by: Tim Kelley
I’ve not always been the perfect husband, and I’d bet that most of you husbands weren’t either. Oh, we probably thought we probably were. We “brought home the bacon” (turkey bacon, that is), changed a few dirty diapers, rocked the babies to sleep, took our boys fishing when they got older, mowed the grass, went to church, and picked up after ourselves. We never forgot our anniversaries, always remembered our mother-in-law’s birthday, made it a point to bring roses home to our wives occasionally and never-ever got into a seductive situation. We were pretty much all the things that are expected of the typical “Ward Cleaver” or “Ozzie Nelson” type American husband.
But were we really the perfect husband? Are we NOW the perfect husband? What is the “perfect husband”? I’m sure that if I had passed out a checklist to all the women, and on that checklist it had a number of checkboxes that said “my husband needs to be more __________”, you women could easily spend the remainder of my time this afternoon filling it out. Men fail their wives in a number of ways, both physically and emotionally, but even if he could - and would – address all the items on your list, would that make him the “perfect” husband?
Even though I didn’t hand out a checklist, you women are welcome to start your own and work on if for the next 50 minutes or so, because I want to talk to your husbands, not necessarily to you. So if you’re head is buried in your list – go right on . . . you won’t offend me.
Soooooooo husbands . . . what makes a “perfect” husband? While your wives are making out their list, I want to show you from a Biblical perspective, how you can become the “perfect husband”. So where do we start? Let’s start at the first place we see the word “perfect” in the King James Version of the Bible.
KJV Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
We see from this passage that Noah was a just man – a tsaddiyq – a righteous man. There are not very many “just” men in the scripture, but one who comes to mind is Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of our Messiah. Joseph, though he’s called the husband of Mary, was betrothed to her at the time that he found out she was “with child” . . . by another man. According to the Torah, he could have had her stoned1, thus saving his honor, but he chose instead to honor her by not making what happened public.
NKJ Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
So the example we have here is of a man who loved his wife more than he loved himself, putting her honor above his. Going back to Noah . . .
Noah was a just man, but he was also “perfect” in his generations . . . or was he? Yes, according to the text he was perfect . . . at least in his generations – whatever that means. Just what does it mean “generations”? There are various views as to what this means, and I want to add to that list, because the usual word for “generations” is “toldot” ( תּוֹלְדֹת- Strong’s 8945) , which is used at the beginning of this verse, but the second “generations” uses the Hebrew word “dor” ( דּוֹר– Strong’s 1755) which comes from the root word “dur” which is translated in Psalm 84:10 as “to dwell in the tents . . .”. In Isaiah 38:12, the wood “dor” is actually translated in many texts as “dwell”.
So an alternate reading of Genesis 6:9 could be that “. . . Noah was perfect in his dwelling”, in other words, “in his home”. This would stand to reason since it obviously took some time for Noah to build the ark, and apparently all during this time, his family stood right there by him. He must have been quite a leader in his home.
The point I want to make is that it’s not that Noah was “perfect” as in “without sin”, it’s that he was complete. He was all there, especially in regards to his wife and his family, so much so that YHVH was willing to remove them from an evil world and make them the fathers of all humanity.
Let’s look at this word “perfect”. It’s the Hebrew word “tamiym” ( תָּמִים – Strong’s 8549) and it means “complete, whole, entire, and sound”. It comes from a root word that means (among other things) “finished”. It’s the same word that’s used in Deuteronomy when Moses “finished” writing the words of the Torah in a book.
NKJ Deuteronomy 31:24 So it was, when Moses had completed writing the words of this law in a book, when they were finished . . .
So you might say that Noah was a finished human being. He was complete, he was all there.
The word “tamiym” is also used quite extensively in regards to the sacrifices, and the first “tamiym” sacrifice in scripture is the Passover, a picture of Messiah Yeshua.
What we’ve seen so far is that Noah was a just man, that being just may have something to do with your attitude toward your wife (as in the case of Joseph and Mary), and that being a “perfect” man has something to do with being “complete”.
What then is a complete man? Where do we go to find an example of one? Just like most questions in life, we find the answers in the scripture, and in this case, in the words spoken by God directly to Moses – the Torah. Let’s go there and look at one example.
In Genesis, God tells us that He made man on the sixth day.
ESV Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
According to the text, God created the man to look like Him – hands, feet, arms, etc.. He took some dirt from the ground and fashioned a human being. He then breathed His breath 2 into it giving life to this otherwise worthless lump of clay, and when he did so, that person became (according to the text) “male and female”. Keep in mind, this was still the sixth day of creation.
ESV Genesis 1:31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
After God created the person, He said “ v’henneh! Tov-meod! Behold! This is VERY GOOD! Going on to the next verse, we see that with the creation of the person, God finished His work of creation. So now we have a “very good”, or what we might call a “complete” person, which - by the way, the text calls a man, but it could just as easily be called a “red” thing since the root of “adam” – man – simply means “red”.
God created the man – Adam – complete, and according to the text, God created Him “male and female”. Sometime after that first Sabbath, God planted a garden and put Adam in it and told him to guard it. But there was a problem. God recognized from the beginning that Adam needed a helper, and of all the animals that God formed and brought to him, none were found to be appropriate.
Before going on, I want to take a little detour and bring out something that’s quite familiar to us, something you’ve heard in every marriage sermon ever delivered, and that’s Ephesians 5. Now you women . . . just keep on filling out your lists, because we’re not going to be addressing or talking about you. But you men – LISTEN UP!. Let’s jump past all of the submission and love talk – we’ll get to that later – and move on down to verse 31.
KJV Ephesians 5:31-32 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 Christ and the church.
If you’ve been in this walk very long, you know that the English word “Church” is the Greek word “ecclesia” which is equivalent to the Hebrew word “kahal” which is the word that’s used in the Old Testament (the Tnakh) in regards to the “assembly of Israel”. It’s likely that you’re also aware that the relationship between Israel and God is that of a marriage – husband and wife. God is of course, the husband and we – Israel – are the bride. This concept is all through the Tnakh as well as the New Testament, so I’ll just mention a one scripture to illustrate my point 3.
ESV Jeremiah 31:32 . . . not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD.
Here, in this New Covenant passage, God states that He’s the husband to His people, which the context clearly states is Israel and Judah.
For the past couple of years, I’ve delved quite deeply into some of Paul’s writings, and I see a common thread throughout them, that being that his understanding of the Gospel is that God was beginning to restore His people Israel – his bride - back to himself, and that Messiah Yeshua gave His life to make it possible. In effect, Yeshua would begin with a small remnant and would mould them into a people who would eventually become his bride.
So how is it that Paul, in Ephesians 5, equate how husband and wives deal with each other to being part of this great mystery, or what I refer to as the “mystery of the Gospel”. And how does he connect it back to the story of Adam and Eve? And what’s more, what does that have to do with a man being “perfect” or “complete”
Let’s go back to the Adam and Eve story and take a look . . .
As we saw earlier, Adam was created “tov meod” – very good. He was complete – tamiym – perfect. But Adam found none of the other living beings to be compatible with him, so God stepped in to remedy that. Now let’s think about it a little. God is smarter than we are! Right? Do we think for a second that God thought there just might be one of those creatures out there that Adam would be compatible with? NO!!!! Did God make a mistake? NO!!!! Was this part of the plan? YES!!!!!!!!!!!! God knew exactly what He was doing. He wanted Adam’s mate to be something that was a part of him! . . . a part of Adam himself! He wanted Adam to know that what God was going to give him for a mate was made specifically for him.
So what did God do? He surgically took a side 4 of Adam and (according to the text) “built” a woman. According to the definitions of the words, you might say that God took the curves out of the man and built a woman. Now, we know that God didn’t just stop with the curves. He also took the right side of our brain (or was it the left?) and left useless reminders of what we once were . . . and that’s why Rush Limbaugh says that he does his daily radio show “with half my brain tied behind my back”.
After all this trauma, God brought the woman to Adam and said to him “give this one a name”, Adam wasted no time . . . he named her after himself – “ishah” – a feminine man, because as the Hebrew text says “this one was fetched out of man”!
The next verse is very important, because in it we find “the Gospel” or as Paul says “a great mystery”. Let’s go over that text again. Paul is admonishing the congregation in Ephesus to “redeem the time”, believing that he was living in the last days, the days shortly before the return of the Messiah. He mentions as part of “redeeming the time” certain areas of submission, first within the marriage, then within the family, and finally within the “household”, which would include indentured servants. Then he says –
ESV Ephesians 5:28-32 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
“This mystery”? What “mystery”? What’s Paul taking about ? For a man to leave his parents and take a wife is a “mystery”? Paul thinks so, and what’s more, he calls it a “mega mystery”. This is really something big!
What is a “mystery”? The Greek word is “musterion” (Strong’s 3466) and it means “a hidden thing, a secret”. A mystery is not a “who done it” story, it’s something hidden; hidden within the text or between the lines. Paul obviously recognizes it, and we should too.
So what is the hidden thing? We’ll see as we continue in Genesis.
NKJ Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
The first thing we need to see is that this verse is a response to the previous verse that states that the woman was taken from out of the man, which of course means that the man is now “incomplete”. Then it says that the MAN must leave his mother and father and be “joined” 5 to his wife. Why would God want a man to join to his wife? Because that’s the only way he can once again be complete! Remember, God surgically removed certain body parts from Adam and used them to build Eve, Now Adam can only have access to what he’s missing if he’s joined to his wife. And when they are “joined” together, not just physically, but mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, they become one flesh – one person . . . and remember, when God created the one person Adam, he was “tov meod” – very good! So, in God’s eyes, when a man and his wife are properly “joined together”, He sees something that is “very good”.
But here’s the mystery – the hidden thing! The Hebrew word for flesh (as in “they shall become one flesh) is “basar” ( בָּשָׂר - Strong’s 1320). If you take “basar” and change the vowel points just a little6, you have “basor” (בּשׂר)>which is the Hebrew word for “good news” or “gospel”. So what Paul is saying back in Galatians is that it’s a man’s responsibility to join to his wife, and by so doing, the two of them fulfill the gospel. Why? Because the gospel is about how God is going to join Israel to Himself in marriage so that the two will become one. And when does that wedding take place? During the festival of Sukkot!
The rabbis say that “a man who does not marry is not a complete person” 7 . But simply being married does not make you complete. The scripture shows that we must be “joined to her”, and joining is where we, as men, run into problems. For the most part, we’ve not been taught how to join to our wives. Yes, our father’s may have spoken briefly about the “birds and the bees”, but how many of our fathers actually taught us how to be a good husband – how to truly love our wife? I would submit that many of our fathers fell short in that regards, and if we’re not careful, we will too.
This is serious business! I want you husbands to think about this for a moment. Since Paul in Ephesians 5 makes it clear that the relationship between a man and his wife is equal to the relationship between Messiah Yeshua and his kahal (His people), then I submit that we should not – and maybe cannot - expect anything more from our Messiah than what our wives can expect from us. Put a different way, are we OK with the notion that Yeshua will defend, support, forgive, and protect us only as much as we’re willing to defend, support, forgive, and protect our wives? I didn’t think so.
So how do we join to our wives? How do we and our wives become the one flesh that we’re supposed to be; and in so doing, become a Gospel to our children, our parents, and our friends? I am not a marriage counselor, but I can tell you that the Bible has a lot to say in this regard.
There have been many books written about marriage, how to have a happy marriage, and how to restore a marriage that’s gone bad. One point that most every marriage book will bring out is that 1) men need respect from their wives, and 2) women need safety and security from their husbands.
As an employer (most of my employees are men) I can tell you that if I help them to see the value they add to the company, they will get along better, produce a better product, and put in extra effort. Husbands are the same way. When their wives treat them with respect and honor, they are more likely to form a deeper attachment to both their wife and their children.
God is the same way. What He wants from his bride is devotion and respect. He doesn’t want us worshipping, or even mixing our worship with another God, and He wants us to respect His judgment – His Torah.
On the other hand, women want to know that their husband is there to protect them. We saw it in high school - the girls are attracted to the jocks, the football players, the ones who seem to be able to hold their own. Women are also attracted to men who seem to be going somewhere, who have a plan – a goal. They want to know that when they have little toddlers hanging on to their skirt, their husband will be there and provide for them no matter what. That’s what enables women to jump into a covered wagon with 4 kids in tow and leave the security of their cozy New England home behind and trek off across the wilderness as their husband pursues his dreams!
And that’s why God told Israel that if they would follow Him, He would protect them from invading armies, would provide them with rain in season, and give them the abundance of the earth . . . safety and security.
So for the next few minutes, I want to share with you three broad ways to provide your wife with what she needs, and by which you can join with your wife and thus fulfill the Gospel.
Covering - - - -
Husbands must realize that they are their wife’s covering. This is so clear in scripture, but it’s where both men and women fail their marriage . . . he doesn’t want to claim headship, and she doesn’t want to submit to it.
In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul is working through a number of problems he sees in the congregation in Corinth, especially in regards to traditions and hair length. To set up what he’s getting ready to say, he apparently feels it’s important to rehearse the spiritual roles that God has established. He says –
ESV 1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
Where did Paul come up with that? Is it something he pulled out of thin air? Apparently he feels pretty strong about it because he repeats it to the Ephesians –
ESV Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
Men – this is your role! God has given you the responsibility to join to your wife, and thus you have to steer the ship! It’s not the other way around, and it’s not a mutual responsibility8. You are 100% responsible for your wife, just as Yeshua is 100% responsible for us. So what does that mean? It means that you cover her.
What does it mean to be your wife’s “covering”?. Here’s a couple of examples to explain this concept -
At night, when we go to bed, we cover ourselves with “covers”. We do so to protect our bodies from the cold and to preserve the heat that we have. Covers also keep our bodies from being exposed in the event someone – maybe our children – walk in.
So in this case, a cover is a protection. Another example is that of debt.
I had a good friend, almost a mentor, who would often go out to eat with a number of our friends. Invariably, at the end of the meal he would reach for the check – the bill – and say “I’ll cover it”. In other words, he was offering to take on the debt that we had all incurred and pay it himself.
God is a covering to Israel. All through their walk, He covered them by day with a cloud and by night with fire in the sky. Anyone who has hiked in the wilderness during the summer understands that a cloud in the day protects you from the sun and a fire at night protects you from wild animals.
When God delivered Israel from Egypt, He became their covering –
NKJ Ezekiel 16:8-10 "When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine," says the Lord GOD. . . 10"I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk.
God took His own garments and covered His bride, and not only that, He bought her new clothes – making her like a princess. God also covers us by taking us under His wings and drawing us near to Him. I like the way this is conveyed in the Septuagint -
LXE Psalm 91:4 He shall overshadow thee with his shoulders, and thou shalt trust under his wings: his truth shall cover thee with a shield.
God wants to bring His people close to Him - right under his armpits - and shelter them in his “emet” – His firmness, His sureness, and His reliability.
It’s important to remember that God provided the cloud and fire – His covering – every day . . . even during their 40 years of rebellion. In fact, according to Hosea, He’s still providing a covering for us while we’re in exile. Speaking of their time of exile, God says –
ESV Hosea 2:8 And she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.
So God is a covering for His wife all the time, good times and bad, He never stops covering her.
As husbands, we are to provide that same protection for our wife; we’re to be her covering. That doesn’t just include a place to live; it includes the safety and security of knowing that you’re there with her . . . that you’re there for the kids, that you will protect her when she’s challenged or ridiculed.
Another aspect of covering is seen in God’s willingness to cover our sins – our debt. In Leviticus 16 we’re taught about Yom Kippur – the Day of Covering, or as some refer to it – the Day of Atonement. It is on this day that God symbolically forgives the national sins of Israel. The Hebrew word for Atonement is “kaphar” (כָּפַר – Strong’s 3722) and it means “to cover”. It’s the same word that’s used when Noah “covered” the ark with “pitch”.
Kaphar also means “ransom” as in paying a ransom for someone who is kidnapped. In the Septuagint, the word ‘kaphar” is translated into the Greek word “lutron” (Strong’s 3083)9, and “lutron” is the word that describes the role of the Messiah –
NKJ Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
And who does He serve? Who does He cover? You guessed it - His wife, His bride. He is 100% dedicated to His bride and to making sure that His marriage is successful. Yes, the betrothal period has been a little bumpy, but just as the case of Joseph and Mary, He’s dedicated to the wife of His youth, even to the point of giving His life for her.
Are we willing to sacrifice our lives for our wife? Are we willing to stand in for her, even when she’s wrong? If giving our life, setting aside all our desires and selfish lusts is what it takes for us to be joined to our wife, are we willing to do it? We don’t really have a choice. We’ve been commanded to preach the Gospel through our marriages, and God expects us to be successful.
Being the covering for your wife carries with it a number of responsibilities including the responsibility to make decisions for the family. This is quite understandable. If God has made you responsible for the success of your marriage, then He also gave you the authority to make decisions to bring that about. Imagine how it would be if a company hired you to manage their business, but then told you that you could not make any of the decisions, but instead, you would have to share the decision-making responsibility with the rank and file employees – sort of a “mutual submission”. A business owner would be foolish to do that, and so would you if you were to accept that arrangement. No, God was not born yesterday! He knows that whenever two people walk together, there’s always a leader.
One good example of God-given leadership in marriage is found in Numbers 30 where God instructs Israel in regards to vows. In that passage it says that if a man makes a vow, his vow stands. That’s it – it stands! But if a married woman makes a vow, and –
ESV Numbers 30:12 . . . her husband makes them null and void on the day that he hears them, then whatever proceeds out of her lips concerning her vows or concerning her pledge of herself shall not stand. Her husband has made them void, and the LORD will forgive her.
This is a good example of a man “covering” his wife, but unfortunately, not all women are given this blessing – this covering. A single woman not living at home is “on her own” in regards to vows, and should she make a foolish and rash vow – say for instance, based on emotion - she’s stuck with it.
God made husbands responsible for making sure the wife doesn’t bind on herself or the family anything that he deems to be harmful. He is the protector of the family, and thus God gives him that responsibility and authority, but we men must use that authority wisely, not micro-managing our wives – but giving them clear direction so they know which way to go. I’ll give you an example –
My wife handles practically all the money in our family and our business. I don’t have to worry about it and I don’t worry about it because she provides nice clear reports of what’s going on, and because we discuss how we want to use what money we have. We discuss investments, major purchases, special offerings, even special gifts we might want to give to the children or grandchildren. But other than that, she takes care of it all and I totally trust her to manage our finances.
Men – the role of being a covering is God-ordained. Messiah is our covering, we are our wife’s covering, and together, we are our children’s covering. If we learn how to properly cover our wives, then our wives will say to us –
NKJ Psalm 61:4 I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah
Spiritual Leadership - - - -
Let’s talk briefly about Spiritual Leadership. You remember the story of Jacob and how his two wives were vying for his affection. Leah was quite fruitful and gave him two sons, but in spite of that, Jacob still loved Rachael. When Leah delivered her third son, she thought this would “join” her to Jacob, so she named him Levi – which means “joined to”. As we know, the Levites became the spiritual leaders of Israel.
Husbands – you must become the spiritual leader of the homes if you ever hope to be joined to your wife. You must be the ones who search the scriptures; you are the ones who are to teach spiritual lessons and concepts to your children; and you are the ones who should direct your wives in regards to daily Bible study, prayer, and devotion for your children. We often focus on the negative aspect of one of Paul’s admonitions to the Ephesian fathers, but we must not dismiss the second part of his admonition -
ESV Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
You must not allow them to get off the path, but must continually lead them in the ways of righteousness. The daily, constant reinforcement of God’s ways are your responsibility -
NKJ Deuteronomy 6:6-7 " And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Once you become the spiritual leader in your home, you will find that you’ve also become the educational leader as well, since you will now only allow those things that fit your spiritual understanding to be taught to your children.
Unless you lead your family spiritually, you will not be joined to your wife. Women don’t want to be the spiritual leaders, and they will only fill that role if you abandon it.
Love and Honor ...
Though we have only begun to touch on the huge number of topics that pertain to joining to our wives, I do want to wrap this up with this point - husbands must give their wife love and honor. Going back to Jacob and Leah – after giving Jacob six sons, she was still not joined to him. The scripture says –
ESV Genesis 30:19-20 And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, "God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons." So she called his name Zebulun.
Women need love and honor. Though they don’t often cry out for it, they appreciate it when you give them a nod, when you mention them in your successes, when you lead them by the hand. You should praise your wife publicly. The daily “good dinner, honey” is not enough. Praise can come about a number of ways: you can acknowledge her leadership with the children, her example in serving others . . . and various other ways.
Peter said that the lack of praise and honor might even hinder our prayers -
NKJ 1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell
with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker
vessel, and as
being heirs together of the grace of life, that
your prayers may not be hindered.
Yes, you and your wife are heirs together of the grace of life. You are responsible for drawing her along.
Wives need to be honored in front of the children. Children are like sponges . . . they absorb every word that’s said, and if you dishonor your wife in front of them, they understand that as mommy being of less value than she should be. And for you newly-wed husbands, honor her in front of your parents. This is a very touchy point, because you’re also commanded to honor your parents. But keep this commandment in mind – “Leave your father and your mother and join to your wife”.
Give your wife credit for her intuition – that’s the part of your brain that God took from you and gave to her. Now she’s protecting if for you so that you don’t misuse it. In the book of Judges there’s the example of Manoah, the father of Samson. In the story, the Angel of the Lord talks with Manoah and his wife, whom the Bible only identifies as “the woman”, and tells them that they are going to have a baby. Once Manoah realizes who he’s been talking to, he gets all worked up and says to his wife –
ESV Judges 13:22 . . . "We shall surely die, for we have seen God."
But his wife’s intuition tells her that this surely could not be, so she answers her husband saying –
ESV Judges 13:23 . . . "If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these."
Women often times have people pegged before we do, and we should be grateful for that.
Along with honoring our wives, we must also love them. I told you we’d get back to Ephesians, and here we are.
ESV Ephesians 5:25-29 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
There’s not much I can add to that. Love your wife as your own flesh – after all, she is!
So what makes a Perfect Husband? A complete man - A man who is joined emotionally and spiritually to the wife of his youth.
Husbands, can we do it? Can we become the complete man God has called us to be? Yes we can! Is it too late? No it’s not! Our Messiah never gave up on His bride. Even after she went into idolatry and brought a curse on herself, He never lost sight of her, never stopped caring about her, and was always willing to lay down his life for her. We must have the same sense of responsibility for our own wives as well.
The proverb says -
NKJ Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.
God created us to be joined to our wife. It’s what He’s commanded us to do. It’s our goal, our mitvah, our Gospel. As we strive to fulfill that mitzvah, we become a gospel to others and we rehearse the awesome role of our Messiah. In effect, we become tamiym, complete . . . and we become PERFECT HUSBANDS.
1 Deut. 22:23-27;
2 Gen. 2:7; Job 32:8; Job 33:4;
3 See also Jer. 33:11; Joel 2:16; Rev. 21:9; Rev. 19:7;
4 'tsela' (צֵלָע - Strong’s 6763) – to limp, halt. According to Bible Works dictionary, it’s a root word that probably means “to curve”, thus the typical conclusion is that He took a rib;
5 'dabaq' ( דָבַק - Strong's 1692) - “joined” is one of its many meanings – see Strong's Concordence;
6 There were no vowel points in the original text ;
7 http://judaism.about.com/od/weddings/a/all_marriage.htm - “Judaism views marriage as the ideal human state. Both the Torah and the Talmud view a man without a wife, or a woman without a husband, as incomplete. "A man who does not marry is not a complete person." (Lev. 34a) "Any man who has no wife lives without joy, without blessing, and without goodness." (B. Yev. 62b);
8 The Eph. 5:21 passage that’s often used to support the concept of “mutual submission” (allelon – Strong’s 240) within marriage fails to take into account 1) that the word is most often used to indicate something “in like manner”, and 2) that the like manner implied is that each of the three groups mentioned submit in like manner as they would to the Messiah.;
9 Exodus 21:30;