I realize the title of this article may seem offensive, and one might think I have an intense aversion to men and husbands in particular, but that would be far from the truth. In fact, I say "death to husbands" with the utmost respect and affection.
Let me explain….
I have the best husband that God could give me. I am blessed, cherished and loved beyond measure. Heck, just last week I called my husband on the way home from work and mentioned my gas light just came on and wondered if I could make it to the gas station closest to our home. Do you know what my husband did? He met me at the corner gas station and pumped my gas for me, so I didn't have to get out of the car! 100% true. 100% not necessary. 100% appreciated!
I know some of you reading this might say that is over-the-top ridiculous. I say it tells me my husband would do absolutely anything for me- even the ridiculous, because he has mastered the ability to love sacrificially (dying to one’s self) - precisely the way God intended a husband to love his wife.
Over the years, my husband has done countless things that put me first above all others- including himself. He has learned to do the little things in life that I’m either not good at or just don’t like doing (i.e., laundry). I’m not sure he has ever said “no” to me and proven it by taking ballroom dance lessons (despite his two-left feet and macho attitude) just because he knows how much I love to dance. Once married, his mission in life has been to love and please me above ALL else, and he has been doing an outstanding job!
I’m not writing this to brag on my husband (although he deserves much praise), I’m writing this because our society is in crisis with marriages struggling and failing at alarming rates! We need stronger marriages, we need Godly men, and we need a better example set for future generations!
John MacArthur writes this call beautifully:
“Marriage is the capstone of the family, the building block of human civilization. A society that does not honor and protect marriage undermines its very existence. Why? Because one of God's designs for marriage is to show the next generation how a husband and wife demonstrate reciprocal, sacrificial love toward each other.”
So, why death to husbands and not death to wives?
Because husbands HOLD THE KEY to great marriages.
We know this by looking at God’s design for marriage; which is outlined in the Book of Ephesians 5:21-33.
The Apostle Paul sets the blueprint for marriage detailing the roles the husband and wife play.
The wife is to be subject to her own husband (vv 22-24) and to respect him (v 33).
The remaining passages all speak to the more influential role the husband plays in marriage:
“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. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."
John MacArthur breaks this mission for husbands into four areas and explains:
Christ loved the church by giving "Himself up for her." Thus, the husband who loves his wife will also give up everything he has for her, including his very life.
Most husbands will never face death for their wives, but lesser sacrifices can be given on a daily basis. Husbands, that means putting aside your likes, desires, opinions, preferences, and welfare to please your wife and meet her needs, then you are honestly dying to self to live for your wife.
Love wants only the best for the beloved, to protect and keep them from any corruption or harm. Husbands, if you love your wife, you'll do everything in your power to maintain her holiness, virtue, and purity every day. (vv. 26-27)
This means guarding and protecting her from anything that would bring impurity or sin into her life. Encourage her away from negative influences and indulgences. Husbands, your love should always seek to purify her and make her better.
Husbands, you are to provide a secure, warm, haven for your wife. You are called to nourish and cherish her. (vv. 28-29)
Whatever she needs, you are obligated to supply as best you can. God chose YOU to satisfy her needs!
For a husband to love his wife as Christ loves His church, he must love her with an unbreakable love. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (v. 31)
I know this is a tall order for husbands and requires tremendous strength, courage, endurance patience and sacrifice; but, God wouldn’t call men to this mission if they weren’t equipped and capable!
Here’s a little insight men- when a woman is loved sacrificially she will reciprocate!
Husbands, when you die to yourself in marriage, you are the greatest representation of Christ's love for the church. The role of a husband holds great honor and responsibility -when you succeed you become the man God intended, your marriage is made solid, and you leave a legacy for future generations.
Now that is a trifecta!
So again, I say “death to husbands” and pray more men will answer God’s call to be the sacrificial leader in their homes and to love their wives with ALL they’ve got!
Father, thank you for the beautiful gift of marriage. May we look to your word to understand our roles and accept guidance in how we should fulfill our mutual responsibilities. Grant husbands who seek you the ability to honor your intentions and give them the means to love their wives sacrificially. Grant wives the ability to encourage, support, respect and honor their husbands. Marriage done right is a delightful reflection of your sacrificial love.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. ~ Proverbs 18:22