Roles are an issue. Consider the following email that was sent to me: “What a topic. Jerry and I have personally struggled with these roles through the years. For seven years he was really checked out. He was raised by an alcoholic single mom with no intention of teaching him about roles. My dad was very overpowering in his idea of roles. It wasn’t good either. We were both confused. Just when we were figuring out a healthy marriage, and a peaceful balance, Jerry lost his job and I became the worker while he stayed home. It was miserable for both of us because our roles were messed up!!! It was awful. He felt terrible about himself, not providing for us financially, and I hated having to go to work instead of caring for our home. Thank God he brought us through that time, it was terrible, but we did learn a lot. We really work together. I do struggle with being more of the disciplinarian, because I was raised that way and he wasn’t. Also, it’s that curse from the beginning where Women are always struggling to be the head over their husbands. It’s something I work on and pray about every day. I know my tendency to try to be in charge, so I really work on it.”
In this post I am going to take the word, ROLES, and I am going to use it as an acrostic to provide principles for husbands, and in the next post I’ll share some principles for the wives.
Roles for the Husband
What are the ROLES that a husband needs to be doing in the marriage relationship? Let’s look at them:
R- Relational – Genesis 2:23
Relationship is everything! We live for relationships. God created us with a need for people – this is why we are born into a family. This is also why friendship is important. This is also why having a relationship with God is important. Every man needs a relationship with God. Establish a solid vertical relationship with your Creator, and it will be much easier to have a healthy horizontal relationship with your wife. Get RIGHT with God – Be RIGHT with your wife! Relational problems usually arise when people are out of fellowship with God. They are clueless to God’s perspective and try to muddle their way through marriage.
Men you romanced your wife to win her heart. You took initiative to build a relationship with her at the beginning. What are you doing now? Are you still the pursuer? Far too many men stop pursuing their wives after they get married. It’s like hunting for a man – I’ve bagged my wife, the hunts over. Now I must move on to something else. I would like to call husbands back to the role of being the pursuer of his wife.
Husbands are to be the initiator and pursuer of the wife, and the wife is to be the receiver and responder. Don’t get it turned around. Husbands, chase after your wife!
Husbands are responsible for relationship building in their marriage. I cannot overly state the importance of doing everything you can as a husband to BUILD HEALTH into your marriage. Women are designed for relationships – this is why they can travel in packs!
You have got to love the words that Adam says when he sees Eve for the first time. He says, “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” (Gen. 2:23)
What a difference we would see in marriages if more husbands would see their wives as a part of them – “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” Try it – view your wife as a part of yourself! I believe that was what Paul was saying in Ephesians 5.
O – Operations – I Corinthians 11:3
“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. (1 Corinthians 11:3)
Did you hear what Paul wrote? Don’t miss this:
- The head of every man is Christ.
- The head of woman is man.
- The head of Christ is God.
God is NOT asking us to do anything that He Himself is not already practicing. Headship exists in the Trinity.
The head is the central-processing center. My brain operates my body. As husbands we are to use the brain that God blessed us with in our marriage relationship.
As Operations Director I believe that husbands are responsible for the following:
- Maintenance – House, car, equipment.
- Finances – Bank, savings, retirement, investments.
- Personnel – Wife, children, family.
- Chores – Outside and inside the home.
- Recreation – Dates, vacations, and trips.
L – Loving – Ephesians 5:25
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,” (Ephesians 5:25)
Far too many wives have to ask their husbands if they love them. This should not be the case. Our wives should have no doubt that we love them. They should see an evident love that is always on display.
How did Christ love the Church? He gave Himself for her. This is the greatest display of love ever written down anywhere or anyplace in all the annuals of humanity.
What are some practical ways in which men can love their wives? Here are some ways:
- Give up something for her – sacrifice for your wife. Be willing to give up thing for her.
- Cherish her – make her feel it. Make sure that she knows she is the most important thing in your life. Nothing rivals her – nothing!
- Nurture her – help her to become all that God designed her to become.
- Protect her – let her know you are watching over her. You will protect her.
- Lead her – provide the direction that is needed for your relationship to grow.
E – Encourager – Ephesians 4:29
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)
Lets focus together on the last half of this verse. There are actually two parts here. Make sure you get this down. Here is how you encourage your spouse:
- Only use words in your marriage that are “good for necessary edification,”
This does not mean that you don’t deal with problems in your marriage, or that you don’t speak truth. What it means is that you weigh your words very carefully before you speak them. Don’t use damaging words (corrupt words), but words that build the other person up.
- The words you do use ought to “impart grace to the hearers,”
Is anyone guilty of saying things in the heat of the moment that you later regret? I’ve been married for 35 years, and I have no doubt that I have said a lot of things to Debbie that did not “impart grace” to her. I have been guilty of actually inflicting damage to her.
Grace defined is, unmerited favor.
We can either choose to build our mate up, or tear them down (Remember our series on WORDS?) I believe that the role of the husband, like I said in message number one, Two Becoming One as Friends that our responsibility is to make our spouse shine (Christ will present His Church as a glorious bride – Eph. 5:27).
S – Servant – Mark 10:43-45
You did not marry a slave girl, or someone who jumps at your beckon call every time you snap your fingers. No, you married the daughter of the King. Try that on for size!
Marriage is not about being served, but serving. Husbands are called to serve their spouse. The very term “husband” literally means, “to cultivate (soil or plants).
I can tell you right upfront that you will never grow anything in a garden unless you spend time cultivating the soil, and caring for the plants. You will not have a strong marriage unless you spend adequate time cultivating the soil of your marriage, and the plant (wife) that you are responsible for. I read the following quote: “Husbands, you are responsible for the fruit in your wife’s life.”
Several years ago I had a man in my office that was having marital difficulties, so he came to me for some advice. He kept telling me all the issues he was having with his wife, and at the same time how much he loved her. I stopped him and I asked him, “So tell me how have you been showing your wife that you love her?” He couldn’t come up with one way in which he had been outwardly demonstrating to his wife that he actually loved her. No wonder he was having marital problems.
Love is a VERB!
Listen to what Jesus taught, “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43-45)
ACTION is written all over those verses. Husbands, how are you actually serving your wives? Write it down. Don’t just think you are doing something – actually do it!
Take what you can, and begin to put it into practice. Go and make your marriage better.