There’s a calling on every man. Every one has a mission.
But most men feel a quiet discontent in church, a stirring or restlessness, like they don’t quite belong.
There’s a reason a man relishes his armchair on Sunday. During the afternoon game, he can analyze, strategize, cast vision, and coach. An exciting venue beckons him to try his talents. The ones he was born for. Sure, it isn’t real. But it’s an outlet for his design.
And it’s the reason he isn’t in church.
He doesn’t see how his nature fits there.
Men have walked away from the church in droves. They didn’t know what great things they were made for. They were given no vision.
They were never told they could be CEOs, though it was written on their hearts. And no, they could not be team captains or generals, but there wasn’t any other place they fit. Most men don’t feel right merely following along, listening, and at times passing the tithe plate. And they shouldn’t.
Have you ever thought about what the word husband means?
It comes from the Old English, husbonda, which means master of a house. Its meaning today is a manager, a steward.
As husbands, men are head managers, masters of God’s house. Even single men have the nature of masculinity. They were designed for authority.
That’s why Paul says the husband is the “head of the wife as Christ also is the head of the church.” And he instructs husbands, “love your wives, as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, to present to himself the church in all her glory…”
Pastors often teach the first verses. “Husbands, love your wives.” “As Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
However, in thirty years of regular church attendance, I haven’t heard a teaching that goes on.
You see, the husband has a clear purpose with his love. It is to cleanse his wife. He is to wash her with water through the Word. Let that sink in. The water of the Word. Whose job does that sound like?
That’s right. That’s the pastor’s job.
In millions of churches around the world, a man will stand up and deliver what many consider the primary ministry of church. He will teach the ministry of the Word. He will cleanse his congregation.
This isn’t an accidental illustration in Ephesians.
It is an allusion to the final prayer and instruction of the Man to whom this whole passage is relating husbands — Jesus.
After the Last Supper, Jesus looked around the table and said, “I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser…every branch that bears fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”
Cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.
Clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
The similarities should jump out at you. The husband is to do for his wife exactly what Jesus did for his disciples.
We use words like sanctification. Jesus said clean them with the Word until they’re blameless. He did it for his disciples. He passed that ministry on to them and told them to do likewise.
And men, he gave that same ministry to you for your wives.
God made each man a pastor.
That’s right, as much as any pastor in any church. A pastor. With a pastor’s responsibilities, even a pastor’s job title – husbonda – master of a house. Husband. Designed for leadership, bred for authority.
The perfect prototype for a mission. From the creation of the world, he was designed to be a unique hero with a hero’s calling.
We idolize film heroes because they are ordinary men who realize extraordinary destinies. They speak to our hearts. But they are merely shadows that hint to what is inside us.
We are the ones with true heroism in our DNA, with a masculine code that runs as deep as the heart of man itself.
We were made for a purpose. It is reflected in our hearts and dreams and heroes. It calls to us. And this is one call it’s time to answer.
Like it or leave it, the moment a man promised to cherish a woman “’til death do you part,” he was also called. As much as any pastor, he was called. And he has a congregation that needs him. Authority. Not an ego boost or a shot in the arm. But real authority.
Like Jonah or the pastor of a church, a man cannot rescind this call. His wife and his children’s lives are in his hands to shepherd, to lead, and to disciple. She is not the pastor’s congregation. She is his.