God’s Design for Marriage – The Authority and Responsibility of a Husband
“15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:15-16 NIV
From the very beginning, God gave man the authority to work, the responsibility to know and obey the word of God, and the role of leadership in his household.
It is worth noting in Genesis that God gave Adam the command not to eat of the fruit of the tree in the garden before Eve was even created. God never gave Eve the command to not eat of the tree. He gave Adam the direction and expected that Adam would exercise the authority and responsibility of leading his wife and children to being obedient to the word of God as well. That was the role given to him from God Himself.
A question I must ask myself is, “Will I embrace my God given role?” God took the man (Adam) and put him in the garden to take care of it and work it. God then commanded him not to eat of the fruit of the tree of life. God gave Adam a spiritual responsibility. He said that Adam had to know His word and obey it. Adam was given authority over the garden and to lead his home, and he was also given the responsibility to do it.
The problems come into today’s households when we as the men want the authority of the household, but we move away from taking the responsibility to do it God’s way. Far too often, men claim to be the leader of the house, but move away from the responsibility of knowing God’s word and obeying it. If I claim the authority in my household, but fail to take the responsibility of leading, providing for, and directing my family in the ways of God, I have failed.
In Genesis, God took out man’s rib in order for him to have a wife. Sometimes God needs to pull something out of me that is painful, before I am prepared to give my life for my spouse in marriage. Ouch! What is He trying to pull out of you today? Here are some things that I know God is trying to pull out of me…
- Pride – Too often I have the need to think that I am right. I must remember that when my wife and I argue, it is not about “being right,” but about doing the “right thing.”
- Eye problems – Also as a male, I must be aware to guard my eyes and my thought life. I must allow the Holy Spirit to renew my mind and to avoid letting my eyes move toward areas where I ought not be looking.
- Being too passive – Here was Adam’s problem. While being right, doesn’t make things right, there are times that I need to stand up for the word of God.
- Self-Centeredness – It’s all about me. Right? Wrong!!! Jesus Himself teaches me that marriage is about laying my life down for my spouse. That is what He did for me, that is what I must often do for my wife.
- Busyness – As a man, I am goal oriented and goal driven. I must fight the tendency I have to be so busy that I don’t have time for my wife (or my kids for that matter). It is easy to constantly do the good things in life (like work, church, and ministry).
- Impatience – Often I want what I want when I want it. A prayer I try to avoid is a prayer for patience, but in reality, there are many times that God uses my wife to teach me patience.
- Anger – A wise counselor once told me, “Even if you are right, it doesn’t make it right.” When I feel I am right, I feel like I need to fight to defend my stance. God wants to remove the anger within me that comes from the flesh and wanting to always be right.
- Bitterness – I cannot hold onto bitterness and be the husband that God created me to be. God must pull out any bitterness from me in order to make me to be the husband that He wants me to be.
As a man and as a husband, God has called me to lead my household in following and serving Him well. Sometimes it will be painful, but I cannot only accept the authority God gives, I must accept the responsibility of knowing and obeying His word as well.
Lord Jesus, form me into the husband that You want and created me to be. Amen.