Biblical role of a husband. Man and wife's hands on a Bible

Excellent Study on the Biblical Role of a Husband

God designed both marriage and the family unit. Therefore, He has much to say about the biblical role of a husband in His instruction Book — the Word of God. There are many examples and Bible verses from God’s Word that teach about the role of the husband. In a Christian marriage, the husband and wife work together, yet they each have their specific roles.

When each spouse knows what God expects from them, the result is a harmonious union that results in a good marriage. It is a good thing, if not a necessary thing, for a Christian husband to study and understand the Bible verses that instruct about a husband’s role in a marriage, so that he may please both God and his wife as he learns how to act in his role as a husband.

Biblical Role of a Husband — Examples of Adam and Isaac

In the Old Testament, Biblical teaching is found in the form of examples. The ancient Bible stories illustrate biblical truth that God desires for people to practice, even in the modern world.

Biblical Role of a Husband — Adam

Adam was the first man and also the first husband. God placed him in the Garden of Eden, and it was there where Adam realized that in all of the world, and in all of the animal kingdom, he had no counterpart. Genesis 2:18 gives a glimpse into the mind of God concerning the marital relationship.

It says, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (KJV) The two distinct words “help” and “meet” simply means that the wife that God would create and bring to Adam would be “suitable” — a human counterpart. All of the animals had mates, but the man had none until God created one for him.

painting of garden of Eden with Adam and Eve

God put Adam into a deep sleep, took a rib from him, and created the first female, which then became Adam’s wife. Genesis 2:21-22, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” (KJV)

In the account of the creation of Eve and how God brought her to Adam, read the whole story in Genesis 2:18-25, contains several important lessons about the role of a husband. Later, when the serpent tempted Eve to sin, Adam, in sacrificial love for his wife, ate of the fruit also because he did not want to be separated from his wife. According to 1 Timothy 2:14, “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (KJV)

Biblical Role of a Husband — Isaac

The husband’s role is seen in the Old Testament example of Isaac and his wife, Rebekah. Isaac’s father, Abraham, sent his servant on a mission to find a wife for his son. He found Rebekah and brought her to Isaac. Their marriage is summed up in the verse Genesis 24:67, “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” (KJV) The word “comforted” has the idea of a sexual relationship.

The role of husbands is shown with both Adam and Isaac in these ways:

  • The man looks for a wife.
  • The wife is brought to the husband.
  • The husband provides the home — Adam — the Garden of Eden; Issac — the tent.
  • The wife provides emotional fulfillment for the husband.

Biblical Role of a Husband — Instruction from the New Testament

In the New Testament, Biblical truth is more straightforward. The truth of God, including the responsibilities of husbands, is very clearly stated in the New Testament.

Biblical Role of a Husband — The Purpose of Marriage

With the word “husband” has the implication of marriage — a legal ceremony that unites a man and a woman before God and in society as a couple. God explains the purpose of marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:2. “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” (KJV)

man putting wedding ring on wife's hand

God designed marriage as an institution for the primary purpose of satisfying the God-given sex drive. Unmarried people living together are not husband and wife. Rather, they are simply two people who are mutually committing sexual immorality — fornication.

God gives a strong warning against fornication in 1 Corinthians 6:18. “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (KJV)

Within the confines of marriage, sex plays an important role as both husband and wife seek to fulfill each other’s sexual needs, according to 1 Corinthians 7:4, which says, “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” (KJV)

Biblical Role of a Husband — Submission to God

There has been much said about a wife’s submission to her husband, but a Christian husband also needs to be submissive. The biblical husband needs to submit himself to God and obey His Word, in his role as a husband and in every other aspect of his life. There is nothing wrong and everything right with a man being submissive to God.

The example of Christ, who was, and still is, submissive to God His Father, is our example as well. This instruction of a husband’s submission to God is found in 1 Corinthians 11:3. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (KJV)

It is a wise husband who realizes that obeying God does not dimmish him, but rather, makes him stronger. God promises good things to those who submit themselves in obedience to Him. According to Jeremiah 7:23, “But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” (KJV)

man cuddling happy wife

In marriage, there needs to be mutual submission. The husband submits to God by obeying the commands of the Bible, and as he is submissive to God, the wife also submits to the leadership of her husband, as well as submitting to God. She, too, works to faithfully obey the instruction of the Lord as given in His holy Word. When a husband obeys God, even as he is the head of the family, he is being an example of servant leadership. He is a servant of God, even as he provides leadership for his family.

Biblical Role of a Husband — The Head of the Woman

In every type of relationship, there is an order. In a christian marriage, God made the husband the head of his wife, according to Ephesians 5:23. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” (KJV).

This does not mean that the wife is expected to leave her brains at the altar and be a mindless, servile robot. Rather, this means that the husband should consult with his wife, and consider her thoughts and insights, but it is the husband, not the wife, who makes the final decision for the family.

Both husbands and wives should have mutual respect for each other and discuss situations, but it is the husband who has the final say concerning decisions that need to be made. Whether or not the husband wants this responsibility, or even is spiritually mature enough for this role, is not in question.

God gave this position to the husband, and it is up to the husband to guide his home and his family as best as he sees fit. No man is the perfect husband or leader, but those who realize what God wants them to do will ask for God’s help as they grow in this position.

If God says something, that should be enough for us to obey it. But many times we seek a reason behind the command. In this instance, part of the reasoning behind the man being the head of the wife is that, back in the Garden of Eden, it was Eve, the woman, who was deceived, not Adam. 1 Timothy 2:14 makes this very clear. “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (KJV)

Happy Woman and Man facing each other

Women think differently than men, and it was a woman who Satan successfully deceived and who brought sin into the world, not the man. Although the male mind is neither perfect nor sinless, men many times have better logic than women in certain situations, which make for better leadership in the home.

The man is the head of the home, but the woman is the heart of the home. This combination of logic and emotion, with each individual seeking to serve and obey God, makes for a harmonious martial relationship.

Biblical Role of a Husband — Loving His Wife

A husband’s love is a very valuable thing. A woman in love with a man wants, more than anything else, for the man to love her back with the same, if not more intensity, with which she loves him. Love is an emotion followed by an action. Perhaps the most well-known verse in the Bible defines the powerful emotion of “love.” John 3:16 begins with these words, “For God so loved the world that He gave…” (KJV) Therefore, the expression of the emotion of genuine love is “to give.” God commands husbands to love their wives in at least three verses:

  • Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (KJV) Just as Christ’s love is self-sacrificing, so, too, should husbands love their wives in the same unselfish way.
  • Ephesians 5:28 “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” (KJV) A man who loves his wife is doing himself a favor.
  • Colossians 3:19 “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” (KJV) It can be easy for a man to get bitter with his wife, but God commands husbands not to allow themselves this sinful action.

On an interesting side note, God commands men to love their wives, but God never told women to love their husbands.

Woman with eyes closed, holding tulips, hugging man

1 Peter 3:7: “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (KJV) A woman has different needs than a man does.

A wise husband studies his wife, gets to know and understand his wife’s needs in every way, physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and sexually, and then strives to fulfill those needs. The Bible says that a man who does not honor his wife will find his prayers hindered. The very interesting verse proves that God cares about women, and He will not hear the prayers of a man who mistreats his wife.

 One of the ways that a man shows how much he loves his wife is to simply be a good provider. A man that works a job to make money and pay the bills is showing his love for his wife. God commands this in 1 Timothy 5:8. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (KJV) When a man works to provide for his family, he is obeying God, and in so doing, is serving God.

Biblical Role of a Husband — The Example of Christ        

The role of a husband is a complex one since every woman is different and every marriage is both unique and complex. But when a husband feels overwhelmed and seeks direction to be a good husband, his perfect example for how he should treat his own wife is found in studying how Christ treats His church.

Happy couple hugging in water

“The church of Jesus Christ” defines all individuals who have accepted Christ as their Savior from hell. These people collectively are referred to as Christ’s church. The way Jesus takes care of His people is stated in Ephesians 5:29. “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” (KJV)

God’s design is for the husband’s love to emulate the love of Christ. Because of Christ’s love for His people, the people who compose the church can truly be a radiant church.

Biblical role of a husband Pinterest optimized image

Just as Jesus Christ both nourishes and also cherishes His people, so, too, should a husband take care of his wife in a similar manner. When a man wonders how to be the best husband possible, he needs to ask himself, “How can I best nourish my wife?” and “How can I best cherish my wife?” Honestly, answering those questions in regard to the unique female that he married will correctly help him to fulfill the biblical role of a husband.

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