How Is a Husband Supposed to Treat His Wife?

by Bobby Lawson 

The man is “king of his castle”.  He is the “boss” and “what he says, goes.”  The wife is supposed to submit to her husband without question.  He is the authority in the home.  Does this sound familiar?

We live in a male-dominated society. We go to male-dominated churches.  Men are usually the “bread winners” in families.  They were often the children who were given preference and extra liberties while being raised.  They are usually the physically stronger of the sexes.  Everything points to men being in control and calling the shots.

And no man has the right to tell another man what to do in his home. Right?


As men, we do not answer only to ourselves.  We answer to authorities higher than us.  We will answer to our parents if we violate what they have taught us. We will answer to the legal system if we violate the laws set out by it.  We will answer to God if we violate the commands He has given us to follow as well.

In matters of domestic violence, men who are batterers feel a false sense of acceptability for their actions.  They feel they can do whatever they like to a woman because they are stronger, they make the money, they are the boss, it is their home, and for many other reasons.  They feel it is acceptable to beat a woman and to beat children.  Where does this false sense of reality come from?

A batterer may actually find his behavior is encouraged or condoned by society. His parents may show unconditional support for him even though they know he is a batterer.  He may have buddies who treat the women in their lives the same way.  Male police officers might “look the other way” instead of arresting him.  The laws in society may be lax or not enforced correctly. His church may have helped him be a batterer by instructing his wife to submit to her husband without question and to stay in that abusive marriage.  He may be well liked and respected by people of the community who overlook any signs of domestic abuse.  In truth, these groups encourage or condone domestic violence by such actions and attitudes.  As such, all have failed the women and children who have been victimized by domestic violence.

However, there is one who has not failed victims and who will hold all batterers accountable – that is our Creator, God, Himself.  Read in the Bible for yourself how husbands are commanded to treat their wives in Ephesians 5:25-28.  Pay particular attention to the underlined parts of this text.

 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

 It is up to us as men to make decisions to treat our wives with love and honor.  It is never acceptable to abuse them physically, sexually, emotionally or verbally.  Our authority and our strength are to be used to help our wives – and our children – never to hurt them.  We are to give ourselves up for our wives.  Our power and authority are to be used for love not dominance. Love is never expressed by abuse.

Men must choose to love instead of abuse.  We can and must choose not to be batterers. If we fail in this, no matter who in the community tells us this is acceptable and no matter how much domestic violence remains cloaked in silence, we will answer to God for the abuse we mete out.  God will not turn a blind eye to domestic violence and batterers?

If you are a batterer, seek help to overcome this problem before it is too late.  Contact a qualified counselor or a batterer’s intervention program.  This is a good thing.  Choose not to abuse.