As Christian husbands, we should seek to cultivate a John the Baptist mentality. This does not mean we should eat bugs and wear an animal-skin loincloth. Granted, that may be counted as manly amusement for some, but it is not what I am referring to. What I mean is illustrated in John’s Gospel. Referring to Christ, John the Baptist told some of his followers: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Despite his own success in ministry, John knew his role. He gladly embraced his calling to point others to the Lamb of God, the Messiah. John maintained that he was not the one the people were looking for— Jesus was. As Christian husbands, we would do well to be a John the Baptist in our homes. Here are some practical ways to point your wife to the Lord Jesus Christ.
When (not if) you sin against your wife, confess it to the Lord who gives you this blood-bought promise: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Then, confess it to your wife and ask her for her forgiveness. Tell her how much you need God’s forgiveness and grace, how thankful you are for the cross of Christ, and how greatly you desire to turn from your sin.
Every step we make in obedience to Christ is ultimately due to the sovereign grace of God (see Phil. 2:12–13). Therefore, when you achieve victory over sin, enjoy a season of peace in your home, or bring joy to your spouse, give God the glory for the great things he has done in your life and hers.
When dark clouds roll in after an unexpected funeral, the loss of a beloved parent, or the shock of losing a child, point her to Christ through compassionate empathy and winsome counsel. Lovingly speak the promises of Romans chapter eight into her ear and lovingly lift her chin toward heaven when she wilts and droops under the weight of sorrow.
Whether it is frightening circumstances or a nasty bout of anxiety, Christian husbands need to lovingly point their wives to the Rock who never moves, the Ruler who never trembles, the One who still commands the winds and the waves. Be the voice of sanity for her when fear strikes by patiently pointing her to the many passages of Scripture that speak directly to the issue of fear (see Ps. 56:3– 4).
A Christian home should be marked by laughter. From birthday parties to wedding anniversaries, there are many occasions in our lives to exalt the grace of Christ. When smiles abound, seize the opportunity to remind yourself and your beloved wife of how different things would be if God had not sought you and saved you (see Eph. 2:1–10).
Leading our wives and families does not mean that we take up our sword and lead the charge by ourselves. Like our Master, we lead through serving. Washing the dishes, ironing the clothes, changing the nasty morning diaper, and mowing the lawn are all wonderfully practical ways to lead by example and bless our wives. However, we lead best when we relentlessly point our spouses to the greater husband— Jesus Christ.
Our wives don’t need us to have all the answers; they need us to rise above the battle fog of fear, weariness, and confusion and cry out, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
Excerpted from Man Up, Kneel Down: Shepherding Your Wife Toward Greater Joy in Jesus by J. Aaron White, now available for pre-order.