Before we can answer that specific question, we have to take a step back and remind ourselves what responsibilities God has given to all his children, not just to husbands. In the fifth chapter of the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul reminds all of God’s people to mimic their heavenly Father by living lives of love. This love, he goes on to explain will often show itself in the way each Christian will put the needs of others ahead of his or her own. This submission to others is a mutual submission and always an expression of love.
While every Christian will seek to love others as Christ has loved him, and while every Christian will submit to the needs of others as an expression of that love, a Christian husband is called to do this in a very specific way in his marriage. Jesus wants the Christian husband to mimic him (i.e. Jesus) in the way he treats his wife.
So, Jesus says, a Christian husband is to demonstrate his love for his wife by loving her in the way and to the degree that Christ has loved his church, the gathering of every believer. To know the height and depth and extent of Jesus’ love for you, is to know how Christ wants a Christian husband to love his wife.
Consider such words of Christ. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14). “The good shepherd lays his life down for the sheep” (John 10:11).
That is the kind of love a husband is to show his wife. That is the way a husband is to speak to his wife. That is how well a husband is to know the needs of his wife and family. That is the kind of attitude a husband is to adopt as he provides godly leadership for his family. That is the extent to which a husband will go to demonstrate his love. The Christian husband is not a self-serving tyrant. The Christian husband is the self-sacrificing, servant leader Christ has called him and made him to be.
When the Christian husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church what a beautiful picture he paints for his wife and his children of Christ’s love for them! That is the greatest role a husband can fill.