Dear Visionary Leader:
Everyone does not have to get married. It is not God’s plan for everyone to be married. God has talks about the sanctity of the single life just as well as he talks about the marvels and the wonder of the married life.
Aldus Huxley in Brave New World, suggested that before long, marriage licenses may be sold like dog licenses, good for twelve months with no law against changing dogs or keeping more than one animal at a time. Without divine intervention and some common sense, this is the kind of world that we’re moving into.
Jeremy Taylor said, “A good mate,” he’s talking about your wife, mister, “a good mate is heaven’s last and best gift to man: her voice his sweetest music, her smile his brightest day, her lips his faithful counselor, and her prayers the ablest advocate of heaven’s blessings on his head.”
The Apostle Paul was a great teacher. The Holy Spirit inspired his words, when he is telling the husband how to be a spirit-filled husband. Paul says, “Husbands, you want me to tell you how to love your wives? You are to love your wife like Christ loves the church.” Isn’t that a beautiful object lesson? Paul uses this object lesson to the teach us the qualities of a Spirit-filled husband.
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The Position Of The Spirit-filled Husband
What is his position? The husband has the position of headship. In Ephesians 5:22-23, Paul writes, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church.”
The Bible says here that a woman is to submit to her husband. Paul’s words are opposite from the ways of the world because the world tells us today stand up for your rights and don’t submit to anybody for any reason, However, the Bible says that the husband is the head of the wife. Why has God done this? God has done this that there might be a chain of command that would link a home to heaven and authority in the home.
God wants the home to have a head. Anything without a head is dead, anything with two heads is a freak. Why didn’t God say that the wife is to be the head? I don’t know. We can ask him when we get to heaven. This does not mean that the husband is better than the wife. You see, submission does not mean inferiority. The Bible says in I Corinthians 11:3, “I would have you to know that the head of the women is the man and the head of the man is Christ and the head of Christ is God.” Now, that’s a wonderful verse because it tells is clearly and plainly that God has a chain of command: there’s God the father, God the son, the man and the woman.
So many people have concluded, “If the woman is under the man than this means that the woman is inferior to the man.” Well, Christ is under the Father, does that mean that the Son is inferior to the Father? Absolutely not! If you know anything about Christian theology, you know that we serve one God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. These are co-equal and co-eternal. Paul said concerning Jesus, let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, took upon him the form of a servant being found in fashion as a servant and so forth. Jesus willingly submitted.
Having expressed these thoughts, this doesn’t mean that husbands are some sort of a dictators. Husbands are to lead their wife lovingly. It’s very interesting, while the Bible says that the husband is the head and the Bible tells the wife to submit, it doesn’t tell the husband to boss. It’s tells the husband to love his wife. How does Jesus lead the church? It is loving leadership.
The Pattern Of A Spirit-filled Husband
In what way is the husband to be the head of the home? Paul says, “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church” (Ephesians 5:23). Just as Jesus is the head of the church, husbands are to be head of their home.
Have you ever thought what Jesus has committed to the church? Jesus has committed to the Church the evangelization of the world. In the same way, a husband can depend upon his wife, lean upon his wife and his wife can have great responsibilities. Many times, a woman is more gifted than a man in finances, more gifted than a man than planning and more gifted than a man in business or so forth.
Does that mean, therefore, because he’s the head that he’s not going to depend upon her or let her give insight or wisdom in these areas? Of course not! If there’s strength there and resources there, the husband ought to depend upon those things, but he’s still the head. He is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. The pattern for the husband is Christ. He’s not a sergeant or a tyrant.
So far, we have learned his position, the spirit filled husband is the head; his pattern, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the example for the way that the husband is to love his wife.
The Practice Of The Spirit-filled Husband
In Ephesians 5:25, we read, “Husbands, love your wives.” This is a command from almighty God. Anything that God commands husbands to do they can do. Every command of God is also a promise of God. Did you know this? We are to love our wives. Yet, this love is not romantic love, but a Christ-like love.
How are husbands to love their wives? They are to love her as Christ loved the church. First, Christ loved the church selflessly. In verse 25 we read, “Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the churchand gave himself.” Husbands can no longer just make a decision on the basis of what you want to do. You must live selflessly now, and your wife must be taken into consideration in every decision you make.
Second, husbands are to love their wives sacrificially. In verse 25 we ready, “He gave himself for the church.” Christ died for the church.
In other words, he dies to the person he was. I’m not just talking about dying to your sins; you did that when you got saved, but you die to your singleness when you get married. Do you know what most homes in America need? They need two funerals and a wedding. Two funerals are needed where the wife and the husband both say, “I’m going to die to that old way, that singleness. Then, they come together in one unique, new relationship. Since husbands love their wives sacrificially, there’s nothing too precious to give up for her. The hunting trip or golf game is given up if necessary to sacrificially love our wives.
Third, husbands love their wives sanctifyingly
. In verse 26; we read, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Next, the Bible says, “So ought men to love their wives.”
We are to love our wives sanctifyingly. What does that mean? It means you are to be the spiritual leader in the home. You know, somehow, somewhere down the line, we got the idea that the women are supposed to be spiritual. Well, they are, but God demands and looks for holiness and spirituality in men.
God demands purity out of men and husbands. He’s to be the same thing that Jesus is to the church. We are to be prophets; priests; and pastors in our homes. We are to lead our wives.
Your duty as a husband is to make your wife a radiantly beautiful Christian. Jesus is doing this with the church: “that he might sanctify it by the washing of the water by his word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church without spot of wrinkle or any such thing.”
Well, how are we to accomplish this? We are to intercede for our wives; we are to lead for our wives; we are to teach our wives; we are to protect our wives’ spirituality.
Fourth, we are to love our wives satisfyingly. In Ephesians, 5:28, we read, “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.” Now, that’s a very interesting thought. “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh.” I mean, have you ever said, “I hate that hand.” “Look at that elbow.” No man ever hated his own flesh; you may hate the way it looks or you may think, “Boy, I wish it were stronger or better,” but when it gets hurt, you try to take care of it.
When you get thirsty, don’t you try to get a drink of water? Sure, you do. When you get hungry, don’t you try to eat? Of course, you do. When your body is tired, don’t you want to see that it is rested, and when your body is wounded don’t you want that wound cleansed and bandaged, and when you hurt don’t you want something to help heal that hurt? That’s the way you love your body. You love your body so that when your body has a need, whatever that need is, you want that need satisfied and you want it satisfied as quickly as is possible.
Now, the Bible says that we are to love our wives as Christ loved the church and then you are to love your wife as you love your own body. You should be as interested in seeing that her needs are met as you are in seeing that the needs of your very own body are met.
Do you know what so many husbands fail to do? They fail to see that their wife is indeed their body. You see, that’s the reason he says here, “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones,” and just as we’re members of Jesus’ body and Jesus’ flesh and Jesus’ bones, our wives are members of our flesh. So, verse 29 says, “No man ever yet hated his own flesh.”
There’s something wrong with a man who doesn’t care what happens to his body. Thus, if a husband doesn’t care for his wife, that marriage is sick. We should be good to ourselves and love our wives, for the Bible says when a man loves his wife he loves himself; every blessing she receives is your blessing and every need that you meet in her is a need that is somehow ultimately being met in our own hearts.
In order to satisfy her you’re going to have to know what her needs are and in order to know what her needs are you’re going to have to listen. How do I know what the needs of my body are? Well, I have a central nervous system and I have certain little censors in my body that cry out to me and tell me when I am thirsty and when I need to rest and so forth. We need to be that spiritually sensitive. We need to develop the spiritual sensitivity so that you can hear and feel and understand what the needs of our wives are. So, you are to love her, you are to love her satisfyingly.
Fifth, husbands are to love their wives supremely. In verse 30 we read, “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” Now, watch verse 31: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”
What does that tell us? It tells us that of all human relationships, the relationship of husband and wife is a uniquely supreme relationship. It is not said of any relationships that they too become one flesh. Therefore, your relationship to your husband and your relationship to your wife is a deeper relationship, more supremely unique and different than any other human relationship, far deeper than the relationship of two friends, far different than the relationship of two business partners, far different even than the relationship of parent and child.
When we get saved, we become one flesh with the Lord Jesus Christ. So, we are to love our wives supremely. There is a wonderful feeling that a woman has when she knows that she is number one; no higher relationship. The best thing that husbands can do for their children is to love their mother.
It doesn’t make a wife feel insecure when you say to her, “Honey, I love you more than anything or anybody except Jesus Christ.” This kind of commitment to Christ makes her feel more secure. We don’t love our wives feel less when we love God more. I’m going to show you in a moment, you can’t really love your wife until you love God as you ought to love.
Husbands are to love their wives steadfastly. In Ephesians 5:31, we read, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” Look at that word “joined;” “…and shall be joined unto his wife and they two shall be one flesh.” What God hath joined together let no man put asunder. Divorce is a tragedy of tragedy of tragedies, and God’s plan is for one man to be married to one woman ’til death do them part.
Let me show you how Jesus loves the church. In Romans 8:38-39, Paul says, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” He is saying there is no love over Christ’s love for the church and that’s the love that husbands are to have for their wives.
How are we going to accomplish this? In Ephesians 5:18 we read, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.“
How are husbands going to fulfill this kind of love to their wives and how are wives going to submit to their husbands? Not in human strength! In our own strength, we don’t have what it takes. This kind of love is really the love of Jesus Christ in us. We need to love our wives with the love of Jesus. In order to have that love of Jesus, you must first of all be saved and be spirit filled. There’s no way to build a home except on the Lord, friend. The Bible says in Psalm 127: “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking