This video segment is one of six presentations in the “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Foundations” seminar. There will be four more seminars in this series covering the subjects: communication, finances, decision making, and intimacy. As those presentations are ready they will be posted on this blog.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

MarriageEquip(Part5) from Equip on Vimeo.

Worksheet Five: Job Description — Husband

Memorize: Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV), “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Husbands” – This is a voluntary role which, once assumed, removes the choice to live covenant-free.
  • “As Christ Loved (A.C.L.)” – A rupture to the A.C.L. commitment of a husband is devastating to marriage.
  • “Sanctify Her” – Your first goal in marriage is to facilitate your wife becoming what God intended her to be.
  • “Present… in Splendor” – Your second goal in marriage is to celebrate and affirm what God does with your wife.
  • “To Himself” – Your third goal in marriage is to learn to personally delight and enjoy your godly wife.

 Teaching Notes

“While the principle is clear – that the husband is to be the servant-leader and have ultimate responsibility and authority in the family – the Bible gives almost no details about how that is expressed in concrete behavior (p. 185)… What does this mean for us? It means that rigid culture gender roles have no Biblical warrant. Christians cannot make a scriptural case for masculine and feminine stereotypes… We must find ways to honor and express our gender roles, but the Bible allows for freedom in the particulars, while still upholding the obligatory nature of the principle (p. 186). ” Tim Keller in The Meaning of Marriage

“The Bible does not permit men to be uninvolved, disinterested, intentionally deaf, or selfishly blind. Headship requires the husband actively (and graciously) to work for the physical and spiritual well-being of each person in the family. A husband’s passivity can lead to cycles of abuse. A common pattern in abusive marriages is long periods of male passivity interspersed with brief episodes of rage (p. 31)… Too often Christians try to summarize male headship in the home by simply saying the husband has ‘the last word’ or is the final authority in decision making. Be glad this abbreviation of responsibilities is not found in the phrases of Scripture because it can cause great damage (p. 69)… Biblical headship shifts the focus of husbanding from taking charge to taking responsibility. Being a godly husband is not so much asserting one’s will as submitting one’s prerogative to the good of another (p. 70).” Bryan Chappell in Each for the Other

“For most of Western history, the primary and most valued characteristic of manhood was self-mastery… A man who indulged in excessive eating, drinking, sleeping, or sex—who failed to ‘rule himself’—was considered unfit to rule his household.” Sara Lipton in “Those Manly Men of Yore” in New York Times (June 17, 2011).

“The reason I am using the title “Lionhearted and Lamblike” to refer to the Christian husband as head of his wife is because the husband is called to lead like Jesus who is the Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5) and the Lamb of God (Rev. 5:6)—he was lionhearted and lamblike, strong and meek, tough and tender, aggressive and responsive, bold and broken-hearted. He sets the pattern for manhood (p. 74)… Leadership does not assume it is superior. It assumes it should take initiative (p. 89).” John Piper in This Momentary Marriage