Revealing what a wife should expect of her husband is a tricky thing! Yes, we should expect our husbands to love us, and even to sacrifice their interests for ours. The Bible says so. It’s in Ephesians 5, in case you want to look it up for yourself 🙂 It says in verse 25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her“
The tricky thing is that no husband can perfectly live up to that expectation. Therein lies the challenge. As wives, we yearn for a perfect husband who cherishes us, adores us, romances us, sacrifices himself for us, shares his feelings with us, courageously protects us, diligently provides for us, tenderly raises children with us, spiritually leads us, and on and on. Whew! That’s a long list! Frankly, only Jesus could hit the mark on all those expectations, and guess what? Your husband isn’t Jesus.
So, back to the original question. What should we expect of our husbands? I believe we should expect our husbands to strive to be the kind of husband described in Ephesians 5:25, while at the same time we need to realize that he will fall short of that mark because he’s human. That’s where we need to take on the character of Christ ourselves, striving to be “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8)
Many Christian wives have asked me what they should expect from their husbands. In other words, what is godly behavior for a husband? Well, let’s look at what the Bible indicates about this.
Ephesians 5 includes one of the most comprehensive sets of instructions for husbands. It says in verses 25 through 31… “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. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
Wow! That’s a pretty high standard! Yet God expects husbands to strive to imitate Christ’s selfless love for his bride, the church. My husband Raul was pretty amazing but he still had some flaws, and I bet your husband isn’t perfect either. However, the Christian husband should be seeking to become more like Jesus every day. This means a husband should look out for the best interest of his wife and act in ways that indicates he cherishes her!
That being said, NO Christian husband is as perfect as Jesus! Don’t expect your husband to model Christ’s behavior every single minute of every single day. Your husband is human, and he WILL make mistakes. He will stumble in his attempt to display godly behavior each day. So be thankful if you see him at least trying to follow and obey the Lord, even though he will fall short at times. As believers, we should ALL be seeking to honor and obey the Lord each day.
Our romanticized culture has led many Christian women to believe that they need to find their one true “soul mate” who will make them happy for the rest of their life, with little hard work on their part. Not true! I don’t see this concept anywhere in the Bible. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that we are supposed to be more concerned with loving others than finding someone who makes us happy. Philippian 2:3-4 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others.”
Sorry to burst your bubble, but I believe it’s important for you to realize the following ideas about marriage are actually 3 more myths:
Your husband is supposed to be your source of happiness. (Actually, God is the only one who can provide perfect love, security and comfort)
Happy couples never have conflict. (If you never disagree on anything, one or both of you is likely burying the issue and allowing resentment to grow)
If you find the “right” guy, a wonderful marriage will just happen. (Actually, a good marriage takes planning, intentionality and effort)