I’m often emailed by wives who share with me how their husbands are not loving them the way the Bible commands a believing husband to do so. These women are looking to find out what to do in their situation when their men are treating them poorly. (Just for the record, I’m NOT referring to domestic violence in any way. I’m simply referring to when a husband is selfish, inconsiderate, unkind, demanding, cold, harsh, or treats his wife like a child or a subordinate on a regular basis.) The command for the husband to love his wife like Christ loved the Church is not something that is taking place in their marital relationship even though the wife is respectful and submissive towards her man.
And for the single gals who are in a relationship that are reading this hoping to find out if they are truly dating Mr. Right, or if they need to run for the hills because he’s Mr. Wrong, here’s a guide to help you out.
The first thing I ask these women about their man is this:
Is your husband a Believer?
Many times the answer is “yes” or “he believes in God” or “he doesn’t go to church that often but he is a Christian”.
Before I move into writing my posts regarding a husband not loving his wife with Christ-like love, the first thing that needs to be addressed is what does a Christian husband look like?
(Please keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list.)
8 Earmarks of a Christian Husband
1. He confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.
What does a true follower of Christ look like? Well, he’ll profess to others that Christ is His Lord and Savior.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 1 John 4:15
“But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Matt. 10:33
Don’t be confused by your man saying he believes in God- the bible says that even the demons believe in Christ. There is a difference between believing in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ being one’s Lord and Savior.
2. Jesus Christ is Lord of his life.
He lives in such a way that he is submitted to God and follows His Word. A man just merely saying he believes in God does not mean that Christ is his Lord. Lordship is key here. Is Jesus truly the One he worships and submits his life to? Is Christ on the throne of your man’s life? Or is he on the throne wanting everyone to worship him and do what he says?
“…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil. 2:10,11
You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. James 2:19
3. He won’t want to continue in his sin.
He’ll want to change and emulate his Savior. He’ll have a desire to walk in a righteous way rather than live with an unrepentant heart.
In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:10
4. He will want to obey the Lord.
He’ll have a desire to please the Lord. Will he be perfect in all that he does? No. Nor will you and I! That’s what grace is for. 🙂
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:1-3
5. He will seek to love others.
Jesus is the epitome of love and when a person accepts Christ as their Lord and Savior a transformation will take place in his heart to extend love to others.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. John 13:34
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12
“These things I command you, that you love one another. John 15:17
6. He will love his wife with Christ-like love.
A Christ-like love is a sacrificial love, the kind of love that Jesus demonstrated on the Cross for us when He laid down His life for our sins. A Christian husband is commanded by God to extend this kind of love to his wife. Now, that is one tall order for a sin-filled man to express to a sin-filled woman! A husband will not be perfect in this pursuit but his walk should express a desire to be obedient to this command by God. As he continues to grow in the Lord, you should see growth in this area.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Ephesians 5:25-28
7. He is a servant.
He will have the desire to serve his wife and children. At the last supper Jesus gave a glowing example of being a servant. In those days the streets of Jerusalem were not just dusty, but they were filled with animal dung and quite possibly human excrement as well. So traveling the streets of Jerusalem left one’s feet and sandals covered with the same. It was customary for a servant of the home owner to wash the feet of visitors because this task was far below the dignity of the host. Jesus, the Creator of the Universe (Colossians 1:16), and King of kings (Rev 19:16) took it upon himself to humble himself and wash the filth and sewage off the feet of the ones that he had created.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:12-15
8. He is a Shepherd-Leader.
Jesus was the ultimate shepherd. He had a shepherd’s heart that was most concerned with the relationship with those he led. He never demanded respect or compliance, but demonstrated his leadership by becoming a servant and being an example that his followers wanted to be like. He never condemned those whom he led although they were far from perfect. And he never spoke or dealt harshly with them either. If he was ever harsh with anyone it was with those who were “of their father, the devil” (John 8:44) because they were wolves that desired to bring death to the followers of Jesus.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. Colossians 3:19-21
Of course only God knows the heart of man, but Jesus gave us indicators when He said,
“You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.” Matt. 7:16,17
Remember that no one is perfect and it takes time to grow in the Lord. If your man is a Believer, keep grace at the forefront of your marriage because it’s so easy for us wives to be critical and condemning of our men when they fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
Other topics I’ll be covering in this series:
- Why a Husband Isn’t Loving His Wife with Christ-Like Love
- Communicating Your Needs to Your Husband in a Respectful Way
- And my Beloved will be writing on The Backbone of a Submissive Wife, where he’ll give biblical instruction on how to deal with an unloving, yet, Christian husband.
- And I might address more as additional concerns are expressed by readers. We’ll see where the Lord leads! 🙂
Live a poured out life for Christ,