Quotes about Marriage-Roles-Men


If love has grown cold in your family, husband, you must do something about it.  If you are going to emulate the love of Jesus Christ for His church, it is up to you to initiate love… Jesus loved us when we had no love for Him.  You are the head of your home.  If there is little or no love in that home, it is your fault.  God holds you responsible to introduce love.  You must do that by giving.


To be like Jesus Christ in relationship to your wife is an enormous order to fill.  You are to be the head of your home, including your wife, just as Christ is the head of the church.  When you fail, you not only fail your wife, you also fail to represent your Lord’s love for His church.  That is why your task is such a solemn one.  When you fail to reflect Him in your marriage, you damage His name.  You are called to show forth Jesus Christ by the leadership that you exercise in your home.


Husband’s Checklist:

1. Do I know what is going on in my home from day to day?

2. Am I in control of what is happening; indeed, am I leading the family in the direction in which it is moving?

3. Can I control my children and my wife?

4. Do I truly love my wife (by giving of myself to her), as I should? How am I demonstrating this?

5. Do I assume responsible leadership over my family?


Men want all the privileges of marriage without the responsibility.


There are some things a man simply must be before he is qualified to assume the role of a Christian husband. For instance, he must be a Christian (2 Corinthians 6:14); he must be committed to biblical headship (Ephesians 5:23ff.); he must welcome children (Psalm 127:3-5); he must be a suitable priest (Joshua 24:15), prophet (Ephesians 6:4), protector (Nehemiah 4:13-14), and provider (1 Timothy 5:8; Titus 2:5). A man who does not possess – or at least show strong signs of – these and other basic characteristics does not meet the basic job description laid down for husbands in the Bible


Whatever words we choose to use, it is clear that a young man must be ready to represent his family before God (as a priest), represent God before his family (as a prophet), meet the needs of those in his household (as a provider), and place himself between his family and all who would do them harm (as a protector).


A good husband will either make a good wife, or easily and profitably endure a bad one.


If the love of Christ for the church is the standard of the husbands love for his wife, the least that this standard means is that the love must be self-sacrificial and for her good, for that is the way Christ loved the church. Always, therefore, the Christian husband must be thinking of expressing his love for his wife not only in terms of the characteristics found in 1 Corinthians 13, but with these two immensely practical tests: In what ways am I diligently seeking her good? And how is this pursuit of her good costing me something, prompting me to sacrifice something, as an expression of my love for her – in exactly the same way that the Savior sought the church’s good at the cost of His life?


God’s covenant faithfulness is our measure, our norm. The faithful love of Christ models the Christian man’s marriage covenant. Jesus does not love the church because it is pure and spotless – He purifies the church in order to make it spotless. Just so, godly husbands love their wives despite their wives’ blemishes, not until they get blemishes. Thus we do not size up our wives each week to decide if we will love them a while longer. The idea of ever-fresh decisions, even decisions to stay faithful, is naïve.


The person in your house that claims your first and nearest attention, is, undoubtedly, your wife; seeing you are to love her, even as Christ hath loved the Church… Next to your wife are your children; immortal spirits whom God hath, for a time, entrusted to your care, that you may train them up in all holiness, and fit them for the enjoyment of God in eternity. This is a glorious and important trust; seeing one soul is of more value than all the world beside. Every child, therefore, you are to watch over with the utmost care, that, when you are called to give an account of each to the Father of spirits, you may give your accounts with joy and not with grief.



Biblically speaking, there are no exceptions or exemptions for a father when it comes to overseeing family responsibilities. This does not mean, of course, that he is to do all the work, but ultimately he is responsible to make sure that all members of his family are loved, cared for, encouraged, and taught God’s truth. In turn, he is responsible for each person to function properly (according to age levels) within this God-ordained social unit.


No Christian husband should presume to think that any spiritual good will be accomplished by his life without an effective ministry of prayer. And no husband may expect an effective prayer life unless he lives with his wife ‘in an understanding way, bestowing honor’ on her. To take the time to develop and maintain a good marriage is God’s will; it is serving God; it is a spiritual activity pleasing in his sight.


The duty of husbands is to love their wives. The love of Christ to the church is an example, which is sincere, pure and consistent, notwithstanding her failures.




The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to top him, nor out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved by him.


The man who sanctifies his wife understands that this is his divinely ordained responsibility…  Is my wife more like Christ because she is married to me?  Or is she like Christ in spite of me?  Has she shrunk from His likeness because of me?  Do I sanctify her or hold her back?  Is she a better woman because she is married to me? 


Marriage is a call to die [to self], and a man who does not die for his wife does not come close to the love to which he is called. Christian marriage vows are the inception of a lifelong practice of death, of giving over not only all you have, but all you are. Is this a grim gallows call? Not at all! It is no more grim than dying to self and following Christ. In fact, those who lovingly die for their wives are those who know the most joy, have the most fulfilling marriages, and experience the most love.


Headship is not a ticket to privilege but a charge to responsibility. It is not tyranny, but leadership based on love.


In every society, there must be authority vested somewhere, and some ultimate authority, some last and highest tribunal established, from the decision of which there lies no appeal.  In the family constitution this authority rests in the husband – he is the head, the law-giver, the ruler. In all matters concerning the “little world in the house,” he is to direct, not indeed without taking counsel with his wife. But in all differences of view, he is to decide – unless he chooses to waive his right; and to his decision the wife should yield, and yield with grace and cheerfulness.


The Christian is supposed to love his neighbor, and since his wife is his nearest neighbor, she should be his deepest love.


What higher motive could there be for the husband to love his wife? By loving her as Christ loved the church, he honors Christ in the most direct and graphic way. He becomes the embodiment of Christ’s love to his own wife, a living example to the rest of his family, a channel of blessing to his entire household, and a powerful testimony to a watching world.


Fifty-fifty marriages are an impossibility.  They do not work.  They cannot work.  In marriage someone has to be the final decision maker.  Someone has to delegate responsibility, and God has ordained that this should be the husband.


A husband is to love his wife. Such love never demands obedience. It never demands anything; it seeks not to be served, but to serve…The measure of the love required by the husband is to be well noted, “just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” This is a lofty standard. How did Christ show His love for His Church? Think of His gentleness to His friends, His patience with them in all their faultiness, His thoughtfulness, His unwearying kindness. Never did a harsh word fall from His lips upon their ears. Never did He do anything to give them pain. It was not easy for Him at all times to maintain such constancy and such composure and quietness of love toward them; for they were very faulty, and tried Him in a thousand ways. But His affection never wearied nor failed for an instant. Husbands are to love their wives even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself up for it. He loved even to the cost of utmost self sacrifice.


[The Bible] does not say the husband “should be the head of the wife” but the husband “is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.” The husband is therefore placed over his wife constitutionally… Just as one cannot confess Jesus Christ without affirming His lordship, so it is impossible to confess maleness without affirming male leadership.


There’s no gridlock with God…no stalemate…no tie game. If a husband and wife have talked things out, but cannot come to agreement on a matter, the Bible teaches that the husband’s authority prevails. By divine design God has entrusted to the husband leadership and authority with which to wisely and lovingly rule the household. The husband is not guaranteed the smartest decisions–but God does expect him to exercise leadership in the home and to have the power to veto (break up an impasse with his vote). However, this does not give him the right to be arrogant and to flaunt his authority, or to run roughshod over other family members’ feelings. He has no right to refuse to listen to his wife, to withdraw from confrontational discussions, to act in anger, or to act in a non-understanding way (1 Peter 3:7). He has no right to exasperate his children or anyone else in the family. He must love his wife even as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for it. Because of the Biblical doctrine of ‘male headship,’ I place (and I believe God places) the brunt of the responsibility for family growth, happiness, and harmony, upon the husband. Since he is the one entrusted with leadership, he is the one chiefly responsible for leading the family towards the goal of Christlikeness (Peter Wise).


Is your wife more like Jesus Christ because she is married to you (Tom Pennington)?




God also places a man in a relationship with a woman so that she will grow spiritually within the safe confines of his loving care. This is masculine love, as defined by God: to nurture and to protect. Men are to show a protective and nurturing concern for women that equals (or surpasses) their instinctive concern for their own bodies. As Christian men do this, the women in their lives will shine with the spiritual beauty that is precious to God (Richard and Sharon Phillips).


A famous cigarette billboard pictures a curly-headed, bronze-faced, muscular macho with a cigarette hanging out the side of his mouth. The sign says, “Where a man belongs.” That is a lie. Where a man belongs is at the bedside of his children, leading in devotion and prayer. Where a man belongs is leading his family to the house of God. Where a man belongs is up early and alone with God seeking vision and direction for the family.


As Jesus says in Luke 22:26, “Let the leader become as one who serves.”  The husband who plops himself down in front of the TV and orders his wife around like a slave has abandoned the way of Christ.  Jesus bound Himself with a towel and washed the apostles’ feet.  Woe to the husband who thinks his maleness requires of him a domineering, demanding attitude toward his wife.  If you want to be a Christian husband, you become a servant, not a boss.


Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christlike, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.


When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and God came to call them to account, it didn’t matter that Eve had sinned first. God said, “Adam, where are you?” (Gen. 3:9). That’s God’s word to the family today: Adam, husband, father, where are you? If something is not working right at [your home] and Jesus comes knocking on the door, He may have an issue with [your] wife, but the first thing He’s going to say when she opens the door is, “Is the man of the house home?” That’s the way it happened in the first marriage. That’s the way it will happen in our marriage.


There is no necessary connection between being an effective leader and being more intellectual or more competent than your wife. Leadership does not assume it is superior. It assumes it should take initiative. See that the family prays, and reads the Bible, and goes to church, and discusses spiritual and moral issues, and learns to use the means of grace, and grows in knowledge, and watches your example in all these things.


What women rightly long for is spiritual and moral initiative from a man, not spiritual and moral domination.


What a breathtaking picture. For Christ to be the head of the church is for Christ to give everything He has for the good of the church. Christ takes responsibility for the beauty of His bride, ready to lay aside His rights and willing to lay down His life for the sake of her splendor. So this is who God has designed a husband to be: a man who gives everything he has for the good of his wife. A man who takes responsibility for the beauty of his bride, ready to lay aside his rights and willing to lay down his life for the sake of her splendor. God has designed a husband to be the head of his wife like this so that in a husband’s love for his wife, the world might see a picture of Christ’s love for His people.


Headship is not an opportunity for us to control our wives; it is a responsibility to die for them.


Husbands, love your wives not because of who they are, but because of who Christ is. He loves them deeply, and our responsibility is to reflect His love.


[To fulfill their God-given role, husbands are to:] Take the initiative to be the spiritual leader in the home – to pray, to worship at church, and to study God’s Word.  Take the initiative to see that finances are in order, needs are met and your wife feels financially secure.  Take the initiative to ask forgiveness, resolve conflict and ensure your home is a place of encouragement and safety.


When Adam was away, Eve was made a prey.


If not providing physically for our family makes us “worse than an unbeliever” and declares us as having “denied the faith” (according to 1 Timothy 5:8), what does it say when we as men fail to provide for our family spiritually?


Male leadership in the home is seen in radical sacrificial love that mirrors that same radical selfless love that was demonstrated in our Lord’s life-giving death for the church (Eph. 5:25). According to Jesus’ example, masculinity is not domineering, it is service-orientated. Masculinity is not driving the family from behind, but leading the family by way of example, like the Great Shepherd Himself who always goes before the flock.


Men, can we ask for a better object lesson? As we nourish and cherish our own bodies (Eph. 5:29) and as Christ nourishes and cherishes His body, the church (Eph. 5:29), we should nourish and cherish our wives! Yes, we all fall short. Yes it takes the much selflessness and effort and grace. But the expectation from Scripture is clear as to how we should love our wives.




Men, can we ask for a better object lesson? As we nourish and cherish our own bodies (Eph. 5:29) and as Christ nourishes and cherishes His body, the church (Eph. 5:29), we should nourish and cherish our wives! Yes, we all fall short. Yes it takes the much selflessness and effort and grace. But the expectation from Scripture is clear as to how we should love our wives.




So specifically based on what we already know, how do we, how can we nourish and cherish our wives (Eph. 5:28-30)? Here are some practical thoughts: Be sensitive and responsive to her needs. Let your actions and words show her respect. Pay attention when she talks to you. Demand the children honor her. Use gentle and kind words. Plan times alone together. Speak well of her to others. Accept her feelings. Be humble and submit to the authorities in your life. Tell her that she is beautiful. Sacrifice for her. Encourage her especially in her steps toward godliness. Take care of yourself. Be romantic. Tell her you love her. Be available if she has a need. Pray for her regularly. Be a gentleman. Lead the family spiritually. Take the lead on difficult decisions. Ask her opinion before making decisions. Learn what makes her feel special. Be faithful and loyal.




When you and your wife got married, God in a mysterious way made the two of you one flesh (Gen 2:21; Eph. 5:31). In other words, since you are now one, hurting her only hurts yourself. And loving her shows respect for your natural and God-given desire to maximize your own joy. “He who loves his own wife loves himself” (Eph. 5:28). Men, the Bible teaches that pursuing your private pleasure at the expense of your wife will destroy your highest joy. Remember this, you can’t hurt wife without hurting yourself.




So men, what is your role? Not easy, but simple to understand! Just love your wife as much as Jesus loves the church. Christ’s love for the church is the model for us. So here is what comes to mind when I consider Christ’s love for the church. Jesus Christ, God Almighty in the flesh – fully God, without sin, worshiped continually by the angels in heaven. Yet at a point of time, motivated solely by obedience to the Father and love for hell-bound rebels, He would leave the glory of heaven, become man and live among us – the Creator becoming one with His creation. And rather than receiving the praise and acceptance He deserved, the very people He came to love would reject Him. His closest would deny and betray Him. His enemies would mock, reject, threaten and torture Him on a cross. The Son of God would die a physically, emotionally and spiritually horrifying death. All of it done that He might forgive our sins, call the church to Himself, present her to the Father without fault and enjoy an intimate spiritual marriage with us for all of eternity. That’s the spirit of how we are to love our wives.



The following go without saying, but I will say them anyway in regards to the way we are commanded to love our wives. This is a call to be filled with the Spirit (verse 18). This is a call to give everything and withhold nothing. This is a call to make your wife’s submissive role something she delights in. This is a call to sacrifice regardless of your wife’s attitude. And as I said last week to the wives, this is a call to ultimately obey God with a command He has placed upon you, men. This is a call to fulfill the topic sentence of chapter 5. Verses 1 and 2, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” This is a call to confess your sin in this area daily.



Our Divine Husband through the Holy Spirit has the primary goal of progressively making us more holy, making us more like Himself. Men, that is how we are called to best love our wives as Christ loves the church. Men, we should be in full cooperation with the Holy Spirit to be used as a tool to see our wives become more holy, as a result of us, not in spite of us. Here are some practical thoughts: Bringing her to the Word. Giving her time to be in the Word. Discussing what she is learning from the Word. Bringing her to church. Finding answers for her biblical questions. Protecting her from the world’s contamination. Doing nothing that might lead her to sin. Carrying her spiritual burdens. Making and explaining decisions on the basis of Scripture. Praying for her. Maintaining a positive spiritual atmosphere in the home. Commending her for the biblical traits you see in her. Encouraging her in her spiritual growth. Keeping your critiques only to spiritual issues and sharing them in love. Setting a godly example.



It is conceivable that the husband should defer more to his wife than the wife submits to her husband. If it is always the husband always getting his way, where would the husband need to die to self and prefer his wife’s needs above his own? Although Jesus Christ is our head, I do not see Him demanding where we go on vacation, what temperature we keep the house, what food we serve on the table and what color the kitchen should be decorated. Husbands, in the same way, consider your wife’s needs above your own and do not abuse the verses on submission as an excuse to be selfish! It is ultimately your spiritual service to Christ.



Husbands, don’t abuse your God-given authority. Your authority is to serve and love your wife. Don’t overpower or manipulate her emotions. Be sensitive and compassionate. And don’t in any way threaten or touch her to inflict harm simply because you are bigger and stronger. Treat her with the meekness and gentleness of Christ in attitude, action and word.


Christians, when you understand your role as a leader and the value of your wife – balancing the two – you will rightly fulfill God’s expectations. Go wimpy on the leadership part (lack of initiative, masculinity, backbone) and you have become an Adam, Abraham, Ahab or Solomon. Go wimpy on the love and honor part and you’ve become a Nabel or Xerxes. It takes a lot of wisdom to be a godly husband who truly leads and who truly loves. The model is Christ’s leadership of His church. On a human level, my favorite biblical example is Boaz.


Genesis 3:6 tells us that after Eve was tempted by the serpent that “she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” Both were guilty, but I’d say the fall was primary Eve’s fault. But who did God blame? According to verse 9, “Then the LORD God called to the man.” Adam was held responsible. The fall is not known as “Eve’s Sin”, but throughout the Bible as “Adam’s sin.” And Jesus came to be the “second Adam” to fix the mess that the “first Adam” created. God expects the man to provide leadership.


When the New Testament speaks of the church’s glory, it is speaking of its dignity.  By analogy, the husband is called to give himself to the purpose of establishing his wife in the fullness of dignity.  When he uses his authority to destroy his wife’s dignity, he becomes the direct antithesis of Christ.  He mirrors not Christ but the Antichrist.


There is the Christian husband whose idea of “headship” is little more than a thinly-veiled biblical justification for dictatorship… I am sad to say that I know of good Christian women who are but stifled shadows of what they could have been, because of the domineering activities of their Christian husbands, men who may even receive the praises of unsuspecting church members.


Husbands must know, bestow and show the Word.


Every governor of a family ought to look upon himself as obligated to act in three qualities as a prophet, to instruct; as a priest, to pray for and with; as a king, to govern, direct and provide for them.


For if, as the apostle argues, “He that does not provide for his own house,” in temporal things, “has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel;” to what greater degree of apostasy must he have arrived, who takes no thought to provide for the spiritual welfare of his family!


[P]ersons are generally very liberal of their invectives against the clergy, and think they justly blame the conduct of’ that minister who does not take heed to and watch over the flock, of which the Holy Ghost has made him overseer: but may not every governor of a family, be in a lower degree liable to the same censure, who takes no thought for those souls that are committed to his charge? For every house is as it were a little parish, every governor a priest, every family a flock; and if any of them perish through the governor’s neglect, their blood will God require at their hands.

Recommended Books

The Exemplary Husband: A Biblical Perspective

Stuart Scott

The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men

Richard Phillips

The New Man: Becoming a Man After God’s Heart

Dan Doriani

The Complete Husband: A Practical Guide for Improved Biblical Husbanding

Lou Priolo

Disciplines of a Godly Man

Kent Hughes

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism

Wayne Grudem