The position of the husband in the home and his related responsibilities are quite clearly defined in principle in Ephesians 5:22, 28-31. "Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the church; and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wife as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it . . . So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church . . . For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shal.1 be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh".
It is impossible to completely deal with the responsibilities of the husband in such a short article. I am going to ask you to make some notations of scriptures and then read them at a later time. Let us start with some scriptures that deal with the husband as head of the house. Genesis 3:16, says in part "her desire shall be to man". Then Eph. 5:23, "husband is head of the wife"; then I Tim. 2:11-12, "She shall have no dominion over a man". Now don't stop at these verses and think that the only responsibility of the husband is to be HEAD of the house. By the way, head does not mean master as in a master-slave relationship, nor does it mean a relationship like a general to a private in the army. It is more like a partnership where one is the leader, guide, director. Now consider this. Can you think of any decision that a husband should make WITHOUT consulting or considering his wife and her wishes? I cannot!
Now let us consider some other responsibilities. The husband is to love his wife above all other human beings. Consider Eph. 5:25 and 28; and Col. 3:19. These passages teach that the husband is to be considerate and tender. The verses in Ephesians 5 teach that the husband is to cherish his wife. This means that she is to be treated with tenderness and affection. This would mean that since love must be fed, there is to be a warm demonstrative love relationship. The husband has the responsibility of not only demonstrating his love and concern, but telling her. He should not sit in such self-absorption that he does not talk with her and communicate with her socially, mentally, verbally and physically. The husband will demonstrate his love for his wife in other ways, rather than just at the time of sexual relationship. If this is the only time that affection and consideration is shown, then a wife will get the idea that all a husband is interested in is her body and that she is merely a sex object.
I Peter 3:7, teaches that the husband is to honor his wife. She gave up her name to take yours. Honor means that you should show her respect and this involves courtesy, consideration and emotional support. Be sure that as her husband that you do not hold her up to ridicule in public by the cutting remarks that you make. She wears YOUR name and is to viewed as part of your body. She is not perfect and you are aware of this. Do not expect perfection, but as Ephesians 4:32 teaches, "forbear one another". This means to be gentle toward her. Control of temper, abstaining from physical violence and restraining a sharp tongue that makes one feel so inferior - are ways by which you can exhibit forbearance.
Paul presents another responsibility of husbands in I Timothy 5:8 - "But if any provide not for his own, especially for those of his own household, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel". Marriage is a financial venture and the husband has a responsibility to finance or support or provide for his family. This is talking about money. As a husband, your earnings are not your own but belong to your wife as well and your children.
Another responsibility of the husband is to be active in the area of the discipline and rearing of the children. When the Apostle Paul was giving the qualifications for elders and deacons, he included this statement that is certainly applicable to all men: I Timothy 3:3-5, and he speaks of ruling your own house. Now this discipline should be with love. Many times discipline is administered without love. The Book says in Ephesians 6:4, "Fathers provoke not your children to wrath", and again in Colossians 3:21, "Fathers provoke not your children to anger lest they be discouraged". The husband therefore does not leave all the discipline up to his wife, but shares in the molding and direction of your children. It is not a proper division of responsibility to say that as the husband I will provide the living and the wife is to take care of the house and children. The husband has duties even after his days work is done by which lie is earning a living to support his family.
The Christian father should set an example for his family as he earns a living, directs the household with concern for each member, and as he fulfills his role as head of the house. He should see to their spiritual development by the life he lives and the direction in which he leads his family.
Your wife is a part of your body - you are a part of each other. For this reason Paul said, "Love your wife". He didn't say, if you want to. As you love her, you love yourself and are fulfilling the role that the Lord wanted you to have.
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