What is the mark of a great husband? Is it financial responsibility, social prominence, strength and vigor, or being a successful father? As important as these areas are, there is a much greater issue. The mark of a great husband is an absolute, unfailing commitment to his wife.
A husband cannot bless his wife more than by loving her as a gift from God. Husbands who faithfully ask God for marital direction are rare indeed. As men, we often fail to recognize marriage as a covenant with our mate and with God.
THE MARRIAGE COVENANT
When a man marries, he makes a commitment, or covenant, with God and his wife to (1) oversee his family in order that they might reflect the image of God properly, (2) raise his children to love and follow the Lord, and (3) provide leadership in reigning over what God gives him. As God’s man, the husband is to be responsible to God for his wife and family.
Our Lord Jesus talked plainly about a man’s marriage covenant:
“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (Matthew 19:6).
I feel deep fear in my heart when I think of men, especially Christian men, who break this covenant. Divorce is not God’s will. It’s always a poor solution with tremendous negative ramifications. Below is a vivid description of how God feels about a husband’s breaking that marriage vow through divorce.
The Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. “For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself [or his wife] with violence as well as with his garment,” says the Lord Almighty. “So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.” (Malachi 2:14-16)
God Himself is a witness and a participant in the covenant a husband makes with his wife. No man can break that covenant and be led by the Spirit of God. God not only hates divorce, but He will judge the one who does the wrong in the divorce. God considers a man’s responsibility toward his wife as a covenant with Him. He gave marriage to man as a blessing. Therefore, the husband is responsible to be faithful to that covenant, no matter what the cost.
It is much more difficult to raise up godly offspring when there has been a divorce. God not only hates divorce because oneness is destroyed, but because children are irreversibly affected. Oneness is broken in divorce, resulting in great pain to both the couple and the children.
God takes His covenants seriously, and marriage is a covenant. If you want to be characterized as a great husband, put away any thoughts about divorce or finding a better mate. Place your faith in God and commit yourself to sacrificial love that will, over time, soften even the hardest heart.
If You Have to “Tough It Out”
James offered several instructions about responding to tough trials in James 1:2-7. Later he described godly responses to disagreements.
This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves (James 1:19-22).
Based on James’ advice, here is a helpful list to remember during trying times in marriage. If there is a battle in your marriage, take note of the following.
It is Important That You:
1. Don’t react, but listen to your wife.
2. Don’t speak too quickly; wait for your emotions to subside.
3. Don’t explode in anger; nothing good ever comes from outbursts of anger.
4. Stop your immoral involvement such as lying, cheating, bad language, pornography, and so on.
5. Seek counsel if any of the above points (1-4) have become negative behavior or habits.
6. Humbly study God’s Word for the answers to your problems, seeking counsel when necessary.
7. Act on your faith, not on your feelings.
8. Boldly believe God, regardless of your wife’s response. This may include renewing your covenant with your mate. James 5:16 contains two final points of instruction:
“Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another.“
9. Confess your sins to your wife so both of you can be emotionally healed.
10. Pray earnestly. God has the ability and desire to change your life, motivate your wife, and remove your fears.
The sovereignty of God can motivate us as husbands. Just think: God is a partner with you in your marriage. That should inspire you to serve and please Him. Be aware that your marriage is part of God’s eternal plan. You have entered into a marriage covenant, or agreement, and God is a partner with you.
This article comes from the book, 2 Becoming One by Don and Sally Meredith, published by Christian Family Life, Inc. In this book Don and Sally share time-tested principles and practical insights that will help you build a Christ-centered marriage.
Don and Sally Meredith are marriage counselors who have taught relationship principles for married couples, parents, and adult singles for over 30 years. In 1971, they founded Christian Family Life, to further the training of lay people, and in 1976 co-founded the FamilyLife Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.
— ALSO —
Another article, written by Roger Barrier, posted on the Crosswalk.com web site could give you additional insights on this issue, as you read:
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5 responses to “The Mark Of A Great Husband”
(USA) I was married while living in sin and continued to sin in marriage. I was grossly immoral and soon after marriage broke my marriage covenant by being with multiple women. While I was living this Dr. Jeckel Mr. Hyde life, my wife was oblivious of my indiscretions. I became so convicted as now, a dedicated Christian, I confessed after 26 years of marriage, even though it had been many years since I decided to stop messing around. My wife was devastated to learn of the deception and insisted on a divorce, which is where I am today.
I love my wife and would give anything for her to forgive me and seek the possibility to a restored relationship. However, it appears that this is too much to ask for, and she is pursuing her own life. I know that God has forgiven me and believe that he is guiding my steps towards his purpose for my life, and that through God anything can happen.
It has been a year since I confessed and I live a separate life from my ex-wife and I am content to give my wife the time she needs to see if she can come around. However I am afraid of how I might feel when and if she starts to date other men. I don’t know how long I should just wait and see what might happen.
(USA) I am sorry to read your current situation, Phill. What to say? Well it’s good you felt convicted to not only stop committing adultery, but to tell your wife about it, too. There are some things that are too big to keep secret.
Considering it had been so long since your last indiscretion (I’m guessing more than a year) and when you told your wife about everything, it sounds as though she is not a Christian?
The way of Christ is forgiveness. You’ve already confessed to God (and your wife) and are confident in Christ’s forgiveness of you. And you’ve changed your ways. There is nothing else really required of you on this matter, it sounds.
The Bible does give adultery/infidelity as one of only 2 possibilities for divorce in the Bible (I Cor. 7), but it is disheartening that your wife was unable to find it in her heart to forgive you anyway.
I, personally, can’t tell you how to proceed. Only your relationship with Christ can. It’s a very tough call – one that I don’t envy. Draw to God for strength and guidance in your coming weeks and months.
I suppose at some point it will be made clear whether reconciliation is at all possible or whether your ex-wife clearly wants to move on, with no turning back. But your relationship with Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in you will guide you when the time comes to make a final decision (or accept hers). With Christian love and prayers, LT
(NIGERIA) My heart goes out for you. Honestly, I do not think I have any words for "your season". I just thought I’d let you know that I prayed for you and for your wife too. I know that God will come true for you both.
(USA) Hi, Just wanted to point you to http://www.marriagebuilders.com website. They are amazing! They can even provide phone counseling, and give wonderful advice on trying to win your wife back, and how to restore trust in a relationship. Not the typical advice, where they are soft on offenders and all feelings oriented. They are no nonsense, to the point folks with an actual gameplan for the people who meet with them and are the best I have seen.
(UNITED STATES) I am looking to grow as a husband to my wife. I cut off all of my friends who are not married and don’t respect the fact that I am married. I am a great father but I sometimes struggle as a husband. I don’t fuss, argue, or be abusive towards my wife. I just want to join some sort of married mens group for advice coming from other successful married men.