As husbands we are called to lead our households.
In today’s culture there may be pushback because husbands who take a strong lead have been portrayed as chauvinistic or abusive by popular media sources. In some sad cases there have been men who have acted in ungodly and sinful ways when leading and those situations should be condemned. But we must also avoid the fallacy of allowing the abuses of some to become an excuse not to lead.
Instead, husbands must fight their sinful nature of passivity and laziness in order to lead well. One could argue that the first sinful act in the Garden of Eden was Adam’s failure to lead strongly and instead choosing to act in passive cowardice by not stepping in to tell off the Serpent and tell Eve to not eat the fruit when she was being tempted (Genesis 3:1-7). Take a look: Adam “was with her” at the time of the temptation (3:7). Adam may have thought he was being loving towards his wife by not exercising godly leadership, but his choice of inaction resulted in sin entering the world and their spiritual death. That is the epitome of being unloving – knowing that someone’s actions would result in dramatically bad results and choosing to do nothing.
Husbands, let us stop living by the passive and unloving life and thought patterns of Adam. Let us take on the role of leaders of our household as depicted by Jesus Christ – strong, sacrificial leaders. In Ephesians 5:23-33 husbands are called to emulate Christ by leading the household in the same way that Jesus leads the church – through sacrificial love with a view towards the ultimate good of the household.
As Christ endured pain in the short term for the greater good in the long term, husbands need to look beyond their own temporary desires or pleasure and endure hardship for the ultimate good of the household. As Christ gives us what we need for our ultimate health and not always what we want (and hears about it through our complaining prayers and “silent treatments” towards him), husbands need to sacrifice temporary comfort for the greater good in their loving leadership of the family.
Ultimately, the Bible points out that the strong, sacrificially loving leadership of Jesus results in glory and joy for all parties involved. By following Christ’s model of leading strongly and sacrificially in love, husbands can trust that the short term pain of putting to death their own passivity and any resulting interpersonal discomfort in the household will eventually lead to greater joy and love in the long term for the entire household.