“There is a famine abroad on the earth, a famine of more serious kind and one which threatens nearly every country in the world: the famine of really great men. The world’s greatest need is great men.”
– Ven. Fulton Sheen
You’ve likely heard that men should be the leaders of the home and they should love their wives as Christ loves the Church.
As it says in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…” (NASB)
But what exactly does that mean? Most likely, you aren’t called to literally die for your wife and children as Christ did for us. So what does it mean to love as Christ loves the Church?
How can you love as Christ does in the day-to-day tasks of providing for your family? How do you balance taking care of your family, putting your spouse above your children and taking care of your own needs?
In our most recent podcast episode, Mike sat down with his brother-in-law, Paul and asked a few of these questions.
As St. Paul tells us, the role of a husband, as given to you through your vocation of marriage, is to lay down your life for your wife. But what does that really mean?
Our culture really pushes the idea that men can get whatever they want, that suffering and sacrifice should be avoided and that masculinity is a terrible thing.
But Christ gave us a different example, one that focuses on serving others with every fiber of our being. And in marriage, the role of a husband is to imitate Christ by loving and serving our wives and children with everything we have.
We do that by first looking at our mindset.
Your mission field is your family. You are a missionary to your family. When you wake up every day, your task is to serve those that you love so that they can see the love of Christ through you.
Are you asking yourself: “How can I serve my wife and help her to feel loved today?” or are focused on what needs to be done at work first and foremost?
Of course, your career is important. But its importance lies in that it is a sacrifice you make for your wife and children.
Outside of your career, how can you serve your family, especially when your job takes up so much of your time?
After you’ve adjusted your mindset, you need to put it into practice.
What does this look like practically?
It’s in the quality, not the quantity of the time you spend with your family. Things like putting your phone down when you’re around your wife and giving her your full attention. Or figuring out your wife’s love language (we recommend this book!) and finding small ways throughout the day to love her that way.
That could mean that you get up 15 minutes earlier than she does to make sure coffee is ready for her. Or emptying the dishwasher before you leave for work so it’s off her plate during the day.
It could mean that you’re intentional about setting aside time to have a glass of wine with her at the end of the day or that you occasionally bring flowers home from work just because she loves them.
When it comes to the role of a husband, it’s not just about the big things, but rather the small, individual and seemingly insignificant ways that you love her that make the difference.
It might seem like loving your spouse above everything else means that you don’t have time for much else.
While that’s not entirely true, you do have to use discernment. Every moment of your day is scheduled for something (whether you mean for it to be or not) and by cutting out the extraneous things, you’ll be surprised about the time you’ll find.
You also can be creative with your time. Find ways that allow you to intentionally spend time with your family while also meeting your needs. Think about the idea of an oxygen mask on a plane. Do you put on yours or your child’s first?
Of course, you put on your own so that you can help those around you.
It’s the same thing in marriage. Your needs to be met so that you can serve those around you.
And when it comes to meeting your needs, one of the best ways you can make sure you’re supported is by having a community of men around you.
Marriage and family life is a battlefield. The Evil One doesn’t want you to succeed in loving your wife and children. He wants you to fail. It’s the same for every other man out there who is on the path you are, striving to love and serve as Christ asks us to.
Being in that battle side by side is always better than going at it alone.
Marriage isn’t for the faint of heart. It will challenge and remake you as a man. It will do the same thing for your wives.
Both you and your wife are called to sacrifice and serve each other. But men are called differently. In the role of a husband, men are called higher, to die to their own wants and needs in order to love and serve their wives and in doing so, to attain sainthood.
If you’d like to hear more on this topic, we recommend you check out our latest podcast episode, The Role of a Husband right here.
We also have a sister podcast episode on the role of a wife that we totally recommend listening to: The Role of a Submissive Wife.
We’d love for you and your spouse to join us for a special weekend getaway in beautiful Cozumel, Mexico! You can find all the details for that January 2023 trip right here!