April 12, 2024

Godly Husband: Do You Nourish and Cherish Your Wife?

This entry is part 17 of 17 in the series Godly Husband

One of the final commands to the husbands in Ephesians 5 contains two words:

For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: – Eph 5:29

These two words are seldom linked to things that men are typically used to doing. Nourishing has the idea of feeding– and we tend to look at this as something that wives and mothers do. Cherishing just seems foreign to us, so what do these words mean in the context of marriage, and what are we to do?

Nourish means “to bring to maturity.”

Maturity comes through a variety of ways. One way is through the humbling of oneself and putting another first. By the very fact that we are our wife’s husband we have introduced someone into her life that she has to reach beyond to love and care for. Are we making this easy for her or difficult?

Another way to bring to maturity is through instruction and experience. Things happen in our lives that we can either have plans for or we can consider a crisis. How we plan and lead our families shows our wives how to handle things in a godly fashion. Are we demonstrating a mature life to our wife?

Maturity also comes through instruction. By being faithful in the Word and sharing with our wife those things that we learn, we are able to grow her in the knowledge of the Word. Are we giving her opportunities to grow?

Cherish means “To soften with heat.”

Cherishing is something that every woman wants and desires, and is different for every woman. Your wife wants special attention. They want to be recognized. They want to know that they are special to you. Are you reminding them of that?

But going beyond that, do you make a special time to communicate with your wife? The problem with most men is that they have the attitude that they have a list of things to get done and taking time for talking, cuddling, etc. isn’t on their list unless it somehow leads to “the main event.”

What are you planning to do today to cherish your wife?

Question Idea taken from From Dreadlock to Wedlock

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9 thoughts on “Godly Husband: Do You Nourish and Cherish Your Wife?

  1. Oh boy… here we go đŸ™‚

    The tone of the section on maturity ( under “Nurturing” ) bothers me. It’s *very* possible that I am hearing something you didn’t intend, so let me say what’s on my mind and we’ll see.

    I feel a sort of overtone in many writings on the husband’s role of leader that gives me the impression that the writers think that wives are somehow “less than” their husbands and, having limited ability to understand, must be taught all manner of things by him.

    I don’t agree with this sentiment, and I think it is at the heart of some of the problems we see in Christian marriages that attempt (sincerely) to follow Godly direction with regard to spousal roles. My view is that “in Christ there is neither male nor female…” AND at the same time, husbands are to lead. To me, the whole of Scripture is reconciled only when the two are equal, but the role of leader is played by the husband. God is no respecter of persons, and I think there is danger in communicating that somehow men are innately more capable than women in a general sense.

    Now before I get totally flamed as a closet feminist, let me say that I am very clear about the idea that God has placed men in the role of leader, and that it is similarly clear throughout Scripture that women are to be subject to them.

    What I am trying to say is that we men sometimes–even often–read into this that our word is law and that our wives are there only to help us accomplish what *we* have planned and never to question us. This is wrong-headed and unscriptural because, among other things, in it we see no gentleness or humility.

    Jesus is our model. He came as a servant leader, washing the feet of His followers. Husbands would do well to follow suit.

    OK, flame away…

    The least of His servants,

  2. By the way… my daughter thinks I went a little off the deep end on this.

    Here is the primary sentence to which I was reacting: “How we plan and lead our families shows our wives how to handle things in a godly fashion.”

    The same Spirit lives in our wives. It just seems a little pretentious to me to think that our wives need us to “show [them] how to handle things in a godly fashion.”

    I think we DO teach our wives (and we certainly have been instructed to do so), but they also teach US… if we let them.

    “MIn”… I am not saying your theology is wrong… just making another point and seeing where the conversation goes. I mean NO disrespect of any kind.

  3. I think we need to take the whole counsel of God into context here. I think that there is a problem here with the understanding of what it means “to be a respecter of persons” and the interpretation of the verse which says “therefore there is now neither male nor female in Christ”. Those verses are dealing specifically with the salvation issue. No one would say that men are saved before women, or that women are harder to save (I mean God can save anyone). No one would say that God prefers to save men over women, that would be being a respecter of persons. People so often use this to justify the idea that the roles are really more like a 49/51 thing. It isn’t like that and we know it isn’t because, as Larry points out, Jesus is our model, and specifically the way Jesus relates to the church, is how the husband is to relate to the wife.

    Jesus is 100% leader of the church. He cherishes her, saving her from her own sin, and He disciplines her bringing her up into the maturity of Christ. He presents her to Himself blameless, because she IS unable to make herself this way.

    I have yet to see a place in scripture that addresses the woman as “washing the husband with the Word” or instructs the woman in a marriage to instruct her husband in righteousness, or to bring him into maturity. It is true that the Lord may use her to reach him, but that is not her ROLE. Her value in the kingdom is equal. Jesus saves her just as He saves him. No one is disputing that.

    However, it is ALSO true that “the woman was deceived” and that she “is the weaker vessel”. We cannot forget those verses that point out the differences between men and women. Though we are all saved by grace and we are all set free in Christ, thereby not being respected less or more by God, we ARE created differently.

    We have different roles, and the husband’s role is to teach the wife, partly because she is less strong in the area of spiritual maturity. Now I happen to think that in our culture in the US, feminization of men and the women who have usurped the authority in the home have made many men weak in spiritual maturity. But that does not mean that women should continue to usurp this role from men. Women should find a way to stay under her husband’s teaching. This will also help the man to be able to mature spritually and therefore to lead her better.

    (One way that I am doing this is to stop attending women’s Bible Studies. I found that I was learning way too much outside of my husband’s teaching. Which usurps his role and makes me the spiritual leader in a way. Now, if I am going to learn something in depth like that it is going to be from my husband or it isn’t going to happen at all. Please, dont think for a second that this means I have forsaken reading the Word or worshiping Christ. That isn’t it at all.)

    Mrs. Meg Logan

  4. MML,

    Wonderfully written. You are correct that I applied certain of my selected Scriptures out of context. That is a *serious* error. You are correct that they deal with salvation.

    I was hasty in my eagerness to make the point that too many men lord it over their wives and misuse Scripture to justify it.

    I stand chastened and rightly corrected.

    I agree *wholeheartedly* with your points about the feminization of men and the usurping tendencies of many women.

    I am on somerthing of a kick right now about men who are cold and uncaring or who treat their wives as second-class members of the “one flesh” that God has made them.

    Thanks for your excellent comments.

  5. It is true, that there are men who abuse their role and authority, just as some women abuse theirs. We are right to fight against that.

    Wives should however, submit even to the man that is wrongly lording his authority, and husbands should rightly, regain control and authority in the home when a wife is usurping it.

    Being a wife, I have to focus on my role. You, being a husband will be focused on your role. Which is why, I think, so often I get flustered about women not submitting and usurping their husband’s leadership. And why you may get flustered about men who lord their authority.

    Mrs. Meg Logan

  6. I guess I’m having a little trouble figuring out why you wouldn’t attend Ladies Bible Studies? To me, you could be learning spiritual things at church or all kinds of places, so you could use the same logic to say that you shouldn’t take a Sunday School class or go to a service where he isn’t the teacher?

    Or am I missing what you are saying? :wassat:

  7. Women are to remain silent in the church. If they have questions they are to ask their husbands at home. We all agree that the Bible says that right?!

    If I am going to Woman’s Bible Study, where my husband cannot go, learning things that he is unaware I am learning, how is this under his authority? (of course he granted permission for me to go, so I guess in that way it was under his authority, but I just started feeling like I was leaning way out from under his teaching.) How can he be teaching me about that stuff when I am learning it from someone else? When we attend church together we are learning from the same man, but then he is equipped for me to ask him questions later. We are on the same page, I am not leaping out in front of him.

    I really think this is just for a season. But *I* was getting heady about all that I *knew* and it was becoming a pride issue for me, and getting in the way of me really submitting to my husband’s teaching, because I got so I thought I knew more than him. So I started thinking he couldn’t really teach me anything anyway. So I decided to stop filling my mind with knowledge that he is not privy to, and instead to go to him for knowledge.

    Do I think it is a sin for a woman to study under another woman? NO. Look at Titus 2. But when we go there, lets remember what it is that the older women are to teach the younger ones. In the list of things there I do not see DOCTRINE or NUANCES of the faith. I do not see deep Biblical study listed. I see practical things that are meant to help the woman be a better help meet to her husband.

    Now of course, I need to “study to show myself faithful” ( i think that is how it goes). But I have the basics down. The deeper things need to wait until my husband leads me there. Now it would be more prudent of me to focus on implementing the knowledge I already have, such as practicing the Fruit of the Spirit. Being a diligent worker at home, respecting my husband, being meek, being a chaste and discreet woman. These are all things I learned are required of me as a Christian woman. I need to be a DOER not a HEARER only. I can faithfully practice these things until I begin to respect my husband and his teaching, and bring myself under his authority in that area again.

    Does this answer your question?

    Mrs. Meg Logan

    p.s. We don’t have sunday school classes, but if we did I would not attend that without him being present.

  8. So, let me try to sum up.

    You, out of your own volition, have decided not to go to a Bible Study session of any kind at which your husband is not present. This is not necessarily based on a specific set of Scripture, but on what attending these services did to the spiritual relationship with your husband and your desire to fulfill other portions of scripture.

    You also make the following points:

    Titus 2’s direction toward women teaching women was not about doctrine– per se. I would assume that a Women’s Bible Study that studied out how to be a better wife/mother would be acceptable, but when/if it digressed into areas outside Titus 2 it would not. Furthermore, you do not have a problem if your husband attended “how to be a better wife” class.
    You hit a strong point when you implied that the accumulation of knowledge without acting on what we know to do is worthless– a really good point.

    How did I do? :pouty:

  9. I think that is it.

    Of my own volition, and due to prayer and contemplating what was causing my own sinful attitude towards my own husband, I choose not to attend a Woman’s Bible Study (or other study) that is aimed at learning deeper things of doctrine or God, without my husband’s presence. Were I to find one that was exclusively about following the things in Titus 2 I would be ok with that. I would never have a problem if my husband attended with me, as he would be in full knowledge of what I learned and could correct my understanding easily. I could not be as puffed up if he were there to learn side by side. I would not be thinking I knew better than he, for obviously he would have learned it too.

    Mrs. Meg Logan

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