When God created marriage, He breathed the Holy Spirit into Adam and Eve. Their marriage was Spirit-filled until they rejected God. He created us as equals in marriage but with different roles. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can fulfill those roles as husbands and wives.
Eve was created to be a helper to Adam and, in that way, women’s roles are similar to the role of the Holy Spirit. The roles of men in marriage are more like Christ’s.
Ephesians 5:25 makes this explicit. It says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”
All of us grew up in families that had some element of dysfunction in them. Note that this verse doesn’t say, “love your wife as your father loved your mother.” It says to love like Christ.
No man ever accidentally becomes a Christlike husband. This only happens intentionally. You have to say to God, “I want You to make me into a Christlike man.” Then you compare yourself not to the world’s standards of love, but to the standards of Jesus Christ.
Men are unable to love their wives without the power of the Holy Spirit. But when the Holy Spirit fills them with Christlike love, their anointing represents three positions from the Old Testament. Jesus was the ultimate prophet, priest and king. These correspond to the roles men fulfill in marriage.
Prophet: As a prophet, Jesus was the incarnate Word of God. He lived the Word before the people of His day and taught them what God had to say.
A prophet-husband is a man who diligently seeks to hear God’s voice and to know God’s Word for the benefit of his family. Men are supposed to be men of the Word. This includes living a life consistent with Scriptural standards and values.
This doesn’t mean being legalistic or authoritarian, but listening to what God has to say for your family. When you’re a man of the Word, it preserves and promotes the wellbeing of every part of your life and marriage.
Priest: As a priest, Jesus healed sick people and performed miracles. He even sacrificed His own life to make things right with God. As a compassionate, sensitive and sacrificial priest, He still intercedes for us before God today.
A husband who sensitively and sacrificially meets his wife’s needs and helps her deal with spiritual, emotional, physical, family and financial issues is acting in a priestly capacity for his family. Men need to listen to their wives, be sensitive to them, and take care of them.
King: As a king, Jesus was a gentle and humble authority figure who washed the feet of His disciples and related to them on a personal level. Jesus was a servant leader.
Likewise, a man who is the servant leader of his home treats his wife as an equal and pours his attention into her wellbeing. He initiates decision-making and problem-solving without being dominant.
Jesus told the disciples “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35). A Christlike husband serves his wife always. He sacrifices for her. He puts her first.
Husbands, ask yourselves today if you are loving your wife like Christ loves the church. A Spirit-filled husband will be a good prophet, priest, and king. Are you?