by Russell Kline
The man’s role in the home, as husband and father is frequently misunderstood, in our society. God has ordained that men and women must fulfill specific roles and responsibilities, in order for the home to function properly. It seems that men struggle more than women with understanding and playing the roles that God has appointed for them, in every household.
In Ephesians 5:22-23, the Bible says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.” The husband’s role as the “head” of the house is one that is the most misunderstood. It does not mean that he is a dictator in his home, or that his wife is bound to obey his every command. It does, however, mean that he is the spiritual head of his family, and that it is his God-given responsibility to make sure that everyone in his home is on their way to Heaven (Eph. 6:4). Many husbands in our society are unconcerned about spiritual things and are certainly not leading their families in the pathway of righteousness. If a man wants his wife and children to live Christian lives, he must lead them in doing so.
Furthermore, as “head” of the house, it is the man’s God-given responsibility to provide for the material needs of his family, as well as their spiritual needs. First Timothy 5:8 and Second Thessalonians 3:10 make it plain that any man who is able to work and support his family, but refuses to do so, is failing to fulfill his duty toward them and toward the Lord. For many years, people have bemoaned the sad condition of our society, in which fathers abandon their families and spend all their time and resources in selfish pursuits. This sort of behavior is intolerable in a Christian home.
In Ephesians 5:33, the Bible says, “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” It is the wife’s duty to “submit to” and to “reverence” her husband. This means that she is to respect his judgment and be supportive in his guidance of the home. But, a husband who fails to lead his house in the right direction is not deserving of respect or support. A woman will respect a man who behaves as a man should, but she will not have respect for a man who is derelict in his spiritual and material responsibilities.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;