“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 as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:25-28 NKJV)
So what exactly is a husband? Thankfully, many of the iconic characteristics of husbands have been reduced in recent years. You know, the idea that the husband is the stubborn man who never stops for directions has been slain by the GPS. The idea that he is the repair man in the family has been diminished by new cars so complex it takes a certified technician to change the oil. Even the idea of the husband being the bread winner has been challenged by a competitive market that has seen men lose their jobs and become “house husbands”.
Earlier I said ‘thankfully’ and here’s why; with the stereotypes out of the way, it’s easier to define husbands in spiritual terms. If you’re a man who aspires to be a husband or a woman looking for one, Paul gives us at least three characteristics to strive to become and search to find.
A husband loves his wife deeply and sacrificially.
Jesus said the greatest love is when a person lays down his life for a friend (John 15:13). In a modern context, it’s the kind of love that seeks to make sure your wife is loved and knows it. This type of love may require doing things that have little meaning for you, but mean the world to her.
Paul also reveals a husband is a spiritual leader in his family.
Sanctification (setting things aside for God’s uses) and cleansing through washing were common practices of the priests in biblical times. The priests were the spiritual leaders among God’s people. They had the responsibility of going before God on behalf of the people. Husbands should also be priests of their homes, seeking God in a loving growing relationship with him. Through that relationship, they actively seek God’s favor and direction on behalf of their families.
Lastly, a husband helps his wife become the best she can be in her faith.
Godly husbands should grow in God’s word and be comfortable applying God’s word to their lives and their spouse’s life. They should be ready to wash down every situation their spouses face with principles and precepts from God’s word. They should encourage, provide for, and participate in faith building activities that enrich the spiritual lives of their spouses.
Husbands are men of God who lead the way in love, spirit, and faith.