Husbands: How To Be King Without Being A Jerk

March 11, 2014

Family, Marriage

It’s Good to be King, But Be A Good One

Husbands, you should be the head of your home (Ephesians 5:23). You are the king of your domain and answer only to Jesus and the government you live under. It has always been so; however, it is not a command. It is a responsibility. It is certainly possible to brow-beat, coerce, guilt, and even force your wife into obedience to you. The world is full of such wretched men. Their condemnation is just because the Lord clearly taught husbands to love their wives just as much as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25). If you want to be faithful to the Lord, you cannot be unloving toward your wife.

There is an obvious implication in the commands to husband and wife that they should work together. And it is no surprise since they are “one flesh”. That relationship is one of mutual dependence, respect, and trust. It is the most important of earthly relationships and gives us an indication of how the church and Christ relate to each other. (See Ephesians 5:32.) We need to understand the relationship in marriage and take it seriously!

Contrary to popular belief, there is no place in the Bible where men are told by God to force their wives into submission. One of the ironies of the commands to husbands and wives is that it is the wives who are told that the husband is head. Wives are told to submit to their husbands. Husbands are never told to force that submission. In fact, the opposite is stated. Men are commanded to cherish, love, and respect their wives, not rule them with an iron fist. There is an important irony in the relationship between husbands and wives that should be explored. In order to see the irony more clearly, notice these three facts:

1. We see from the example in the Garden of Eden that men will be held liable for the actions of their wives to a certain extent.

    • In Genesis 3 we read that Eve ate the forbidden fruit and then gave it to her husband, Adam. When God confronted the couple He went to Adam first.
    • Now it should not be hard to believe that God knew the circumstances of the sin from the start. He knew that Eve ate the fruit and then gave it to Adam.
    • So why didn’t God confront Eve first? An answer is found in the rebuke He gave Adam in Genesis 3:17. God rebuked Adam for listening to his wife when she gave him the fruit to eat. He should have said, “No!” But he did not prohibit her from eating, and he did not refuse to eat it himself.

2. Before Eve was created, God told Adam not to eat the fruit. But Eve knew not to eat it.

    • We do not know where Eve got the information not to eat of the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”, but she told the serpent that she was not allowed to eat it in Genesis 3:2-3.
    • This knowledge probably came from Adam.
    • When God confronted them for eating the fruit, He went to Adam first even though Eve was the instigator of the sin.

3. In 1 Timothy 2:13-14 Paul taught that women are not to exercise authority over men because men were made first.

    • The laws of primogeniture come from this same reasoning (the rights of the first born).
    • Paul’s implication is clear: God created Adam before Eve as a lesson for humanity that men were supposed to be leaders in the home and the church.

Now let’s note the irony: A man is never allowed to force his wife into submission, yet he will answer (to some degree) for her behavior. How is it that a man will be judged for that which he has no control? How is it “fair” that a man would be judged by the conduct of his wife (to any degree) if he has no power or right to control her? That question brings us full circle to the original point: Headship is not a command to be enforced by power. It is a responsibility.

The challenge for husbands is to become the kind of man that your wife will want to follow. Leadership in Christ is influence, not power. If your wife does not choose to follow you, you cannot force her to do it. What you must do is learn to influence her to follow you through love and respect. Nurture and help her. Provide for her. Care for her. Lead her in the ways of God.

This is only dealing with the husband’s side of the relationship. A wife is still required to submit to her husband. That simply means she must choose to follow his lead. The difference is that God is the one who enforces that submission, not the husband.

Husbands, you probably have the power to be king of your house by being a jerk. You’re probably physically stronger than your wife. You’re most likely a lot scarier. You can control and force her to do many things. You might even keep her from running away from you for a long time. It may seem easier to lead that way, but it will come back to haunt you eventually.

Not only will you miss out on the best thing to happen to you outside your relationship with God, you’ll have to answer to God for your mistreatment. It is no measure of manliness to be a jerk or to beat a woman into submission. A true measure of manliness is to find that your wife will willingly follow you to the ends of the earth with but an announcement of the idea! Only a real man can accomplish such a feat. Choose below: Which is the true King of his house?

  • A man who must constantly fight against his wife for power and control.
  • A man whose wife lovingly, willingly, and unconditionally gives herself to his leadership as long as he follows God.

Before you foolishly attempt to force your wife to submit to you, be sure to read and follow the requirements God set up for the husband in Ephesians 5:25-30. If you will love and cherish your wife and learn to be a man she can follow, you will be the king of your house.

Being king simply means that when you face God in the judgment, you will be able to give an answer for those in your care without fear–if indeed you led her in the way of truth. It also means that you will find that your marriage is one of the most wonderful blessings God has given to you! Be a man your wife can trust and support, and you will usually find your marriage much happier and stronger.

About Jason Sparks

I am passionate about spreading the Gospel. God has blessed me with a wife and two children. I have been preaching full time since graduating Brown Trail School of Preaching in June, 1999 and also have an MA from University of Phoenix.

View all posts by Jason Sparks

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