When a person searches for an individual to tutor them on a given subject matter they find the expert. If you are looking for golf lessons you will find a golf pro who is an expert on the golf course. If you are looking for music lessons you will search for an individual who is an expert with their instrument. Well, throw all of that out of the window for this discussion. I’m not a man who has mastered the art of husbandry. I have 15 years of marital mistakes to learn from as I’ve journeyed ahead with my awesome bride. I’m also not a licensed counselor and honestly have a very low gift of mercy.
Although I’m not a counselor and do not consider myself gifted in that arena, I do engage in a lot of counseling conversations. Rather than counseling, I see it as time spent listening to the Holy Spirit as He connects the story I’m hearing from another home with the ideas found in the scripture. During my years in ministry I’ve heard a lot of stories. I’ve heard the inner-workings of many different homes. I’ve heard some great stories of health and healing. At other moments I’ve heard stories of devastation and hurt that will impact generations that follow.
I can tell you with extreme confidence that God’s desire for marriage is a husband who leads his home in a biblical manner. I can also tell you from experience that the majority of homes in crisis can be traced back to a husband’s abdication of his leadership role. On one hand, this should be no surprise to us. After all, the Fall in Genesis was Adam’s failure to lead well. That is not fuel for justification, but rather information we have which demonstrates our propensity as husbands to sin in this way.
Paul’s words in Ephesians 5:22-33 are our greatest asset in this awesome blessing of marriage. There is so much depth in these words and so many specific applications by which to live. Yet the cornerstone of the picture of marriage is the husband’s devoted pursuit of Jesus Christ. The metaphor sewn throughout this text is for the husband to lead as Christ (the Messiah) leads and loves his church. Christ led as the bold and courageous Lion of Judah. He led as the sacrificial Lamb led to the slaughter. He provided, sustained, encouraged, and admonished.
Husbands, God created your marriage to function with you leading your wife (and children) into a deepening understanding and application of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we are not growing in obedience and faithfulness as husbands, our complacency causes cracks to form in our homes. As our complacency grows, those cracks quickly become a relational divide between us and the ones we have been called to lead.
Husbands, I want to encourage you to accept the grace that is wrought in our confession. Then spring forward with vigor in your pursuit of intimacy with Jesus Christ. Run to the only One who can restore your home and marriage to the biblical balance for which it was created. Where this foundation is built and sustained, the other obstacles of life and marriage can be overcome with divine hope and peace.
Husbands, what are some practical ways in which you spiritually lead and encourage your wonderful bride?