Feb 26, 2020 08:00am
Heroic Husbandry: Part One

The chief instinct of a man is self-preservation, self-promotion, and really just about anything self

We aim to serve our own interests. Marriage, then, can exist to confirm our kingliness. Our wife logically becomes a glorified servant. It’s not like we’re going to cook our own food! 

Now, of course, we’ve learned to play nice – people don’t respond well to our naked savagery. So, we’ve moderated these instincts. Still, they simmer. They drive our thoughts and actions, our anger.

Why Jesus matters in marriage

That is, until we meet Christ. When Jesus demands that we follow him, it is down the thorn-ridden trail of self-denial. By far, this is the most unorthodox practice for a man. 

To release his white-knuckled grip on his own welfare, his own reign of life, is almost taboo. It breaks “man-law”. But this is where Heroic Husbandry begins. 

Every hero’s beginning is Jesus, the True Hero. The infinitely self-denying One.

The path of thorns

Although the path with Jesus begins with thorns, it ends in green pasture. It is redemption from marital misery into marital bliss. 

That’s because what God is really saying to husbands is, “Come, let me show you the path to your bride’s deep and lasting joy.” 

A life chasing after Christ is a life of self-denial, which is the pathway to your bride’s flourishing.

I mean, c’mon! This is the essence of marriage. To display the greater reality of Jesus and the church. You, husband, give up yourself for her like the True Hero did for you. This is your duty, your joy.

But this is also the essence of heroism! How does a man ever even become a hero? Like, why are William Wallace of Scotland, Sergeant Henry Johnson of WW1, and even Frodo of the Shire hailed as heroes? 

Because they risked their neck for the sake of others? They laid themselves down for those whom they loved. You have been called to the exact same thing, with your bride.

Destroy the grimy groaning

So, start today. Assess your knee-jerk instincts to do what you want. Pay attention to the grimy groanings of your heart – me, me, me! – as the day unfolds. And simply release just one of them today, in exchange for something she wants. 

It’ll be something ordinary, like picking a restaurant. Or crawling out of bed to fetch her a glass of water. That’s where Heroic Husbandry wins, by the way. In the ordinary, monotonous details of a Tuesday afternoon. 

Then, sit back and watch the flourishing of your bride take place.

Further Scripture reading: Matthew 16:24-26 & Philippians 2:4-11

Copyright © 2020 by Justin Talbert  @ Used with permission. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from