An interesting inference that has been drawn from research is that a woman’s basic emotional need is met in her ‘sense of security’. Basically, it means that when a woman feels secure, she thrives not only emotionally but also spiritually, as she is supposed to.

The question that remains now is, where and how does a woman get her sense of security from? The answer to that question is, as cliché as it might sound, ‘LOVE’.

Love is a woman’s basic need:
Philosophers too, have been musing over women’s psyche for hundreds of years. Research and musings aside, the fact that ‘a woman gets her sense of security from knowing that she is loved has always been encompassed in the Holy Bible. God, in His infinite wisdom, commands a husband to love his wife because He created her with that fundamental need to be loved. Who else but our Maker to know our every need and to instruct us to meet each other’s needs in the power of the Holy Spirit? This might sound like a lot of work but we must rest assured in the truth that we are never alone because He promised to be with us every step of the way (Matthew 20:28). And how blessed are we that we have the Almighty God who keep promises perfectly (Jeremiah 1:12)!

If we could have it the ideal way, daughters would thrive in the security of their father’s love and ultimately if and when they get married, their source of security would transition from a father’s love to a husband’s love. But the fallen world wouldn’t let us have it that easily, would it?

On the contrary, lots of women grew up without knowing what it’s like to have known a father’s love. And, the number of women who don’t feel loved by their husbands may far exceed our expectations. Hence, we can leave it to our imaginations as to just how many women might be living in fear and insecurity because of the absence/abuse/apathy of a father or a husband. Therefore, it is vital for those women to understand the truth about God who loves them flawlessly, unconditionally and eternally in Christ, the living hope.

Whether a woman is loved/unloved by her father/husband, she must embrace the truth that only God has the capability to love her exactly the way she needed it. The security of women who understand this truth, therefore, depend not on men but rather on God who love them with ‘perfect love’ (1 John 4:18). Day by day, they learn to remain in His love and trust Him—their Heavenly Father, the source of their very being. In doing so, not only do they feel secure, they also have joy and the strength to surge forward in becoming the women/wives/mothers God called them to be.

Husbands, do you love your wives?
Ephesians 5:25
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.

Many married couples are currently trying to survive their marriage which is rife with bitterness and unforgiveness. What’s worse is that they refuse to accept that their marriage hasn’t been what it used to be; it hasn’t been growing in love and grace either. Endless unresolved issues which have accumulated over the years deemed it impossible to change the direction of the marriage towards holiness. It is a trend in those types of unhealthy relationships to ignore all conflicts and bitterness, avoid addressing issues that will lead to confrontations, and bury them deep within the marriage. Outwardly they might appear to be fine, but inwardly, they endure a miserable, loveless and frustrated marriage with little or no form of intimacy at all.

In our society, most couples get married because they fell in love and wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. There have also been instances where couples fight for their union at the face of opposition from their parents/family and even go to extreme measures to ensure that their union is not hindered. Considering that most couples got married because of love, it is a strange thing that love is not enough to keep the marriage thriving, let alone save it.

As the harsh realities of life catch up and major disagreements or disappointments in the relationships arise, most couples refuse to address the situation and unwittingly enter into a sort of ‘avoiding the issue’. In countless instances, married couples avoid trouble and keep up face for the sake of their children. Their communication dwindled and consequently, they stopped being partners in the true sense. That kind of passiveness in a marriage does not help at all. Couples must understand that they don’t have to endure their sour marriage like some sort of martyrs; instead, they can seek help to restore it. It will be worth every effort, they’ll see, because Jesus assured us that all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26).

It can never be stressed enough that God does not just command husbands to love their wives. He also elaborated on ‘how to’ go about it in the Bible. How gracious is our God to provide the means to obey His commands through the Holy Spirit!
I believe every husband who calls himself a Christian is familiar with this verse but not every husband who is familiar with this verse necessarily follow this teaching. In fact, if one is observant enough, it seems like it hasn’t registered quite yet to most of them. If only they’d awaken to wisdom to follow through with the command diligently and consistently, I am sure we would experience a Revival! All I am trying to do is make a point here: Husbands are supposed to love their wives in the way of The Word and not according to the culture and traditions of the world!
Husbands who profess Christ, and yet love their brides in contradiction to how Christ loved His bride (the Church), must understand that they are accountable to HIM, who ordained the rules. It is to HIM, who executes justice that they will answer.

We must understand that Christ demonstrated the love He has for His Bride (The Church) by denying Himself and dying for Her (Romans 5:8 ; Ephesians 5:25). If a Christian husband does not work towards loving his wife in that model, he cannot claim to have loved his wife. Period.
Every God-fearing husband pursuing that model must also understand that the task at hand is not an easy one but a courageous and committed effort the Lord require them to exercise with His help, of course.
It is also imperative for them to know that humbling themselves before God and praying to be fashioned into godly husbands/fathers is the kind of prayer God will likely answer (Matthew 7:11).

Ephesians 5:26-28 further explained about ‘how’ husbands are supposed to love their wives. A Husband must love his wife ‘just as’ Christ loves The Church by making her holy, that is, by leading her in The Word so that she is presentable to himself, the godly husband ‘just as’ the Church is being sanctified and prepared to be presentable to Christ as a radiant, blameless and holy Church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish.
A Husband must accept the fact that his wife is not a separate entity but a part of himself that makes him whole. Only then can He love her just as He loves himself. 

Sometimes, I cannot help but wonder if it is quite possible that the Church may not have been preaching enough to husbands about ‘how to’ love their wives as much as it preached about loving their wives, without telling them how’.

Husbands, treat your wives with respect:
1 Peter 3:7
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

It is ridiculous that 1 Peter 3:7Ephesians 5:23 and others verses has often been used out of context to suit a husband’s ‘control’ or high-handedness over his wife more often than we care to admit. What I meant by that is that, this verse is often used to indicate that women are weak with no significance of their own, that they must submit to their husbands at all costs, even in matters and acts that are questionable and does not in any way reflect the righteousness God desires. There’s also this common notion that women are somewhat inferior in worth and intelligence in the marital relationship. And the most sacrilegious belief that many men in our patriarchal society harboured is that women/wives are Spiritually less endowed than men/husbands.

Contrary to popular belief, this verse actually means that husbands are supposed to be tender and considerate in the way they love their wives. It also means that husbands must understand that their wives are their sisters in Christ, worthy of respect because they are God’s daughters and co-heirs with them in the Kingdom of Christ and hence treat them accordingly. Husbands who love and honor their wives in that way, possess a clear conscience before God. And so their prayer is unhindered, which can only mean that they have intimate fellowship with God as they ought to. Oh, how blessed are those men, and how much more blessed are their wives!

We can be assured that men who have that kind of intimate relationship with God and trust Him has God’s favour in ways we can never imagine. And they most certainly will not spend their lives constantly frustrated and exhausted, neither will they simmer in anger nor anxiety. Most importantly, they would not be in denial and need to constantly put down their wives to show who is in control or who the man is!

Marriage, as most of us know, was instituted by God and He has given us instructions on ‘how to’ go about it. We know that God ordained husbands to protect their wives (Micah 2:16). And if a husband treats his wife in contrast to that principle, it is difficult to believe that God’s favour would rest on someone who is disobedient (Ephesians 2:2). No wonder he found himself stumbling often and his prayers doesn’t seem to reach beyond the roof!

We also know that our privileges as Christians are plentiful and we should never take them for granted because Christ paid for those with His precious blood. When we accept the redeeming work of Christ on the Cross, by default, we entered into a covenant with God to live a life of holiness. Holiness requires perseverance for the very purpose of which we have been enabled and empowered in everyway in the Holy Spirit. We just keep making excuses because we are a lazy, self-righteous and a rebellious lot (Ephesians 1:3 ; 1 Corinthians 1:5&7). 

The Husband is the head of the wife:
Ephesians 5:23 
For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which He is the Savior.

Far too many ‘Christian husbands’ have used this verse out of context either to declare or reinstate their ‘authority’ over their wives. That is exactly where the problem arises. I said out of context because they usually do not use the whole verse but just the “For the husband is the head of the wife” part without ever taking into account the whole verse where they conveniently never care to mention the “… as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior” part. It is true that the head of the woman is man, but it is also true that Christ is the head of every man (1 Corinthians 11:3)Christians must stop using Scripture in fragments or out of context to suit their evil conveniences!

The headship of the husband is an un-refutable biblical truth; but headship does not mean ‘mastership’. Wives are not objects to be ‘owned’ and ‘controlled’. They are to be loved as daughters of The Most High God just as husbands are sons of the Most High God. Men and women are equal but they are different and so are their roles, abilities and responsibilities (Genesis 1:27; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 5:21).

We must come to terms with the fact that ‘Headship’ in it’s true sense means ‘Leadership’, not ownership, nor ‘supremacy over wives’. This truth should be clearly understood. And leadership is a role God has assigned not only to husbands but to every men! And like every other responsibility of a Christian man, Christian husbands must lead their wives and Children by example just as Christ is leading His Church by being the perfect example! He, though without any sin, went through unimaginable suffering, endure excruciating pain, faced multiple rejections, was shamed like a lowly criminal, abandoned like no other, bled and ultimately died to save His bride from nothing ordinary but from the fiery wrath of God and eternal damnation. He denied and emptied Himself for His bride (Philippians 2:7). That is ‘how’ He loved His bride! 

We cannot thank God enough for those faithful and godly men who bravely shouldered their God given role and responsibility of leading by example, and are constantly looking to God for strength to do just so. Since they diligently seek His face through their dedication and sacrifice, God moved in our midst to bring about significant changes and impacts in the Church and society, which is an overflow of God’s grace that started from their own households.

However, there are men who fell prey (1 Peter 5:8) and believed that the authority they have over their wives is ‘control’ over them, which is the Devil’s half truth, rather than being their saviour, which is God’s truth (Ephesians 5:23). We must fear God and be careful to be obedient based on His Living Word because we are accountable to Him (Romans 14:12 ; Hebrews 4:13).

Also, in instances where the wife does not consider her husband as her head, the husband is still required to have Christ as his head. Any man or husband who has Christ as his head will not have to worry about their prayers being hindered, which is a sign of true fellowship with God. Any man who have true fellowship with God has his needs taken care of, that too, by God! And if a godly woman is what that husband needs, the God who promised to provide for all his needs will give him exactly that (Philippians 4:19). And He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things (Romans 8:32)?

Back to the beginning:
Genesis 1 told us that when God created the heaven and the earth and everything else, He made an observation each time when He was done for the day and saw that “it was good”. On the sixth day, when He created Man, He observed that “it was not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). So God created for Adam, a wife, to complete him and to be his helpmate. And then, God observed that it was not “just good” but “very good” (Genesis 1:31) because His creation was now complete with Eve, a woman. Adam was now whole and complete.

God knew what Adam needed and He created Eve for him without ever consulting him. We dare to say that Eve literally and spiritually completed Adam. Whatever was lacking in Adam, God fulfilled it in Eve. Likewise, whatever a husband lacks, God fulfills it in his wife and that makes them ‘two becoming one flesh’ and therefore complete in every sense of the term.
Christian men who do not understand this principle usually do not include their wives in every matter of the household. Nor do they purposefully involve them in all things that are parts of their shared life. In such scenarios, a flaw(s) is likely  to occur in the outcome of what the husband decided all by himself without input/counsel from his wife. The wife would naturally feel left out and that her contribution is not appreciated. When such issues are left unattended, it tends to pile up over the years. This heavy pile of unresolved issues, coupled with other problems married couples faced,  tremendous strain happens in the relationship. This is why it is vital to address issues when they come up and seek help, if needed, before the relationship is further strained and damaged.

Sadly, because of The Fall, our society is rife with broken marriages which has been convoluted and twisted into something entirely different from what God had planned originally. Yet, there is always hope, because God in His infinite wisdom made it possible in Jesus Christ, who is our Living Hope, to restore our brokenness and to begin our strive towards perfection as we are being sanctified.
For that very reason, when husbands love their wives as they are supposed to, God is capable of sanctifying their wives in submission to their own husbands in agreement to His Word. 

To the fathers and husbands reading this article, may God give you discernment to understand that it is HIM who gave each one of you the duty of being a father and/or husband which might get overwhelming sometimes. And at other times, it may even feel like a duty that is way beyond your capabilities and willingness. On such occasions, please remember that it is also okay to feel the pressure and the burden life sometimes presents. But one should also remember that nothing in this world can compare to the fruits of your labour when it abounds in your own household. That, my brothers in Christ, is the shining light which encourages other men of the hope that is in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we must never shy away from asking God’s help because He is our refuge and strength, our ever- present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). Remember also that we have every right to approach God’s throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Dear brethren, as you valiantly continue to carry out this stalwart duty of loving your wives and children, may God bless you (ever more so) with His mighty power, endless love, grace and mercy in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

-Chingngaihlian Tunglut

February 13, 2021 / English / Article No.05

(For comments/questions concerning this article, contact the writer at +919892316430)

Chingngaihlian Tunglut

Chingngaihlian Tunglut

She is one of the two co-founders and the in-house counsellor. Her freelancing works include lots of voluntary and 'Pro Bono' counselling in church and community. She is also extensively involved as a counsellor at Bombay YMCA Counselling Centre, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai. She has been trained and certified in several Mental Health and associated courses. She is also a certified trainer. She is passionate about young people and the issues they face. She has facilitated workshops on Mental Health and other relevant issues and is involved as facilitator in counselling courses and Sunday School teachers training from time to time.

(Please contact her for seminars and workshops about adolescent and youth issues and mental health etc. As a trainer, she is also passionate about training and equipping people to better serve the body of the Lord Jesus Christ in children, youth and women ministry)

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