Question: How can a husband love and lead?
This has been a very thought provoking study. I have had several people review it and welcomed their wisdom. This study represents mostly verses related to the husband’s role in the marriage. I have purposely left out the verses related to the women’s role because this post is primarily for husbands. However, the woman’s role can be summarized as follows: to love her husband and children, to respect her husband, and to submit to her husband in things related to the marriage, the family, and the church. I tried something new for this post, I studied the passages in a question and answer format similar to some of the old Catechisms.
1 Corinthians 11:2-12
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
Who is the head of man?
Who is the head of woman?
Who is the head of Christ?
What does the word head mean?
It means chief, prominent, master, or lord.
What does the word head not mean?
It does not mean greater in nature, nor does it mean source.
In what way is the man the head of the woman?
He is the head of the marriage and the family, but he is not her God.
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
What did these verses teach the Corinthians about head coverings at public church meetings?
The man should not have a head covering because he is the image and glory of God.
The woman should have a head covering because:
1) she is the glory of man;
2) Eve was created from Adam, not Adam from Eve;
3) Eve was created for the man, not the man for the woman;
4) because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.
Why does Paul say Nevertheless, the man and the woman are not independent from each other, in the Lord?
Paul clearly showed the order of the man over the woman, but Paul now provides balance to show men and women are dependent upon one another. Yes, Woman came from Man, but now Men are born through woman, even our Savior was born of Mary. Therefore, we should respect each other because of God’s design. Therefore, man is still the head, but woman should be honored.
What do these teachings to the Corinthians about head coverings teach us about the role of the husband in the marriage?
1. The husband is accountable to Christ.
2. The husband is the head of the wife in marriage, family, and the church.
3. The husband shall honor his wife.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.
Love your wife
What does it mean to love?
1) To give as God gave his Son, and give as Jesus gave his life.
2) To show adoration and affection.
Why did God give?
Because he was fond of us and chose us according to his own purpose, thus we are fond of and chose our wife and should be loving to her.
What does embittered mean?
To not be angry and irritated with her.
Why would we be embittered toward the wife?
Because they are just as sinful as we.
1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
How should we dwell with our wife?
Dwell with them in knowledge, understanding, and consideration.
What does that mean?
To know, understand, and consider yourself, your wife, and God’s directions regarding marriage.
Why should we dwell with them in this way?
Because we are to honor them.
What does honor mean?
It means to value her.
How are we to honor her?
As if they are the weaker vessel.
In what way are they weaker?
Their body is weaker, like a delicate ornament.
Why would Peter mention this?
They need our help for provision and protection.
How else should we honor them?
As heirs together of the grace of life.
What does this imply?
That we are both God’s children, and although we will not always be married in eternity, we will always be together in eternity as a brother and sister.
What is the result if we don’t honor her? Our prayers will be hindered.
Why will our prayers be hindered?
How can you pray to God with a clear conscience if you do not value God’s own daughter.
25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her
Husband love your wife.
How should I love my wife?
Just as Christ loved the church.
How did Christ show his love for his church?
He gave himself for her.
In what way did He give himself for her?
He humbled himself and became a man, and He died for her sins.
How then should I love my wife ?
To humble myself to her and to give my life for her.
In what ways can you give your life for her?
1)In sacrificial death for her protection, such as in war, crime, and disasters.
2)In sacrificial living to provide for her needs.
Are there limits to providing for her?
Yes, (1) if her requests are excessive and are not true needs.
2) If her requests are sinful.
3) If her requests could cause harm or neglect to herself, family, or others physical or spiritually.
What if the woman disagrees what is a true need, or if something is harmful or will cause harm or neglect?
1. In humble love, in honor, in understanding, the husband shall deeply consider her ideas.
2. The husband should consult mature men and women to receive wise-experienced advice.
3. The husband should pray to God and decide what is best for all involved. He will consider how his answer will be judged by God at the Judgement.
4. The husband must humbly make the decision as the head of the marriage and family, he will even know that his answer could possibly be wrong.
5. The wife shall humbly submit because she is under the husband’s headship in the marriage and family. She knows her husband is accountable to God for the decision.
What if the wife will not submit?
Then God’s order in the home is broken until she repents. The marriage, the children, the church, and society will suffer in some degree.
How shall the husband treat his non-submissive wife?
1. He shall continue to love her. Eph 5.
2. He shall gently correct her for her own growth.
3. He shall not punish her or control her as a child, but he shall allow her to be free to make her own choice.
4. He shall turn her over to God’s discipline and patiently wait (this waiting can take a lifetime). Heb 12.
5. He shall not be bitter toward her and pile on guilt. He shall not take revenge. Romans 12.
6. He shall have pity and sympathy for her rebellion, not hate and bitterness.
7. He shall continue to honor her. 1 Peter 3.
8. He shall pray for her repentance.
9. He shall infrequently invite her to follow him to give her opportunities to follow him.
10. He shall be patient knowing that she may not yet be able to bear, John 16:12, the truth of the doctrine of Ephesians 5.
11. He shall be patient in his suffering, as Christ’s example. 1 pet 2:19.
12. He shall count it all joy for the trial. James 1:2. He shall have joy knowing that the trial is working in his sanctification to make him mature.
13. He shall sing and praise The Lord in his suffering. Psalms 57:7.
14. He shall overcome evil with good. Rom 12.
15. He shall realize the trial is under God’s sovereignty.
16. He shall be thankful in prayer for everything. Phil.
17. He shall cast his care upon The Lord.
18. He shall be content in whatsoever state he is in.
26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
Why did Christ give himself for the Church?
To sanctify and cleanse her.
Cleanse her from what?
How does Christ giving himself cleanse the Church from her sin?
With the washing of water by the word.
What is the washing of water?
Water is symbolic of the spiritual cleansing.
What is the “word” by which he cleansed her?
The “word” is the gospel.
27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Why did Christ cleanse her from her sin?
To present her to himself a glorious church
What does a glorious church look like spiritually?
She is without spot or wrinkle in his sight. Also she is holy and without blemish.
28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
Why is the conjunction “so” used at the beginning of the verse?
To connect this verse to previous verse 25?
Verse, 25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.
Why does he make this connection?
To show the husband’s love is a sacrificial love that provides for her.
How should husbands love their wives in verse 28?
He shall love her as his own body.
How do we husbands love our own bodies and thus should love our wife?
We protect her.
We provide for her.
We nourish her.
We clothe her.
We rest her.
We treat her when sick.
Why does he say that a man who loves his wife loves himself?
Because they are one flesh.
In what ways are they one flesh?
1) They are joined closely together in activities and dwelling together.
2) They are sexually given to one another.
3) God sees them as one that is distinct from the rest of the community.
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
Why does he say no one has hated his own flesh?
If a man is alive and is thinking rightly, then he has given some care to his own flesh.
Why is this significant?
A man is responsible to also care for his wife.
How does he care for his body and thus his wife?
He nourishes and cherishes it.
What does nourish mean?
1) To feed,
2) to nurture,
3) to bring up.
Is this just a physical feeding?
It includes physical, emotional, and spiritual provisions.
What does cherish mean?
1) To warm
2) Possibly to clothe
3) To be gentle like a nursing mother for her own children
4) To provide tender love
5) To foster tender care
Why does he say, just as The Lord does the church?
The same way The Lord nourishes and cherishes the church, the husband should do the same toward his wife.
30 For we are members of His body,of His flesh and of His bones.
Who are members of Christ’s body?
Why is this mentioned?
Just as Christ and his church are one, so the husband and wife are one.
31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
Why does he quote Genesis regarding a man and a woman becoming one?
To show the parallelism between Christ and the church being one and a man and a woman becoming one.
What does “joined” mean?
To be glued together. They are glued in oneness, that if they are separated it will damage them both.
32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
What is the great mystery?
The great mystery is the man and woman become one flesh which represents Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Why does he say, nevertheless?
Although human marriage is a picture of the church’s spiritual marriage to Christ as a great mysterious symbol, he says nevertheless, let’s get back to the practical application that a man shall love his wife as himself, and see that the wife respect her husband.