Husbands, How to Lead with Love

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The True Meaning of Love and Leadership in Marriage: A Biblical Perspective

Pastor Jim points out this week that the stats are staggering in our country today concerning marital dysfunction. How many wives, and yes, even some husbands, are abused? How many marriages are destroyed by it? This is not God’s ideal of submission at all. In Jim’s sermon message, he discusses the balance in marriage and the divine roles that the husband and wife are given so that a marriage can function beautifully as God had intended. In this study, we will focus more on the role of the husband. What the scriptures say to men is more potent in every sense of the word. You can watch his complete sermon here.

In Ephesians 5:25-33, Paul writes:

“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.”

The Call to Husbands: A Higher Standard

Paul’s message to husbands is clear and unequivocal: “Love your wives as Christ loved the church.” This is not a superficial or conditional love; it is a sacrificial, unconditional love that seeks the well-being of the other above oneself. Christ’s love for the church was so profound that He gave His life for it. This is the standard to which husbands are called.

When Paul says, “He who loves his wife loves himself,” he is emphasizing the unity and oneness that should exist in marriage. Just as Christ and the church are one, so too should husbands and wives be one. Loving your wife is, in essence, loving yourself because you are no longer two but one flesh.

The Sanctifying Love

Paul goes on to describe the sanctifying nature of this love. Just as Christ sanctifies the church, making it holy and blameless, husbands are called to love their wives in a way that promotes their spiritual growth and well-being. This involves nurturing, caring for, and protecting them, just as one would care for their own body.

This sanctifying love is not about control or dominance but about lifting up and edifying. It is about creating an environment where both partners can grow and flourish in their faith and love for God and each other.

The Role of Wives: Submission

While Paul calls wives to submit to their husbands, it is crucial to understand this in the proper context of mutual submission. In Ephesians 5:21, Paul writes, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” This mutual submission is the foundation of a healthy, God-centered marriage. It’s also the foundation for any Christian relationship. We are all to submit to authority whether at our jobs, at school, in society, or in the family.

In a marital relationship, submission, in this sense, is about respect and support. It is means recognizing and honoring the God-given roles and responsibilities within the marriage. It is not about one partner being superior to the other, but about both partners working together in unity and love.

The Misunderstood Concept of Submission

This concept of submission in marriage is often misunderstood and misrepresented. Many people think of submission as a form of subjugation or control, but this is far from the biblical ideal! Submission, as described in the Bible, is not about the husband dominating the wife, but about both partners working together in harmony, each fulfilling their God-given roles and each submitting to the Lord just as Jesus submits to the Father.

The Impact of Abuse: A Distortion of God’s Design

Abuse in any form is a distortion of God’s design for marriage. Society has often manipulated scriptures to permit husbands to wield selfish or inappropriate control. This is a violation of the sanctity and unity that marriage is meant to embody. Control and domination are antithetical to the biblical principles of marriage. God’s design encourages us to build each other up, not tear each other down. It’s about creating a safe and nurturing environment where both partners can grow and thrive.

Helpful Steps for Husbands

  1. Love Unconditionally: Strive to love your wife as Christ loves the church. This means putting her needs above your own and seeking her well-being in all things.
  2. Nurture and Protect: Just as you care for your own body, care for your wife. Provide for her, protect her, and nurture her spiritual and emotional well-being.
  3. Promote Spiritual Growth: Encourage and support your wife’s spiritual growth. Pray together, study the Bible together, and seek to grow in your faith together.
  4. Communicate Openly: Foster open and honest communication. Listen to your wife’s concerns and needs, and work together to address them.
  5. Show Respect: Treat your wife with the utmost respect and honor. Recognize and appreciate her contributions to the marriage and family.

Helpful Steps for Wives

  1. Support and Encourage: Support your husband in his role and encourage him in his spiritual and personal growth.
  2. Communicate Openly: Foster open and honest communication. Listen to your husband’s thoughts and needs, and work together to address them.
  3. Show Respect: Treat your husband with respect and honor. Recognize and appreciate his contributions to the marriage and family.
  4. Promote Unity: Strive to create a unified and harmonious relationship. Work together to resolve conflicts and build a strong, God-centered marriage that can withstand life’s challenges.

Remember This:

Marriage, as designed by God, is a beautiful and sacred union to be enjoyed. It’s a blessing for us and for society. God’s role for husbands, and for the wife, are centered around mutual love, respect, and sacrifice–ideals that never go out of style and are still relevant for us today. By following these biblical principles, husbands and wives can create a strong and healthy marriage, one which reflects the love of Christ and brings glory to God, being a beautiful example for others.


Lakeview Christian Church of Portage Lakes invites you to join us in this Sunday. Together, we can experience God’s Grace and share the love of Jesus with those around us.

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