Ian Goligher
Duties of Husbands
Definition of husband
From Eph 5
"Husband"  -  ANER  -  MALE
"Head" - KEPHALE  -  figuratively  - part of body which is easily taken hold of to lead.
"Saviour"  SOTER  - deliver /protector/ keeper
The Apostle made much of the example that Christ is the head of the Church and is the saviour of the church.   Saviour in the sense of keeper.
This is how we answer the text 1Tim 4:10  that "God is the Saviour of all men."
God is the protector and provider of all - even the sparrows.
 
Old English word husband   Old Norse word hūsbōndi, meaning "master of a house,"
 
From English Dictionary  Husband
1. A man contracted or joined to a woman by marriage. A man to whom a woman is betrothed, as well as one actually united by marriage, is called a husband. Lev 19. Deu 22.
 
2. In seaman's language, the owner of a ship who manages its concerns in person.
 
3. An economist; a good manager; a man who knows and practices the methods of frugality and profit. In this sense, the word is modified by an epithet; as a good husband; a bad husband. [But in America, this application of the word is used little or not at all used.
 
Webster's Dictionary:  Master of a house:
Noun:  1.  a married man  2.  manager, steward  3  a frugal manager
Adjective  = husbandly    "he acted so carefully that all could see his husbandly manner toward  his animals."
Verb:  = 1 to manage prudently and economically:  2 to use sparingly:  3 conserve.
 
 
From the Bible use of Husbandman:    See Gen 9:20    
There is the related term of husbandry, which is the care of farms, garden, vineyards or animals.
See Uzziah's love of husbandry in 2Chron. 26:9,10. ***  "For he loved husbandry."
 
So that will do for a definition of the very term husband.    Now here is a question:   If men were to apply the same care to farms or any other industry as they do to their own homes and marriages how would they do? 
 
In marriage we have a mandate or a calling to act as a husband who will care for the home, the new family he is starting through marriage, for his wife whom he promises before God to cherish.
 
That brings about the mandate to act as a husband, a head, a provider and saviour who cares for all the needs of the family.
 
Now as we come to this chapter and look for the duties of the husband what do we find.   Scan your eye through these verses 25 - 33. You will find that there is but one great duty for the husband with regard to his wife.  He is to love her.   That's it.  I go then to Col. 3 which is a mini passage on these themes and I find the same in Col. 3:19.
 
Here is the one thing that is required and it is God's command to the husband and it is God's remedy to the needs and problems that may arise in any marriage.  Husband love your wife.  
 
  1. LOVE YOUR WIFE UNCONDITIONALLY    'As Christ loved the church."
So I am forced to consider this parallel, this mystery of marriage.   It is a picture of the love of the Lord for his bride the church.  
I am then forced to think on the manner in which the Lord loved us and I can only think of the term unconditionally.
When the Lord set His love upon us we were unworthy.  We were rebels and failures.  But God in grace loved us with an unconditional love.
Being in covenant with Him for eternal life he has taken us to be his bride no matter what our weaknesses, failures, or our abilities.
This becomes a matter of confidence building in your marriage.   It ought not to be a performance test each day or each week.
The new wife will find that she is trying to please her husband in the home with her home making skills.
  1. Cooking
  1. Baking
  1. Cleaning the house
  1. Managing the affairs of the home and so on.
  1. Maybe she will feel inadequate at your work Christmas-party.  Or she will feel that she cannot do the right things to hold you up before the family circle or friends. In her mind it will add up to the fear that she will lose her husband's love.
She then ends up on a treadmill of fear trying and trying but not able to do well enough in her mind.
Your wife must be reassured that your love is unconditional.  
This may happen when sickness comes along.
This may happen with some spirit of depression.   Once called a nervous breakdown.
The joy and happiness of life is gone.  The girlish happiness is lost for a season and to multiply it all the fear sets in asking, how can my husband love me in this state.
That is why a wife needs to know that she is loved not for her works or her practical contributions, but for just because she is your wife.    That the unconditional love is assured and unfailing.
In elder years this continues to be exceedingly important.  The young years of life may be over.  The focus is now on staying healthy and keeping going through the chores of life.   It is then that unconditional love must be assured.
This is how the Lord loves us.     He loves us when we are weary and tired.  He loves us when we fail and when we hurt and when we stumble and He is there to pour grace into our lives even though we know we don't deserve it.
To love your wife as Christ loved the church is to love her unconditionally
 
  1. LOVE YOUR WIFE SACRIFICIALLY  "and gave himself for it." v25
The death of Christ for His people is the ultimate in sacrificial love.    It sets the highest standard for us all that we might show this kind of love.
That is the AGAPE love  - the love that gives without seeking return.   
It is self-denying love.    "Self and selfishness are the greatest disrupting forces in the world."
Marriage calls for a new kind of self-denial - a submission to one another.    See v21  -  Key verse in this chapter.***********
Marriage is God's cure for selfishness.   It is the opportunity to show forth the power of the gospel that you care for your wife in a real practical loving manner, even it means pains and expense to you.
In fact where true love rules the heart to serve and minister to your wife is joy and happiness. 
Sacrificial love has joy in it.  It has purity in it.
Your motive may be questioned if you were to display that kind of love to anyone else.  Your character would be brought into question if you treated all ladies the same way.
But you can never love your wife too much.  
You can never do too much to display the love of your heart for her.   It will only increase the honour of your wedding vows and your manliness as a husband who follows the great example of the Lord's love for His church.
  1. LOVE YOUR WIFE BENEFICIALLY  v26,27,
"that he might present to himself a glorious church".     That is how the Lord Jesus loved the church.     All his work as a servant in this world.  All his doing the will of the Father was to benefit and include his bride in the great scheme of redemption.    He laboured to promote and to bring his bride home to glory.
That is how a husband labours.   He plans to marry.  He works to save money.  He builds a house.  He wants to bring his bride home.    His labour is for that happy day when they will live together.
Everything that a husband does as a husband should  either:
  1.  Include his wife
One way to do so is to include your wife in everything you do.    Do not shut her out of your life. 
She is your other half.  
There must be no independent thinking without consideration of what is for her good and for her joy.
"The moment a man thinks of himself in isolation he has broken the marriage." M.L. Jones.    He has returned to selfishness and to only think of self.
  1. Be for his wife
For her practical provision  -  This is the duty of the man.   He is to provide for his household.   He is to see to the financial needs  - it is not the burden of the wife.
  • For her peace of mind    "Do nothing that will cause her fear"     Do nothing that will create a division.
Reason to settle differences quickly.    Let not the sun go down on your wrath."  Eph. 4:26.
Remember that your wife is the weaker vessel.  1Peter 3:7
  • For her encouragement -  Sometimes it only takes a kind word, or a little extra time.   A word of thanks for the food on the table.  Just to know that her work in the kitchen is not taken for granted.
Perhaps a change in routine in the home once in a while will make the difference.***
Another point of encouragement is to talk to your wife.***      Communication is so important.
It is essential for a growing marriage.
Set aside time to talk together.
Go for a walk together.
Go out from the busy family for an hour.***
  • For her soul's good -   Never forget that you are your wife's spiritual leader.   Be a Bible reader in the home.  Be a man of prayer with your whole family.
  - Don’t forget that one on one prayer time with your wife.****       
 
  1. LOVE YOUR WIFE UNRESERVEDLY  v28,33   "even as himself"
This comes from the amazing mystery of marriage.   The fact that husband and wife are in God's sight one flesh.  They are not two units but one.  They are not partners as in a business arrangement, they are half of one whole marriage unit.
It is therefore madness to become bitter against your wife.  It is like hating your own body. It is like mutilating your own limbs. Who would suddenly begin hacking at one of his legs or arms unless he was deranged?
Likewise to cease to love your wife and turn to bitterness is to act in a crazy fashion says the apostle in v29.  "No man ever yet hated his own flesh."
 
For this Christ-like love in marriage, we are dependent upon our new life in Christ.   We must be living in the power of the Lord.   You will notice before the apostle proceeds to these commands to wives, and husbands, children, servants and masters he points us to the need for the Holy Spirit.  Eph. 5:18
 
When you find your marriage is in difficulties and issues arise there is one thing to pray for: Holy Spirit power to love your wife.    When she seems to be wrong, when her thinking is weak, when you cannot seem to get it together for long, and you have a struggle to find the way forward  then it is time to pray for power to love your wife.
You are not alone in this command. It is the will of God. You may be hurt and you may be smarting and you may be afraid to become vulnerable again it is then you need God's help to love your wife.
 
It is then that you need AGAPE love  - you need unconditional love, you need sacrificial love, you need unreserved love for the one you married and promised to have and to hold to honour cherish and love.
 
You will never out love or outdo the love of the Saviour for your soul.****    It is the Calvary Christian who will find the spiritual power to love his wife.
 
Now, this is the duty of a husband. A manager,  A caretaker or keeper of the home and the family will give himself to this one priority above everything else - to love his wife. 
Whether in a cottage or castle, whether in riches or poverty, whether in sickness or in health:   this one thing will keep your marriage healthy - to love your wife even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. This is the first priority of a Christian home.