Eph. 5:25, 28 “25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,… 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
Us Complementarians tend to focus on the command for wives to submit to their husbands leadership in Eph. 5; this is probably because this is the most controversial aspect of our position. Unfortunately we often fail to place proper emphasis or give attention to the 9 verses that talk about a husbands duty in marriage. It is a steep call, but one we were made for. In verse 25 husbands are instructed to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. This is an intense call; this means that we are called to a self-sacrificial role. We are to love and cherish our wives (v. 29), as we would take care of our own needs we are to take care of our wife’s. This goes beyond physical needs, which we are to take care of, but also emotional and, as the spiritual leader of the household, spiritual to some extent. We are called to put her needs before our own.
Next time we read that the wife is to submit to her husbands leadership and give him respect (v. 22, 24, 33), let us ponder the type of men we are to be that will make that easy. We are to be servant leaders, leading by serving.
In Ephesians 5 there are 3 verses on a wife’s role in a marriage, but there are 9 on a man’s role. With all the attention given to the controversial 3 verses we cannot neglect the 9 verses that talk about the type of leader the a husband is supposed to be.