Husbands, Lead by Going Low

Audio Transcript

I’ve been married for 44 years, and I have five children ranging in age from 40 to 17. I’ve been at this a long time — trying to be a biblically responsible husband and father — and men, this is not a job you want. If God had not called you to bear this, not wield this, but bear this weight, you wouldn’t want it. I promise you, young men, you don’t want this. Unless God has called you to bear the weight of responsibility, which he has.

So when Jesus knocks at the front door because there’s a financial problem or relational problem, and Noël answers the door, he says, “Is the man of the house home, ma’am? I’ll talk to you later. I want that man, and I want to call him to account first.”

That’s not a job you want, neither in parenting, nor in marriage, nor in pastoring. Do you get that? This is not about rights and power. This is about weight on your back, day and night, to make it right. It’s impossible to bring up kids that way, impossible to be married that way. But you have to do it. So, I just hope nobody leaves these rooms saying, “I get to be the head. I get to be the power. I get to be the leader, controller.” You don’t have a clue what you’re in for.

“Husbands have a divine calling to take primary responsibility for Christlike, servant leadership.”

Leadership in the home involves the sense of primary responsibility for nourishing provision and tender protection, and I get that from Ephesians 5:29. No one ever hated his own flesh, men, and she’s your flesh. That’s the analogy. He talking about your own flesh first, but you’re also one flesh with your wife. “No one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.” And the word nourishes implies nourishing provision.

You nourish your children, you nourish your wife, you nourish relationships, meaning you feed them, you give into them, you provide what they need. You’re an endless source. You’re being drained all the time. You’ve got to be the source — primarily.

And, the word cherishes implies tender protection. Women don’t want you to be harsh. You can’t be harsh, mean-spirited, hard, demanding. That’s not what you do if you’re a godly leader. So, this is what Christ does for his bride.

This is what a godly husband feels the primary responsibility to do. A complementarian concludes that biblical headship for the husband is the divine calling. It’s a divine calling to take primary responsibility for Christlike servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home. And biblical submission, complementarians conclude, is for the wife to experience her divine calling to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership, and help carry it through, according to her gifts. Help. Does that ring any texts for you? A helper suitable, perfect for him. Couldn’t make it without her.

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