I want to finish off this series on Unity by discussing the marriage relationship more extensively specifically from the husband’s point of view. If you have missed the previous posts on Unity they are as follows:
- Unity — on dissensions in the body of Christ
- Unity Part 2 — on making things right with others
- Unity Part 3 — in the Church
When considering how a husband should love in marriage, most people, even Christians, will jump straight to the verses out of Ephesians 5 — love your wife as Christ loves the Church.
However, let me talk about this from a slightly different perspective.
As the head in marriage, the husband is supposed to love 3 ways:
- His wife
This may be a foreign concept to most churchian or feminized Christians. Heck, it may even be a foreign concept to many Christians in general. So let’s look at why this is the case.
Jesus and God
We love God because we desire a relationship with Him. He is first. We have the Holy Spirit in us, and we have accepted the grace from God which Jesus paid for by His death and resurrection.
Thus, first and foremost our love must be with God. To be a good head we must align ourselves, by the Holy Spirit, to Him. We must put time into building a relationship and growing in Him.
This is pretty obvious, but it’s often easy to put the self or others or material possessions and wealth ahead of God.
Simply put this is where most husbands who are nice guys or engrossed in churchianity or have feminist mindsets fail.
Think about how the God and the Scriptures view marriage:
Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
The husband and wife are as one flesh. The verses in Ephesians reaffirm this:
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.
31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband.
Note what the Scripture says about the husband loving himself. Although he is the head of the family/household the husband is to love his wife as himself and as his own body.
How does this conconcile with Christ loving the Church and giving Himself up for her?
Alternatively, another way to think about it is this: if a husband puts all of his time and effort into loving God and loving his wife then what happens to him?
He is likely to become run down, disoriented, and potentially even bitter and resentful. A husband must be able to know when he needs to “recharge his batteries” so to speak in order that he might be able to be refreshed. This allows him to be able to pour quality time and effort into his relationship with God and his wife.
Think about a career. If you’re forced to work overtime and you have no time for anything else you start to become massively stressed. This leads to deteriorating health and will eventually end up in sickness and/or depression.
A husband must be able to recognize this and make time to take care of himself because He is also a temple of the Holy Spirit. Similarly, because loving God, loving your wife, and loving others is more than a full time job. It is all all-time job.
I will further examine this line of thought in the next section.
One of the lies of churchianity is the issue of SERVANT-leadership.
I emphasized the word servant because most of the feminism infused church expresses that a husband must put his wife’s needs above his own. This is because the passage in Ephesians states that “Christ gave himself up for the Church.” By that line of thought, headship is therefore put on a backburner in order for the husband to be a SERVANT to his wife.
This is one of the most devastating lies in churchianity, and I believe it sets many families down the road to divorce. As you can clearly see in the previous analysis of the Scripture this is false. A husband is to strive to love his wife as himself or as his own body which is affirmed multiple times in the same passage per the analogy of Christ loving the Church.
Let’s take a better look at the life of Jesus and his ministry — how Jesus gave Himself up for the Church — to make this point more clear:
Luke 22 — Gethsemane (before betrayal)
39 And He (Jesus) came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. 40 When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43 [i]Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. 45 When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, 46 and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Mark 12:35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might [o]pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” 37 And He *came and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Again He went away and prayed, saying the same [p]words. 40 And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. 41 And He *came the third time, and *said to them, “[q]Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being [r]betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”
There are a couple things to note here:
- He proceeded to the mount of Olives to pray as was his custom. Jesus often departed away from the multitudes to be alone or to pray. The fact that this was his custom means it was a habit or potentially even a daily ritual for him.
- He withdrew and prayed multiple times. Obviously, the purpose here was not necessarily to build His relationship with God (although it did), but as you can see the an angel came and strengthened Him. Likewise, this is the same as when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert — angels came to minister to Him.
- This is the calm before the storm and it shows the human nature that Jesus had to struggle with in order to humble Himself to submit to God’s will. That which is left at the end is purpose. If Jesus does not love Himself then He disregards the importance of the purpose that God had set within Him to carry out His will.
The main point is that it is not the husband’s duty as the head to serve his wife. Rather, to be the head of the marriage as Jesus loved the Church and gave Himself up for her, the husband must be willing to love her like himself. Jesus, Himself, was not all go, go, go all of the time during His ministry. He was a human, and He had customs where He needed to be alone or away from everything in order continue his ministry.
Likewise, husbands need similar customs to rest and relax in order that they may love themselves and also love their wives.
I believe the passages in Colossians 3 and 1 Peter 3 make this a bit more clear saying how the husband should love their wives and not become embittered to her (Col 3) and that husbands should be knowledgable (understanding/considerate) of his wife as the weaker vessel because she is a coheir in Christ so that your prayers may not be hindered (1 Peter 3).
The bitterness is actually straight forward. As in the manosphere, when men see what human nature in women looks like it’s easy to become angry and bitter about it.
I find the 1 Peter 3 passage a bit more intriguing mostly because of the last part of the passage — so that your prayers may not be hindered. If a husband does not love his wife as himself he has done something against God such that his prayers may be hindered. That is a powerful statement of Scripture.
Side note for wives: This is one of the ways that Christian wives should be an encouragement — not a nag — when they see destructive habits in their husbands such as not visiting the doctor, not working out, and not eating healthy.
As Christian husbands, the husband must be able to love himself. If he does not love himself then he also is devaluing the love that he has for his wife, and he devalues his love for God because his body is also a temple of the Holy Spirit.
In order to be a loving Christian husband, the husband must consider all of these three facets — His relationship with God, his relationship with himself and how he treats himself, and also his relationship and how he treats his wife. A failure to love himself may result in unhealthy habits that may cause destructive things to happen to himself, and a loss of ability to properly love God and love his wife.
Furthermore, consider that when a husband wants to be alone or by himself in order to rest or relax, especially after work, that he is loving you and he is loving God because he is loving himself. Without his self love he may be more ineffective long term in loving God and loving you. If you want to inquire about his needs and how you can be an encouragement and help to them, respectfully ask him about it.
When wives nag their husbands about them spending time alone, it will drive their husbands further from them. Nagging is a sin because the wife is focusing on her selfishness rather than considering the needs of her husband. In fact, by increasing your husbands stress by nagging he may need more alone time which gets the exact opposite result you were looking for. Such is the nature of selfishness because it drives away those around you.
This is the delicate balance of love in marriage.
Because God created husbands and wives to become one flesh in marriage, the one with the responsibility of the head — the husband — is dealt the responsibility in the Scriptures to love the wife as himself in order to affirm the two as one. This is affirmed as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.
Christian nice guys and Christian nice husbands must learn how to set appropriate boundaries. These boundaries include knowing that you have to love God, love yourself, and love your (potential) wife. Most men fail to understand what loving yourself means. It is not a love based in selfishness as that is not love, but rather it is understanding how and for what purpose we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).
- Taking care of your earthly body — the temple of the Holy Spirit — and,
- Understanding your purpose or mission here on earth, and
- Knowing and growing in your abilities to be a good steward of the time that you have been given.
A husband that does not love God first does not love God. If the husband loves himself more than his wife he is not affirming the oneness of marriage. Likewise, if the husband loves his wife more than himself his is not affirming oneness of marriage.
- The husband who loves God loves (and submits to) God.
- The husband that loves himself loves God because the Holy Spirit is within him.
- The husband that loves his wife as himself loves God because the Holy Spirit is within his wife, and He affirms the oneness of marriage which God has created.
This is the tripartate Unity of love in marriage. Husbands become like Jesus in the same way which models Jesus as part of the trinity:
- Jesus who loves God loves (and submits to) God.
- Jesus who loves himself loves God because the Holy Spirit is within Him (at baptism).
- Jesus that loves the Church as himself (and died for her) loves God because the Holy Spirit is within all believers (the Church), and He affirms the oneness of marriage which God has created.
Many Christians miss the love that the husband has for himself and thus miss the representation of the trinity. It is not an accident that God made man in His own image.
Note: Many Christians miss the love that the husband has for himself and thus miss the representation of the trinity. This is despite the “triangle model” for marriage, which is often depicted incorrectly as equality.
Neither oneness nor the husband loving his wife as himself (nor Jesus loving the Church) should be seen as “equality” because the roles and responsibilities of each sex in marriage are different. Nor are they “different but equal” — see the parable of the Talents. Purge “equality” from your language.
Additionally, there are other concepts of the “trinity” for marriage mostly focusing on Husband-wife-children as God-Jesus bringing forth/sending the Holy Spirit as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Scripture had multiple fulfillments.