“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Men At Work - V - Marital Roles III

This is my beloved wife!

This will be the final post as regards marital roles. I have previously discussed the role of the wife in submission to her husband's leadership, and in the last post, I addressed a few of the husband's responsibilities. I would like to close out this section with a some final thoughts regarding this:

Ephesians 5:25 - 33 -- Husbands, love your wives, 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, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

1. Men are often told that they are the master of their home, and therefore, their needs are the most important. This is where the whole 'male headship' aspect of Christian homes can be taken out of context. Yes, wives are to submit to the male headship in their homes, but, as I posed in the previous post, men have the greater responsibilities towards their wives.

2. Notice that Paul directs men to love their wives as they love themselves; if we ONLY did that, we would see a tremendous difference in our wives! But then he goes on to say that we are to nourish and cherish our wives. As the last post noted, one aspect of nourishing our wives is to be the spiritual leaders in our home, spiritually nourishing them with a steady diet of the Word, and prayer. Another, and I feel equally true aspect is to provide for our families physical needs. Many men today allow their wives to be the primary breadwinner in the home, even if they have children that need to be tended to! Men are to provide for their wives. This is not a statement about women working outside the home, rather it is an observation regarding the number of women who provide the primary income for the family. I realize that I sound like a Luddite, and maybe I am, but I know that the Bible speaks of men providing for their families, and while you can examine Proverbs 31 and see an industrious and productive woman, I think that it is imperative for men to be the one who provides the leadership, not just in the home, but in getting and keeping a job!

Many men today are content to let their wives do the work, and they can be housedads. I disagree with this -- children need to see a home where leadership and sacrifice are modeled by the father. This provides a healthy image of our heavenly Father for children. You would not believe how many people I have counseled at church who cannot fathom God as their heavenly 'Father'. This is so often due to the fact that the father they knew was lazy, self-centered and ofttimes cruel to his family; frequently forcing mom to be the one doing all of the sacrificing. This should not be!

I also recognize that there are times when a man may be unemployed while his wife retains her job, but this should be a situational issue, and not the normative pattern. Men need to provide for their wives.

3. Now notice that a man is to cherish his wife! Do you cherish your wife? Does she know it? Our wives need to know that we cherish them; they should have no doubt about this! Proverbs 31:10 - An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. How many of us think of our wives in that manner? Is your wife more important to you than your job, your bank account, your buddies, your life itself? Why not? When a woman is cherished, she will respond.

Men, I challenge you to love and cherish your wives, sacrificing your wants and needs for hers, and ensuring that she knows you are providing self-sacrificial love and leadership to your home. Drop the machismo act and the swagger, and begin leading in the manner of Christ! You may be surprised at your wife's response!

I state here publicly that I try to love and cherish my wife to the best of my ability. There is no one I want to spend time with more then her. We share everything in our life, and she is both a sincere critic, and ardent supporter. We have a marriage that is truly made in heaven!

And that is my prayer for all Christians!

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