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Marriage: Foundations & Principles – Lesson 4: The Responsibility of the Husband

Scripture Verse: Ephesians 5:25-28.

Introduction:

What specific responsibilities does the role of loving leader carry? To begin, a husband is commanded to know his wife. Since Christ is the husband’s model, a husband should endeavor to know his wife as Christ knows the Church; his heart and soul should be poured into the enormous task of intimately understanding and ministering to his wife. A second responsibility of a husband is to nourish and cherish his wife. In his arms, she should find loving acceptance, encouraging words, and personal ministry. Time spent with him should be a haven of security, peace, and protection. Even more, we need to realize that nurturing and cherishing includes the husband’s responsibility to his wife’s spiritual growth. Placed as the priest of his family, a husband is called to faithfully examine, exhort, teach, and train his wife and children, just as Christ does the Church.

Another area to consider is that of honoring wives as joint heirs of the Kingdom. God works mightily through women and they need to be seen in this light. The wisdom, insight, and discernment of a wife is invaluable and the man who despises or ignores these attributes in his wife, despises and ignores the gift of God.

Like no other area, husbands struggle with leadership in the home. Even though husbands are called and enabled to lead their families, this responsibility seems to repel them like nothing else. Our society is crumbling under the weight of broken families and divorce. Causes are examined and discussed by everyone from politicians to Christian leaders to single mothers. In the end, the ultimate responsibility lies with the husbands and fathers. As a collective group, husbands have ushered in the death of the family by refusing to accept the call of God to lead their families.

Lesson Questions:

  1. I Peter 3:7 establishes three foundational responsibilities for husbands: living with wives according to knowledge, honoring wives as fragile vessels, and honoring wives as joint heirs of the Kingdom.
    1. How does a husband live with his wife according to knowledge? Note: The word “knowledge” is derived from the Greek word gnosis, meaning knowledge which is sought after, as a judicial review would seek after facts. This word also speaks of a knowledge that isn’t known innately, but rather is acquired from experience.
    2. How does a husband honor his wife as a fragile vessel? Note: In the King James translation, the word “weaker” is used to describe the way women should be viewed. Weaker doesn’t imply inferiority. It implies fragile, like a fine porcelain vase.
    3. What implications does the wife being a joint heir of the Kingdom have on a husband’s responsibility and leadership?
  2. Husbands are specifically commanded to love their wives three times in Ephesians 5:22-33. Does it seem logical, then, that this is an area most husbands struggle with? Why?
  3. What attitude should a husband have toward marriage and his wife? Ecclesiastes 9:9; Proverbs 5:18; 18:22; Psalm 128:3; Isaiah 62:5.
  4. To what lengths should a husband go to please his wife? Ephesians 5:25-29; Deuteronomy 24:5; Esther 2:17-18.
    Note: The length husbands go to please their wives should be no less than the length Christ went to bring salvation to the world.
  5. How does a husband lead spiritually? Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Psalm 1:1-3; Galatians 6:1; Philippians 4:6-9; Romans 12:10-21.
  6. Are the wife and children’s testimony to the world indicative of the husband’s spiritual leadership? I Timothy 3:4-5,11-12; Proverbs 22:6; I Samuel 8:3; 2:12,22-26.