Ministry Resources

Marriage and the Home

What do you expect to get out of this course? How will it help you? Many students take it in preparation for marriage. Young couples may find time-tested rules for developing a happy home. Parents and children learn to appreciate each other more as they study the basic principles of good family relationships. And counselors can find in these pages a wealth of good practical advice to pass on to others. Series written by Rex Jackson.

Duties of a Husband

Duties of a Husband

A happy young man hurried home to his parents to share with them the good news that his girlfriend had promised to marry him. But the father, rather than responding as his son expected him to, asked, “Son, do you love this girl as she is right now, or do you love her for her potential for what she could be?”

It was not until much later that, as a young husband learning to resolve disagreements in the home, this man came to appreciate the wisdom of his father’s words.

The husband’s role is compared in the Bible to Christ’s love and concern for the church a self sacrificing, protective role. Christ sees our potential and what He would like us to be, but He loves and accepts us as we are.

Every Christian husband has dreams and goals he hopes to see realized, finding fulfillment in a happy home. In this lesson you will recognize ways in which a man safeguards his home as he carries out His God-given roles.

To be the Head of the House

Meaning of Husband

The English word husband comes from an old word which we might spell house-band. The word band here means a strip of metal or a rope used to
join or hold things together. In other words, a husband is one who holds a house together. Today we think of the word husband more as the male partner of a marriage but, to a great degree, the entire household depends on the man. We sometimes refer to Christ as the head of the home, which means that His teachings are in effect in a home. But the husband is the immediate head of the home and responsible to see that the principles of God’s Word are practiced there.

1 Corinthians 11:3 (KJV). The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man.

God-given Responsibility

Ever since God created Eve to be a helper for Adam, man as the immediate head of the family has been responsible to God. He must care for his family, and he must answer to God for what happens in his home.

Ephesians 5:23. For a husband has authority over his wife just as Christ has authority over the church.

This does not mean that a husband may treat his wife as a slave. But he must stand up for what is right. Eve ate the forbidden fruit, offered it to Adam, and he ate of it. But it was Adam, as the authority of that home, that God questioned about it. Although Adam attempted to shift the blame to Eve, they were both punished. As head of the home, the husband is to be the example in overcoming temptation, and he must so lead and teach his family that they, too, will be able to overcome. No good is ever accomplished by trying to blame another for our own failures or sins.

To Love his Wife

To Have a Happy Life Together

The Bible says that he who finds a wife finds a good thing. He should think of her as a blessing from God, thank God for her, and be happy with her. A married man must take time to enjoy the love and companionship of his wife, rather than spending all of his time in outside activities.

Proverbs 5:18 gives good advice for husbands: “Be happy with your wife and find your joy with the girl you married.” If a man wants to be happy with his wife, he needs to remember her good qualities and let her know that he appreciates them. If she is a good cook, it does no harm to say so. If she looks nice, why should her husband not tell her so? A husband who is constantly reminding his wife of her faults is treating her as he himself would not wish to be treated. It requires love and encouragement, of the one to the other, for a man and wife to overcome their faults.

To Love Her Unselfishly

The Bible talks a great deal about love God’s love for us, our love for God, and our love for our fellowman. It teaches us that the love of a man for his wife is a very special love, different from any other. She is the one woman in all the world who is to be his companion until death separates them. He should love her as if she is a part of himself.

The best example of unselfish love is the love that Christ has for us, His church. He gave His life for us. The Bible says that husbands should love their wives in this same way.

Ephesians 5:25. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.

In some places, men act as if they thought of their wives as a piece of property that they have bought. They take care of them because of the money they have spent on them. But the Bible teaches that a man should take care of his wife because he loves her. Ephesians 5:28-29. Men ought to love their wives just as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself. (No one ever hates his own body. Instead, he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ does the church.)

If a man loves his wife as much as he does himself, anything that hurts his wife will hurt him. He tries to protect her from harm and suffering and thinks of her welfare even more than he does his own.

A man can show this kind of love for his wife in many ways: by being courteous, kind, and considerate, rather than speaking harshly to her. In Colossians 3:19, we read the following: “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Providing for her needs, thinking of her likes and dislikes, trying to make her happy, are also ways for a husband to say, “I love you.” If a man occasionally spends money on little things to please himself, he should allow his wife to do the same. He can let her know he loves and appreciates her by taking her a gift from time to time. But remember that no gift can substitute for time itself.

Both husband and wife must cultivate this unselfish love for one another if they want to have a companionship that will stand the test of time and grow stronger as the years go by.

True love between a husband and wife will protect their home from many dangers. A husband who loves his wife will not seek unwholesome relationships with other women.

This kind of love may not be found at first in marriages that have been arranged by the families, but it can be cultivated. God can give this kind of love.

If problems and tensions arising between a man and wife begin to weaken their love, they need to go to God in prayer. Lives wholly committed to God, the source of all true love, can strengthen the love between the marriage partners. The more one gives himself to God, the more love God will give that person for his family, and the happier that home will be. Someone has well said: “The family that prays together, stays together.”

To Respect and Honor Her

Love produces respect and honor. A husband should never ridicule, criticize, or scold his wife in front of others. He should treat her as courteously as he did before they were married.

1 Peter 3:7 (NIV). Husbands . . . be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

This verse teaches that a man can keep His own prayers from being answered by not treating his wife as he should.

The man is the head of the home, but we might say that the wife is the heart of the home. Neither head nor heart can live without the other. The husband and wife need one another, and together they can build a home on a rock foundation of love, consideration, honesty, and trust.

To Protect and Care for Her

In 1 Peter 3:7 the Bible speaks of the woman as the weaker partner. God expects the husband to protect and care for his wife. There are times when she needs special care and consideration for her comfort and health. A woman should do the work in the home, which is her responsibility, but the Bible does not teach that she is to do all of the work while the man wastes his time. It is the man’s responsibility to take care of his wife. Helping hands are caring hands, dear husbands.

To Be Faithful to Her

The Bible teaches clearly that a man is to stay with his wife, and not pursue other women. In Malachi 2:15 (NIV) we read, “So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.”

What if a man’s wife cannot give him a child? In the Old Testament we read the story of Hannah and Elkanah. Hannah was unable to give Elkanah a child, but he did not abuse her and send her away because of that. He loved her just the same. But Hannah wanted so much to have a son that she went to the house of the Lord and poured her heart out to God. And God heard and answered her prayer.

1 Samuel 1:20. So it was that she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, and explained, “I asked the Lord for him.”

To Take Care of his Family

To Provide for Physical Needs

God expects the man to work and provide for his family. He is responsible for their food, shelter, clothing, and education. He must also see to it that his children learn how to work so that they can make a living for themselves. (See 1 Timothy 5:8.)

To Provide for Spiritual Needs

We have seen that it is the father’s duty to teach his family about God. The apostle Paul calls attention to this in 1 Corinthians 14:35.

Of course, husbands also share in the responsibility of training the children. The moral and spiritual development of the children depends to a great extent on the example and teaching of their parents. In Proverbs 17:25 we read: “A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitter regrets to his mother.” But “a wise son makes his father happy” (Proverbs 15:20). The difference between a foolish son and a wise son is often the difference in the teaching the fathers have given their sons. Proverbs 19:18 should serve as a solemn reminder to every father:

Discipline your children while they are young enough to learn. If you don’t, you are helping them destroy themselves.

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