13 May 2012

Husbands as Heroes: Noble Character

If men are to be heroes to their wives, they must become noble and courageous. What exactly is a man of noble character? The Bible describes a noble woman as the woman of Proverbs 31. But where can we find a concise model for a noble man?

Dr Ryken, in his article "A Husband of Noble Character", finds three characteristics of a noble husband embedded in the same scriptures that describe the noble character of a woman. Proverbs 31 gives us insight into the husband who is a true hero to his wife. The picture painted by these scriptures is not one of an oversized superhero in spandex, but rather a man-next-door who stands out because of the simple, everyday things he consistently and diligently does:
  • The noble man trusts his wife to fulfil her responsibilities: "Her husband has full confidence in her" (Prov. 31:11a).
  • The noble man takes care of his own business, provides for his family, and assumes the responsibility of a leader: "Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land" (Prov. 31:23).
  • The noble man encourages his wife: "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her" (Prov. 31:28).
Noble men accept their responsibilities as husbands. Noble husbands serve their wives through their acceptance of the responsibilities of head of the home. Noble men stand firm - they are not moral jelly fish who rush to please people, but are rather rock-solid and predictable people you can depend on.

If you are to be a hero to your wife, your choices in life must be principle-driven. A hero isn't someone who is controlled by passion or acts irrationally, even if the "rush into a burning building" hero act seems to impress the wife from time to time. A hero is consistently noble, not just when it gets attention. A heroic husband is someone who knows what he believes and is clear about what he wants for his marriage. He acts on those beliefs without apology. A noble husband does what is right even when his wife or the general public don't agree with him. In short, a hero husband is a leader on the inside before he acts like a leader on the outside. The husband will never lead or become his wife's hero until he knows what he believes and chooses to stand on what he believes. 

"The world does not so much need men of great intellect as of noble character. It needs men in whom ability is controlled by steadfast principle."

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