Somebody recently expressed to me their observation on the attitude of a lot of people pertaining to getting married: “It’s about like buying a pair of shoes. If this pair doesn’t work out, they’ll go buy another pair. If this marriage doesn’t work out, they’ll go get another husband or wife.” While it might not be quite that flippant, I’d say that’s a pretty accurate depiction of the careless attitude of many folks pertaining to marriage.
A great deal of careful forethought ought to be given to marriage long before a person ever reaches the point of getting married. A woman needs to have a good understanding of the roles that God has appointed for a wife in marriage, and a man needs to understand the roles instructed by God for a husband. If a person cannot live up to those roles in a reasonable fashion, they should not get married.
A husband should cherish his wife. He should love her as his own body, enough to die for her (Eph. 5:25, 28-29, 33). In the beginning God created the woman to be a soul-mate to the man and brought her to him as his wife (Gen. 2:18-24). Obviously, then, a husband is also to be a soul-mate to his wife. A wife should love her husband and fill her role in the home (1 Tim. 5:14; Tit. 2:3-5).
A husband is to be the head of the home (Eph. 5:22-24). He’s not a boss or a dictator, he’s responsible for being the leader within his home, seeing to the well-being of his family (1 Cor. 11:3). In that role a wife is to respect and be submissive to her husband (Eph. 5:22-24). Such goes back to how God designed the marriage relationship in the beginning (Gen. 3:16) and is an identifying trait of a Christian wife (Col. 3:18).
A husband is responsible for supporting his family by working for a living (1 Tim. 5:8). He should not expect somebody else to provide for his family (2 Thess. 3:10-12). This role can also be traced to the beginning (Gen. 2:15; 3:19).
Both husband and wife have mutual roles in their sexual relationship, each being responsible to the other. They are to give themselves to each other and respect each other’s needs, being there for each other (1 Cor. 7:3-5).
Overshadowing and governing every other role, a husband is to lead his family to be faithful to God (Eph. 6:4). His wife and children should get to Heaven largely because of his teaching and example. They should not have to get to Heaven in spite of his poor example and lack of godly guidance.
It is extremely unfortunate that many men are careless, irresponsible and even lazy in regard to the roles that God has laid out for them as husbands. It is equally unfortunate that many women are careless as to their roles as wives. Marriages will be enriched, the love between spouses will be deeper and the homes formed through those marriages will be stronger when husbands and wives faithfully and lovingly fulfill their roles appointed them by God…
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Gary L. Hutchens