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Man Pants: Christian Husbands Who Serve

Role Two: Christian Men Who Are HusbandsFaithful Headship

Session Three: Christian Husbands Who Serve/Sacrifice
Discussed at Men to Men, February 11

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Ephesians 5:25–28, ESV)

Sacrifice is Painful

  • It’s hard (difficult).

Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane – Matthew 26:39

  • It requires humility.

Phil 2:1-8 – The humility of Christ. Christ did not grasp for His rightful place as God but instead took on the form of a servant.

  • Headship is not Lordship.

Matthew 20:28 – Jesus did not come to be served but to serve and give his live as a ransom for many

  • Sacrifice is not partial.

In a ham and egg breakfast pigs make sacrifices chickens make contributions. Christ-like sacrifice involves death.

Sacrifice is Proactive

Jesus gave Himself up. He did not wait until it was forced upon Him.

Most husbands wait until the need for sacrifice is forced upon them. Husbands usually react when there is a problem rather than pro-act before problems arise.

Sacrifice is Purposeful

Jesus gave Himself up so that he might accomplish a higher purpose – the purification of His bride, the Church.

Principle: Death in us produces life in others – 2 Corinthians 2:7-12

Husbands don’t sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice. They sacrifice for the sake of bringing life to their wives and children. A husband is especially responsible to pursue relationship, fellowship, and intimacy with his wife.

Consider Christ’s example during His trial and crucifixion. He endured much wrongdoing for the sake of achieving a higher purpose.

Sacrifice is Productive

It produces change in us as we become more Christ-like.

It maximizes our ability to influence godly change in our wife. The first product of our serving is spiritual fruit in us.

Hope doesn’t belong with a spouse’s change but in God who can change a spouse.

For single guys, remember: there is no switch to flip on the wedding day. Begin taking on the mantle of manhood now by practiced sacrifice for others.

Recommended Resources

The following recommendations are not the only good resources on the subject but are those that the elders found most useful in their own growth in understanding and practicing Christlike sacrifice.


  • Ephesians 5:22-33 and 1 Peter 3:7. When challenged in your marriage, read and reread and reread these passages.
  • “Marriage: A Unique Opportunity” by Jim Martin (sermon audio)
  • “Men at Work – or, What it means to be a godly and manly servant” (sermon audio and notes)
  • The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott (Amazon)


  • For a Glory and a Covering: A Practical Theology of Marriage by Doug Wilson (Amazon) Chapter 1 “Marriage, Trinity, and Incarnation” is eye opening and life changing once you start to comprehend what is being said. Also, Chapter 9 “Headship” is of particular help in regards to the emphasis of Service.
  • Father, Son, & Holy Spirit – Relationships, Roles, and Relevance by Bruce Ware (Amazon)
  • Mortification of Sin by John Owen (plus two other of his works on sin) (PDF download; Amazon)


  • Stay away from the psycho-babble of Christian radio, conferences, and most books on the subject of marriage.
  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs (PDF download, Barnes and Noble)
  • “The Covenant Household” by Doug Wilson (audio series)
  • “Husbands and Wives” by Doug Wilson (audio series)
  • The Federal Husband by Doug Wilson (Amazon)

Sinful husbands cannot reenact a substitutionary death, but nevertheless all husbands are commanded to imitate a substitutionary death (Eph. 5:27-28). This is the single most difficult thing for selfish husbands to learn. (Doug Wilson, For a Glory and a Covering, 42)

Being married is a function of simply being a Christian. In other words, we should not expect to find a set of marital “techniques” that are unrelated to the task of living as a Christian generally. (105)