Roles of a Husband and a Wife

Roles of a Husband and a Wife

Emmanuel Ofoha

Husband’s Role

A sermon I heard on Fathers’ day about the roles of a father got me thinking about the roles of a husband. In a society where there is so much emphasis on gender roles and exertion of gender identity, the sermon I heard was an eye opener in a different direction, and it set my train of thoughts in motion regarding the role of a husband.

The bible verse (Ephesians 5:22) “Wives submit to your husbands” is probably the most preached verse in marriage counseling. Most of the time, the true depth of this verse is masked by the cultural norms and standards society aims to project on women. This might explain why there are so many articles on the internet teaching women “five things not to do” or “fifteen simple ways to keep your man happy”, but there are hardly any posts teaching men to be the right husband’s worth submitting to. The understanding of the verse (Ephesians 5:25) “Husbands love your wives” is limited to a man choosing to marry a woman, and confessing his vows on the wedding day. That verse however ends with “as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it”… now this is where the problem begins.

Although society seems to support feminism, there is a lot of emphasis on men to exert their masculinity as husbands; and this they believe can be achieved by submission of the woman, or should I rather say dominance of the man. I believe this is where we all get it wrong- thinking submission is a woman’s role, and dominance is that of a man. Christ gave himself up for the church; Christ submitted himself as a servant leader to the Church. Christ gave up his royal status and all his riches to sacrifice himself for the Church. Christ submitted for the sake of the church, and this I believe is the role of husbands that is not preached in counseling sessions, and the thousands of articles that flood the internet teaching women how to modify themselves to suit the ever-changing needs of their husbands. Submission is not a woman’s role. It is a married couple’s role- they ought to submit to each other in love and respect.

The role of a husband is often limited to provision and protection. He has to be the breadwinner and protect his wife from daggers thrown at her. Nowadays, women are able to provide for themselves and some can protect themselves with all the energy they can muster; does that mean the role of the husband has been rendered redundant? NO!

A husband should not be a dictator, nor should he be a master who must be served at all costs. A husband should not leave certain duties to his wife simply because he feels it is her duty to fulfill them. The only duty a woman is obligated to perform is give birth to children because her anatomy dictates it. The rest is up for grabs; I suspect women prefer to cook their meals to avoid death by diarrhea, which is a possibility when some men cook *wicked grin*.

A husband is meant to be a teacher, a mentor, a partner, a friend, and a leader. A leader leads by example and by serving; no true leader derives joy from having his team mates run helter-skelter to please him while he sits back to watch the latest soccer match between rival clubs. A leader does not regard his wife as his subordinate; he sees her as a team mate, and sees his children as his trainees. Like Jesus washed the feet of his disciples (John 13:5), a husband should be ready to serve his family.

A true husband should not seek to control or exert his gender identity as a man; many young men sadly believe that their role as husbands constitutes seeking a woman whom they can trample over and control. They mistake timidity for respect, hence fail to be able to relate with women who refuse to be suppressed. This is a basic wrong that needs to be corrected in many young men of the 21st century.

Be a true leader and your wife will be the best teammate you could ever wish for! Give her advice instead of criticism; put yourself in her shoes more often and try to lighten her burden as often as you can. The essence of her existence is not to care to your every whim, and as a husband, you should not be looking to truncate her dreams simply because they are bigger than yours.

We need to start teaching men the roles of a husband beyond provision and protection- balance the grid if we want relationships of the 21st century to survive.

Wife’s Role

There are so many articles on the internet telling women what they should be and do to keep their marriages alive. Many times I am tempted to write comments discarding the numerous rules made for women but I’ve learned to pray to God to help me curb my fingers and the speed with which they type! One might wonder, what exactly is the role of a wife? In a society where we are constantly blurring the lines between equality and similarity, it seems we have lost touch of the things we ought to know, and now focus on either fighting society’s designated roles or trying to enforce them.


Contrary to popular belief, a wife’s place is not beneath her husband. Yes, I can feel all your glaring eyes and deathly stares concentrated on this article but hear me out. A wife is a helper- let’s call her an assistant, but the unconventional thing about the wife is she was not made from the dust beneath Adam’s feet, which I believe was an option, but she was made from Adam’s rib cage- a bone from Adam was used to create Eve, hence Eve became the missing part of Adam that fit in as a glove, not as a servant or a maid. She was the part Adam needed to function completely in his role! Many women do not understand this hence they reduce themselves to mere ego massagers and treat their husbands like their sons.

Your role as a wife is to be a partner! And I mean that in every sense of the word. A partner is not necessarily a “yes man”; a partner is someone who understands the vision, knows the purpose and is working towards it. This means when a husband is about to make a mistake, a wife has a right to speak up! It is a partnership for a reason- to ensure that when one person is heading toward the ditch, the other person can steer the carriage away from danger. Don’t be the wife who believes in letting her husband make all the decisions even when he is steering you both to destruction! Your opinion matters a lot, and if it’s not being valued, you know you are not married to a leader but to a ‘master’.

A wife is a leader in her own right. The greatest leaders are not those who tell everyone what to do; they are those who show everyone how it’s done, and are willing to serve their team mates. Submission has been taken out of context to the extent that many women simply believe in playing mute and acting like they have no willpower of their own. they can’t make decisions and have no authority over the affairs of the home. You’re probably frowning at the word ‘authority’. As a partner in the business of marriage, you have a God-given authority in your home. Your authority is not to oppress or suppress your husband, but to connect with him! Stop acting like you have suddenly lost your sense of direction because you’re married. You have the authority and leadership ability to set an example for your children.

A wife prays and protects! Not just herself but her husband and her children too! Nothing can conquer a praying wife. But again, the foundation of protection must be the partnership of the marriage. A wife must protect her husband like he protects her, and she must pray for him like he prays for her. It’s your God-given authority to declare blessings over your husband and your children every single day

A wife creates a home out of a house! This is not a gender role; this is mostly because many men could not be bothered much if they had patio furniture in the living room. But it’s not just furniture that makes a house a home. It’s the warmth and cosy-ness of it! A wife creates a happy environment, a calm environment and a homely feel. Don’t be the wife that offloads all the problems of the day on her husband at the door. He’s probably just as stressed as you are, especially if you are both working. Let your home be a haven of escape for your family- a place where no one wants to leave because they are just so content being there.

Being a wife is not about keeping silent, or leaving yourself to be controlled. Just as a man is the head, a woman is the neck that turns the head. A woman is just as important and should never take her role with a pinch of salt, or abandon her roles to satisfy the needs of a man who doesn’t understand the purpose of a wife. As a wife, you’re your husband’s most important partner; be sure to tap into your position and maximize the beauty of your marriage.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s