Heavenly Husbands

Bible Book: 1 Peter  3 : 7-12
Subject: Husbands; Fathers; Men; Family
Series: A Marriage Made In Heaven

This Sunday, and the next, we are going to looking at a two-part sermon series. We will consider Heavenly Husbands and Winsome Wives. Perhaps no other subject is more important for the family of God than one involving marriage and family. These two sermons are not intended to be exhaustive of the subject, but will address some basics that we need to be reminded of from time to time. God has a plan for marriage and as believers we must observe His plan or our marriages will fail as quickly as those in the world.

Turn with me to 1 Peter 3:7-12 and let's look at this important passage of scripture:

"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. Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For

'He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him
refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.

Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
And His ears
are open to their prayers;
But the face of the LORD
is against those who do evil.'”
This passage reminds us of the importance of a husband, and for that matter, a father in the home. How critical it is that we men in the home know how to love our wives and how to watch our tongue. I know that it is not easy being a husband and father these days. The images presented in television sitcoms and movies are not very positive. They remind me of a story I heard some time ago.
There is a story of some children who begged for a hamster. After the usual vows from the children that they alone would care for it, they got one. They named it "Danny." Two months later, when Mom found herself responsible for cleaning and feeding the hamster, she located a prospective new home for it. The children took the news of Danny's imminent departure pretty well, though one of them remarked, "He's been around here a long time - we will miss him."

"Yes," Mom replied. "But he's too much work for one person and since I'm that one person, I say he goes."

Another child offered, "Well, maybe if he wouldn't eat so much and wouldn't be so messy we could keep him."

But Mom was firm. "It's time to take Danny to his new home now. Go get his cage."

"Danny," they said with one voice and many tears, "we thought you said Daddy!"

Being a father is just as difficult. When I was growing up a child had respect and godly fear in the face of a father. These days he is just "the old man."

Written in a Father's Day card were the following words:

"Dad, everything I know I learned from you, except for ONE thing that I learned on my own - the family car can do 110 mph!" Happy Father's Day!"

Regardless of how hard the task may be, a Christian husband a father must take his responsibilities seriously, live prayerfully and act godly.

I read the following somewhere, and how poignant it is:

"Daddy had a little boy,

His soul was white as snow.

He never went to Sunday School

Cause Daddy wouldn't go.

He never heard the Word of God,

That thrills the childish mind.

While other children went to class,

This child was left behind.

As he grew from babe to youth,

Dad saw to his dismay,

A soul that once was snowy white,

Became a dingy grey.

Realizing that his son was lost,

Dad tried to win him back.

But now the soul that once was white,

Had turned an ugly black.

Dad even started back to church,

And Bible Study too;

He begged the preacher,

'Isn't there a thing you can do?'

The preacher tried, failed,

and said 'We're just too far behind;

I tried to tell you years ago,

But you would pay me no mind.'

And so another soul was lost,

That once was white as snow;

Sunday School would have helped,

But Daddy wouldn't go."

This is the second part of a two-part sermon series on the larger subject: A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN. Today we consider husbands and next week we will address the wives.

Today we come to 1 Peter 3:7-12. Though this passage does not deal directly with fathers, it does deal with husbands. I remember a quote from a few years ago which read, "The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother." Today we are going to concentrate upon husbands according to God's directives.

I. A Heavenly Husband Is To Be Similar To Christ

This passage begins with the words, "...in the same way." This points back to the way of the wife. When we read about the wife, we discover that the Scripture begins with the words, "...in the same way." Thus, the entire passage concerning wives and husbands points back to a passage concerning Christ. The husband is to imitate the character and attitude of Jesus, just as the wife is to reflect Christ. He is to especially do this in his home life. In what ways is he to do this?

A. He is to be Sacrificial

As Jesus laid down His life for the church, the husband is to lay down his life for his wife and family. Did you hear about the two deacons that went fishing one Sunday. One of them got to feeling bad about it and said, "I guess we should have gone to church today instead of fishing." The other replied, "Don't feel bad, I couldn't go to church today anyway because my wife is home sick in bed." Sadly, many husbands look for any excuse to avoid being faithful to God. Listen men, we are to imitate the nature of Christ and that means to sacrifice our own desires and be obedient to the Heavenly Father.

That man was not in love with his wife, his church or his Lord! A husband is to sacrifice his male ego and dominant characteristics so that he might be like His Lord. Jesus sacrificed everything for us, and He did so because of love. A man who puts himself above his family, is failing his family, failing himself, and he is failing his Lord!

B. He is to be Steadfast

No matter what insults were cast at Jesus, he did not return them. He was steadfastly dedicated to His purpose and His Father's will. Note in the passage in chapter 3 that Peter tells us to be careful with our tongue. Husband, I would advise you to be careful in the use of your tongue in your home. One man has said, "Never yell at your wife unless the house in on fire." That is very good advice.

Steadfast love is what Jesus displays toward us, whether we deserve it or not. He loves us through thick and thin. Husband, you are to love your wife and reveal the love of Christ in the steadfast way so that you continue to reveal that love to her. Some husband might say, "You don't know my wife." No, but I know Jesus and that is who we are to imitate. Paul wrote, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus..." (Philippians 2:5). As men we tend to think of ourselves first, but the mind of Christ submits that nature to become humble and loving.

C. He is to be Submissive

Men love to quote the verse which states that a wife is to be submissive to her husband, but they don't like the verse that states that we are to be totally submissive to Christ. Let me tell you something, if you are totally submissive to Christ, and love the way He did, your wife will in most cases gladly follow your leadership in the home. A wife deserves a husband like the one defined in the Bible. This is tall order, but it is a Biblical one. How about you today husbands, are you totally submissive in Christ in all things. Is your mind committed to Him? How about your finances? How about your eyes? How about your marriage? Don't be telling your wife to be submissive when you are arrogant, selfish and out of step with the Lord!

II. A Heavenly Husband Is To Be Strongly Committed

Men like to see themselves as strong - a man's man - but God calls on us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Our strength is not reflected in our muscles but in our souls. How is a man to be strongly committed?

A. He is Committed to His Master

When a husband is committed to Jesus as Master and Lord, his wife has no reason to fear his faithfulness. You see, a man's first commitment is to Jesus. We have to ask daily, and sometimes hourly, is Jesus satisfied with me? Am I pleasing Him in all areas of my life? Do I treat Him as my Lord in everything? If we can answer yes to those questions, we can be the husband our wife is supposed to have.

B. He is Committed to His Marriage

If more men were self-starters in the area of communication, fewer wives would be cranks. In some ways, marriage goes against our nature as men and women. The woman wants to be in control and the man wants to be free. That is why men often speak of marriage as a ball and chain. Men like to roam about and do what they want to do. Marriage is God's plan to bring the man into a selfless commitment - first and foremost to the Savior. It is difficult for a woman not to desire the control of everything around her. If she obeys God, she can overcome that propensity. It is difficult for a man to settle down, but if a man loves God he can also overcome that human nature. In marriage, each of us learns exactly what God intended. The man must commit to His wife, his home, and if he has them, his children. When Jesus is first in our lives, we will treat our families as first in daily living. Not what he wants, but what they need. To be committed in marriage, a man must first be committed to Jesus. If Jesus is first, a man will have no problem being committed to his wife and family.

C. He is Committed to His Mate

One husband remarked, "People ask us the secret of our long marriage. It's really quite simple. Two evenings a week we take time to go out to a restaurant. A quiet dinner, soft music, some candlelight, a slow walk home does us a world of good - she goes on Tuesdays; I go Fridays."

Seriously, husbands must be committed to their wives. In fact, real love is all about commitment. Love is not a feeling, love is a commitment. Husbands must base their devotion to their wives on their devotion to their wives. No, I didn't say that incorrectly. You are devoted because you are devoted, not because you feel devoted! For example, a man may be devoted to his job. He doesn't always feel like going to work, but he goes. He knows that he must. That is the way a man must be in marriage.

It is interesting that in countries where marriages are arranged by parents, often from childhood, the divorce rate is incredibly low. Instead of feeling that you've met the right person, you are told by your parents that this is the right person. The marriage then is based on commitment and not feelings. In America, we are all about feelings. The words, "I don't love you anymore," really mean, "I don't feel romantic about you anymore." Feelings are not to be trusted in spiritual matters. The weather, what you ate for dinner, the constitution of your hormones and a dozen other things can affect your feelings. To trust you feelings is to act the fool! Commit is the core of the life dedicated to God and to the home.

Listen men, forget your feelings. Obey God's will. There are days you may feel like punching your boss, but you don't do it. You may feel like firing every employee in your business, but you don't do it. A man must not follow his feelings in marriage either. If you start to feel a lack of love for you wife, just tell your feelings to straighten up. They don't control you - you control them by submitting them to Christ. If you allow your feelings to lead you, the next step will be a disaster. Love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it. In the Garden of Gethsemane we note that Jesus didn't feel like going through the experience of the crucifixion. He prayed that the cup might pass from Him. But, then He prayed, "No my will but thine be done." In other words, he prayed, "Father, I will not act on how I feel but on what you tell me is necessary and important." That is how we are to love our wives!

III. A Heavenly Husband Is Steadfastly Considerate

Somerset Maugham tells of his mother. She was lovely and charming and beloved by all. His father was not by any means handsome, and had few social and surface gifts and graces. Someone once said to his mother, "When everyone is in love with you, and when you could have had anyone you liked, how can you remain faithful to that ugly little man you married?" She answered simply: "He never hurts my feelings."

There could be no finer tribute to a husband than that. I wish my wife could say that about me. We will not ask her in this service about that. I don't think any of you other men would want us to ask your wives that question either!

A. He is Considerate as a Provider

The most important thing he provides is stability for his wife emotionally. That is her greatest weakness! Men and women are different in this area. The man must be considerate of his wife in this regard.

Dr. Willard Harley in his book entitled, "His Needs, Her Needs," points out the priorities of the sexes in the order of importance:

A man desires: Sexual fulfillment

Recreational companionship

An attractive spouse

Domestic support

Admiration of his wife

A woman desires: Affection Conversation

Honesty and Openness

Financial support

Family commitment

A man must recognize that the needs of his wife are different from his own. He must take time to consider those needs and respond to them.

B. He is Considerate as a Partner

This following sad note was sent to Ann Landers.

Dear Ann Landers:

My husband doesn't talk to me. He just sits there night after night, reading the newspaper or looking at T.V. When I ask him a question, he grunts "huh, or Uh'huh." Sometimes he doesn't even grunt uh'huh. All he really needs is a housekeeper and somebody to sleep with him when he feels like it. He can buy both. There are times when I wonder why he got married."

Wives need a partner in life. The husband is to be that partner. The Bible speaks of the wife as a help-mate to the husband. How can a wife help a husband who shows little affection and does not share complete and total partnership with his wife? It has been my experience through the 45+ years that I have been in the ministry that men who see their wives as full partners and treat them accordingly, have a wife who makes the effort well worth while!

C. He is Considerate as a Praying Man

A wife needs a husband who prays and prays regularly. Prayer will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from prayer. Praying for your wife can help you know how to love her more. In fact, we are told that not acting appropriately will keep our prayers from being answered. That ought to get the attention of every man in this room.

You see, God can show you things in prayer that you cannot see any other way. When you pray, you are getting in touch with God; more than that, when you pray you are allowing God to get in touch with you. As you do this, the Lord can show you what your wife needs. I promise you, there is no way you can know her needs fully unless God helps you. A wife doesn't want to tell you what she needs, she wants you to just KNOW IT. That is frustrating, isn't it? Every husband has been through that. Your wife is pouting and you ask, "What's the matter?" She answers, "Nothing." You say, "Okay," and walk away. Sir, that is a mistake! The pouting is going to get worse! She wants you to know. Men, we don't have a crystal ball - we can't read minds - and we certainly don't understand women. I advise you at times like this to PRAY. God knows what is wrong and He can help you help her!

D. He is Considerate as a Pure Man

The only way he can be pure is to first know Jesus. How about it men, are you really saved? Have you given your heart to God? Some men cannot be good husbands for one simple reason, they did not know the Prince of love - Jesus Christ - they don't know the Bridegroom of the Church.

But even if we are saved, we need cleansing from time to time. We need for the blood of Jesus to wash us anew and afresh. We need Jesus to help us be to and for our wives what they need.


I'm going to ask every husband in this room today, are you the man your wife needs and deserves? Are you the kind of man described in the passage we read today? Many of us need to rededicate ourselves to God and to our wives and families. We are going to sing in a moment and God is calling you to make a new and lasting commitment concerning this matter. Perhaps you should get your wife by the hand, tell her you love her and bring her with you as you make this commitment today.

If there is a man here, or anyone - man, woman, teenager, child - who does not know Christ as your Savior, come to Him now. He loves you and gave Himself for you at Calvary. Turn from you sin, believe in Jesus as the risen Lord, and confess Him by coming forward to take the my hand or of these ministers who are standing here today. Let us respond, as God speaks to our hearts.