wife follows. Easier said than done? Yep. However, when each understands the role there is really no problem. Too bad we end of making it such.
Hang on men. Now the sensitive husbands reads verse 21 in the same chapter. It says that they should be subject one to another and so he doesn't rule his wife but he counsels WITH his wife. The love of the wife must be in the heart of the husband; then he considers his wife. There must be this mutual subjection because the husband accepts the wife as a "you" and not as an "it".
When I write, "The husband is the head of the wife." There is much more than meets the eye. Here is what does not always meet the eye! In the first place, the basis of this passage is love, not control. The emphasis is on love and this is important. The husband is the head of the wife. This is true. Paul said, "that the husband must love his wife as Jesus loved the Church. That is a love that never exercises a tyranny of control over his wife, but instead, a love, which is ready to make any sacrifices for her good. So, the first duty, according to the Bible is, "The husband is the head of the wife." But understand what that means.
II Love Your Wife - Be not Bitter Against
Col. 3:19 says it all: "Husbands, love your wife and BE NOT BITTER AGAINST THEM."
In other words, don't be harsh with them. Stop being hasty or quarrelsome. Another translation states it: "Husbands love your wives and treat them with gentleness." I like the phrase, "Severely love one another. Severely love your wife as you do yourself." Wow.
During a series of messages on - what I called "Love, courtship and marriage" I kept telling the men to love your wives. I kept telling them to show your love. Keep on being that sweetheart that you were to them during the courtship days. You would be surprised that the chemistry seems to be turned off after the "knot is tied" That is why I sometimes refer such marriages as to "The Great American Slipknot".
I try to tie a "hard knot" at the altar - the couple has the capability to pull the know apart (like on one's shoes).
Give her gifts, like you did during courtship and as we are speaking in this section, don't let little irritations turn you the least bitter against your wife. Keep doing the romantic things you did when you were trying to win her. Bottom line was there were some who responded to me saying, "Wow, it worked" "We are love birds again!
God's word says, "…don't be bitter against them." I have caught myself saying in my mind, "Oh, I am getting irritated." Hey, it is my fault not hers. Do you ever get grumble some and irritable? Well, from personal experience it does lead to bitterness. Yes, I know there are many degrees of that word. But, like sin is sin. So is bitterness.
I like the story of that guy who became aware of such a spirit. In his case the mix was his temper. The story starts with this guy who had a flat tire. He was waiting to have it repaired. Next to the service station was the home where the man resided and next to it was a very nice flower garden. In his words, "I walked over to it - admired the pretty flowers, came back, chatted with the man. He talked about the flowers and talked about his wife. He went on to say, 'You know I have quite a temper and get bitter with my wife. It does flare up. So, when I feel out of sorts, you know what I do? I take my cap and I turn it around backwards, so when I go home and my wife seems that my cap is on backwards, she doesn't ask me a thing.'
'But that's not all. My wife has temper also and can get really ugly and bitter against me. So, when she realizes that and if she has her apron on, she tucks up one corner of it and doesn't say a word.'
Now, while a true story - and it did work for that couple, Two things. One, all men do not wear a cap and two, ladies don't always wear an apron. So…solution? Men, if in your relationship there is something happening that is like a slow burning fuse and you see or feel your bitterness level rising, immediately lay it before the throne. Jesus, I need your help. I need your peace in this situation. Let me not take it out on my wife. Let me be that "living epistle" which says, husbands, love your wife and do not be bitter against them.
Along these lines of not being bitter would fit the phrase "Never contradict or correct her in public." I have also learned and observed that the "successful husband" will never blame or criticize her in public. Stop short of speaking negatively of her parents or relatives.
III Love your Wife - Make Sacrifices for Her
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for it." Ephesians 5:25
Many have read this verse many times. But when one really studies it - it is so simple when the words "…and gave Himself for it (the church, you and me) sinks in. The first word that pops into my mind is "selfish".
Let me tell you the true story of a man (I actually had him in my office during a counseling session.) who had just purchased a new boat, trailer and all the gear. He said, "I am going out to the bay and I'm fishing all the time now." I said, "That's really great. It's nice to go out and relax and unwind and fish. It is a good thing. Does your wife enjoy going out?"
"My wife doesn't touch a fish." He replied and furthermore will not even go out to the large garage and look at my boat." I think to myself - "Oh, you are so uncool - actually foolish. You keep this up all of your free time by yourself or that buddy, that marriage is going to be deflated." So the bottom-line? Spend recreation time with your wife. If that equates to the phrase, "gave Himself for it" so be it.
The meaning is that we as husbands must imitate Jesus in this respect. Being willing to deny ourselves and to bear any, let's say "toil" or "trials" to promote the happiness of our wife. To make it simple. Provide for her wants, take care of her in sickness, go before her in danger, defend her when necessary and be ready to die to save her. If shipwrecked and there is only one plank on which safety can be had, should we not be willing to place her on that, even at the hazard of our self? Of course!
Subjection. Now, that is an important word for us husbands. It is not to be interpreted so as to imply any quality of position or privilege of the husband-wife relationship. The subjection on the part of loving your wife, and being the head of the wife, is not complete discipline over her, but it is love. It is that which holds your wife in a degree of reverence. Now, you should not love her more than God, I am sure you understand that.
May I confess? Years ago - mean a couple of decades - I was in a Board meeting at the church where I was pastoring. (In fact, I pastored that same church for nearly 29 years!) But as a young pastor at that point, I told them that I had a confession to make and it was really important to me. Of course, all eyes were at the head of the table - me.
What did I confess? I told the group that it had to do with my wife, Nancy. Again, the picture is all "leaning forward" with anticipation. I said, "It is really simple. The Holy Spirit has convicted me that I actually love my wife, Nancy, more than the Lord, Jesus. At that point I was able to explain a loving marriage between a guy with his wife and a guy with Jesus.,..and to move it personally to those making up the Board, what was their relationship? I had always excelled in the role of a husband - my wife would attest to that, -but I had put God in the trunk - as a spare tire.
It follows that a husband is in no danger of loving his wife too much, provided he does not love his wife more than God. As I told the Board in so many words. We're to make the love of Christ for the church the model. The bottom line was relationship. We must have that relationship manifest that was the same spirit that Jesus holds to the church.
Earlier I wrote about saving her in the water physically. I must insert here that there is also an obligation to save her spiritually. As gentlemen and as husbands we are to lay our lives down for our wife. We, as Christians, are bound to live as not to interferer with her salvation. We are to promote her salvation is she is not already a Christian. Furnish her with what is needed, like promoting attendance in the worship of God. Don't throw any obstacle in her way. Above all, set the example. Make the path of salvation as easy for her as possible.
Remember husbands the definition of your title: "husband" You ARE the band around the house. Keep it together. Love your wives, even as Jesus loved the church.
You can never say it too much. I love you, dear. I LOVE YOU !
The following insert is from Chapter Seven - Ten Ways to Capture Your Husband's Original Love." It begins with a short fun test. I think it important that we men be aware of some often forgotten little things we can do.
Ten Ways to Capture Your Husband's Original Love
The following is a brief test that can be taken individually to see the degree of effectiveness of the original love. These are not given in any order of importance, just a number of things that are called "little things" which mean a lot.
- Does your husband open the door for you and usher you in and out of the car?
- Do you always receive3 a kiss when he leaves and a kiss when he comes home?
- Does he say often "I love you"?
- Does he notice that new thing that you get or made?
- Does he remember anniversaries and other special days with cards, or some remark and/or a present?
- Does he surprise you from time to time?
- Does he call a few times during the week from work, if possible just to say "hi"?
- Does he from time to time give you a helping hand around the house with the "home operation".
Now, guys this is part of "the package"
IV Love Your Wife - Remember the Children
If husbands recognize that there are duties to wives, then a few remarks regarding children must be in order. The jumping off scripture is Proverbs 22:6.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and
when he is sold, he will not
depart from it."
Guys, not only do we have a responsibility to our wives, but we also have a responsibility to our children. Ours is also to help train. It is not just the wife's description alone.
I once read: God is looking for four most-wanted men. Here they are.
- The man who puts God's business above any other business.
- The man who brings his children to church rather than sending his children.
- The man who is willing to be the right example to every boy he meets.
- The man who is more concerned about winning people to Jesus than he is about worldly honors.
You know, raising children (which you are actually responsible for anyway) includes changing diapers. It means giving or helping at bath time. It means giving, (if so prescribed) medicine when it is around-the-clock. It means going out of the way to really being a DADDY.
Having quality time with your kids is a must. I would make sure that often we had a "date" That was a special time when that child was special and did not have to fight for attention in the family setting. We would go out - and there hundred of things one might do. Most do not cost money at all.
Now, here is a prayer that is old - and simple - and does make a point!
A FATHER'S PRAYER
"Dear Lord, my little boy of three
has said his nightly prayers to Thee.
Before his eyes were closed in sleep,
he asked that Thou his soul would keep.
And, I, still kneeling at his bed,
my hand upon his tousled head,
Do ask with deep humility,
That Thou, dear Lord, remember me.
Make me, kind Lord, a worthy dad,
that I may lead this little lad
In pathways ever bright and right,
That I may keep his steps aright.
Oh, God, his trust must never be destroyed
or ever marred by me.
So, for the simple things he prayed, with
Childish voice, so unafraid,
I trembling ask the same from Thee.
Dear Lord, kind Lord, remember me."
To wrap this segment up guys, we must so cherish our wives. Treat her not as a convenience or as one who plans, executes and prepares our meals, wash and perhaps iron our clothes, but one as a treasure that has been given us by the Lord.
People need people! Husbands need wives! To the husbands, I say love your wife. Take time for her. Make sure that there is a time every day when you just sit down and talk to hear - or perhaps just sit, holing her hand and not saying a word. Actions do speak louder than words.
I like 1 Peter 3:7, "You husbands also, in living with your wives, you musty recognize that they are the weaker sex and so you must treat them with respect, for they also will receive together with you, God's gift of life. Husbands do this so that nothing will hinder your prayers."
One lingering quote: (This is placed on both the husband and wife's page so both can see.) This, of course would vary as to whom one asks. I include it because it can be a kick start for some.
Needs Are Different
Dr. Willard Harley, a Massachusetts psychologist, surveyed the basic needs of men and women in marriage and found (this is amazing) that the needs are completely different. According to Dr. Harley's survey, the top five basic needs of the female in marriage are:
- Financial Support
- Family Commitment
The male's top five basic needs are:
- Sexual Fulfillment
- Recreational Companionship
- An Attractive Wife
- Domestic Support
Looking at both lists, it becomes obvious that if we give our spouses what we need, hoping to receive the same in return, we will miss the mark every time. Therefore, instead of giving what we need, we must affair-proof our marriages by striving to give what our partners need.
A Prayer for This Reader
God, in the name of Jesus, I lift up this one whose eyes are reading these lines.
It is not the same person a time ago, but a very special person right now.
I thank you for the Word which gives us direction in all the
ways of our life. It is truly the "Guide Book" and especially in
the marriage relationship between a man and a woman in
the context of marriage.
May this one acknowledge the fact that a very special
gift has been given him - that of a wife. Bless this one
to respect her, uphold her, honor her, love her, never
be quarrelsome with her and just cherish and treasure
the unique gift.
To that end I ask your blessings on this
reader in the name of Jesus.
Home Commands for Husbands
"The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife." ( 1 Cor. 7:3)
- Love Your Wife As Jesus Loves The Church
Eph. 5:25-27 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."
- Love Your Wife As Your Own Body
Eph. 5:28,29, 33 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
- Cleave To Your Wife
Eph. 5:31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." Matthew 19:4,5 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
- Be Faithful To Your Wife
1 Peter 3:7 "Husband, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."
- Do Not Be Harsh With Your Wife
Col. 3:19, "Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Home Commands for Older Men
"Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have strong faith and be filled with love and patience."
- Be sober, not drinkers of wine
- Be grave (serious) (honest)
- Be temperate (to govern instincts and passions.)
- Sound in faith
- Sound in love (1 Cor. 13:4)
- Sound in patience (Psalm 37:7 and Prov. 16:32)
Tragedy of life, when a man has learned nothing from the years.
FAITH - experiences in life do not take faith, but add to...
LOVE - danger to drift into criticism and fault finding. This takes kindly sympathy away
. PATIENCE - (fortitude) tempered like steel. This man can bear more. He emerges more in conquering. His nature might be weak in body, but he is stronger in these other areas.
Home Commands for Younger Men
Titus 2:6,7,8 "In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely in all they do. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching."
- Be sober minded
- Pattern of good works (Phil. 3:17)
- Incorrupt, grave and sincere
- Sound (whole) speech that can not be condemned.
Youth is a time of danger. Temptation is stronger. "Blood runs hotter" is the saying. There are more opportunities to go wrong. Young men are thrown into company away from home. Much of that does not have godly influences. There is a lack of experience - many young people drive faster, and take responsibility with a more carefree attitude and spirit. Amen.
Home Commands for Fathers
Ephesians 6:4 "and now a word to you fathers. Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord."
Colossians 3:21 "Fathers, don't aggravate your children. If you do, they will become discouraged and quit trying."
- Provoke not children to wrath.
- Correct, do not punish
- Punish, from a principle of revenge. Correction is from a principle of affectionate concern.
- Cruel fathers have bad children.
- Provoke not lest they have a crushed (broken) (sad) spirit.
- Their mind is to be nourished with the things of the Lord and His church
Look up another Note