This post was birthed out of a conversation with a friend of mine and we were discussing about the role of a husband. Three questions came out and I asked a dear brother (and a minister of the Gospel) to shed light on this. Hope you enjoy (and yes. It's unedited just for you).
Question 1: Is a husband a protector by design or is it something he learns? A protector is who he is, it's not something you pick up along the way. Genesis 2, Adam was to guard & keep the garden. That is a man's role as husband & father. Anything that enters the home needs to go through the head. The Bible made it clear when the serpent was talking to Eve. If you look at the Scriptures closely, you'll find that Adam was with her and he didn't protect her. If you look even closer, Eve was deceived, but not Adam. Their eyes weren't opened until Adam ate. Sin occurred when Adam ate. The responsibility is on the man because he's the head. Ephesians 5:21-33 is very clear about the role of the husband (and wife).
If men aren't ready for that kind of a role (considering that's a responsibility), they should not get married because the Bible likens marriage of a husband and wife as to Christ and the church.
I feel led to just flow off of what my brother said: a lot of men get married without understanding what it all entails (that's what I see as a hubby-in-training). Can the husbands (and wives) agree on that marriage is work just like our salvation is work? And it requires a deep commitment. I'm about to flow for real: a husband should be able to pray and cover his wife when she's hurting - that's what Christ does for us when we're hurting! Wives get beat up by society and the devil and we men need to pray and protect them with no ulterior motive. Christ knows that His bride gets attacked daily, and He's praying and interceding for us daily. Ok. I'll stop :)
Prelude to Question 2: How do we address men who step into the role of husband but have no clue about protecting their wife and kids? First, the Bible says that my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Sadly, a lot of men spend more time studying the car they intend to purchase than they do the marriage they intend to enter.
Question 2: What can women do to protect themselves from impostors (knowing they are the weaker vessel)? In a normal marriage, the father gives the daughter to her now husband. A woman should stay under some kind of authority. It could be a father or pastor (that can speak into her life and give godly counsel), but the wife has to be under the covering of her husband.
For the single ladies: A single woman needs a covering by a father figure or pastor to be protected from impostors.
Now when speaking about "weaker vessel," we're talking physically and not intellectually. God's order is that the man be the covering and protection for the wife. If she's not getting the counsel from a pastor, it's like a woman trying to raise a boy to be a man (it's not impossible, but there are some things she can't teach him). She needs that pastor or her father for guidance because he can give honest counsel (and not the man she loves because she's enamored).
Question 3: How should a man who's ready to enter a covenant marriage deal with the devil's darts of doubt?
First, we men must have viable standards or concrete criteria that aligns itself with Scripture. Why? Because we're never going to be 100% and everything requires a measure of faith to it.
Go through a scriptural checklist:
1. Do I love this woman?
2. Am I prepared to die for her?
3. Am I prepared to commit myself to her?
4. Am I willing to forsake all of my lady friends for her?
5. If I marry her, am I capable of taking care of her?
Flowing off of my brother for a moment: if he can unequivocally say yes to the above questions, then he's ready. Christ being the groom is committed to His bride. You see, the devil is only committed to self and manipulation. If we men are to be like Christ, we need to step our game up. We need to take the role of protecting seriously because marriages are a representation of Christ and His church. Just like women who are being deceived by fake men perpetrating to be grooms, the bride of Christ needs to be careful and not follow after a false Christ!
And let me add two additional questions to that checklist:
6. Am I praying for her with no ulterior motive?
7. Will I continue to pray for her even if God has not joined us together?
Ok. Back to what my brother was saying :)
After we pray, there has to be a peace in our heart - and this crucial: differentiate between your head and heart because your head is going to question why the T's aren't crossed and the I's aren't dotted.
We men must ask this one question: when I think about marriage with her, deep down inside, what's happening? Is there peace in my heart and my spirit?
Like Joshua said, why be halted between two opinions? If you're still deciding between other women, you're not ready! If your heart says yes, then check your head and trust God. Do your due diligence (reference the spiritual checklist above).
In regards to this question within the checklist: If I marry her, am I capable of taking care of her? I also need to ask if I'm in position. Now, there's still going to be some uncertainty and it will require faith. The Bible says whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
Some time this week, I will share responses to those questions from two powerful Sisters in Christ. They are Pastor Shantae Charles & Evangelist Marva Johnson. It will be entitled Relationship 101 (A Woman's Response).
Here's the link to Relationship 101 (A Woman's Response)