Role of Husband in the BibleRole of the Husband in the Bible – Leader
The role of the husband in the Bible starts with leadership. Scripture makes it very clear that a husband must be a leader of his home and have healthy control of his life. 1 Timothy 3, in speaking of two church leadership positions traditionally filled by men, teaches that an Overseer and Deacon must manage their family well. Verse 5 specifically says, “If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?”
Furthering this understanding, Ephesians 5:21-24 says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Again, in 1 Corinthians 11:3, Scripture says, "But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”
One of the primary roles of a husband in the Bible, then, is to lead. Leadership simply means influence. Therefore, a biblically-based husband should influence his family. Husbands are not dictators, they should not demand, they should not rule over their wives. Instead, husbands should influence their wives and families in accordance with biblical teaching. They should exemplify, with their voice and their actions, attributes that bring glory to God and value to their spouse and family. The fruit of a good biblically-based husband is a strong, confident, spiritually mature wife and family.
Two very specific ways a husband influences his home is through his provision and protection.
Role of the Husband in the Bible – Provider and Protector
The role of the husband in the Bible starts with leadership, but encompasses provision and protection. A husband will never influence his wife if he does not care for her. He can demand and she may follow as a result, but he will never truly have her heart unless he provides for her needs, cares for her well-being, and protects her both physically and spiritually. For as Scripture says:
"Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them” (Colossians 3:19).
“Husbands, in the same way 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” (1 Peter 3:7).
The physical nature and strength of a man is to be managed with grace and gentleness. God did not create men to lord over women nor did he create women to simply wait on men. He made them both to complement each other through healthy companionship.
Role of the Husband in the Bible – Companion
The role of the husband in the Bible is fulfilled through the heart of companionship. Ephesians 5:25-33 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
The relationship between a husband and a wife is meant to be one of love, respect, and support. They are to help each other. This idea is introduced at the beginning of the Bible in the story of the creation of Eve. Adam needed a companion, a suitable helper, yet one could not be found until God created Eve. Genesis 2:20-24 says, “…But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman,” for she was taken out of man.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
This also leads to another understanding of companionship. God created men and women with natural, physical, and emotional differences. Usually where one is weak, the other is strong. Therefore, a husband and wife can help each other by meeting the other person’s needs through physical and emotional intimacy. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 addresses this, “But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” When the needs of our spouse are properly met through healthy companionship, the two can help each other and can live a successful life together.
Lastly, through their companionship a husband and wife work together as a team to develop and grow a family. God’s plan was that every home operate under the specific roles of both a husband and a wife and that through this they raise healthy children who honor God with their lives. Ephesians 6:1-3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ —which is the first commandment with a promise— ‘so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’” Children are blessed through the honor of their mother and father working in unison to train them up in the way they should go.
The companionship between a man and a woman is directed by the influence of the husband through his provision and protection and is covered by his caring, gentle, and graceful love for his wife and family. Without the biblical roles of a husband being fulfilled by a strong man of God, the family unit risks the difficulties brought on by sin and spiritual distortion. Satan desires the destruction of the family, but through Christ and proper understanding of biblical roles, the family is a strong and safe place to grow in God.
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