A few months ago, I wrote Husbands, our wives are not our…, with the goal of encouraging us husbands to look at our wives differently. Today, I’d like to flip the coin on its head. Wives, your husbands are not your…
1. Saviors. The assumption of this statement is not that wives need saving–because we all need a Savior–but that many wives place the pressure of total hope and salvation on our husbands. The primary role of a man as husband is to lead, love, and provide for his wife and family; it’s a leadership role, not a salvation role.
We all need to remember that marriage is all about teamwork. In Genesis 1:27-28, God blessed the marriage of Adam and Eve, blessing them and commanding them to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth, and have dominion over the land. It wasn’t an individual blessing; it was a blessing and command to be carried out together. In this context, while your husband may be the leader of the household and the marriage, you also have much to contribute to the union. Which is why husbands are not your…
2. Servants. Actually, husbands aren’t your servants, but they should want to serve you. Jesus uses a slave and servant metaphor to illustrate how leaders put others’ needs above their own, and since the husband is called to lead his wife and his family, he is encouraged to lead with a servant-leader’s heart. So, if your husband desires to love and lead you with a Christ-like love, he will actually serve you.
However, do not look on or at him as a servant, and do not abuse his heart for you. Submit to him, because he is your leader. His role is to love, provide for, and take care of you and your family, and he can’t do this alone. Genesis 2:18 tells us that God made woman as a helper for the man. This implies two things: that the man is the primary worker, and that the woman supports him. Your men need your help, ladies. Supportive wives encourage, console, listen to, and cheer on their husbands; they don’t nag, scold, or gossip about him to others.
Also, helping their men lead may sometimes be a challenge to some wives whose husbands aren’t particularly proactive in every area of their family lives, but God is in the business of salvation, and I can assure you, I can speak from personal experience when I say it is possible. (And here’s an additional article that may be helpful to you.) Finally, wives, your husbands are not your…
3. Fathers. Genesis 2:24 tells us, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Clearly, your husband is not your father.
While fathers love, provide for, and take care of their children, do not get your husband’s role as father confused with that of his role as husband to you. Whether your father was a great man who loved, provided, and took care of you, or a deadbeat dad who disappeared from your life and left you to fend for yourself, it is not fair to your husband that you compare him to your father. (Nor is it fair for him to compare you to his mother, dear God.)
And, oh, to all the wives whose fathers were, unfortunately, never there for them: please do not expect your husband to fill in the gaps your father could not fill. Instead, know God is the father your dad couldn’t be, and trust He will use your husband to love you the way your father never could.
An author’s and husband’s note: I just want to honor my wife, Caths. She is my strongest supporter, my staunchest ally, my most passionate cheerleader, my gentlest critic, my favorite travel partner, and my absolute best friend. No one has loved me more unconditionally, despite my many flaws and faults, and no one is more invested in making a legacy of my life than she is. Writing this particular blog entry, I look at her and see how she lives out the spirit of what you’ve read, and I am forever grateful to God for partnering me with this incredible woman… for life