A frantic man dialed 911 and told the dispatcher, “My wife is in labor and her contractions are only two minutes apart. What do I do?”

“Just take a deep breath and calm down,” the operator said. “Now, is this her first child?”

“No,” he yelled. “I’m her husband.”

You probably have figured out by now that some men are better at the husband thing than others. But there’s hope for all husbands, because the Bible offers instructions on ways to do the job well.

In Ephesians 5:25, husbands are told not just to love their wives but to love them as Christ loves the church. You grasp the depth of that kind of love when you consider that Christ gave his life for the church. So, this instruction, straight from the Bible, calls on husbands to be willing to give their lives for their wives.

The Bible also instructs husbands to cut the proverbial apron strings that tend to tie them to their parents, especially to their mothers. Let’s face it, a lot of guys are Momma’s boys. But in Genesis 2:24 we read that “a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one.”

And, the Bible instructs husbands to provide for their wives and children.

“If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel” (2 Timothy 5:8).

The Bible even has instructions for those grumpy husbands who tend to quarrel at their wives: “Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of your life” (Ecclesiastes 9:9).

Certainly, those verses only begin to skim the surface when it comes to the Bible’s instructions on how to be a good husband.

I heard a story the other day that suggests you can determine the worth of a husband by observing the patches on his trousers.

Two wives had gotten together to sew and chat.

“My husband is so grumpy,” one of the women said. “He complains constantly.”

Interestingly, the grumpy husband’s wife was sewing patches onto the seat of his trousers because he tended to sit around and fuss rather than fulfilling his role as the Bible instructs.

Of course, there’s one sure-fire way to motivate a husband like that: just go into labor and tell him the contractions are two minutes apart.

Roger Alford is pastor of South Fork Baptist Church. Reach him at P.O. Box 673, Owenton, Ky. 40359 or by calling 502-514-6857.

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