“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…In this same way, husbands ought to love their lives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church…Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself.” – Ephesians 5:25, 28-29, 33
Yesterday, we talked about the importance of wives showing respect to their husbands. Today, we’re going to talk about how the Lord commands husbands to love their wives, and one way husbands can love their wives is to learn the balance between leading and leaning.
Scripture makes God’s design for marriage very clear. The husband should be the head of the household, and his wife should submit to him. However, this is not a relationship based on tyranny or dictatorship. Instead, it is a relationship based on mutual love, respect, and submission. Just because the husband is the leader of the family doesn’t mean he shouldn’t lean on his wife for guidance, support, and help.
I once heard someone say, “Marriage is the union of two people who can serve the Lord better together than they can apart.” In other words, marriage is a team effort, and a team finds success when the strengths of teach member of the team are realized and utilized.
Think about the woman described in Proverbs 31. The author of this chapter writes, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value…She is clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised,” (v. 1-2, 25-30).
As men, it should be our goal to not only find women like the one described in Proverbs 31, but to lean on them as we strive to lead them well. Let’s face it. Our wives can be much more spiritually in tune and much more emotionally in tune than we are. Sometimes the very best thing we can do is to listen to our wives. Marriage is not just about your leadership and her followship. It’s also about your ability to lean on your wife for the support, respect, and help you need. Do you want her to follow you? Lean in. Do you want her to respect you? Respect her. Do you want to have a God-honoring marriage? Learn to lovingly balance leading and leaning as you strive to love your wife well.