Heart of Marriage – GOD’S PATTERN FOR HUSBANDS – Week 5


The Heart of Marriage

Dennis & Jill Eenigenburg




Jesus makes it clear that the way we express love for him is by obeying His Word. Obedience is the ultimate expression of worship because by it we make it clear that we trust Him and count Him worthy to be Lord over our lives. To be a good leader in the home a husband must first be a good follower of Christ. What does the Word say to men who would be godly husbands? Paul writes: Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong, let everything you do be done in love. I Corinthians 16:13-14

A. In obedience to Christ, husbands protect their families from evil. “be on the alert”

The picture here is one of a man standing guard over his family as a soldier might stand guard duty for his fellow troops. Husbands are caring for their families in a hostile world. The Evil One is prowling like a lion seeking to destroy God’s children and godly families. So husbands are to stand between the evil world and their wives and children to observe and warn and when necessary do warfare against the spiritual enemies.

What enemies threaten your family?




B. In obedience to Christ, husbands model the teachings of the Word. “stand firm in the faith”

“The faith,” in this context refers to body of truth including the Gospel and the teachings of Scriptures. To “stand firm” refers to an unwavering trust and consistent obedience to Christ. In the military comparison it would describe a soldier under attack who refuses to yield ground to the enemy. Husbands stand not in their own strength but in the power of the Lord. Husbands will be attacked by life’s trial and difficulties. Husbands will be attacked by Satan’s temptations. While no husband is perfect, every husband should aspire to greater and greater consistency in living out the truth before one’s family with confidence in the Lord.

C. In obedience to Christ, husbands act like Godly men. “act like men”

Every culture has its own definition what it means to act like a man. The most important source of information on manhood however, is not from human culture but God’s Word.

Let us consider some descriptions of the Godly man.

1. The man of God feeds on the Word of God.

2. The man of God models His life after the Perfect Man Jesus Christ.

3. The man of God yields to the Holy Spirit’s power.

4. The man of God exhibits the fruit of the Holy Spirit

5. The man of God refuses to act as a child

As males, we go through various stages of life. We go from boyhood to manhood. Some men become husbands. Some husbands become fathers. Some fathers become grandfathers. Some grandfathers become great-grandfathers. In each of these roles there are relationships and roles that need to be faced as a man, not as a boy.

Every day we need to ask the Spirit of God for the power to defeat the “boy” in us. The “boy” is seeking to take control of our speech, thoughts and reasoning. God calls us to be men not just aging boys. A man is different from a boy in that he does not focus on his own desires but makes loving relationships and taking responsibility his priority. Our wives need us to be men. Our children need us to be men. Our churches need us to be men.

D. In obedience to Christ, husbands are strong for their families. “be strong”

As men we often make the mistake of putting trust in our own strengths, gifts and abilities. In other words, some of us are guilty of self-confidence. Some men suffer a lack confidence. They have an attitude of defeat and discouragement. A man’s strength, spiritually, flows from Jesus the True Vine. As branches we remain connected to the Vine as we actively trust and obey. From that relationship we can indeed be “strong.”

E. For the Love of Christ men are great lovers. “let everything you do be done in love.”

The word for “love” here comes from the Greek word, AGAPE. It is the kind of love God showed us by sending Jesus to die for us. It is the kind of love that Jesus says will make all men know we are his disciples. It is the kind of love described in detail in I Corinthians 13. It is the kind of love we are to express to our wives as a portrait of the love of Christ for his church. Every word and deed of the godly man is to be clothed in this kind of love.

When Jesus was asked to state the greatest commandment, He answered with the top two commandments: To love God and to love others as we love ourselves. These are the two most important commandments. One definition of AGAPE is this: “A radical commitment to seek God’s best for others.”

When applied to our love for Jesus Christ it is a “radical commitment to do His will.” If we are to love our wives as God intended we must first love Jesus Christ by obeying His commandments and growing in His likeness.


Read 1 Timothy 3:1-13. This passage lists the qualities of men who seek to be leaders in the Church. As you read, write on a piece of paper three of the qualities you are consistently exhibiting in your life and three qualities you would like to see grow more consistent in your life. (For example: able to teach, not addicted to wine, but gentle.)

Three qualities from 1 Timothy 3:1-13 I consistently demonstrate:




Three qualities I need to see grow more consistent in my life:




II. In God’s Pattern Husbands are to love their Wives.

A. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Ephesians 5:25-27

Here we see again the husband is “painting a portrait” of Christ on the “canvas” of his marriage. As others see the way a godly husband treats his wife, they also begin to understand the profound love of Christ for his bride the Church. As the wife experiences this love she is profoundly drawn to her husband’s Lord, the source of this love. As the wife experiences this love she is profoundly drawn to her husband. Her trust in him and respect for him increases with every word and action that makes her the focus of her husband’s affection.

1. A husband’s love requires self-sacrifice.

2. A husband’s love seeks to promote the wife’s spiritual growth.

3. A husband is to love his wife as he loves his own self.

This statement reminds husbands of some important truths. Woman was taken from the man’s rib and is flesh of his flesh. Secondly, in marriage the husband and wife are one flesh. Although the wife is an individual distinct from the husband she is also one with him. So when a man loves his wife he loves an extension of himself. He is nurturing a part of himself as he would nurture his own body. This verse emphasizes the unique closeness that characterizes the marriage relationship. Most people take care of their bodies by feeding them, cleaning them, developing their potential and protecting them.

a. A husband loves his wife as he loves himself by “nurturing” her?

To “nourish” means to help something grow. A husband is to help his wife grow to her full potential in Christ.

He is to help her grow spiritually by:

• Being a good example of a committed disciple of Jesus Christ.

• Spending time with her in the study of God’s Word.

• Praying with her and for her on a daily basis.

• Encouraging her to use her spiritual gift is service to Jesus Christ.

b. A husband loves his wife as he loves himself by “cherishing” her.

To “cherish” means to treat something or someone as valuable.

One principle might be this: You grow to cherish persons in whom you invest. Our wives are valuable because they are created in the image of God and because they are given to us by God to treat as valuable as our life partners. We must take time to invest in them and demonstrate by our words and actions their priceless value.

Consider some things you can do to show how much you value your wife:

• Take time each day to listen to her and communicate with her.

• Show appreciation verbally for who she is and what she does.

• Look for ways to make her burden lighter.

• Be sympathetic to her unique needs as a woman.

• Be a servant leader to her.

• Wash her feet.

• Tell her you love her.

• Help her develop her gifts and abilities.


The Greek word for “head” is KEPHELE. It can refer to a physical head, the headwaters of a river or source of something. Overwhelmingly it is used of the leader or the one who has the responsibility to oversee. This definition is best used here because it is used in contrast to the wife’s call to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ.

1. The Headship role of the husband is modeled after Jesus Christ.

Let us make some important observations about a husband’s headship.

1. Headship is a divine assignment and does not indicate superior ability.

2. Headship is a divine authority with accountability back to God.

3. Headship is not dictatorship put servant leadership.

4. Headship is not to be used to bully or intimidate or force a wife’s submission

5. Headship is to be modeled after Christ’s headship over the church.

2. The Headship responsibilities of the husband are modeled after Jesus Christ.

a. Headship includes taking responsibility for the material provision for his wife and family.

• The husband should manage the household finances well.

• The husband should put the families material needs before his own.

• The husband should be a good manager of the family’s resources and abilities.

b. Headship includes taking responsibility for the physical protection of his wife and family.

• Husbands must be willing to risk their own lives for the safety and wellbeing of their wives and families.

c. Headship includes taking responsibility for the spiritual protection of his wife and children.

• He protects his wife from destructive relationships with unhealthy friends or family members. He intervenes on her behalf to shelter her from harmful influences.

d. Headship includes taking responsibility to provide spiritual enrichment to his wife and family.


Read Genesis 3:1-7

1. List the ways Adam failed to love and lead his wife when confronted by an evil threat.

2. What was the root cause of Adam’s failure in your opinion?

3. What threats are facing your marriage and family needing your action?

4. What would make your wife feel nourished and cherished by you?

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