Men Are Called To Die

Husband. Father. Pastor. Headship. Servant leader. Whatever these words mean to you, and, more importantly, however the Bible might define them, one thing is clear…if that is you, you are called to die.

You are called to die. 

We had a conflict. I was certain I was right. Certainly I was wronged. Why couldn’t she see that? 

It was a garden variety marital spat. No big deal.

Later, she sent me this verse:

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. (Eph. 5:25-27 MSG)


What seemed so complex and multi-faceted — two sinners sinning against each other — became so simple: I’m supposed to die.

The English Standard Version makes it plainer: “Husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her.” Jesus gave himself up for his Bride. How? 

He died.

I wonder if some (some, not all) of the debate around men and women and our differences and roles — elders, husbands, women teaching, women in leadership, even on down to gender debates and trans* conversations — I wonder if some (some, not all) of the heat in the debate would be chilled if men would die to themselves more, like Jesus.

Abuse of power.
Skepticism around authority.

Pastors aren’t the boss. Jesus is still alive. He is the Head of the Church. The Chief Shepherd, Senior Pastor (1 Peter 5:4, Col. 1:18).

Husbands don’t decide where you go to dinner. How you get from Ephesians 5 to “the-husband-makes-all-the-decisions” I’m not so sure…but you tore some exegetical ligaments to get there.

It’s a call to die. 

Our elders need to die.
Our husbands need to die.
Men are called to die.

Even if I’m wrong and they aren’t supposed to die first as the “head” (v23), Jesus said we’re all to die to ourselves anyway. Why not go first?

How do I teach and lead and get our elders to die?
How do I talk to our husbands about dying?

Those are the questions I’m asking, but this I know: I’ll need to die first.