A husband, by definition, is a married man, the male partner in a marriage relationship. In marriage, which was ordained by God, the husband pledges to love and care for his wife. The Bible has many examples, good ones, and bad ones, of how husbands have behaved throughout time. A study of Scripture provides many lessons for husbands today.
Husbands have a responsibility for the spiritual welfare of their wives. In loving his wife sacrificially, in loving his wife more than his own body, a husband provides the spiritual support that helps his wife to live righteously, to lead a holy life. In Genesis, Adam gave an example of how not to do this. When Eve was tempted by the serpent to eat the fruit that God had forbidden, Adam did not prevent her from doing so. He had a responsibility to care for Eve and to be the spiritual leader in their relationship. Why?
It was to Adam that God had given the command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Eve was not there. In fact, she had not yet been created. Perhaps this is why the serpent chose to tempt Eve with the fruit. She did not have the same first-hand knowledge of what God had commanded. Or maybe the serpent knew that Adam would not stand up and be the spiritual leader he was created to be.
The serpent twisted God’s words and deceived Eve into thinking that God was holding out on them by forbidding the fruit of that tree and convinced her to eat the fruit (Genesis 3:1-5). And where was Adam when all this was happening? Surely he must not have been there and so was unable to guide his wife. Sadly, that is not the case. Eve fell prey to the serpent’s deception and ate the fruit, then gave some to her husband, who was right there with her (Genesis 3:6). Adam was apparently there the whole time that the serpent was deceiving his wife. And not only did he not try to guide her into doing what was right, but he also ate the fruit! Then to make matters worse, Adam even tried to pin the blame on Eve and on God, “The woman You created gave me the fruit and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:12)
A husband is called to love his wife in the same way that Christ loves the church, with a sacrificial love that puts the needs and welfare of his wife above his own (Ephesians 5:25). A husband should love his wife more than his own body. A man takes care of his own body, nourishing and cherishing it, just as Christ does for the church. In the same way, a man should take care to nourish and cherish his wife (Ephesians 5:28-29). And that includes stepping up to his God-ordained role as the spiritual leader of the family.