I dislike the perception of men (and husbands) that is perpetuated in media and society. Too often, I see men portrayed as fearful of their wives, needing their wife’s permission to do something, afraid to stand up to their wives, and so much more. Men are depicted as little children needing to be coached by their wives.
More times than not, I have heard women complain about their husbands not helping with washing the dishes, cleaning the house, raising the kids, etc. Rarely have I heard men complaining about their wives not helping them fix things around the house, maintain the house, and otherwise helping him with what he is doing. These, of course, assume stereotypical responsibilities of husbands and wives in a marriage, which is not always the case.
Why are men so afraid of their wives? Most people, from my observations, seem to assume that women know more about raising children, cleaning, cooking, washing, social protocols, etc. What’s worse, many men submit to their wife’s way instead of having their own voice.
I am tired of seeing men depicted as fumbling little idiots needing training by their wives. God created men and women to have dominion over His creation. Men are not inferior to women. Men have a different way of looking at the world around them, and that way should not be seen as substandard to how women perceive things.
The purpose of this article is to encourage husbands to stand up and be who God made them—a man. Don’t believe the hype that women are the standard for human behavior and social protocols. We have a purpose on this earth, and we need to stand up and be responsible in the headship position God established for men.
The Husband is the Head of the Wife
We have ups and downs in life. Marriages have their highs and lows as well. There was a period in my marriage when I began following my wife. I began to think that God was talking to her and not to me. However, I later learned that was a big mistake.
I had been praying to God, attempting to discover what was “wrong” with me. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. The finances, relationship, and household overall suffered. One day I asked God in prayer what was happening to me. One phrase came back to me within. It was as if God said, “You are the head.” That was it.
I had deviated from the structure that God intended for marriage. The husband is the head of the wife.
Ephesians 5:23 (NKJV) — 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
God designed the husband to be head of the wife, not the other way around. That does not mean the husband is the boss or superior to his wife. It says that he is the head the way Christ is head of the church. What did Christ do for the church? His whole life was to establish and maintain the church, i.e., the body of Christ.
That means that the husband has to be worthy of headship; if he is not, he should work to get it. Being the head means he sticks his neck out first for his wife. He is the gatekeeper to the family. He is to his wife like Christ is to the church. That is the picture of headship that should be established in marriage.
A husband’s headship also implies the wife’s submission to that headship. The wife should not assume headship and usurp that authority given to him by God. Now, the wife may need to step up if the husband is not operating in that headship.
Therefore, husbands should remember that they are the head of their wives and operate accordingly. The Apostle Paul goes on to say:
Ephesians 5:25 (NKJV) — 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Love is more than a feeling. True love in marriage requires commitment and the corresponding acts. Sometimes, a husband may not feel love (e.g., have an emotional connection with) his wife, but his love compels him to remain in headship to care for and protect her and his family.
So, husbands should walk in and be worthy of headship, and their wives should submit to that headship as God designed.
See my article Headship for more information about it.
Not About The Wife
I was bothered by the typical wedding ceremony when preparing for my wedding. I didn’t like the idea of the bride and her wedding party walking down the aisle with pomp and circumstance while the groom and his party effectively snuck in from the back of the church. It seemed to me that the wedding ceremony was more about the bride than the union.
Think about it for a moment. The bride’s wedding ring is a big thing to her, but the groom’s wedding band is no big deal. Guys don’t go around showing their friends their wedding band. Also, there is a standard for the wedding ring a groom gives to his wife. The more diamonds, the better. The more expensive, the better.
Wedding planning was another sore spot for me. It seemed that most people assumed that the bride was the decision-maker and the primary influence on the elements of the wedding and reception, e.g., style of invitation, reception decorations, etc. I didn’t buy into that stereotype. Already, society was dictating that the woman is the most important and her wishes trump the husbands.
I walked down the aisle at my wedding. I came in first and then my bride. I recognized then that marriage is about the union, not the wife or the wedding. I played an active role in planning and making decisions for the wedding. However, my priority was not to spend lots of money for a wedding ceremony but to finance the beginning of our life together, e.g., a new home.
Husbands. I encourage you to remember that your wedding and marriage are not about the wife. It is about the union. According to the Bible, you are to be together as one flesh (Genesis 2:24). That union should be reflected in the planning and implementation the wedding, home decorations, purchasing decisions, etc.
Don’t Keep the Peace: Make Peace
A gentleman made a statement during a book reading fellowship. He and I have been married for many years, and we were giving advice to a man who has been married only a few years and whose wife is pregnant. I could tell that he had submitted himself to the ways given to him by his wife, and he was on the path to complying like many husbands. In any case, the other gentleman made a statement that I will never forget. He said, “Make peace, don’t keep it.” Those were great words of wisdom for a husband managing his home and relationship with his wife.
Too often, men don’t speak up because they want to keep the peace. They don’t want to upset their wives. They don’t present issues to their wives because they fear or don’t want to deal with their wife’s emotional responses and retaliation. However, keeping the peace causes, what I call, the volcano effect. Sooner or later, the issue becomes so significant that the husband has an angry outburst or the like. The wife responds emotionally, and the entire situation is escalated without a resolution.
If the man had told his wife what he was thinking, what was going on, or what he perceived as a problem, the issue could have been resolved long before it became a problem. I am not suggesting that women are mere emotional creatures but tend to respond emotionally to conflicts. We all react emotionally to things sometimes, but men tend to avoid the possibility of those situations by holding things in to keep the peace.
Husbands. Stop trying to keep the peace and instead make peace. Making peace implies conflict resolution. There will be conflict, so bring it up to your wives respectfully, non-confrontational manner. She may become emotional, but you have to stick with the process. The goal is to resolve conflicts, work together for a functional household, and maintain a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
Do Not Fear Your Wife
I’m not too fond of depicting men in television shows and movies where they are afraid of their wives, especially during their menstrual cycle. Why should you be fearful of the person you married and live with. Men will say things like, “My wife won’t let me do this or that,” or “I can’t do this or that because of my wife….” When did the wife become the husband’s boss or Lord?
It’s not up to your wife to tell you what you can or can’t do. She may raise issues you should both work to resolve, but she is not your boss. A man’s wife should be a source of comfort, support, love, understanding, and more. She should not be a source of stress to fear.
Husbands Don’t Need Training. Wives Need Reprogramming
Have you ever heard that husbands need to be trained by their wives or something to that effect? Why do husbands need to be trained by their wives? Sure, a husband can learn things from their wives. Perhaps she is good at painting techniques, and he wants to be a better painter, so he asks her about it.
It isn’t husbands that need training. I believe that the wives need to be reprogrammed. They must do away with the feminist stereotypes and learn to work with their husband as human beings with their strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and more. The wife hurts her marriage and burdens her husband by bringing stereotypical thinking and social dogma into her marriage.
Therefore, wives (women in general) need to do away with the feminist women-centric thinking perpetuated by society and become one with their husbands.
Husbands Don’t Need Their Wife’s Permission
Why do some men think they need their wife’s permission to do something? If a man wants to go golfing, then go golfing. If you wish to purchase a new shiny object, then do it. The caveat is that you make responsible decisions. Don’t purchase a new Ford Mustang if you can’t afford it. Remember, your choices affect your wife, so be respectful of her and your family.
The point I am making is that women should not be perceived as the responsible person in the relationship who needs to direct her husband’s actions (and sometimes thoughts). Both husband and wife should be accountable. However, husbands should not feel they need their wife’s permission to do something for themselves.
With that said, husbands and wives should work together to decide things that affect both. For example, it would be irresponsible for a man to sign a contract to get a kitchen remodel without his wife’s input. However, he does not need his wife’s permission to do or get something for himself as long as he is responsible.
Husbands. Your input for decisions matters. Do not follow the dogma that the wife is head of the home regarding wall colors, appliances, decoration, etc. If you have a preference, make it known and work together to decide what happens in the household.
The husband’s voice especially matters when he has a son. Unfortunately, I have seen behavior from mothers that harm their son’s development into a man. I read an article many years ago stating that the greatest threat to a man-child is his mother. Now, I am not suggesting that mothers are problems. Not at all. However, they cannot teach their sons how to be men.
Therefore, the father must assert himself to ensure his son and daughter are correctly raised. I have found that many mothers appease their sons. For the record, fathers tend to appease their daughter (e.g., daddy’s little princess). Our responsibility as parents is not to appease our children but rather to prepare them to be productive and responsible adults.
The biggest mistake a father can make in raising their sons is to keep silent and leave his development in the hands of his mother. A woman can teach her son how to clean, manage money, lay carpet, etc. However, she cannot teach him how to be a man. If gone unchecked, the son will grow into an adult with a woman’s mindset.
Dismiss Wife-Centric Rituals
One of the things that troubled me most about marriages before I was married was wife-centric practices. As I said earlier, marriage is not about the wife. It is about the union. I’m not suggesting that we do not acknowledge the efforts of or show appreciation for wives. However, there should be balance. Husbands work hard and do many things in a relationship, but we tend to go unappreciated and without acknowledgment.
I recently learned about a practice called push gifts. It is a gift the husband gives the wife for giving him (pushing out) a baby. I can’t express how ridiculous that sounds to me, given that I focus on the union and not one spouse in a marriage. First, the wife cannot give birth apart from her husband. He has already given her a gift, technically speaking, namely a seed that becomes a child. Having a child involves the husband and wife together.
The marital rituals tend to be wife-centric instead of couple-centric. Some practices perpetuated by society are mother’s day, valentine’s day, wedding anniversary, birthdays, and push presents. The promotion of those special occasions tends to focus on the wife. Consider Valentine’s day. Most of the press for it is about jewelry, chocolates, flowers, and more for the wife. The same is for mother’s day.
Again, I’m not suggesting that women should not be acknowledged or honored. I am saying the wife-centric paradigm undermines the idea of togetherness in a marriage. Think about how much attention is given to men for father’s day, Valentine’s, etc.
Why is it so important that a husband remembers his wife’s birthday, anniversary, etc., but we are not conditioned to think it is important for the wife to remember days deemed special by her husband? I, for one, don’t remember my own birthday most years. It’s not that I don’t remember I was born on April 6th. I’m just not thinking about it as it approaches and even on the day unless my wife brings it up, which she usually does.
Dismiss those special days and focus on the union. If you want to give your wife a gift, then go ahead. Keep in mind that if her love language is not receiving gifts, your gift giving may not have the impact you might hope. See my free eBook offer at the end of this post to learn more about the five love languages. Honor your wife and do things for her based on who she is and how she receives love and honor, not by what others tell you to do.
Be a Man
Men and husbands. You are not inferior to women, so stop acting and living like it. Be a man. What is a man? A man is a male human being that keeps his responsibilities. There is a difference between an adult male and a man. Both are male human beings, but only a man keeps his responsibilities.
Women are not born with innate knowledge to raise children, wash dishes, clean the house, manage the house, etc. They learn those things probably from their mothers. Men can learn those things as well and should. I learned how to clean, cook, wash clothes, etc., growing up. I discovered from my mother that my father was very much into cooking. He would watch cooking shows or get recipes and try them.
Men. Do not think of yourself as a second-class citizen in a world governed by women. You are just as significant. It goes a bit further with husbands because they are their wives heads. Take an active role in raising your children, especially your sons. Only a man can teach and show a boy how to be a man.
Therefore, be responsible. Be worthy of headship. Be the person that your wife has no issues with submitting. Men. You are not inferior to your wives.
Free Ebook: What Happens to Love In Marriage
Get your free copy of "What Happens to Love in Marriage?" Learn the path that love takes in a marriage and how you can nurture it to produce the loving, happy, and fulfilling marriage that you desire to have.