Role of the Husband in the Bible

"But if any man does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. " 1 Timothy 5:8

"But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. " 1 Cor 11:3

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, " Ephesians 5:25

"Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. " Col 3:19

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See also:

Click to ViewTen Commandments for Husbands!

Click to ViewThe Husband's Responsibility to his Wife & the Bible!

Click to ViewHusband! Are you Taking your Wife for granted???

Click to ViewFather's are critically important to normal development of children.

Click to ViewThe best and worst fathers of the bible.

Introduction and summary: Leader and provider

  1. The first primary role in the family of the man is to show loving leadership over wife and children. Oversight of all matters in the home, both physical and spiritual. Spiritual leadership in family home Bible studies and prayers. The wife is the manager of the home, but the husband is the manager of the wife.  (1 Tim 5:8)
  2. The second primary role in the family of the man is to be the "breadwinner" Works to make money to support family.

Can men understand his wife? YES!
"Live with her in an understanding way, since she is a woman" 1 Peter 3:7

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Talk to me and understand me!

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Ephesians 5:25

            1.         "A great mystery", v.32 ("not obvious to the understanding", THAYER).

                        Love of Christ for church unknown except by revelation, previously mystery.

                        Mystery illuminated by God's rules for marriage. (Obscured by man's ideas.)

            2.         Role model for wives is the church. Role model for husbands is Christ. (Christ also example for wives in submission, I Pet. 3:1.)

  1. Often hear wife's role is hard, against grain. (Acc. to Naves, 52 NT verses)

                        Yet simple compared to husband's job (Acc. to Naves, 23 NT verses).

I.          Leadership.

            A.        Exercise Authority.

                        1.         Husband is head, as Christ is head of church v. 23.

                                    a.         Cf. Eph.1:22, "subjection under", "Head over".

                                    b.         Depreciation of husbands authority depreciates authority of Christ.

                        2.         Other side, submission illustrated in wife's obligation. Emphatically stated.

                                    No way to squirm around it. Likewise with husband's authority.

                        3.         God requires "respect " for this position, v. 33. Cf. David and Saul.

            B.        Be Responsible.

                        1.         Accountable. Cf. Executives; Bank presidents, Head coaches, etc.

                                    a.         Principle is taught in concept of stewardship. I Cor.4:1-2.

                                                Will give account for selfishness, sloth, etc.

                                    b.         Negatively; keeping things under control so that bad things avoided.

                                    c.         Positively; utilizing abilities, motivating, encouraging good things. Wife is to be helper. Let her help. Encourage her, Prov.31:28-31.

                        2.         Good manager must be aware. Must say in touch. Be sure that what should be happening is; that what shouldn't be happening, isn't.

                                    a.         Must keep household under control. Cf. qualifications of elders,

                                                I Tim. 3:4-5 and deacons I Tim. 3:12.

                                    b.         Harder today. Seldom works near home; seldom home for lunch.

                                                Likewise, children are away from home higher percentage of time.

                                                Must work harder today to meet this God given responsibility.

            C.        Provide.

                        1.         Physical: food, clothing, shelter, I Tim. 5:8.

                        2.         Spiritual. Cf. Example of Christ, Eph.5:26-27.

                                    a.         Most important area. Is Father's job, Eph.6:4. Provide leadership

                                                in area of worship, Bible study (Read Bible stories), attendance.

                                    b.         Principle area of failure for Fathers. Too often abdicated to wife.

                                    1)         Result: Impression that Christianity is not manly. Children learn by example. See that Christianity is for women and children. Cf. Artist pictures of Christ; emaciated, anemic.

                                                2)         Christ was a man! (Not Casper Milquetoast).Fought the Devil, won! Grew up in carpenters shop, no power tools. Confronted moneychangers, kicked over tables, drove them out. Not like Mr. Rogers; more like John Wayne.

                        3.         Husband's job is to meet needs of wife & children (whatever the need).

                                    a.         Needs of wife, become husband's needs. Cf. Christ and church.

                                    b.         May seem irrational, but if important to wife, important to husband.

II.        Loving Leadership.

            A.        Like Christ, Eph.5:23.

                        1.         Describes more than authority, also kind of authority.

                                    Like physical head; supervises nourishment, care of body.

                                                Doesn't run off on own. Constantly concerned, aware.

                                                Dedicated to providing for her benefit, her safety.

                        2.         Should make submission easier, though never easy. Cf. Isa.40:10-11.

                        3.         Should generate love in return, Rom.2:4, I Jn.4:19.

                        4.         Misunderstandings:

                                    a.         Such love guarantees wife's love and submission. Cf. Christ.

                                    a.         Husband's authority contingent on his Christ-likeness, I Pet.2:23 3:1.

                                    b.         Excludes commands, I Cor.14:37 (Some afraid to exercise authority).

            B.        Like You Care For Your Body, v. 28-29.

                        1.         Two tender Greek words;

                                    a.         nourish; "to nourish up to bring up." THAYER, p. 200

                                    b.         cherish; "lit. to warm, keep cherish with tender love,

                                                to foster with tender care." Thayer, p. 282

                                    c. v. 31 "one flesh".

                        2.         "as his own body" v.28, Not extent of love but kind of love.

                                    a. Extent is greater; implied in "gave himself up". v. 25.

                                    b. Husband in workshop, slips, gouges arm with tool. Blood drips.

                                     He stops. Gives attention. Immediately heads for medicine chest. Carefully washes, cares for, bandages, protects.

                        3.         "loves himself", v.28. Cf. "as himself" v. 33. A simile. Can't literally.

                                    Involves self-sacrifice, giving self for another. Impossible toward self.

            C.        With understanding, I Pet. 3:7.

                        1.         "Weaker vessel"; feminine. Ought not to expect wife to act like man. H.S. says they are different. They act differently. Must understand.

                        2.         Listen. Ask. Enter into her situation. See, feel what she is facing.

                        3.         Difficult? No one said job was easy. Is your job. Understand!

                                    (Women think submitting is hard, try understanding.)

            D.        With honor, I Pet.3:7.

                        1.         Not second class. Husbands not more important. "Joint heirs."

                        2.         Warning if fail. God turns back on such husbands prayers.

            E.         With love. A command, v. 25.

                        1.         Begin negatively.

                                    a.         Col. 3:19, "not embittered". No conditions. No ifs.

                                                Just simple, plain, unconditional command. Do Not!

                                                1)         A significant, common problem. Put away, Eph.4:31.

                                                2)         Easy to become embittered Especially with high self-image";

                                                            (I am not being treated right.)

                                                3)         Occurs when offenses not dealt with immediately, Eph.4:26-27.

                                                4)         Scriptural solution for husbands bitterness: Realize no excuse! Confess sin. Ask forgiveness of wife. Pray to God.

                                    b.         Command proves love is not a feeling.

                                                1) Hollywood distorts. Love is not a "happening".

                                                            What happens when happening stops happening?

                                                            "Happenings" are not dependable. Feelings are fickle.

                                                2)         Contrast love, I Cor.13:8, "never fails".

                                                3)         Feeling are result. Learn to put others first. Feel differently.

                                                            Feelings are important, but feelings follow. Cf. salvation.

                        2.         Positively: Love is commanded, therefore controllable. Must obey.

                                    a.         Ex: Couple says: "Don't love each other any more." Must repent!

                                    b.         Objection: "Takes all the romance out of love."

                                                1)         Consider part of definition of romance by Webester's NWD:

                                                            "a fictitious tale of wonderful and extraordinary events, characterized by much imagination and idealization.", p.1234

                                                2)         Would you rather base marriage on fickle feelings (here today, gone tomorrow) or covenant made in presence of God (unchanging lifelong commitment), Mal.2:14.

                                                3)         "Romance," as base depends on unrealistic fantasies, fickle feelings, is as far from Biblical love as night is from day.

                                                4)         Does not take feelings out! Those who forget self & learn to love, will have feelings beyond imagination. Otherwise chasing rainbow.

                        3.         Scriptural definition:

                                                1)         "Do Good"; Give self for another.

                                                            Lk.6:27-28, 35; Jn.3:16; IJn.4:9-10; I Jn.3:16-18.

                                                2)         Do good for wife....

                                                            Ahead of self. Good definition of love.

                                                            Ahead of parents. Must leave & cleave, Eph.5:31.

                                                            Ahead of children. A temporary relationship. They will leave.

                                                            Ahead of work. A means for providing. Not end in itself.

                        4.         V.25,   Love is primarily responsibility of husband.

                                    a.         Cf. Christ;

                                                1)         "first loved us", I Jn.4:19.

                                                2)         "loved enemies", Rom.5:6, 8, 10.

                                    b.         Husband, if you do not love your wife, you are at fault, regardless. If your love grown cold, You have sinned.

                                                Can't plead, "She doesn't love me." Your job, first! Like Christ.

                                    c.         You do that by giving time, interest, money, yourself.

                                                Don't wait for "happening". Plan something specific. Now!


1.         Tremendous, difficult responsibility. We won't be perfect. Christ was.

2.         Christ is role model for both husband's authority and wife's submission.

            His example demonstrates both, how to do it and that it can be done.

            (Both husband and wife fail but responsibility of neither is nullified.)

3.         We have guidance of H.S. through God's perfect, complete revelation. Divine wisdom is invaluable advantage. Foolish to think our wisdom is as good or better.

4.         Mysterious, marvelous, unbelievable, mankind has marriage proposal from Christ.

Don Patton


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