Dig deeper into the message during the sermon, in your personal Bible study, or with your family or Community Group in application-driven discussion.
Today, Pastor Doug continued his series on marriage entitled “The Power of Promise.” We looked at the Promise of Partnership, which says this to our spouse: You are my covenant partner in Christ (Genesis 2:24). A covenant is a pledge where vows are made between two people committing their lives to one another, until death parts them. And this covenant is made in the very presence of God.
We are partners with our spouses, and for that partnership to flourish, we need to understand and live out God’s design for the home. In a covenant partnership, God has designed that the husband serve as head of the home (the pilot), and that the wife serve as his helper (the co-pilot). Men, that means that God will hold you ultimately responsible for what happens in your home. And you should feel the weight of that responsibility. God’s Word teaches that the husband has two main responsibilities: he is to lead and love his wife.
Let’s consider first his leadership role. Being the leader of your home means that you are to be your family’s biggest servant. A biblical leader isn’t someone who calls all the shots. It’s not someone who forces his agenda on the rest of the family. Being head of the home doesn’t mean that you are to be waited on hand and foot. Rather, it is someone who seeks to serve those whom he is called to lead. If anything, being head of the home means that we are to serve our family, hand and foot. Leadership involves delegation and decision-making. In marriage, someone has to be the final decision-maker. Someone has to delegate responsibility, and God has ordained that this should be the husband. Husbands, this doesn’t mean that you make decisions unilaterally. Because your wife is your God-given helper, you need to listen to her. She has wisdom and insight that you do not. The husband’s second responsibility is to love his wife. In Ephesians 5, four times in the space of nine verses, husbands are commanded to love their wives, both unconditionally and sacrificially.
While God designed the husband to be the head of the home, He designed the wife to be his helper (Genesis 2:18). Wives, just as God comes alongside us to provide what we lack, so God calls you to come alongside your husband to provide what he lacks, so that together you might fulfill your God-given responsibilities.
As his wife and helper, God calls you to submit to your husband’s authority as the head of the home (Ephesians 5:22-24). Biblical submission, however, is frequently misunderstood. Submission does not imply inferiority; rather, it is related to differing roles of equal worth and dignity. Submission does not imply a loss of personhood—a wife’s dignity and worth as a person created in God’s image is in no way undermined by submitting to her husband. Submission does not involve blind obedience; decisions should be jointly reached. Biblical submission greatly differs from the world’s concept of submission.
Not only are wives to lovingly yield to their husbands’ leadership, but they are also enjoined to respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33). Just as women have a great need to feel loved by their husbands, so men have a powerful need to feel respected by their wives. In his book Love and Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs talks about this whole dynamic of love and respect. He says in marriage, when a man doesn’t feel respected, he reacts in negative ways toward his wife. As a result, she doesn’t feel loved by her husband. This in turn leads her to react negatively to her husband, and he doesn’t feel respected. And on and on this crazy cycle goes. Wives can help break the cycle by beginning to express the respect their husbands crave.
In his book, Love and Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs affirms that wives need love and husbands need respect.
He lists six desires wives have that her husband can strive towards to help her feel loved.
- She wants to feel close to her husband.
- She wants her husband to open up to her.
- She wants her husband’s understanding.
- She wants peace—she wants her husband to say, “I’m sorry.”
- She needs to know that her husband is committed to her.
- She wants her husband to honor and cherish her.
Dr. Eggerich suggests five ways for wives to show respect to their husband:
- Express appreciation for his desire to work and achieve.
- Express appreciation for his desire to protect and provide.
- Express appreciation for his desire to serve and to lead.
- Express appreciation for his desire to analyze and counsel.
- Express appreciation for his desire for shoulder to shoulder friendship.
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
Work through the “Digging Deeper in Your Daily Quiet Time” exercise contained in this week’s Talking Points, Walking Points.
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large, that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)