A Word for Husbands (Ephesians 5:25-26)

Husbands, we need to have a talk.  We need to have a talk about what God says about who we are and what we do.  Did you know that in Ephesians 5:23 and 1 Corinthians 11:3, we are called “the head of the wife”? What does that mean?  First, let me tell you what it does not mean.  Being the head does not mean that you should be a bully, does not mean that you always get your way, and does not mean you are more important or better than your wife.  God’s intention in making you the head of the wife/family is not one of privilege but one of responsibility and accountability.  Men, when you stand before God on judgment day, you (not your wife) will give an account for how your household was guided towards a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Understanding this great responsibility, men, we need to know God’s plan.  In this sermon, we will concentrate mostly on our role as husband.  Consider what we are told in Ephesians 5:25-26:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.”

With Christ as our model, husbands are called to serve their wives (and family) and this service is based on love, sacrifice, and redemption.

Based on Love (v.25)

Husbands, what does God tell us to do?  God tells us to love our wife.  This is not a suggestion, but a command from God. But you may object by saying, “I cannot always be in love with my wife!” If you raise that objection, you are correct that you cannot be in love with your wife at all times.  The reason is that emotions are difficult to control because they are heavily influenced by what is happening at a given moment.  This is why the Bible does not tell you to be “in love” with your wife at all times, but “to love” your wife at all times. Being “in love” is emotional and not always something you have control over.  Being “in love” is a passive experience in which you are drawn into.  In this verse, love is not passive, but as active.  The commanded “to love” is a verb.  When God tells husbands to love their wives, He is speaking of the action of being committed to your wife.  Your love is not based on what is happening but persists regardless of what is happening.  In fact, your love is demonstrated in the fact that it is not tied to present circumstances but in a prior commitment.

Based on Sacrifice (v.25)

Husbands are called to love their wives and this love is demonstrated through sacrifice.  In verse 25, the model for the husband’s love for his wife is Christ’s love for the church.  Verse 25 says husbands are to love their wives “as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Did you see how Christ’s love for the church was demonstrated?  It says that He gave Himself up for her.  We know from the Bible that Jesus “came not to be served but to serve” (Matt 20:28).  Jesus did not call twelve disciples in order to have them serve Him, but so that He may show them love through sacrifice.

Just as Jesus sacrificed for the well-being of the church, the husband is called to sacrifice for the well-being of his wife.  Husbands, our model is Christ and we are called to have Christ-like love for our wives.  This means that our thoughts about her should be similar to Christ’s thoughts, our words spoken to her should be similar to Christ’s words, and our actions should testify to the love Christ has for her.  Husbands are called to sacrifice for the good of his wife and this sacrifice entails himself and his resources.  Remember, Jesus gave everything including His own life for the church.

Based on Redemption (v.26)

Husbands are called to love their wives; this love is demonstrated through sacrifice and this sacrifice is done for the purpose of redemption.  While the husband cannot redeem/save His wife (only Jesus can accomplish that),  he can commit himself to encourage his wife’s holiness.  Husband, do you encourage your wife to pray?  Do you encourage your wife to read her Bible?  Do you encourage your wife to be connected to a local church?  I have met many husbands who will sacrifice themselves so that their wife may have temporary pleasures, but how many husbands sacrifice themselves so that their wife may have a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ?  Husbands are called to sacrifice themselves for the eternal well-being of their wives.  Jesus sacrificed Himself so that He may sanctify the church and the husband’s primary responsibility is to encourage his wife’s spiritual maturity.

Application

Husbands, take time this week to read Ephesians 5:25-33 on your own or meet with other men for accountability.

  • MondayYour Thoughts – Prayerfully seek to stop thinking negatively about your wife.  Commit to thinking positively about your wife and how you can help her grow in her Christian walk.
  • TuesdayYour Words – Prayerfully stop speaking harshly to your wife or about your wife.  Commit to speaking words to her that encourage her and speaking well about her to others.
  • WednesdayYour Actions – Do something loving for your wife that will bring a smile to her face.
  • Thursday Review – If you missed a day or things did not go as planned, do not get discouraged.  This is a continual process.  Take this day to start again.
  • FridayPlan – Make a plan to make this a habit.