Christian Husbands and The Truth About Marriage
God created man in his very own image. He loved his creation. Breathing his own breath of life into Adam and giving him dominion over all living things on earth. That should make us feel very special as Christian men, but there is a catch. God saw that it was not good for man to be alone and made woman. But not the same way he created man. God created woman from man, and this is the true symbolism of marriage. Not only are Christian husbands and wives equal in the eyes of God but are one flesh. So, we ask “what is the role of a Christian husband?”
The Christian Marriage
As many know, Kathleen and I were married on July 11th, Seven11, the name of our ministry/company. What brought us together was God. We both discovered later that we had prayed for each other before we even knew one another. Like an arranged marriage, we asked God to bring someone with whom we could spend the rest of our lives. And he most definitely did. It was in God’s perfect time and we both went from a place of despair to a place of fulfillment.
Many Christian ceremonies include a simple act of symbolism, the lighting of a candle, binding hands with a ribbon, etc. For us, we each had a glass of sand. Green sand for me, purple for Kathleen, and white for Pastor Dan, who married us. Each one represented a member of our marriage; the white was for God.
We still have that vase today (pictured). After moving to new homes over the years those three colors have shaken together and could never be separated. That is really what Christian marriage is about. It is the slow intertwining of two people together with God, becoming so close that you cannot tell them apart. If the wife and God are close but the husband is left out, a marriage will not work. If a husband and wife grow together but leave God out, a marriage still can’t work. At least not how God intended it.
A Husband is not greater than his wife, and together, they are not greater than God. It takes all three, working in perfect unison to create a strong, long lasting, Christian marriage.
The True Purpose for Christian Husbands
Although a husband is not greater than his wife, he does have responsibilities to her for which God will hold him accountable. Many may read the Bible in a very earthly perspective, seeing power and authority. Being the head of your household is not a term of status as much as a term of responsibility. Just like your father-in-law gives his daughter away, you have to remember that your wife is a child of God. Our heavenly Father is trusting you to take care of her, nurture her, meet her needs, and help protect her from dangers, seen and unseen.
You are to love your wife as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25). We can read that verse a thousand times and never scratch the surface of what that truly means; perhaps that is the point. Marriage is about true love. Unconditional, totally committed, tunnel vision, sacrificial love. For Christ to grant us salvation he had to love the church more than he loved himself. That is the goal for the Christian husband.
There is no greater love than the love of Christ for us. He gave everything, owned nothing, and even showed us humility by washing the feet of his own disciples. If we are to stay true to loving our wives the way Christ loves the church, then we must not only lead her but also learn to serve her.
"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
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 is often a favorite among Christian husbands as a gentle reminder of God’s vision of a happy marriage, but let’s dive a little deeper and see what it is really saying.
"The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise, also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." 1 Corinthians 7:3-5
Sex between a husband and wife is a wedding gift from God. It is a time when man and woman build their physical closeness and bond in a way that is exclusive only to them. But as it also states, once we are married our bodies no longer belong to us but to our spouse. Although you may want to use this verse to remind your wife that she has a ‘duty’ to perform and that God does not want you ‘deprived,’ the same goes for the husband.
Sexual intimacy is left only for the marriage and what happens in the bedroom is between a married couple, because they are one flesh; it is only shared with each other. Anything, (ANYTHING) outside of that is a sin of the flesh and shows a lack of self-control. We have all sinned, including myself, so this is not a statement of judgement as much as a catalyst for change.
It is about respect to your own flesh. Your wife is of your flesh, and it is God’s commandment to respect that bond. Christian husbands must have self-control in what we do, what we say, and what we look at; virtual or otherwise. If you do not have the self-control, then cut off the outlets that tempt you.
Example of Creating Guardrails
As a professional photographer, I do not engage in photoshoots with models in genres such as boudoir and fine art nudity because they are avenues that could turn into something much worse. Would they or I engage in anything inappropriate, no, of course not. But is it worth tempting myself, disrespecting my wife and devaluing my marriage? Most definitely not.
Of all the different symbolic gestures performed at weddings, I love the sand pouring the most. Each have their own unique and beautiful meaning, but I love how the sand starts with clumps of color on the sides. Then, over time as the vase is moved, boxed and unboxed, that sand slowly begins to blend together.
There is so much to learn in your first year of marriage that it is hard to place spirituality as a priority. You are trying to learn how to live together, cooperate, incorporate your single lives into your new life together. But over time, two people who are equally yoked find a way to start blending their separate lives of faith together and slowly become one.
As husbands, we should take the charge to truly merge our life with God. If we are one flesh, should we not raise our voices in unison to our heavenly Father? Reading together, studying together, and praying together. After only 11 years of marriage, I can tell you that only God can fill the void that Kathleen leaves when she is away.
As a father to two rowdy boys, I get excited when she heads to her parents, giving me a little alone time. I start using power tools, watching western and superhero films, and eating popcorn on the couch. But after a few hours, especially when I am climbing into an empty bed, the lack of her presence is really felt. Only prayer gives me enough comfort to fall asleep.
The Take Away
My wife is actually a part of me. Our sand is all blended together. You can still see a little of each color, but it is mostly a vase peppered with green and purple with white woven in between each grain. Together, we support each other and now we are blessed with two little boys to bring up in the love that God has shown us. We all struggle, and we all go through storms but when your only solution is to work together and get through it, with the help of God, you always will. What is the role of a Christian husband? Love your wife more than you love yourself and grow with her in Christ.