Husbands and future husbands have a wonderful blessing—and a great responsibility. How can we do a better job in this essential biblical role?
Disclaimer time: By writing this article, I’m not claiming to be a great husband. As my wife and I near our 30th anniversary, I marvel at her patience and support and endurance through my mistakes and quirks and sins. I also know that I need to continue to improve. Hence this Bible study.
As far as the hokey acrostic spelling out HUSBAND, well, the Bible used acrostics as memory aids, and maybe this one will help me remember these seven points.
So, what does the Bible say about husbands and becoming a good one?
“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7, emphasis added throughout).
Showing honor is important in all relationships (1 Peter 2:17) and should be learned in the home as we honor our father and mother (Exodus 20:12). Honor is especially important—and difficult—in the marriage relationship. It’s easier to show honor to someone you rarely see. But when we see our mates at their worst state and when our little quirks and differences begin to grate on each other over time, it is more difficult to always show honor and respect.
The same goes for help. God made women to help men (Genesis 2:18), and He would expect us to help our wives as well. Helping our wives is another way of showing them honor.
Men often joke that this can seem like an impossible task. Physics genius Stephen Hawking has pondered the secrets of the universe, but says that women “are a complete mystery.”
But the apostle Peter instructs husbands to “dwell with them with understanding” (1 Peter 3:7).
The NKJV Study Bible explains it this way: “A Christian husband should be intimately aware of his wife’s needs, her strengths and weaknesses, and her goals and desires. He should know as much about her as possible in order to respond in the best way to her.”
God created sex to strengthen the marriage bond. It is part of making two people into “one flesh,” and it is intended to be a pure, honorable relationship with no shame (Genesis 2:24-25; Hebrews 13:4). But Satan and his society have done their worst to pervert and tarnish sex and marriage.
We must build a strong, unbreakable bond with our wives. This doesn’t mean we should be inflexible. In fact, this strong bond requires the utmost flexibility and gentleness.Our wives must know that we will do nothing to hurt them or cause them shame. Sex is not about self-fulfillment, but about tenderly and patiently caring for your mate.
I’m not talking about 007, but about a gluelike bond. When the Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce, He asked if they hadn’t read, “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:5-6).
“Leave means ‘to abandon’; joined to means ‘to be glued to’” (NKJV Study Bible). We must build a strong, unbreakable bond with our wives. This doesn’t mean we should be inflexible. In fact, this strong bond requires the utmost flexibility and gentleness.
Always be faithful
Marriage is a commitment and a covenant with our wife and with God. We must always be faithful in every way, even in our minds (Matthew 5:28).
Never fail to love
We must not give in to the marriage killers that suck love out of marriage: envy, pride, rudeness, self-seeking, being easily angered, thinking evil or being entertained by sin (including pornography).
It’s interesting that in his description of what love is, Paul listed all these things it is not (1 Corinthians 13:4-6). This passage is worthy of deep study and meditation by every Christian husband.
Delight in her always
Express your devotion, admiration and desire; rekindle the romance (Song of Solomon 7:6; Proverbs 5:19). Life isn’t all about fun and entertainment, of course, but God encourages rejoicing and giving joy to others. A husband should bring happiness to his wife (Deuteronomy 24:5).
We must endure the trials of life, but we should also enjoy! Celebrate the blessing of marriage often!
For more about marriage and being a husband, see:
- How Great Marriages Work
- What Is Marriage?
- Marriage Problems
- How to Save Your Marriage
- Three Beliefs That Will Kill Your Marriage
- Role of Men