By Ilex Bien-Aime
Yesterday I learned a very humbling truth and that is…….I had no clue on how to be a husband! When I thought about how something like that could happen it didn’t take me long to realize why. Let’s face it – I was not surrounded by men who knew how to be husbands. My father and mother were divorced when I was four years old. I lived with my grandparents from the time I was four to seventeen and I know for a fact that my grandfather was the worst example of a husband! During my senior year of high school, I lived with my aunt and uncle and to be honest, that was the first time that I saw a husband that I could pattern myself after. And even he didn’t completely know what he was doing!
Many men – especially black men – are less than prepared to be husbands. This is mainly because often times we never saw an example of what a husband should be. Even though some of my friends grew up with both parents in the household, that did little to prepare them for the duty of being a husband. Most of our thoughts on what being a husband should be like come from a secular viewpoint. The world has a view of what a husband should look like and the Bible has a view on what a husband is. All too often the reason that men fail as husbands is because the world’s views and God’s view are totally different.
Look at the messes that we have made in our marriages. They say that in America the divorce rate is around 50 percent. Many point to the fact that we are living in a “Godless,” society as the reasoning behind this. Unfortunately the so-called “heathen,” are not the only ones getting divorced. Sorry to say but “Christians,” are getting divorced as well. I know a few pastors who have gotten divorced so it’s not just the secular community who is killing marriage. It is the lack of knowledge of what being a husband is all about that is destroying the sanctity of the institute. Sure, other reasons contribute to the decline of marriages but at the end of the day God holds men responsible.
Men think that being a husband is about being the hunter, gatherer, and protector of the home. While these things are parts of his duties, they are not necessarily what God says he should be. Husbands are supposed to emulate Christ, and as he sacrificed and died for us, we are supposed to do the same for our wives. We say that we would die for our wives yet we refuse to die to self. We don’t put our wives first in all things. I know I don’t and that is one of the reasons that I fail. We really aren’t taught marriage from a biblical precept. So we come into marriage thinking that we can be selfish and that things will work themselves out. We tell ourselves that we will fulfill our duties when she fulfills her duties – which clearly shows that we have conditions to our love.
We often lack sacrifice because we were taught to have this macho image. A man who sacrifices too much is considered a punk and is weak but that is not the true definition of sacrifice. There is a difference between being a doormat and sacrificing for your wife and the good of your family. Too bad many of us are not taught the difference. What we are taught is just plain selfishness. We are willing to give to our wives things that don’t take much for us to give, but as my wife says, “when the rubber meets the road,” we say something different.
I suggest that men read For Married Men Only: Three Principles to Ignite Love by Tony Evans. I finished the book in one day and in one day I realized that I have been lacking as a husband. It’s one of those things that make you feel like you were living in a matrix. I saw my duties as a husband one way days before and now I see my duties in a much different light. Fellas, I know you are probably going to say that a marriage is about more than just the husband and you are right. However, the family is our duty. God holds us responsible so we have to learn to be better husbands.
Ilex Bien-Aime is an integral part of the BlackLoveAndMarriage.com team. He lives in Washington, DC with his lovely wife. He writes as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. He writes as a man who wants to give his future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly he writes what he writes because his female friends are always asking his opinion about these situations. Connect with Ilex at Iamsayingit.blogspot.com or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.