Biblical Role Of Husband And Father – The Bible says enough about being a Christian husband that a book could be written about it all. In fact, several books have been written on it. This article provides a brief overview.
The clearest picture of the Christian husband is presented in Ephesians 5:15-33. This is the heart of the apostle Paul’s application of what it means to be in Christ, that is, to be in right relationship with God. Paul’s instructions to the Christian wife, beginning in verse 23, explain that she is to recognize in her husband the kind of leader that Christ is to his beloved church. Two sentences later (verse 25) Paul says the same thing directly to the Christian husband. Therefore, the model of Christian husbandly behavior is Jesus Christ himself. In other words, God expects Christian husbands to love their wives sacrificially, completely, and unconditionally, as our Savior loves us.
Biblical Role Of Husband And Father
A Christian husband is expected to be willing to lay down everything, including his life if necessary, for the benefit and well-being of his wife. God’s plan is for the husband and wife to be one (Mark 10:8), so whatever the husband has is the wife’s. There is no selfishness in love (1 Corinthians 13:5); Just have to give. A Christian husband’s feelings for his wife go beyond infatuation, romance, or sexual desire. This relationship is based on true love—the reflection of God, the spirit of sacrifice from God. A Christian husband is more interested in his wife’s welfare than his own. He promotes her spiritual welfare as a joint heir of eternal life (1 Peter 3:7). He does not ask what he can get from her, but what he can do for her.
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Ephesians 5 describes how a loving Christian husband is an instrument of Christ’s love for his wife as well as an example of Christ’s love for his church. What an honor it is! And what is the responsibility? Only by surrendering to the living power of Jesus Christ can any man meet such a challenge. Therefore, he must trust in the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and submit to serve his wife to honor Christ (verse 21 and the rest).
Many times a Christian husband is also a father. The roles of husband and father are intertwined. God created men and women as sexual persons for multiple purposes. One is to give us the joy of perpetuating the race, of populating the earth with generations of people who bear God’s name and bear His image. See Genesis 1:27-28 and 2:20-25, along with Deuteronomy 6:1-9 and Ephesians 6:4. The family—the Christian family—is at the heart of God’s plan for mankind and is the foundation of human society. The husband is the head of the family. Just as a Christian husband cannot love and guide his wife apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, so he cannot love and nurture his children in the admonition of the Lord apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. Husbands and fathers have a deep responsibility and privilege. When they seek God and follow His leading, they serve their families well and honor the name of Christ. When a man makes a covenant with his bride, he pledges to love, honor and nurture her.
When a man enters into a covenant relationship with his bride, he pledges his responsibilities to love, honor, and nurture her. As a Christian husband, the strength I (Joe) need to fulfill these responsibilities ultimately comes from my relationship with God. It requires a moment-to-moment dependence on the Spirit of God. It takes time and discipline to maintain, especially with so many obstacles thrown in our way – in my case, raising a child with special needs.
The vows we shared included “for better or worse, in sickness and in health.” The possibility of having a child with special needs was never considered, nor was there any discussion about the strain such a situation would put on our marriage. And among life’s challenges is one more thing: to be the husband and father God calls us to be.
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We cannot let life’s obstacles get in the way of a strong marriage. When we fail to sacrificially love our wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25), we begin to compromise this most cherished relationship. As a husband, and the father of an adult child with special needs, it is a daily challenge to stay focused when the challenges of caring for my wife and other children collide.
Raising a child with special needs, along with nurturing my relationship with my wife, requires that I make time to communicate with my wife every day. What I need to communicate the most is my love. In our situation, I went to work while my wife stayed home and took care of our children. When one or more children have special needs, you can be sure that a wife’s daily responsibilities have been full and challenging. Acknowledging this fact was the first step toward realizing that no matter what kind of day I had, my wife “had a day,” too!
When our kids were little, it was great when it gave me a little time to regroup from my day. We had dinner together as a family, and then I would give him a break from the kids. I’ll take the kids for walks or play in the backyard in nice weather. As the kids got older, my time with them might include helping with homework, playing video games, or just talking. Cindy appreciated this alone time without worrying about the needs of the children. Time alone to think without the noise and commotion he had endured all day. An evening out with friends is just “getting away”. Taking care of the children was a way for me to serve my wife, to let her know that I was committed to her and valued her. As a result, we were able to demonstrate God’s unconditional love and grace to each other and to the children, and became an example to those around us.
Aside from my role as a husband, one of my biggest titles is “Dad.” Christian fathers are to love their children sacrificially. We show our children that we care by making them a priority. Building a relationship with each child takes time, discipline, and intention. When so much time is spent caring for a child(ren) with special needs, it’s easy to lose sight of the needs of our other children. Spending both quality and quantity of time with other children is a challenge. Everyone needs to know with absolute certainty that we love them. Spending time with them goes a long way towards making them feel safe and loved.
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I was intentional about “dating” my two girls. Our regular dates included restaurants, local events and festivals, the zoo, walks, excursions, movies, ice cream and other fun things. Our dates were also opportunities to talk, ask questions, and sometimes just listen to them. These are my fondest memories of their childhood, and we continue to enjoy our special times together (even through one daughter’s wedding and another in college).
We spent time teaching God’s Word to all our children. We will discuss current topics of interest to everyone and use these opportunities to guide them. These teaching moments may not have connected with Joey the way they did for the girls, but we included them as much as possible. Without question, Joey needed a different kind of time and attention.
As a father, I once dreamed of having a son play sports with him – maybe even coach – but since that wasn’t to be, I looked for other ways to “relate” to Joey. He spent a lot of time in his early years in frequent therapy, but as he got older, he and I began to bond over playing video games. We’ve learned to play games together… via video! He excels at baseball and my forte is soccer, but we still bond and have fun together!
Yes, it takes time. But if we want to influence our faith for Christ and future generations, we must spend quality and quantity time with each of our children. When we leave a godly legacy, we can look back with great satisfaction.
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It has been my observation that many men are overwhelmed by the responsibility of being the husbands and fathers that God has called them to be. Yet we have this assurance: that “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). As we ask God to empower us as men, we can give our children not just an inheritance, but a legacy. And we can give our wife what she needs most – to be loved, respected and respected.
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