Biblical Examination of the Husband's Behaviours Toward His Wife
Pastor David Green
Somehow in many Baptist circles, the women have been picked on and criticized much more than the men. Sometimes errors do need to be corrected and sometimes it is necessary to preach about the woman's place in the church, but let us not forget to preach the whole counsel of God.
Yes, some of the problems in our nation has been because of women being out of their place, but without excusing them, I'd like to point out that many men have neglect their duties as husbands as well.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it...” (Ephesians 5:25)
I'd like to point out that God's love for His church does not change over time. It is a never ending love. It is not a love that is conditional on the church's part. It is an unfailing love.
Men ought to love their wives in the same way that Christ loves the church – forever, unconditionally, and perfectly. None of us have perfect wives, nor does Jesus have a perfect church. Since love is foundational to a good marriage and it must permeate every thing he does for or with his wife, we will spend more time on this than anything else.
love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his
friends.” (John 15:13)
Jesus expressed His love in the greatest way possible – by laying down His life for us. Now, consider for a moment, the fact we did not deserve it. “We love Him, because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19). He loved us that much before we loved Him. He loved us even when we were unlovable. According to our text, we MSUT love our wives the way Christ loves the church. A man ought to love his wife so much that he would be willing to die for her.
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.”
We are told the husband ought to love his wife even as his own body. In the act of marriage, two become one. And no man, in his right mind, ever hated his own body. No matter how imperfect, deformed, or grotesque a person is they still have a deep love for themselves. That's just the way it is and why there is never a command in scripture to love yourself. It is just natural. And it ought to be just as natural for a man to love his own wife as he does his own body.
joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of
thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of
thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour
which thou takest under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes
CHARITY 101: HUSBAND EDITION
suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth
not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly,
seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all
things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall
fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be
knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (1 Corinthians
Notice some characteristics of love, and while these characteristics apply to everyone, for the sake of this article, we shall expound on these as applicable to a husband:
Charity suffereth long – is patient, slow to anger, not quick of resentment, nor hasty to revenge is ready to forgive. It is opposed to haste; to passionate expressions and thoughts, and to irritability. It denotes the state of mind which can bear long when oppressed, provoked, calumniated, and when one seeks to injure us.
Charity is kind – The word kind is defined in Webster's 1828 Dictionary is said to be “disposed to do good to others, and to make them happy by granting their requests, supplying their wants or assisting them in distress; having tenderness or goodness of nature; benevolent; benignant.” Kindness goes a long way in the marital relationship. The man who would say he loves his wife but is unkind to her is a liar and breaking the commandments of God. (See Ephesians 4:32; I Peter 3:8). Some women like hugs and kisses. Others like to cuddle. Some women enjoy it when their husbands will volunteer to unload the dishwasher. Every man ought to try to figure out what it is that his wife views as the ultimate act of kindness and then do it as often as possible.
Charity envieth not – does not grieve at the goodness of others. We sometimes use the word jealousy. Love is neither jealous nor envious of others. (See James 3:14-16)
Charity vaunteth not itself – is not a proud boaster. This proceeds from the idea of “superiority” over others; and is connected with a feeling of contempt or disregard for them. Charity does not swell to demand honour, or power, or respect, which does not belong to it. The man who is apt to despise his wife, or trample on her, or treat her with contempt and scorn is not loving his wife.
Charity is not puffed up - Pride flies in the face of true love. Show me a man who is filled with pride for himself and I will show you a man who does not love his wife. He loves himself, and loves his wife as long as she agrees with him, but woe to that poor woman if she ever disagrees with him. Men, none of us are always right all the time. Yet some men – even Baptist men – seem to believe in their own infallibility. Some men are never wrong and if you don't believe that, just ask them. This is unscriptural and unbecoming of love. Men aren't always right and your wife is not always wrong! (See Philippians 2:3; Romans 12:10) True love will give us an esteem of our wife, and raise our value for her; and this will limit our esteem of ourselves, and prevent the sins of self-conceit and arrogance.
Charity doth not behave itself unseemly - Webster's defined this word as “Not fit or becoming; uncomely; unbecoming; indecent.” It means improper conduct, or disgraceful acts, or in a manner to deserve reproach. Love seeks that which is proper or becoming in the circumstances and relations of life in which we are placed. A man might be husband, father, supervisor, etc. but not all of these to the same person. A man's behavior towards his children had better be different than his behaviour to his wife. For instance, the Bible gives clear direction about disciplining children. In fact, the Scriptures are clear this is a sign of love toward them and their well-being (See Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15, 17). Yet there is not one shred of evidence that such behaviour is to be directed to your wife. Directed toward her it is abuse. She is not your child and is not to be treated like one. Just as it would be a sin against God and all things decent to apply Proverbs 5:18-19 to your children, so it is a sin against God and all things decent to use Proverbs 13:24, etc to apply to your wife. Any man who would spank his wife, ground her, hit her, etc is not in love with his wife and is in error not knowing the Scriptures.
Charity seeketh not her own – This means it is not selfish; it does not seek its own happiness exclusively or mainly; it does not seek its own happiness to the injury of others. A man who only looks to his own happiness and cares not for what makes his wife happy, or worse yet, keeps himself happy at the hurt of his wife does not love her no matter what he says. To neglect his wife so as to make himself happy all the time is the sin of selfishness. (Philippians 2:4)
Charity is not easily provoked – Love corrects a sharpness of temper, sweetens and softens the mind, so that it does not suddenly conceive, nor long continue, a vehement passion. It is hard to become angry with the one you love. A person under the influence of love is not “prone” to violent anger or exasperation; not hasty, excited, or passionate. He is calm, serious, patient. He looks soberly at things; and though he may be injured, yet he governs his passions, restrains his temper, subdues his feelings. A woman who must always “walk on egg shells” around her husband is not loved. (See Proverbs 14:17; James 1:19)
Charity thinketh no evil – There are two ways of looking at this phrase: (1) The man who is in love with his wife does not think of the evil that is done him by her; he forgives, as God has forgiven him, so as to forget the injury done him, and remembers it no more. He does not bring it up again, or keep it written down, or record it anywhere. He forgives and forgets. (Matthew 18:21-22). (2) Love puts the best possible construction on the motives and the conduct of others. The husband under the influence of love, is not malicious, disposed to find fault, or to impute improper motives to his wife.
Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity – A man who is really in love with his wife will take no pleasure in doing injury or hurting her in any way. The husband who will abuse his wife either physically or verbally does not love her. Iniquity is the enemy of love. (Matthew 24:12)
Charity delights in the truth – In this context of the passage, what is meant here primarily is the opposite of iniquity - goodness. A husband who is in love with his wife will rejoice to do her good and rejoice when she does good as well. A man ought to please his wife...if he really loves her. (I Corinthians 7:33; I Timothy 5:8)
Charity beareth all things – Or in other words, covers all things. While a man ought to be willing to confess his own faults to others, it is not right for him to publish the faults of his wife. It is not his place to write of them on the internet, take them to the church, speak of them on the phone, etc. (Proverbs 10:12; I Peter 4:8; Galatians 6:2). And, by the way, if a man is so critical of his wife in how she does not keep the house clean enough, get her work done in a day's time, cook his food the way he likes etc and yet refuses to help with those things, he is only proving himself to be a lazy good for nothing husband who lacks any understanding of love. Further, instead of always pointing out her flaws, he should probably check out his own (Matthew 7:5). And then, he should praise her for the good woman she really is.
Charity believeth all things – A husband who loves his wife is apt to believe well of her, to entertain a good opinion of her when there is no appearance to the contrary.
Charity hopeth all things – True love does not despair, but is full of hope. No matter what the situation, true love will never give up hope...
Charity endureth all things – A loving husband will never give up, but will carry on, enduring even the most extreme circumstances.
Charity never faileth - It is permanent and lasting. True love never ends.
If a man isn't loving his wife the way that Christ loves the church then he needs to repent of his rebellion and submit to the clear command of Scriptures!
Back in the 1600s, there was a theory popular among the tyrants who ruled various countries in Europe called the "divine right of kings" or "divine-right theory of kingship." It was a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserted that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God. The king is thus not subject to the will of his people, the aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm, including any church. The doctrine implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act.
Of course, this is not Scriptural. The theory was used to justify any action the king might do or not do. It totally ignored Bible passages such as Romans 13:3-4, which do teach that the king has certain responsibilities. Yet it is an idea popular among some men, even some Baptists, who believe that since they are the head of the house, they can tell their woman anything and she has to do it. If she refuses, no matter her ground, she is said to be a disobedient and unfit wife. Tyrants have no place as king or pastor, nor do they have any place as husband. Notice:
ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ..... But I would have
you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the
woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (1
Corinthians 11:1, 3)
Husbands, remember that you are subject to Christ. You are not above service, and one day you must answer to Him. It is a fact that the husband is the head of the house, but he is not to rule over her as a king does his subjects or a master does his slaves. His countenence must be friendly, his language to her must be mild and respectful. His reproofs should be gentle. Love should permeate everything about the husband's behavior towards his wife.
submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.....
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be
to their own husbands in every thing.” (Ephesians
It is a fact that the Bible teaches women are to submit to their own husbands. Is this to mean that if he says to her to quit praying, or to go out and prostitute herself on the street that she must obey? Absolutely not! If it is something forbidden by God's Word, then she must disobey him, following the principle of Acts 5:29, “...We ought to obey God rather than men.” I would remind my reader that only God is worthy of total and complete obedience. No man, ruler, king, pastor, or husband is totally infallible and worthy of total and complete obedience. The man who would demand such is in a most dangerous position very similar to the sin of Lucifer who said “I will be like the most High.” (See Isaiah 14:12-15)
“For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” (1 Peter 3:5-6)
Sara called Abraham lord, but study all of the information about their lives together (and there is a lot of it) and you'll never find an instance where he treated her like his servant, or even demanded that he be called lord. He was not an overbearing tyrant, but a loving husband to her and she respected him for that!
I have very little patience and no respect for any man who would abuse a woman, whether it be physically or mentally. As I stated earlier, so I will repeat it again, there is not one ounce of Scripture to back up or give grounds for any kind of abuse to a woman. Any man who would spank his wife, ground her, put her in the corner, hit her, threaten her, etc is not in love with his wife and is in gross error of the Scriptures.
My daughter is much too young for a relationship with a man as of the time of this writing, but woe to the man who would DARE touch her and I find out about it. He will regret the day he ever did anything to her!
I would further say that any woman who is in an abusive relationship ought to get out of it and SHAME on ANY preacher who would tell her to stay in it! Unless there is repentance, verbal abuse will turn into physical abuse and physical abuse will turn into murder.
is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear
hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
(1 John 4:18)
Many a woman lives in fear because of their husband. This ought not to be. Again, using the example of Christ loving the church, we must remember that our Lord is gracious when we make mistakes, sin, and fall short of His expectations. Why then do some men think they are doing good when they make their wife to live in so much fear? God does not make our lives totally miserable when we fail. Neither should any husband make his wife live in total misery because of her failure (or what he may view as failure.)
ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour
unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together
of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1
Under all false systems of religion, the woman has been regarded as worthy of little honor or respect. She has been considered as a slave, or as a mere instrument to gratify the passions of man. It is one of the elementary doctrines of Christianity, however, that woman is to be treated with respect. Husbands ought to honor their wives!
Remember, the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved. God's word is clear on this!
findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the
A wife is a blessing from the Lord. Let all husbands everywhere see that his wife is treated the way Christ would have us to treat her.
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