Everything I ever needed to learn about marriage is found in the Bible. One of the most effective tools about marriage life that I’ve ever come across with is “Role-Reading” the Bible.
I was still single when I spoke to a new husband about role-reading the Scriptures. The idea is simple: read the Bible in your given role. If you’re a husband, read it as such; a wife, likewise. You can pretty much do this with any given role. Whether an employee, a minister, a teacher, a mentor – whatever it is – the Bible, I believe and have found, is a living instrument to teach, train, guide, and lead anyone to a better and more effective way of performing that role. Let’s take Psalms 23 for instance and learn what it can teach us about the role of the husband. To me, I see the “Shepherd” and “Lord” as the husband while the writer (commonly attributed to David) as the wife. (My reason why the husband is the “Lord” is found in 1 Peter 3:6, of course I can be totally off based.) :-).
Let’s speak of Psalms 23:
1. The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
When the husband is a shepherd to his wife she will not look for anyone or anything else outside of him. The husband, as the shepherd and lord of his house, is called to lead and provide for his family. A strong husband constantly seeks to meet the needs of his wife. Though provision may be financially, it doesn’t necessarily mean just that (or at all.) His provision is whatever she maybe needing at any given time i.e. comfort, intimacy, time. The wife trusts in the lordship of her shepherd. Even if the wife is the “bread winner”; because he leads, she is not in want of anything.
2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters.
Every husband should pursue the peace and comfort of his wife. He leads her to a better place of security and quietness of spirit where she can rest her mind and be at peace in her heart.
3. He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
The shepherding husband is a source of refreshment and restoration of his wife; not superficial, but a deep sense of fulfillment. He understands that the strength of his marriage is connected to his wife’s sense of happiness; this becomes a testament of his greatness and manhood.
4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil : for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
The husband’s presence is of utmost importance: his wife’s confidence and belief in their marriage hinges in his presence in times of difficulty, challenges or sickness. She is secured by his strength as a man and his gentleness as a lover. His wife never walks alone; he alleviates her fears.
5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: you [continually] anoint my head with oil, my cup [overflows].
The husband is his wife’s greatest supporter. When her “enemies” come, he has the wisdom to pacify offenses and is her buffer during times of stress or frustration. He soothes and eases her mind; he becomes her source of fulfillment and strength. Instead of cowering or crashing, she is strong and he makes her life full of joy.
6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
When the husband performs his leadership, shepherd’s role, his wife flourishes and is happy. In him she will find understanding and fidelity for as long as they both live.
Psalms 23, in light of this allegory, shows to couples that a marriage will have valleys and tough times; but if the husband performs his role, there will be no breaking up in sight and there is a great possibility that they will dwell together happily, daily after.
So what do you think? Am I reaching or is there validity to the allegory? Most successful marriages that I have observed has reflected a husband that follows the attitude of what I have cited above. Have you seen successful marriages where the husband is not the leader in the relationship? Or do you have a different take on Psalms 23 (in light of the role of the husband)? Please comment and share it below. Thank you and God bless.