This authority God has loaned to husbands does not give them rights. Instead, a husband is given the privilege and responsibility to lead and care for his wife and children in a Christ-like manner. Please open your Bible and read Philippians 2:1-8. Review what it means to be Christ-like in attitude and behavior.

Christ our Savior is the model of a husband’s authority (Eph 5:23- 29). He was a servant Who washed our feet (John 13:1-17); He showed great love, patience and endurance; He was faithful even when those He loved were not; He even took upon Himself the punishment that we deserved (Rom 5:6-10; 2 Cor 5:21). This is how much Christ loved us, and how He exercised the authority given to Him by God!

Scripture requires a husband to love and serve his wife and children in that same Christ-like spirit of servanthood and self-sacrifice (Eph 5:25). This can at times be very difficult, since we are still people in the process of being shaped into the image of Christ (Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18). We often fall short of Christ’s ideal model. We need much encouragement, prayer and effort to be a husband that fulfills Christ’s standard.

But remember: a husband has the wisdom, power and grace of God abundantly available to him! God commands us to do only what He will make possible through His grace. God commands husband to love their wives in a Christ-like way; BUT He also provides everything a husband needs in order to fulfill that command! A husband needs only to turn to the Lord daily, and ask for and receive what he needs from the Lord.


Ephesians 5:23 states that “the husband is head of the wife.” The word “head” should not be interpreted in a hierarchical way. In other words, men are not superior to women, nor are women inferior to men. Rather, the word “head” in this verse signifies source and nourisher of life. Christ gave Himself for the Church (Eph 5:25) and is now working to bring the Church to her full potential (vs. 26, 27). So, too, should the Christian husband imitate Christ. The husband as head is not to domineer or suppress his wife. Instead, the husband is to serve the best interests of his wife. He should lead and encourage her development and growth so that she becomes all that God desires her to be. That is true, biblical “headship”.

The original Greek word used for “submit” (Eph 5:22) supports this view of life-giving and supportive headship. The word is hupotasso. Its root meaning is a military term, “to draw up in order of battle; to form, array or marshal both troops and ships“. The word implies soldiers set up in proper order under a commanding officer. It is not about superiority or inferiority; rather, it is about each person fulfilling his or her appointed role for the good of all.