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Monday, 12 December 2016

What Kind of a Husband Are You

I thank God for another Monday, and another day to share the truth of the word of God with you. I pray we all had a restful weekend, and a very alert and active mind to go about another work week. May the Lord bless the works of our hands and course us to reap in multiple folds the harvest of what we have sown in Jesus name.

In my last post I shared a message on “What Kind of a wife Are You,” and we had a look into the life of two different wives in the Bible to have a better understanding of what is expected of us as wives.So as not to be partial, we will consider the angle of the husbands too and I will ask the husbands same question I asked the wives, “What kind of a husband are you?” So as to have a better understanding of where God wants to take us, we will take a look at two husbands in the Bible or even three and then compare and see which one fits the most.

Genesis 15:2-4
But Abram said, “O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.”

Genesis 17:1-2, 15-19
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai you wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.
Abraham fell face down; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” And Abraham said to God. If only Ishmael might live under your blessing.
The Lord said, “Yes, but Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.

But my covenant will be established with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.”

Genesis 20:11-13
Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ Besides she really is my sister, the daughter of my father not my mother; and she became my wife. And when God caused me to wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ”

Genesis 26:21
Isaac prayed to God on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife became pregnant. 

Genesis 26:6-8
So Isaac stayed in Gerar
When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.”
When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.

The two husbands we will be looking at and comparing with each other is Abraham and Isaac. You would probably think that it will be a case of like father like son, but the Lord has shown me huge differences between these two husbands which I will be sharing with you

True, Abraham was a friend of God, he was a man who had an enviable relationship with God and God loved him enough to listen to him; Abraham reverenced God and he followed through with God's commandments and instructions. The way and manner God related with him was very special for a man whose father didn’t even worship God. But Abraham was not the perfect example of a husband if you ask me. He had a lot of flaws when it came to some of the treatment he have his wife. 

When Abraham cried to God for a child in Genesis 15, the first thing that would come to mind is that he was praying for a child on behalf of himself and his wife. But for Abraham to succumb to Sarah’s advice to take her maid as wife tells me he was a bit of a selfish husband.

Sarah was a wife that was concerned and worried about the concerns of her husband. I am trying to imagine how much unhappiness childlessness had brought into the life of Abraham. I kind of feel the situation must have been eating Abraham up and probably affecting the joy of their marriage for Sarah to come up with the suggestion of Hagai; and selfish Abraham grabbed the offer. He didn’t even think about the cost of that idea of his wife. He didn’t think of how she was or would be affected by the idea. He didn’t consider what was running through her mind for her to come up with such a bizarre idea; he just grabbed it without questioning anything. And when she began to complain about Hagai’s attitude after she became pregnant, Abraham through the problem back at her face as though it was her problem and she should fix it. So you won't blame me if I wonder what kind of a husband Abraham was. How many husbands today are like Abraham? He was a man of God no doubt but as a husband, he was not a master piece at all. 

One of the attributes of Abraham that made him a negative husband was that he was manipulative. He was selfish and he was manipulative. Would you imagine that Abraham asked his wife to claim she was his sister just to show how much she loved him? And I wonder how much love Abraham had for Sarah when he agreed to take her slave girl as wife just to have an heir. No wonder Sarah was referred to as the godly women of old by Peter in the book of 1 Peter 3:5-6. For her, her husband came first in all things. His happiness was a top priority to her and no doubt God fought her battles for her. 

God fought for her in the palace of Abimelech and Pharaoh of Egypt. God fought for her and gave her a child even in old age. Genesis 17:15-21 tells us about when God came to renew His covenant with Abraham and changed Sarai’s name to Sarah and promised that she will yet have a son. Abraham told God that he already had an heir and God could just bless Ishmael and fulfill His covenant through him. But I bless the Lord because He alone is God; He had seen all the sacrifices of Sarah that Abraham was blinded to and He knew she deserved better than Abraham had offered. The Lord responded to Abraham’s request that He the Lord will bless Ishmael as requested by him, but His covenant was with Sarah’s seed Isaac. And all through the Bible Isaac was the only child that God reckoned as Abraham’s child. Abraham was a friend of God like a lot of men of God we have today, but Abraham was not a good example of a husband. So what kind of a husband are you? Do you take advantage of your wife like Abraham did? Well know that you might not have the kind of pardon that Abraham had. 

The second husband we will be looking at is Isaac. Yes, Isaac the covenant child of Abraham but so very different a husband from Abraham. The Bible tells us that Isaac prayed on behalf of his wife Rebekah, and one is tempted to wonder if it was only Rebekah that was childless or it was both Rebekah and Isaac. For Isaac to pray on behalf of his wife tells me that the childless situation was hurting his wife more and he was concerned about how his wife felt and so he prayed to God. His love for his wife was a sacrificial one. He was not hurting because he didn’t have a child; he was hurting because his wife was hurting as a result of their barren situation and so he prayed to God. And God being faithful and true, answered Isaac’s prayer and his wife became pregnant.

So we see the difference between Abraham and Isaac and how they handled the same situation in different ways. Abraham prayed because of himself and Isaac prayed because of his wife; both praying for a child. Probably the Lord was waiting for Abraham to stop whining over his not having a child and start being a man who puts his wife first before himself in sacrificial love before answering his prayer and giving him the promised covenant child. But rather than stopping to whine, he fetched himself a child from a bond girl; but their still remained the cry and prayer of Sarah, the wife with a heart of many sacrifices. 

Isaac showed how much of a sacrificial husband he was, a husband who put the feeling of his wife first. And God honored him for that and answered him speedily. No soon had he prayed on behalf of his wife no soon had she become pregnant.

Then again Isaac found himself in Gerar as a result of famine just like Abraham did, and he was also afraid that the people of Gerar might kill him and take his wife because she was beautiful just like Abraham had thought in his time. This is the second time Abraham and Isaac were confronted with the same situation and here again Isaac acted a lot better than Abraham did in his time. In Isaac’s situation, he didn't ask his wife to lie, he lied on her behalf. It was Isaac who told the men of Gerar that Rebekah was his sister. Rebekah didn’t have to corroborate the story or deny it; it was all his doing. But in the case of Abraham he had to drag poor Sarah into his mess. In as much as I don’t encourage the lying, but I salute the resolve of Isaac and the love and protection he showed his wife. 

And then the Bible says Isaac was seen caressing his wife in broad day light by the king of Gerar through a window. Isaac knew how to love and show love to his wife. It’s just a beautiful thing to have a husband like Isaac, I am sure a lot of women will agree with me on that. So I ask the men again, what kind of a husband are you? 

I had mentioned earlier than though Abraham was a friend of God, yet he was not a fantastic husband. I am tempted to think that Abraham loved his wife but had a weird way of showing it and that didn’t make him a fantastic husband or a husband to wish for. 

But worse of all the kinds of husband is Nabal the husband of Abigail. No wonder he didn’t last at all. He was a mean and surly husband as the Bible describes him.

We have looked at three kinds of husband in the Bible and I hope the men can measure themselves with what they have learned from these husbands. The fact that Abraham was a friend of God did not excuse his attitude towards his wife. Abraham’s selfish longing for a child and lack of thought for the feelings of his wife brought about the existence of Ishmael outside the will and purpose of God for his life. You actions or inactions have far more reaching consequences or reward than you imagined. What kind of a husband are you?  

Genesis 26:12 tells us that Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundred fold, because the Lord blessed. This was happening at a time when there was famine. And the Bible went on to say that Isaac grew rich and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. If you ask me, I will say he deserves nothing less because God will always hear and answer the prayers of a man who loves and takes care of his wife. 

Choosing to be a husband like Isaac is a beautiful thing and the beginning of doing your own bit in making the world a better place for all. So I ask again, "What kind of a husband are you?" 

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