Marriage & Divorce
Many couples are united in wedlock in a rosy fog of optimism. Blinded to the shortcomings, each sees only the others good points. But as the excitement of the new marriage wears off, they drift to the opposite extreme and view these same traits as faults. Someone has called this “reverse reasoning,” giving the following examples: “She married him because he was strong and masculine; she divorced him because he was a very dominating male. He married her because she was so fragile and petite; he divorced her because she was so weak and helpless. She chose him because he knew how to provide a good living; she left him because all he thought about was the business. He married her because she was steady and sensible; he divorced her because she was boring and dull.” - H.G.B.
Paul tells the husband to love his wife (Eph. 5:25), while Peter tells the husband to dwell together with his wife (1 Pet 3:7). the husband cannot live with his wife as Peter says unless he loves her in the way Paul means. The love that the husband is commanded to have for the wife is not primarily sexual or emotional (though both of those concepts are involved); it is a love that loves in spite of the response (or lack of it) in the one loved. It is the kind of love that God has for the world (John 3:16) and is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). A husband can only love his wife properly if he is a Christian and under the control of the Holy Spirit.
The two responsibilities the husband has in the family are to dwell with his wife according to knowledge and to render to his wife the honor which is due her because she is his wife. To “dwell together” with his wife means that the husband must take his wife into every aspect of his life. There are to be no areas of his life where there are signs that say, “Private, husband onlywife keep out.”
The husband is to perform his two duties for a spiritual purpose: “That your prayers be not hindered.” The man who is not taking his wife into every aspect of his life and rendering to her the honor which is due her because she is his wife cannot communicate with her in the way that God intended; hence he cannot communicate with God either. To make sure that the channel of communication with God is open, the husband must make sure that the channel of communication with his wife is open. Only in this way can he truly love his wife as God intended and manifest his headship properly.