Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and praying about the role and responsibility that a husband has to his wife. I’ve been studying the consummate passage on this in Scripture at Ephesians 5. The Bible speaks to the role of wives and husbands in this wonderful chapter. But, in fact, I’ve discovered, the Bible has a lot more to say to the husbands in Ephesians 5 than to the women. Why? Because we need it!! Usually (and unfortunately), most of our wives are spiritually stronger than we are as men. That’s a shame. But, it’s often true. Why is this the case? Because we have allowed it to happen. We have placed a priority in other areas of our lives and the spiritual takes a back seat to our jobs, hobbies and TV (sports mainly).
The Bible says:
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25-27
That’s some heavy Scripture. Do you know what it means “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word…”? I’m glad you asked! Ha! This is a symbol of baptism. It’s a symbol of sanctification. It’s one of the roles of the husband being specifically shown in Scripture to his wife. The husband has three main roles to and for his wife…#1 Provider, #2 Protector, #3 Priest/Prophet. The role being described here is the Priest/Prophet role. We are to wash in the word…to baptize…to cleanse our wives and to help and guide in the sanctification process in our homes. John 17:17 describes this process of sanctification when Jesus prayed for us to the Father in this manner:
17Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
The word “sanctify” means to “set apart for sacred use, to make holy.” Are we doing this for our wives? You see we can’t until we have been set apart and made holy ourselves. We can only be made holy by being washed in the “Word” ourselves. Men, are you a student of the Bible? You say, “I don’t have time!” I know…me either… Before I was called in the ministry, I was right where you are. I was working as the General Manager of a $6 million business and I had pressure on me that was immense to perform. I had 3 kids at the time…I was a Deacon, Sunday School teacher and served in a ton of other ways in the church. But, the bottom line is…I had to make time to be in the Word. So, I got myself up and out of the bed early each morning and “baptized” my mind in the Word. There is no other way that we can become sanctified…purified and made holy apart from the Word of God. It’s a discipline and it’s hard. But, it must be done.
Take a look at this quote:
“The Bible is the sun and the solar system of all we teach ourselves, our wives and our children. It will not be and must not be just one among many books. It must be THE central book, the all permeating book. The other books are dark planets. The Bible is the life-giving sun. All other books will be and should be read in the light of this book. All books will be judged by this book. All books will find their meaning in the worldview built by this book, which means that this book should be and must be known first and known better by you than all the other books and activities in your life.” John Piper, Pastor and Author
I agree with Piper. And agree with the Apostle Paul…
15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
Men, we must be workman. We must “do our best” to be workman! Are you doing your BEST? I mean be honest…please. Is the Bible a valuable part of your life? Who’s the strongest spiritually in your house? It should be you and do you know what else? God commands that it is you. Because YOU and I are the ones that must be handling the priestly duties in the home of helping to sanctify our wives and children. Are you doing your duty? I struggle, like you…but, I’m giving it all I’ve got in Christ’s power. You see, if I succeed everywhere else…at my job, in my hobbies, in my pleasures…but, I fail at home…in this area…then, I have failed most miserably. May God help us to truly be men of God!