In our day, husbands have been caricatured into those who are embarrassments, incompetent, absent and more often than not disappointments. However, the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5 paints a different picture of who husbands ought to be like. Much less like Homer, the husband is to be much more like Jesus! Indeed, the 2 illustrations that Paul stresses for the role of the husbands is the dynamic between the Head and the Body and the Christ and the Church.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour.
If you think about it with me for a moment. How important is the head to the body? Or how important is the Christ to the Church? If the body doesn’t have a head, if the church doesn’t have the Christ, then both the body and the church are dead. This is how important you husbands are to your wives. This is the responsibility and the high calling you have as husbands.
1. Husbands are to lead their wives.
This leadership is the kind you get from knowing the Saviour. It is a servant-hearted leadership. A leadership which recognises its responsibilities rather than its rights. And is fierce in its commitment to service. John Piper very eloquently states that: ‘Servanthood does not nullify leadership; it defines it. Jesus does not cease to be the Lion of Judah when he becomes the lamb-like servant of the church.’
2. Husbands are to love their wives.
This love describes much more the actions of love than it is does the feelings of love. Paul describes the actions of love like that which Christ had for the church and gave himself up for her. It is a sacrificial kind of love which means that loving like this will hurt. But it is also a purposeful kind of love. And though painful, it is worth it because it is for her sanctification – that she should would be holy and without a blemish. Husbands ought to be concerned for their wife’s holiness and in doing so be concerned for their wife’s happiness too.
3. Husbands are to nourish and cherish their wives.
Paul says that when husbands love their wives they are just loving themselves. This is not in some narcissistic or selfish sense but a matter of fact and a matter of nature as
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.
So, what you are prepared to do for your own body you should be prepared to do for your wife. But more than that, what your wife needs is then what you need for you are together one body, one flesh.
Husbands, answer the calling that God has given to us. Wives, encourage your Husbands. Young men, this is who you need to become. Young women, this is who you should look for. Older Men, Older Women, spur one another on and then pass it on.
Boon Guo Quah