Originally posted February 1, 2014 – but now accompanied by a podcast
Have you ever recognized an area of your leadership that needed to improve, but you just didn’t know how to improve it? Maybe it was through self revelation, some performance feedback mechanism, or a teaching or lesson that you came to know that certain leadership skills were weak. For me, this often occurs in church when a preacher or teacher tells me that I am supposed to be the spiritual leader of my family. I always seem to be left with the thought, “great, now I know I’m suppose to lead my family spiritually – but how?”
In this article, I’d like to focus on one aspect of a man’s role at home; the role of husband. Now don’t misinterpret this article to indicate that I’m the perfect husband or that I have women all figured out; nothing could be farther from the truth. I don’t intend for this article to be a Bible study, but I feel it very necessary to seek out books of wisdom that speak to the subject at hand. The Bible offers a great deal of wisdom that describes our role as husbands, so I’ll reference a few verses as the basis for these 4 nuggets of wisdom that will instantly make you a better husband. That is they will make you a better husband immediately upon practicing the principles. It isn’t enough to just know these principles, you must put them into practice.
Lets start with the Bible verses; Ephesians 5:25-27 (emphasis added with underlining to focus our attention on the 4 nuggets of wisdom described below).
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.
Love Is A Verb
The first nugget of wisdom tells husbands to love our wives. Now that sounds simple, right? After all, that is why we got married; because we love our wives. But let’s look a bit deeper at the notion of loving our wives. The word love as used in this verse is a verb. Now I’m a math and science guy, but I know enough about my English grammar to understand that a verb represents action. The verse doesn’t advise us to have love (noun) for our wives, it doesn’t even advise us to tell our wives that we love them. The verse requires that we take action to show our wives that we love them. Ask yourself, “what action have I taken today to show my wife that I love her?”
Love Is A Choice
The second nugget of wisdom tells us that Jesus loves the church. Again this sounds simple enough, but we must recognize that Jesus, as described in other parts of the Bible, is fully God and the church is a group of sinful mere humans. Given that disparity there is no real reason for Jesus to love the church. The only reason Jesus loves the church is because he has made the choice to do so. Love is not based on feeling or emotions, that’s just infatuation. Love is based on a decision of exclusivity and dedication. The choice to love your wife is proven during the most difficult times within a marriage. Ask yourself, “is my choice to love my wife apparent during the most difficult situations of our marriage?”
Love Is A Sacrifice
The third nugget of wisdom speaks to sacrifice. The verse describes how Jesus “gave Himself” for the church. This is a clear reference to the fact that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice (death) for the people of the church that he had made a decision to love. Now, this verse isn’t telling husbands to go out and get ourselves murdered for our wives, but it is telling us that we must sacrifice for our wives. Sacrifice for our wives is essentially a statement to the effect that life is no longer about ourselves after marriage, life is now about serving and sacrificing for the needs and wants of our wife. Now don’t think that you are sacrificing for your wife every day when you leave the house to go to work. You would have to work whether you were married or not. You sacrifice for your wife when you give up something you want or need for something she wants or needs. Ask yourself, “what have I given up to meet the wants or needs of my wife today?”
Love Is Uplifting
Our final nugget of wisdom for this article describes why we make the choice to show action and sacrifice for our wives. We do so for the purpose of lifting them up. Lifting their spirit, their attitude, their hope, and their happiness. Sure, the verse speaks of making holy and we know that only God can make a person holy. So this isn’t giving husbands the impossible task of making a person holy. The next verse goes on the mention the splendor, spotless, wrinkle less, holy, and blameless nature that can be brought about by the spiritual leadership of a good husband. Ask yourself, “how have I lifted the hopes, spirit, attitude, or happiness of my wife today?”
So there you have it men, 4 simple nuggets of wisdom found in the Bible that when practiced will certainly make you a better husband. So in the spirit of super bowl weekend, let’s pick up the ball and run with it.
MEN – Be sure to encourage others by sharing your nuggets of wisdom that will help men be better husbands – share them below in the comments.
LADIES – Be sure to let us men know how you’d like us to better serve in our role as spiritual leader. Don’t assume we already know – share your thoughts in the comments below.
Lastly, I’ve included several links to resources that I’ve found very beneficial in my maturity and continued growth as a husband. Be sure to check them out for yourself.