The role of a husband is an ever-shifting endeavor that often takes the shape of marital needs. Our number is often called to take one of many positions – provider, protector, councilor, consoler, comedian, errand-runner, car-fixer, and more. However, there is a central role the faithful husband should pursue, that undergirds all the other positions he may fill – the role of theologian.
I want to take you back to a scene you’re most likely familiar with. It’s a scene in which the deceptive serpent is in dialogue with the woman in the Garden. He says to her, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’ . . . You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The story takes a heartbreaking turn as the woman looked on the fruit with desire. So, with cosmic consequences, she took and ate. Moreover, after she ate, she turned to her husband and served him the fruit that leads to death.
There’s much that can be—and has been—said about this tragic scene in history. Yet, a pertinent aspect to the present discussion is that a theologically aware husband could have intervened. Admittingly, this is a hypothetical, yet just imagine Adam standing up at the beginning of the dialogue declaring to Eve that God, who so graciously gave them one another along with the Garden in which they reside, is their portion. Imagine him, acting as a faithful husband, calling Eve’s actions into conformity with what she knows – that God is good and would never lie.
The Husband’s Theological Position in Marriage
While we’ll never know if this hypothetical situation would have changed the disastrous outcome of the Garden, the moral of the story remains: a proper understanding of God and his ways should have informed the decision of the first husband and wife. Likewise, in our day, husbands should seek theological awareness—and obedience to that knowledge—for the good of their marriages.
Husbands, your wives, like Eve, are going to be bombarded by lies. Day in and day out. She is going to be told things that are contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The world will fill her ears of falsehoods that she needs to look a certain way, say certain things and have certain items. She will be told that if she doesn’t meet a flawed society’s view of femininity, that she has little or no worth. These lies will come from friends, co-workers, family, and oftentimes, her own mind. Nothing is safe from deception; her value, dignity, and assurance in God’s Kingdom will be in the crosshairs of duplicity dressed in desire.
When the storm of lies washes upon your wife, many tools in the husbandry arsenal will help you lead her well; theology must be one of them. When the culture tells her that she has little worth because she is lacking in some misconstrued area; you can assure her that because of her union with Christ, she lacks nothing and that every good thing she needs has been secured for her in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. When she’s tempted to listen to the feedback loop of lies in her own head about the ways in which she’s not good enough, you can assure her that her justification isn’t in her performance, but in the merits of her great High Priest. When that one besetting sin she struggles to mortify shows its face again, you can point her to the atonement of a murdered Son who took on flesh on her behalf.
We should not be mistaken, a man who has all of his theological ducks in a row is not guaranteed to be a gifted husband. Instead, what we argue for here is simply that husbands who are thinking clearly about theology position themselves to have a unique ability to point their brides to the splendor and comfort of the Rock of Ages.
Husbands, your wives need you to deeply know the Lord and his ways. She needs you to have thought critically about the gospel. She needs you to have sat in awe at the glory of Christ and be prepared to love her in, and with, truth. Strive, therefore, to be the husband-theologian your marriage calls you to be.
Editor's Note: This originally published on Credo Magazine.