“18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” —Colossians 3:18–19 (ESV)
Wives are to submit. Husbands are to… love. Is that what you expected to be paired with submission?
This isn’t to deny, but define authority and headship. Men, the authority you have isn’t your own, it is a steward authority given to you by Christ. The only authority you have a right to exercise is the kind modeled by Jesus (Ephesians 5:24). Does your authority bleed for those under it?
A man’s marriage is his garden. He sweats. He bleeds. Blisters abound. Weeds, thistles, and pests are fought. Bones ache. His life is spent, but the garden thrives, and the garden is his glory. He does all this with a smile. At day’s end, stretching his cramping muscles and straightening his sore back, a man should look back on his well-tended garden with pride and joy, as a soldier having taken a hill to drive the enemy back, believing the sacrifice worth it all.
Husbands, bleed your wives beautiful and love them lovely (Ephesians 5:25–27). When we lead, may our wives gladly follow knowing we are leading them into their own splendor.
Think of your wife as talent (cf. Matthew 25:14–30) entrusted to you by the Lord. You’ve been given no greater treasure save the Triune God himself in Christ. Invest in her, and return her having increased many fold. No investment can make so great a return as this. She is your crown (Proverbs 12:4). She is your glory (1 Corinthians 11:7). Investing in her is polishing and embellishing your crown. The radiance and glory of your wife speaks to your authority. What kind of king are you? What kind of gardener are you? The quality of the gardener is generally testified to by the quality of garden.
Husbands, our authority should be so exercised, that to be treated as an equal would be a step down for our wives. May she mock the world saying, “Why would I desire to be treated as a knight, when I am loved as his queen? Why would I want to fight by His side as a comrade, when I can rest atop his head as his crown?”