How should husbands treat their wives?
Brother Philip Velasquez: Hello, and thank you for joining us on this podcast episode of That’s in the Bible. I’m Phillip Velazquez.
Our question for today is an email from Kyma Moreira and she’s from London in the United Kingdom. She asks:
SHOULD MEN DICTATE HOW WOMEN SHOULD LIVE?
Thanks for that question, Kyma. I’m assuming you’re asking about whether a man in a relationship with a woman, married or committed, should dictate how she lives? Well, the most direct answer to that would be a resounding “no”. A man should not dictate how women should live. But neither should a woman dictate how a man lives. And we could read that clearly in Apostle Paul’s teaching, written in 1 Corinthians, chapter 7, and the verse is 4:
A wife is not the master of her own body, but her husband is; in the same way a husband is not the master of his own body, but his wife is.
[1 Corinthians 7:4 Today’s English Version]
So as Christians, what is it then that should dictate the relationship of husband and wife in order for them to live a happy life together? Apostle Paul teaches us again here in Romans, 7 and the verse is 2:
For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.
[Romans 7:2 New King James Version]
As we’ve read dear friends, it is the law, or commandments of God that dictates the roles and responsibilities of husbands and wives, and even the way they treat each other.
And what kind of life can we expect if we allow God’s commands to dictate the way we treat each other as husband and wife? The answer can be read in Psalm 119, and the verse is 2:
Happy are those who follow his commands, who obey him with all their heart.
[Psalm 119:2 Today’s English Version]
Allowing God’s law and commands to dictate our lives will lead to a peaceful and happy life. So, let’s now learn about the Law of God on how husbands and wives should treat each other. Well, let’s start with the husbands. Apostle Paul teaches us in Ephesians, 5: 28 and 33:
Men ought to love their wives just as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself. But it also applies to you: every husband must love his wife as himself,
[Ephesians 5: 28,33 Today’s English Version]
God expects the husbands to love their wives as we love and care for ourselves. How is the love expressed? Is it enough to just proclaim one’s love for his wife? No. Our actions prove our love.
What’s one way by which we can express our love to our wives? Colossians 3, and 19. This is what Apostle Paul admonishes all husbands. And we can read here in Colossians: 3 and 19:
Husbands, love your wives and be gentle with them.
[Colossians 3:19 New Century Version]
First, we express our love by being gentle with them. Just as we would do everything to avoid pain to ourselves, we mustn’t do anything to hurt our wives, physically or emotionally. How else do we express our love for our wives? Let’s read 1 Peter: 3 and 7. This is the teaching of Apostle Peter to husbands out there.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
[1 Peter 3:7 New International Version]
According to Apostle Peter, we must treat them with respect. You know that word “respect” is thrown about so easily these days. Many do not understand its true meaning. So let’s look up the meaning of the word respect here in: oxforddictionary.com, from the Oxford University Press. This is a portion of the definition given of respect:
respect / rɪˈspekt / n. Due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others:
Apostle Paul teaches us to be considerate to our wives’ feelings, and avoid anything that would hurt them. To respect our wives is to remain loyal and faithful to them. We have to regard their wishes. So we must listen to them and consider their opinions and viewpoints in our decision making. And because we must regard their rights, we don’t treat them like slaves or servants. We treat them as our equal.
How else does the dictionary describe respect? In the same online dictionary, we can read this:
respect / rɪˈspekt / v. Admire (someone or something) deeply as a result of their
abilities, qualities, or achievements:
And in the Book of Proverbs, we are also taught to show this admiration to them through praise and recognition of all they do, even expressing the way we feel. This is written in Proverbs 31: 28 to 29:
Her children speak well of her. Her husband also praises her, saying, “There are many fine women, but you are better than all of them.”
[Proverbs 31:28-29 New Century Version]
How well should the husband treat his wife according to the Bible? Let’s read here in 1 Corinthians chapter 7, and verse 3. This is what we can read:
Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
[I Corinthians 7:3 New King James Version]
According to Apostle Paul, husbands must treat their wives with affection. You know what, sometimes it’s the little gestures of love that make all the difference. Isn’t it? Even after years of marriage, like surprising her with a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers, if that’s what she likes.
Going out for dinner once in a while, and many others. What we’ve just studied are just some of the obligations of the husband to his wife, in order to have a happy family. But remember, as the saying goes, it takes two to tango. So now, on to the wives. What’s the teaching of our Almighty God in regard to how wives should treat their husbands? Let’s read here in Titus 2, 4 to 5. And this is what the Holy Scriptures teaches us:
Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children. The younger women must control themselves. They must be pure. They must take good care of their homes. They must be kind. They must follow the lead of their husbands. Then no one will be able to speak evil things against God’s word.
[Titus 2:4-5 New International Reader’s Version]
It is also God’s command that the wives must love and respect their husbands. The Bible says that she must be pure or loyal and faithful to her husband. Just as the husband is expected to show affection, so much the wife. She also must be kind hearted. But what must we also take notice of in the verses that we just read? It says there, they (the wives) must follow the lead of their husbands. Why? Because the husband was placed by God as the head of the household. Just as Christ was placed as head of the Church, and we can read this in Ephesians, 5, and 24:
“The church follows the lead of Christ. In the same way, wives should follow the lead of their husbands in everything.”
[Ephesians 5:24 New International Reader’s Version]
In as much as the wife may have her own opinions and wishes regarding decisions to be made for the family, and as we’ve just studied, these must be highly considered and respected by the husband; when the final decision has to be made, it is ultimately the husband or the head of the household whose lead must be followed. Remember, the husband is accountable to God for his family.
And that is why Apostle Paul taught in 1 Timothy, that the wife must not have authority over her husband. And we can read this clearly in 1 Timothy: 2, 11
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
[1 Timothy 2:11-12 New King James Version]
So we’ve learned today dear friends that it is the law of God and not the personal preferences of any man or woman that must dictate how husband and wife treat each other. If this law of God is allowed to reign in the family, they are assured of happiness and peace.
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I’m Brother Philip Velasquez and we hope you join us next time for more programming of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ). To watch episodes of That’s in the Bible go to incmedia.org. Once again, thanks for listening. God bless.