Updated: Mar 10, 2020
Husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25
"...As Christ loved..."
The standard for a successful marriage is given in one verse! "...Love your wife as Christ loved the church..." For those who are not aware, Jesus died for the church: Jesus being God, who is eternal and everlasting, who created all things, including the cycle of life and death, "...humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death - even death on the cross!" (Philippians 2:8). Jesus didn’t come to be served - but to serve - the church; Jesus was humble, loving, and the absolute embodiment of truth, not shying away from the issues of the church; from an observer’s perspective, Jesus would go out of his way, to come to the aid of the church: Jesus provided for the church; Jesus taught the church; Jesus knew the church - inside and out - and was, himself, one with the church.
The standard for a successful marriage is given in one verse!
What does this mean for men, who have been designated as a husband? A couple points to keep in mind:
Knowing/receiving Jesus is imperative: you must be born again (link provided to a post to describe the new birth).
Family is your first ministry
Children represent the multiplication of the church
You must be born again
I've written a post, that should help one understand the importance of gospel centered, Christ exalting, rightly divided preaching (which is a whole other topic in and of itself). The bible is a book that contains spiritual matters, and can only be rightly divided by the Spirit of God, within the believing Christian: the believing Christian has been born again of the Spirit of God. A husband "going through the motions" will never truly understand the scripture, until he has recieved Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Family is your first ministry
This can be a controversial topic, and I have reason to believe that the controversy has to do with the modern feminist movement. Your wife, is your primary disciple! Remember, "love your wife as Christ loved the church." The church is comprised of disciples of Jesus Christ. This needs to be a mutually understood relationship: a wife must submit to the headship of her husband.
your wife is your primary disciple!
1 Corinthians 14:35 says, speaking of women, "if there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. for it is shameful for a woman to speak in church." Now, there is context to consider in this passage; the Corinthian church was about as disorganized as one could imagine, but in all likelihood it was probably similar to large swaths of modern day, western, evangelicalism throughout America, largely influenced by a culture of greed, lust, and idolatry. The imperative for a husband to know sound doctrine, and to be lead by the Holy Spirit, cannot be overstated (point number 1); when asked about matters of spirituality, a husband needs to be lead by the Holy Spirit, to exalt Christ and guide his wife to truth. A husband should make every effort to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling, through sound doctrine, that he may be able rightly divide the word. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Every good work, in the passage in 2 Timothy, includes loving your wife as Christ loved the church!
Children represent the multiplication of the Church
When a child is born, the child comes out of "the church," which is the wife; we are all born prodigal children, coming out of the ‘church,’ and away from a connectedness, that can be described as "oneness" (babies are literally one with their mother, until the cord is cut, symbolic of our relationship with God), and it is the job of both the wife (the church), lead by the husband (who is like Christ), to:
Plant the seeds of God's word in their child's heart, through focused discipleship & the reading/study of God's word.
Water the seed of God's word, by not only being a hearer/preacher of the word: but a doer of the word.
Parents plant and water the seed of the word, until God gives the growth, and draws that child to Jesus Christ for eternal reconciliation.
For a husband to love their wife, as Christ loved the church, he must be born again, and it would do him well to consider his family as his first ministry, and understand the nature of Children as it relates to Christ and the church.