Complement: A 5-Day Devo for Men

Day 3 of 5 • This day’s reading


DAY 3 - Serving and Submitting in Marriage 

If you peel back the layers of any healthy, vibrant, biblical marriage, you can’t get away from this reality—If Jesus is the Lord of a marriage, it just works. It works as it’s intended. Things fall into place. Roles make sense. Leadership and submission collide into something beautiful.

It’ll still be hard—lots to work out—but when you have a Leader like Jesus, and both husband and wife are submitting to His authority, at the very least you have something that looks more like what Paul was referring to in the book of Ephesians. Further, Jamie and I have found it to be one of the secret ingredients to a fun, fulfilling, adventurous, and healthy marriage and home.

So, here’s what I think the role of a godly husband should be. Or another way of saying it—here’s what I see the Bible telling husbands to be in a healthy, beautiful, Jesus-honoring marriage.

Husbands, you are called to be the leader, but not in the controlling, authoritative, unbridled, unsubmitted way we’ve seen from too many leaders. There’s a better way. A more beautiful way. A life-giving way.

Husbands, you are called to be the Lead Submitter. You take the first step toward submission to God, not her. You lead out on what submission looks like. You model and exemplify to your home, whoever may live there, what it looks like to be fully submitted to the authority of Jesus Christ, your ultimate Leader.

How did Christ love the church? By submitting to the will of His Father to die on the cross. By submitting His very life for the forgiveness of our sins.

This may come as a surprise to you, but Paul never actually said to lead your wife; he said to love her. That starts with looking to Jesus and submitting to Him over you and your marriage.

Husbands, you are called to be the Lead Servant. You make the first move toward being servant hearted, not her. No one in your household should outserve you. You should be the first to lay down your life, to serve when it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient. You have the wonderful opportunity and calling to model to your wife what the serving hands of Jesus actually look and feel like. 

Husbands, you are called to be the Lead Lover. Have the courage to love when it’s hard. And you do it first. Pursue when it’s not reciprocated or earned.

No other person should show more affection, give more verbal affirmation, or show more love through action than you. What a privilege to be able to model the love of Jesus to your spouse, anyone in your home, and every person you come in contact with.

That kind of leadership goes beyond social norms, stereotypes, and abused versions of leadership we’ve all seen. And when your spouse sees this kind of leadership—one that is fully submitted to God, and is not manipulating or demanding—it’s otherworldly. The way God intended it to be.

Discuss with your spouse:

  • Give an example of a time Jesus demonstrated his leadership through love, service, and submission. How do his actions encourage—and empower—you to better love your spouse? 

  • Pray together that God would give each of you an attitude of “outserving” one another. (When you see God’s working this way in your spouse this week, verbalize it and thank him for it!)