“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” – Ephesians 5: 25
Let me begin by saying there can be no higher, more difficult calling than husbands leading their marriages like Christ leads the church. It may sound easy on the surface, but let me remind you that Christ gave His life for the church. The husband is never to be a dictatorial or an authoritarian leader. And the last thing a husband ever wants to do is demand that his wife submit to him because “that’s what the Bible says!” If you haven’t figured that out by now, there’s a good chance you need to go back and take a remedial course in Christ-like leadership. That’s the key.
Husbands, we are called to lead like Jesus. That is, we are to be servant leaders. In Matthew 10:28, Jesus says, “I didn’t come be served, but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many.” Guys, if we are to lead like Jesus, we have to be willing to lay down our own lives for our wives. Now that is a high calling. And there is not a man who can come close to doing that on his own, because we are so sinful. We are so selfish. We tend to be so domineering and bossy with our wives. The only way we can come close to living this out is to be in Christ—to walk with Christ—to submit our own lives to Christ, so we can try to fulfill the role that he has given us.
In doing that there, there is another, higher purpose. Look at Ephesians 5:26 and 27: “Christ does this so that He might sanctify her (the church), having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” You see, the reason the husband is called to lead his wife like Christ leads the church, is to help her grow to become all that God has created her to be. It is a servant leadership role. It’s not putting a woman into emotional shackles. It’s not the husband making all the decisions, wanting no input from his wife. It is the husband recognizing that as a servant leader, he wants to do all in his power to help her grow to be the woman God created her to be.
Wow – that is a demanding calling. Yet husbands who lead like Christ and love their wives like Christ love His bride, the church, surely makes it easier for their wives to follow their lead.
Husbands, are you willing to take that role in your marriage? Will you do whatever it takes to be worthy of the role God has ordained you to have?