How does a godly husband act? Is he just a regular husband who happens to love God? Or is there something substantively different in the way he relates to his wife?
“For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.” (Ephesians 5:23)
Being a Christian husband is so much more than just the intersection of being a husband and loving Christ, because not only do those who love Christ relate differently to those around them than those who don’t, but also because a Christian husband has responsibilities the ungodly are not even aware of.
A Christian husband is, first and foremost a priest, lifting up to God in prayer those he is responsible for. One of the oldest examples of familial priesthood is Job:
“In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil…His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, ‘Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ This was Job’s regular custom.” (Job 1:1, 4, 5 NIV)
Because “…we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all,” (Hebrews 10:10 NIV) we no longer offer sacrifices, but a godly father will be diligent to lift his loved ones up in prayer to God.
Furthermore, as prophecy is not only foretelling, but also “forth-telling” God’s Word, a Christian husband is also a prophet. It is his job to make sure his family knows what God says and does it.
“…The husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church.” Yet the passage continues, “…Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives…” (Ephesians 5:25-28a)
Biblically, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, which includes a desire to “present her…not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” A godly husband cannot ignore the spiritual condition of his wife; to the contrary, he will be diligent to ascertain that she too is growing in her knowledge of and love for Christ.
Lastly, a Christian husband will lead wisely. He will give his family an example of service, not seek to be served, remembering Jesus said in God’s kingdom, “…whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.” (Matthew 20:26b) He will use his headship in a way that honors God, and will steer his family towards holy living and the furtherance of Christ’s kingdom.
Thank You for how much You love us, Your church. Help us model this love to those we are responsible for. Amen.