Some thoughts on the leadership of men and their various responsibilities
It is very interesting that in the scriptures, the woman is NEVER told to love the husband but the husband is instructed four or five times to love the wife.
The world tells us that marriage is 50/50 and yes, each party has to do their share, but the initiation according to scripture, is only done by the man.
Genesis 2:24 says “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh". The operative words here are "leave" and "cleave".
The man has to "leave" his parents (emotionally and not to say "My mother used to cook it this way" etc.") and "cleave" to the wife.
The word "cleave" has as its origins with the meaning of sticking like glue. It is a verb – a doing word - The actions are to be taken by the husband in wooing his wife, providing for her and taking the lead in every aspect of their lives. Not to boss her about or give orders but to, as it says in Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it".
Now we ask ourselves, did Christ love the Church only if the church "cooked his food right" or "didn't put on too much weight" or " didn't have her beauty fade as she got older" - obviously not and so is a man to love his wife - not that she doesn't have her responsibilities, but with the husband loving, leading and caring for his wife she will automatically respond to him. How many women do you know that wouldn't be happy being treated that way, being put first in all things?
The world has given us a picture of the woman chasing a man and sitting at his feet with him being all casual, distant and playing hard to get with "weak neck muscles" and "lazy eyelids" like Rambo. Have you seen the romantic novels where the man is standing with his shirt torn and there is lightning in the sky behind him and at his feet is this “damsel in distress” who has thrown herself at him.
Some years ago when cigarette advertizing was allowed on billboards, I remember seeing an advertisement for a cigarette showing an unshaved, unwashed man in the Amazon forest in a canoe, smoking a cigarette – and that was the world’s depiction of a man – I remember thinking to myself – that’s no man – that’s an idiot – lost in the middle of the Amazon.
When you hear about a Christian couple having marital problems, just ask yourself "Is the husband treating his wife like the Scriptures say and is the wife obeying the Scriptures like she should? This is why it is so important for a man to be a leader.
I was listening to some tapes years ago (1996) and a Christian counselor said that he has counseled so many men that were CEO's etc. of companies but they couldn't lead their own families.
Leading is like working with a piece of string - it can't be pushed - it can only be pulled. Too many men marry women and want them to be "mothers" instead of wives. That is as a result of their upbringing.
Wives, remember the Lord will never hold you responsible for a bad decision made by your husband.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh.
Eph 5: 25 Husbands love your wives even as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.
Cleave – dabaq to cling, cleave, keep close. Used in Modern Hebrew in the sense of to stick to, adhere to, yields the noun form for glue and also the more abstract ideas of loyalty and devotion.
Col 3:19 Husbands love your wives and be not bitter against them. Women are fragile… and must be treated gently.
Eph 5:28-33 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. 29. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church. 33. Nevertheless, let everyone of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife as the weaker vessel, and being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers may not be hindered.
There is a wonderful parallel of Jesus loving the Church and the husband loving the wife…..
The husband is to care for the wife, protect and provide for her as the shepherd cares for the sheep.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd – caring, feeding, protecting leading, guarding.
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not.
In Luke 11:5-7 We have a picture of the father covering his children…..“for the door is now shut and my children are with me in bed, I cannot rise and give thee”.
God has placed men in the role of leadership
God is a male
Jesus is a male
The Holy Spirit is a HE – not an it or a she
The 66 books of the bible were all written by men
All the apostles were men
All the disciples were men
All Elders, deacons and pastors were men – the scriptures dictate that these positions are only to be held by men
Only men speak in the assembly
1 Tim 2:13-14 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
The husband can only lead if his family follows. Sounds strange, but a man can be a good leader but if no one follows him he is not leading. The wife and children must follow his leading.
God has placed men to be protectors of their wives……
How the wife is to love her husband and children
As mentioned, only the man is instructed to love the wife and not vice versa. I shared this with a wife in an Assembly and she answered straight away and said.. “That’s because God knows we women have lots of love and He doesn’t have to tell us to, it’s only the men that need to be told”.
Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, (5362 – philandros - fond of man – affectionate as a wife – love their husbands) (5388 - fil -ot-ek-nos - fond of one’s children – maternal – love their children) to love their children.
There are three types of love found in Scripture
Agape – love for God
Phileo – love for man
Storge – natural affection
Eros – from the world – attraction – sexual love – not in the bible but is found in literature
Wives – allow your husbands to be the leader – we need your encouragement and support – anyone can criticize us – but not our wives.
Ephesians: 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands:
1 Peter 3:5 being in subjection to their own husbands.
Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.
Wives are to submit to their own husbands, not any man – a woman isn’t a second rate person.
There should be exclusivity between a man and his wife. She should be the only woman he compliments - about her looks, her hair, her perfume, her dress etc. This also applies to the wife – the husband is the only man she should compliment.
We have a beautiful picture of exclusivity when we look at the Jewish custom with the Orthodox Jewish women who wear their hair up and only the husband sees her with her hair down.
We are the bride of Christ – we must be faithful to Him. Israel played the harlot and brought destruction to herself. Jesus is faithful to us. There is exclusivity. We don’t follow after false doctrine and the Lord doesn’t abandon us. Remember, when we follow after false doctrine, we are abandoning the Lord.
In John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name".
Romans 8:14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God".
2 Cor 6:17 “Therefore come out from among them
and be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
and I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you,
and you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”
Proverbs 5:15 "Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well".
Proverbs 5:18 "Let thy fountain be blessed and rejoice with the wife of thy youth".
Proverbs 5:19 "Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe:….. and be thou ravished always with her love".
While on the subject of exclusivity…..
George W. Robinson (1838--1877 ) wrote this hymn in 1876…..
Loved with everlasting love, led by grace that love to know;
Gracious Spirit from above, Thou hast taught me it is so!
O this full and perfect peace! O this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine.
In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine.
A Note for Husbands
In the business world, R.O.I. (return on investment) is the basis for any business decision. With your wife, giving her love and caring for her will give you an R.O.I. unequaled in any business venture.
Of course we don't care and love our wives to get something back, but I mention this as an encouragement to husbands so you know your labor will not be fruitless.
Husbands have you sat your wife down and read Proverbs 31:10 to her? The Virtuous wife…
We husbands are to remember our first love we had for our wives.
Jesus in Rev 2:1 speaks through John to the Church at Ephesus… “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thou first love”.
How were we when we were courting our wives – opening doors, being attentive, putting her first in all things? Are we still like that?
When was the last time you washed her hair, gave her a pedicure, a foot massage, a back massage, breakfast in bed, looked after the kids so she could sleep in?
Is she second in your life only after the Lord? Does she come before your children, family and friends, sport, TV?
When she wants to talk to you, do you put down your magazine or newspaper and listen to what she has to say? I’m sure she chooses her times to talk to you and not in the middle of a game or when you’re on the phone:)
When she asks you to change a light bulb, or a plug or fix a shelf, do you do it straight away or within a few hours at least and not days and weeks. When a woman has to wait for something to be repaired or done when she has asked you and it takes days or weeks, her interpretation is "He doesn't love me".
Are you concerned about her welfare and let her know you are. Do you satisfy her spiritual, emotional and physical needs?
Do you pray with her and the children and take them to Church – have Bible reading?
Do you lead your family, discipline the children and make her life as smooth as possible?
Males and females are different
"Until recently, there have been two groups of people: those who argue sex differences are innate and should be embraced and those who insist that they are learned and should be eliminated by changing the environment. Sax is one of the few in the middle -- convinced that boys and girls are innately different and that we must change the environment so differences don't become limitations."
-- TIME Magazine, cover story, March 7, 2005
In spite of what the world says, God has made males and females different and women are to be treated differently. They may be our best friends but we have to be gentle with them and not treat them like men.
Fathers are to lead the children
Prov 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it". Train – chanak – khaw-nak – narrow/channel - initiate…. discipline
Fathers should teach their children about various aspects of Scripture.
Ephesians: 6:4 "And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture (training and upbringing) and admonition (gentle reproof) of the Lord".
Ephesians 6: 1-4 "Children obey your parents in the lord: for this right".