I received a copy of this from one my brothers last night during a men’s meeting. Since I found it very helpful for myself, I thought I would share it. Enjoy!
Twelve Commandments for Husbands
- Thou shalt love thy wife and commit thyself to her for a lifetime of oneness in marriage – divine and indivisible. Thou shalt make of thy marriage an exclusive relationship so that thy wife shall never have occasion to doubt thy love nor occasion for jealousy or lack of trust. As the scriptures say, “Husbands love your wives just s Christ love the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25); “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:9); “Cleave unto thy wife ” (Genesis 2:24).
- Thou shalt seek to understand thy wife. Thou shalt not be able to understand her, but thou shalt make a lifetime effort to do so. As the scriptures say, “Husbands, dwell with your wives according to knowledge” (1 Peter 3:7).
- Thou shalt talk to thy wife when thou comest home from thy work, when thou sittest in thine house, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Thou shalt at times turn off the television to assure thy wife she is more cherished than your favorite program, for communication is an expression of love. As the scriptures say, “Live a life of love” (Ephesians 5:2).
- Thou shalt not talk down to thy wife nor use sarcasm or ridicule. Thous shalt not belittle her, for her sense of self-worth is much dependent on your appreciation and encouragement of her. As the scriptures say, “Love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4), and again, “Do everything without complaining or arguing” (Philippians 2:14), and again, “In honor prefer one another” (Romans 12:10).
- Thou shalt listen to thy wife, asking for her advice and opinions, and recognizing her mental abilities and talents, as Abraham asked and followed Sarah’s advice. As the scriptures say, “Love is not proud or rude” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).
- Thou shalt not lord it over thy wife, recognizing that the two of you are equal before God and that leadership in the home does not mean dictatorship. Neither does it mean being waited on nor having the best piece of chicken. Leadership means moral, financial, and spiritual responsibilities. Headship in the home also means sacrifice and service. As the scriptures say, “Submit yourselves one to another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21), and “Husbands, do not be harsh with them” (Colossians 3:19). Thou shalt not abdicate thy leadership role because of apathy or indifference, for love cares and bears all things.
- Thou shalt see that thy wife is thy best friend. The closest of all human relationships is marriage and it should know joyous comradeship, with laughter and good humor. Thou shalt share affection and confidences with thy wife and long to be in her presence. As the scriptures say, “Live joyfully with thy wife whom thou lovest” (Ecclesiastes 9:9).
- Thou shalt help thy wife in all those ways that sacrificial love would help, giving her of thy time,money, attention, affection (yea, even washing the dishes as needed), remembering that the scriptures say, “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
- Thou shalt accept thy wife as she is. Thou shalt not expect perfection. Thou shalt forgive her of her mistakes and confess thine own to her, remembering that “love covereth all sins” (Proverbs 10:12). “Forgive each other as God in Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).
- Thou shalt practice tenderness as the essential emotion, realizing that sex is a gift of God which expresses and enhances love. Sex is giving joy as well as receiving it. Thou shalt consider that nothing can erode the sexual union more than selfishness. Remember he scriptures say, “The husband body does not belong to him alone, but also to his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:4); “Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies” (Ephesians 5:28); “As ye would that (she) should do unto you do ye even so unto (her)” (Matthew 7:12).
- Thou shalt in some way each day show thy wife that “I need you,” that “I appreciate you,” and that “I want to help you.” So shalt thy marriage become a strong and blest tie that binds two hearts in Christian love.
- And should thy marriage become trying and seemingly an endurance contest, thou shalt not give up. Thou shalt “bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7). Thou shalt trust thy God who is love and who is the God of the resurrection to rekindle and renew thy love. Thou shalt treat thy wife as thou didst when love was new. And having done all, thou shalt “suffer long” and “cast thy burdens on the Lord” knowing that he careth for thee and thy mate (Peter 5:7).
The joy of a Christian marriage goes far beyond most marriages. Being considerate of your wife pays rich dividends in many ways. When there is strife and discord in the home, prayer is hindered until peace is restored. When an atmosphere of love and consideration exists, both husband and wife can join together in prayer before the Throne of God and expect some wonderful results and showers of blessing for their Christian home.
*Here’s a version that gives it in more modern English for those who prefer.
Articles from the Hickory Ridge Herald – September 7, 2008
Hickory Ridge Church of Christ – Lebanon, TN – http://www.hickoryridgechurchofchrist.com
Twelve Commandments for Husbands
LOVE IN THE HOME is not primarily the responsibility of the wife [she should manifest love, of course], but upon the husband. You see, husbands, you are to love your wife “just as” Christ loved His Church. Notice that “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Christ did not love us because we were so loving and loveable. Instead, He loved us when we were sinners—when we were rebellious and vile and loathsome creatures in His sight (Rom 5:8). Yet, He loved us and gave Himself for us—because of what He wanted us to become! God placed the husband as the head of the home, but that position brings responsibility. You are responsible for initiating love. You do that by giving. You must give your time, your interest, your money, and above all, you must give yourself! The following “commandments” are adapted from an article by Reuel Lemmons a number of years ago. We urge you to keep these commandments, and fulfill your responsibilities as a godly husband to your wife.
1. You shall love your wife and make of your marriage an exclusive relationship?so your wife shall never have an occasion to doubt your love nor to have occasion for jealousy or lack of trust. A man “should leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Jesus says, “What God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mk. 10:9). You should love her “just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Eph. 5:25).
2. Although you shall never completely understand her, you shall make a life-time effort to understand your wife. “Dwell with her with understanding, giving honor” to her like you would to a fragile vessel, “that your prayers may not be hindered” (cf. 1 Pet. 3:7).
3. You shall talk with your wife when you come home from your work, when you sit in your house, when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall even at times turn off the TV to assure her she is more cherished than your favorite TV program. “Walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave Himself for us, an offering and a sweet smelling sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:2).
4. You shall not talk down to, nor belittle, nor use sarcasm and ridicule toward her, for her sense of self-worth is much dependent upon your appreciation of her. You are to “do all things without complaining and disputing” (Phil. 2:14). You must be “kindly affectionate to one another…in honor giving preference to one another” (Rom. 12:10). “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; loves does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4-8a).
5. You shall listen to your wife, asking for her advice and opinions, recognizing her mental abilities and talents. The worthy woman “opens her mouth with wisdom” (Prov. 31:26), and “her husband trusts in her” (Prov. 31:11).
6. You shall not lord it over your wife, recognizing the two of you are equal before God and that leadership in the home does not mean dictatorship. Nor does it mean being waited on, nor having the best piece of chicken; it means moral, financial and spiritual responsibilities. You must not “be bitter against” her (Col. 3:19), but be “submissive to one another in the fear of God” (Eph. 5:21).
7. You shall see that your wife is your best friend; you shall share affection and confidences with your wife and long to be in her presence. Solomon said, “Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days which He has given you under the sun…” (Eccl. 9:9).
8. You shall help your wife in all those ways that sacrificial love would help, giving her of your time, money, attention and affection [yes, even washing the dishes as needed]. You shall “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
9. You shall accept your wife as she is; you shall not expect perfection, but be forgiving of her mistakes and confessing your own to her. God says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
10. You shall practice tenderness as an essential emotion, realizing that sex is a gift of God which expresses and enhances love. Sex is giving joy as well as receiving it. Selfishness erodes sexual joy. “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does” 1 Cor. 7:4). Husbands “ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself” (Eph. 5.28).
11. You shall in some way each day show your wife that “I need you,” that “I appreciate you,” and that “I want to help you.”
12. And, should your marriage become trying and seemingly an endurance contest, you shall not give up. When you were married, you promised her that you would love and honor her, and be faithful to her “until death do us part.” You shall “bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things” (1 Cor. 13:7).
Wives will love this article, but don’t get too puffed up about it! Remember, there is another side to marriage! You have corresponding responsibilities toward your husband!
— James E. Cooper.