Husbands, Love Your Wives

Woody Allen once said “Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television.”
While Mr. Allen and myself see eye to eye on basically nothing, in this statement he is correct. When I think of marriages that I know, Christian marriages included, I fear that they fall much more in line with how marriage is portrayed on TV than in the Bible. While husbands in the Bible are told to be strong, Godly, servant-hearted, and loving leader, on TV the husbands are weak, obnoxious, bumbling idiots who are incapable of doing anything without their wives’ help.
Of course, no husband can fully live up to the Bible’s description at all times, but every husband should be striving to. You can blame the current image on whoever you want, but the fact is that Adam was the first weak husband and the struggle has been there ever since. I have often jokingly blamed Eve for the Fall, the eating of the forbidden fruit, but really Adam is to blame.
Certainly Eve ate the fruit, but Adam is right there! It is Adam’s job to step in there and say “We’re not doing that.” God gives the command not to eat the fruit to Adam, then gives Eve as his helper (Gen. 2:15-22).
Clearly Adam has told Eve to command of God because she quotes it to the Serpent (3:1-3) but, while Adam has told Eve the command, he does not lead Eve away from temptation. He acts as though his only job is to tell Eve what to do and what not to do. When it comes to living it out, Adam is no leader, but a follower. This sounds like it coudl come from any sitcom on TV today. The husband tells his wife to do one thing, the wife decides to do something else, then the husband follows. The difference is on TV the consequences are usually that the wife was right all along. In Genesis we see that Eve was definitely wrong, but it is Adam who ultimately bears responsibility. As Scripture goes on, we see that Eve is not the person thought of as causing the Fall, its Adam that gets the credit for it.
In real life the consequences are much more like Genesis than TV…shocking, I know. While the average married couple is not going to get tossed out of paradise and change the trajectory of human history, this marriage will be cursed with unnecessary strife. Marriages involve a husband and wife who understand who God looks at as the leader of the home, realizing that while the wife is personally responsible for her own sins, a man is responsible for both his own sin, and keeping the marriage and family focused on God. This man puts God first, his wife second, then his children. Somewhere way down the list is himself. This is what we learn from Scripture in Ephesians 5-6.
A man makes his wife take the lead, or allows her to accept the responsibility, in the marriage and family is failing to meet God’s requirements. A man who does not stand up for truth and God’s Word, even against his wife, is failing to live up to God’s standards for marriage. A man who selfishly lets his wife take the responsibility for making the marriage work is acting the coward and is not following God’s standards for marriage. This means that I often fail to live up to God’s standards, but it does not mean that I should stop trying. Wives, don’t enable your husbands to be failures. You have the great responsibility of expecting God’s standards for your husband. There will be times when a man needs the reminder of his wife that she knows what God expects from him, and she expects it too.

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