Month 3:24, Week 4:2 (Shanee/Matzah), Year 5935:080 AM|
Omer Count Day 16/50
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 25 June 2011
The Twelvefold Husband
His Duties Made Plain in Scripture
Husbands have a huge responsibility. They are compared with the Messiah, on a human level, in the scope of both their domain as well as their obligations. Theirs is a kingdom but it is a kingdom under the government of Messiah. It is not an independent one nor is it apart from Yahweh's Torah. It is not their own. My wife has been wanting me to make this study for some time so I thought it was about time I did so. I am using the scriptural outline of an anonymous Bible teacher and expanding it.
I. He is to love his wife as Messiah loved the Messianic Community (Church)
What, then, is the godly husband to be and do?
This is total self-giving ahavah (love). This is not any old 'love' but is bibical ahavah or agapé (love) in divine tavnith (pattern). He can only love his wife to the degree that he receives the ahavah (love) of Yahweh because this ahavah (love) is not natural to man. Without it he is selfish and conceited. He must first surrender his life to Messiah and be born again as a new creation (2 Cor.5:17). Through this kind of ahavah (love), he brings a sanctification and cleansing for his wife upon which she will always be dependent.
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Messiah also loved the Messianic Community (church), and gave Himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to Himself a glorious Messianic Community (church), not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be set-apart (holy) and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Master the Messianic Community (church): For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Messiah and the Messianic Community (church). Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband" (Eph.5:25-33, KJV).
II. He is to be tenderhearted toward his wife
To be "tenderhearted" is to have a compassionate, kindly or sensitive disposition. This does not mean he should surrender his headship or masculinity as seems to be the modern secularist-feminist expectation, and which can so easily lead to emotional manipulation on the part of wives. However, neither can he remain cold-hearted or without emotion if he is to be as Messiah desires him to be. He has to have an authentic, giving lev (heart).
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as Yahweh for Messiah's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph.4:32, KJV).
"Put on therefore, as the elect of Elohim (God), holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Messiah forgave you, so also do ye" (Col.3:12-13, KJV).
The one major complaint women often make about their husbands is that they are not sensitive to their feelings. Women are far more feeling-based than men and find it harder to dispassionately talk something out the way men usually do. This is not necessarily an easy thing for all men to accommodate but it is an essential part of being a "tenderhearted" husband. The scriptures quoted here are not gender-specific; nevertheless men and women are different in their "tenderheartedness". And when a woman walks in divine tavnith (pattern) he will usually more readily open himself up emotionally to her (see Our Mansion and Place).
A husband must therefore possess this duality in the same way that he posesses both male (Y) and female (X) sex chromosomes. He requires the Y to be strong to lead but the X to be soft and tenderhearted. We see this duality in the Messiah Himself who when He first came was the gentle Suffering Servant (X) but who, when He returns, is the conquering Lion of Judah (Y). Men - and husbands in particular - need to realise that they have this dual (XY) nature, calling and responsibility, whereas women, who have a double female (XX) sex chromosome and a double quantity of softness, do not have a Y.
With toqef (authority) in tavnith (pattern) he must head his wife but with "tenderheartedness" he must demonstrate the emotional side of ahavah (love). The two aspects cannot be separated, nor must he allow them to be separated. but must operate in echad (oneness) in the right order.
III. He is to be the provider for the family
Yahweh works through husbands and fathers to provide food, shelter, clothing and warmth for wives and children. This provision should also include protection from physical or emotional harm, i.e. safety. There are no lazy bums in the Kingdom of Heaven.
"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (1 Tim.5:8, KJV).
"For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (1 Thess.3:10, KJV).
IV. He is to be the spiritual and temporal head under Messiah
There is no headship without salvation. A head is not only a provider but also a deliverer (saviour). He provides shelter, protection and safety from enemies, physical as well as spiritual. This means that he is to carry the major burden of responsibility in being the spiritual leader for the family. Yahweh is to work through the toqef (authority) of the husband to minister to the family, which is a part of His tavnith (pattern).
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Messiah; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Messiah is Elohim (God)" (1 Cor.11:3, KJV).
"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Messiah is the head of the Messianic Community (church): and he is the saviour of the body" (Eph.5:23, KJV).
V. He is to rule his household by example
The husband should be the spiritual and temporal leader of his home and rule by a living example on a daily basis. It is his behaviour that will be imitated by his boys as future husbands and his girls will look up to his behaviour as an ideal in their search for future husbands. And a wife will be more readily willing to call her husband "master (lord)" (1 Pet.3:6) when she sees this righteous example, as did Sarah of Abraham, as her respect for him grows.
"One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the assembly (church) of Elohim (God)?)" (I Timothy 3:4-5).
"Neither as being masters over Elohim's (God's) heritage, but being ensamples to the flock" (1 Pet.5:3).
VI. He should live with his wife with knowledge
First, the husband should recognise that the wife will operate on four planes (the emotional, the physical, the intellectual, and the spiritual). He should also understand that he is to recognise which plane she is on and encourage her to move to the spiritual if she is not already there. Second, since generally the wife has a tendency to predominantly move on the emotional plane, she can easily be led astray by the enemy.
"Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered" (1 Pet.3:7, KJV).
VII. He is to have a deep, passionate soul-relationship his wife
The breasts (dadim) were regarded by the Hebrews as the emotional seat of marital ahavah (love) which men could only obtain from their wives and nowhere else. A man's covenant-wife is his "well" and "cistern" - he may not turn to the unmarried/uncovenanted (fornication) or married (adultery) for this nourishment, for such are "strangers". She is his hayah or "fountain", a source of refreshing mayim (waters). He does not have "power" (toqef, authority) to take it by force and she does not have "power" (toqef, authority) to deny it. Through his "tenderheartedness" he induces his wife to release these mayim (waters) and he in his turn fills her with his esh (fire). Their bodies mutually supply one another in this deep marital union, in what I call Hebrew 'hebrance' (as opposed to Roman 'romance') because it is in divine tavnith (pattern) and not according to the lawless emotions and behaviours of the world. A man must learn and teach this tavnith (pattern) so that the esh (fire) of his ahavah (love) can flow to her, and her mayim (waters) to him, he bringing her chayim (life) and she quenching his thirst.
"Drink waters (mayim) out of thine own cistern, and running waters (mayim) out of thine own well. Let thy fountains (hayah) be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters (mayim) in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts (dadim) satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished (shagah, enraptured) always with her ahavah (love). And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange (zuwr, profane, non-covenaned or otherwise married) woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?" (Prov.5:15-20; KJV).
"The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife" (1 Cor.7:4, KJV).
VIII. He is to be committed to his marriage
A wife needs to know that her husband is permanently committed to the marriage! She will not yield everything to him willingly and without reserve unless he is. It is a security matter for her. She needs to know that he means to be faithful no matter what and will not compromise his covenants and vows, the agreed terms of their marriage ketubah. She needs to know that his word is his bond and that he views himself and her as echad or one for always.
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Gen.2:24, KJV).
"For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh" (Eph.5:31, KJV).
"And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee" (Hos.3:3, KJV).
"And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another [in her place], committeth adultery against her" (Mk.10:11, KJV).
IX. He is to be fruitful and multiply
Where the couple are able to have children, a man will desire to have children and raise them for Yahweh. A husband is also called to be a father for that is the only lawful way that he can become one - by being married.
"And Elohim (God) blessed them, and Elohim (God) said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:28, KJV).
"Lo, children are an heritage of Yahweh: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate" (Ps.127:3-5, KJV).
X. He is to lay up an inheritance for his children and grandchildren
A man's responsibility is to provide his children not only with a financial or provisional inheritance but even more importantly a spiritual one. In fact, he should not only be thinking with an eye toward the next generation but the generation after that too! We are not only to go the extra mile but to consider and bless the extra generation, our grandchildren!
"A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just" (Prov.13:22, KJV).
"Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children" (2 Cor.12:14, KJV).
XI. He should be alert to seductive women and guard his eyes
Men, you need to be alert! The consequences for casting your eyes on another man's wife, desiring her, and then taking her in adultery are long-lasting. It will burden your whole life and detrimentally affect all your relationships. Consider David and Bathsheba, for though he repented with many tears, the consequences of that adulterous relationship would blight his family for generations to come. Instead of providing for his children and grandchildren, he cursed them! Adultery is second only to murder, for it is a kind of murder all on its own. It destroys marriages, families and lives. It brings grief, misery and heart-break, and destroys peace and hope. It kills what Yahweh has brought together and commands no man to rend asunder. Rather, consider well your marriage covenant and vows and tell yourself:
"For the commandment is a lamp; and the Torah (law) is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange (fornicating, adulterous) woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of lechem (bread): and the adulteress will hunt for the precious chayim (life). Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; but if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away" (Prov.6:23-33, KJV; also see 7:6-27).
Ask Yahweh to so bless you as you enter a covenant with your eyes, and He will! For the evil starts long before the act, but once sin has entered his lev (heart):
"I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" (Job 31:1, KJV).
When a man's wife sees him looking lustfully at another man's wife, it destroys her trust in her husband. A man must, if he has taken vows to only be married to his wife and no one else, always honour those vows, for Yahweh detests a vow-breaker almost as much as He does an adulterer. And if he desires a single woman in his lev (heart) he remains a vow-breaker and fornicator in his lev (heart). He must honour his wife's trust in any vows to be married to only her, always.
"But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a [married] woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his lev (heart)" (Mat.5:28, KJV).
Remember that a man is generally first stimulated sexually by vision. This would also include pornography on the internet. Christian woman, also consider how you dress and lay no temptation before a man, knowing his weakness!
XII. He should have a heart toward his children and teach them
This means that a father should see his children as a gift from Yahweh and devote quality time with them, raising them in the "admonition of Yahweh". He is to keep his promise to his children that they do not become angry at him for defrauding them of their spiritual inheritance of shalom (peace) because they cannot honour him.
"And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse" (Mal.4:6, KJV).
"Lo, children are an heritage of Yahweh: and the fruit of the womb is his reward" (Ps.127:3, KJV).
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of Yahweh" (Eph.6:4, KJV).
Although the father may delegate some of the details to the wife, it is the father's responsibility to have oversight in training the children, especially in the Word of Elohim (God).
"Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our Elohim (God) is echad (one) Yahweh: And thou shalt love Yahweh thy Elohim (God) with all thine lev (heart), and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine lev (heart): And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates" (Dt.6:4-9, KJV).
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Prov.22:6, KJV).
If a man does these twelve things, he is well and truth established and is pleasing to the Most High!
 The First in Your Life: An MLT Position Paper on Marriage
 The MLT website on Holy Echad Marriage
 The NCCG website on Sex, Marriage and Romance