FamilyLife Today® Podcast

A Husband’s Responsibility for Oneness

with | January 12, 2009
Play Pause

Husbands, building oneness and unity in your marriage relationship is critical. Pastor and speaker Dan Jarrell tells you how.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Husbands, building oneness and unity in your marriage relationship is critical. Pastor and speaker Dan Jarrell tells you how.

  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—the Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as chaplain for 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

MP3 Download Transcript

A Husband’s Responsibility for Oneness

January 12, 2009
| Download Transcript PDF

Dan: Now, the word "husband," before we get into this stuff, I just want to remind you that's an agricultural term, right?  The word "husbandry" has to do with the caring for something, and so the whole goal of a husband is not his own success and prosperity, but the prosperity of that which he is given to care for, and we're called to "husband" our wife.  She is the vine, and we are the vine dresser in that regard.

Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, January 12th.  Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine.  We'll find out today what makes a husband a good husband.  Stay tuned.

And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us on the Monday edition.  A quick reminder that this is Day Number 8 in our 40-day Love Dare.  As we count down to Valentine's Day, we are daring husbands and wives to love like you mean it, and demonstrate that love in the ways that are outlined in the book, "The Love Dare," that was featured in the movie, "Fireproof," which is coming out on DVD here in a couple of weeks.  Day Number 8 in the Love Dare – your assignment for today is to not get jealous.  Song of Solomon, Chapter 8 says "Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.  It burns like a blazing fire."

Actually, there is legitimate jealousy that is based on love, but there is also an illegitimate kind of jealousy that's based on envy or selfishness.  So your dare for today – are you ready?  You should determine to become your spouse's biggest fan and reject any thoughts of jealousy.  To help you set your heart on your spouse and to focus on his or her achievements, you need to take the list that you made yesterday of the negative attributes, and you need to burn it and then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success that he or she recently enjoyed.

And, again, we're posting these daily Love Dare assignments on our website at or you can get a copy of "The Love Dare" book on our website, again, at and join us.  You can jump right into the middle of this 40-day Love Dare and join us as we count down to Valentine's Day and our 40 days of loving like you mean it.

And speaking of counting down to Valentine's Day, that's the kickoff weekend for our FamilyLife Weekend to Remember Marriage Conferences.  We're going to be hosting conferences in a number of cities that weekend and then throughout the spring we'll have conferences taking place in cities all across the country, and this is the last week that FamilyLife Today listeners can register to attend one of these upcoming conferences and take advantage of what may be the best offer our team has ever made on attending one of these conferences.

When you and your spouse sign up to attend a conference at the regular price, we're going to send you a companion certificate so that another couple can attend the conference either with you or at a later date at no cost.  So it's kind of a buy one get one free for the Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference. 

To take advantage of this special offer, you need to go to our website,, click where it says to register for the conference, you fill out the registration form and in the keycode box on the registration form type in the word "Bob," and when you do that, we'll make sure that you get the companion certificate sent to you so that another couple can attend the conference at no cost.

And it's a great gift you could give to your married son or daughter, to another relative, a friend, a co-worker, someone at church, someone who you know would really benefit from attending one of these conferences and, plus, you get to go to one of the conferences, too.

So it's a great two-for-one opportunity.  Again, all you need to remember is typing the word "Bob" in the keycode box on the website or calling 1-800-FLTODAY and say, "I'm interested in this offer I heard about on the radio.  I heard Bob talking about it," and we'll give you all the details and explain how it works to you when you call 1-800-FLTODAY.  And I know there may be some listeners, Dennis, who are thinking, "I don't know, go to a weekend conference where you sit and listen to somebody just kind of speaking all weekend about marriage.  I'm not sure I'm up for that," you know?

Dennis: But Bob, Bob, Bob, this is not just any message.  These are the most relevant, well-crafted messages couples will ever hear about marriage and family given by some of the finest communicators in America.  And so, you know, it's not a matter of this being a boring, long weekend.  It is a matter of getting a couple of nuggets of truth from these speakers that share out of the authenticity of their own lives, and then you get away, and you write a love letter to each other, and you read that love letter to each other.

Bob: Yeah, there are some projects you work on over the course of the weekend that really are a great way to connect yourselves heart-to-heart.

Dennis: They are, and then a couple of the hours on Sunday morning, I'm telling you, are worth the entire weekend – it's when we get the men and the women separated, and the wives get talked to straight about what it means to be a wife and what her assignment is as a helpmate to their husbands, and then we talk to the men straight on about a husband's responsibility.  And I think, Bob, perhaps the most determinative two hours is with the men in those sessions where we equip the guys to finally be the husbands.  Many of them want to be but didn't know how to be, and there's any number of reasons why that's been the case.  Perhaps they didn't have a father to show them, perhaps they didn't have the training, perhaps they've never seen it done.

But the point is they can hear and learn and experience and then, most importantly, apply – the "A" word – apply the truth of God's Word in their own marriage and leave there, really, as a different couple than the one that came.

Bob: I've talked to a lot of guys who have been to a Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference and have asked them – what was the highlight?  And most of them have told me Sunday morning is the highlight when the guys get off together.  In fact, we're going to hear a portion of a message given recently on a Sunday morning at one of our Weekend to Remember Marriage Conferences by Dan Jarrell.  Dan is a pastor from Anchorage, Alaska.  He speaks at these conferences all across the country, and he knows how to talk to guys and cut it straight.

Dennis: Dan's a man's man, and guys just identify with him.

Bob: Well, and he spoke recently to a group of guys at a Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference about what is our core responsibility as a husband.

Dan:  [from audiotape.]  You know, as a man who has a wife and five kids, I've got to tell you, the world that I live in with the responsibilities God has given me, sometimes I feel like I've got the weight of the world around my shoulders, and I'm pulling as hard as I can.  Other times I feel like the world has got me by the short hair, and there is now way I can get out of that.  Can you relate to that?

So what we want to do is encourage you, and we want to talk about the roles we carry as men in our family; primarily the role of the husband and the role of a father.  You know, 2 Timothy 3:16, the Scripture says that all Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching and correcting and reproof and training and righteousness.  And then it makes this phrase – "So that the man of God may be adequate for every good work."

Now, tell me, how do you like that word "adequate?"  I never liked that word "adequate."  I mean, does anybody here want to be adequate?  A person says, "How are you doing at your job?"  You say, "Well, I'm adequate."  "What kind of golfer are you?"  "Well, I'm adequate?"  Anybody like that?  Well, I don't like it until I stop and think about – do you know what the opposite of adequate is?  "Inadequate."  How do you like that word?

You see, because that's what I feel, as a man, all the time.  I feel inadequate.  If I would just go to where I generally live, my general feelings as I face my wife's needs, and I face the needs of growing teenage women, and I face the financial needs of a family of seven, and I face the needs of the church I lead.  Do you know what I feel most of the time?  I feel inadequate.  Once I live there for a moment, the promise of adequacy feels pretty good to me, see?

So the idea is that if I'll pursue the Lord, He promises me that He will make me adequate, and adequacy is what I want.  Now, he loves and he leads.  As a lover and leader, he loves like Christ.  So if standing under the Lord is an issue of surrender, this loving as the Lord loves is an issue of submission.  He loves like Christ.  He says, "I can and will do what God created me to do."  And he leads like Christ – not as a Lord or a boss but as a servant who gets underneath the people he loves.

You know, I'm 53 years old, and when I was about 40 to 43, something like that, I was really struggling with what I guess some people call kind of a mid-life adjustment.  The reality was I'd planted a church, and it was taking everything I had.  I had a growing family – isn't it amazing, guys, that your businesses take off about the same time your family needs all this attention?  It's not like you can have your kids and grow them up and then produce a living for your family. 

So all of those things tend to – they tend to mushroom at the same time, and I was feeling worn out.  There was just nothing in my life that seemed like it belonged to me.  It was one of those "woe is me" kinds of times in my life.  And my wife and I went to see a movie called "Parenthood."  Have any of you ever seen it?  It's – you know, Steve Martin.  And in this movie, Steve Martin is kind of a mid-level executive at his firm, and he's got a family of three children.  His dad was a kind of poor father that didn't really spend a whole lot of time with him because he was always on the road, you know, selling stuff.

And so Steve Martin has this fear that he is going to be as bad a husband and as bad a father as his dad was, and he's trying to over-compensate, and one of the things he is doing is he's coaching his son's Little League team.  Now, his son is at that stage where he doesn't – you know, he's got to put him in right field because you're not sure whether or not he could ever catch the ball, and that's his son.  So he's embarrassed, you know, about his boy's inability to play.  He thinks that makes a statement of him as a dad.  Everywhere he turns, he is felling inadequate.  That's kind of the story.

But he is up for a promotion at work.  He's excited about that, because that's what he needs to provide for his family. And the scene I'm thinking about begins with Steve Martin going in and his boss telling him, "I'm not giving you the promotion.  I'm giving it to Johnson," or this other guy, "because he doesn't have a family to worry about.  He can give me 80 hours a week.  He'll take the clients out and get them drunk and introduce them to women and do all the things that are necessary to do.  He's more of a company man than you can be because of your family."

Now, do you feel the Catch-22 there?  The reason I need the raise is because of my family, and the reason I don't get it is because of my family.  The natural resentment there – well, Steve Martin gets angry, and he tells his boss to shove it.  So he goes home having quit his job and before he can tell his wife that he quit his job, she says she's pregnant with number 4.

And he says, "Well, honey, this isn't a very good time for you to be pregnant.  I just quit my job," to which she responds, "Well, this is a lousy time for you to quit your job."  And he asks a couple of inane questions like "How did this happen?"  You know, whether we, as men, well, "You were there, too, buddy," you know, kind of thing.  And they argue a little bit about the baby and the job, and she says, "Well, can you get your job back?"  And he says, "Great, that's what you want me to do?  To crawl back on my knees and kiss my boss's you know what?"  And she says, they were fighting and arguing, and she says, "Why don't you tell me what you really mean?  You don't want me to have this baby, do you?  You want me to have it aborted."

And he goes passive.  He says, "Well, whatever you want, sweetheart."  And she says, "Well, I want to have this baby."  And he says, "Well, great, let's have this one and a dozen more, for crying out loud.  Let's just have all the kids."  And she says, "Well, the way you're behaving, I don't think you should have the three you've got."  And he says, "Well, that would be great if I could live in La-La Land, but I do have the three I've got, and I don't have a job, and I've got another one coming, and now I have to go coach that blankety-blank ball game," all right? 

And he grabs his hat and starts to walk out, and she says, "Well, do you have to?"  And he turned around and made a statement to her that so resonated in my 43-year-old heart that I began to cry in the theater.  He said, "My whole life is a have-to."  Have you ever felt that way?  Everything about my life is "have to," there's not a "want to" in my life.

And I went home and the next day as I was in the Scripture, the Lord gave me a picture of something I'd never seen before.  I read it 1,000 times.  It is the story of the talents.  A manager goes away, and he leaves his – or an owner – he leaves his servants, a different level of resources.  He leaves one five talents, and he leaves one three talents, and he leaves one one talent, and the one with the five doubles it, and the one with the three doubles it by investment, but the one with the one buries it, and he says, "I was afraid of you because I know you're a man who harvests where he doesn't sow, and so I was fearful."

Now, what was interesting is when the servants came back before the master, the master took the two that had doubled their investment, and he said this to them, he said, "Well done, my good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful with little.  I will put you in charge of much."  And then this phrase comes – "Now enter into the joy not of the Savior, not of the Lord, but of the master."  Enter into a master joy. 

And it occurred to me that there is a joy that comes to men who are willing to be masters.  We were born to carry responsibility, it's what defines us as men. 

Now, what about the man who buried his talent?  The master says to him, "Oh, so you thought I was an unfair man, did you?  Well, then you should have at least put that in the bank, and I'd have got some interest back."  He said, "But because of what you did, you are a wicked slave.  You depart from me.  You go to the place where there is weeping" – that's feeling sorry for yourself – "and gnashing of teeth."  That's blaming everyone else for your problems.

And, I've got to tell you, I'm 53 years old, and I know two kinds of men.  I know men who take responsibility and those who blame everybody else for the situations in their life.

Now, I've got to tell you, men, for us to lead our families where they need to go, we need to be the kind that will take responsibility to love them and to lead them, and here is what I want you to hear me say – "You can do that."  The Scripture and the spirit of the Lord can make you adequate, but if you try to do it on your own, you won't get there.  We're just too self-centered.

But as we yield to God, and we apply some basic principles, lo and behold, we can be adequate for that good work.  I don't know how good a husband I am.  I think I'm a better father than I am a husband.  I don't really know for sure, but my kids seem to like me, and my wife does most of the time, you know what I mean?

But I get to talk about this role of husband, because maybe it's the thing that God is growing me most in.  Now, the word "husbandry" has to do with the caring for something – the husbandman is the vine dresser, right?  And so the whole goal of a husband is not his own success and prosperity, but the prosperity of that which he is given to care for, and we are called to "husband" our wife.  She is the vine, and we are the vine dresser, in that regard.

And so you are accountable for your family by divine placement not by, necessarily, ability.  Now, there are some principles we need to make sure we have.  We have to fundamentally believe that God has designed the husband and the wife with equal value.  Just because I'm a leader or the head doesn't mean that she is less than me.  The husband cherishes his wife, and he does it in several ways – by being trustworthy, by making her load lighter not heavier, by listening to her, praying with her, putting her needs above his own.

You know, we cherish things we love.  My brother's got a 1957 no-post Belair, okay?  A beautiful, beautiful car, totally restored.  Do you think my 17-year-old son got to drive that when we were down there?  No, that thing sits in the garage.  I mean, it's a beautiful car.  I've got a prewar Martin D28 guitar.  Now, those of you who are guitarists, you know what that means.  That is a valuable, valuable instrument, and I keep it humidified in Alaska.  When I play it, I wipe it down with a rag.  Only my oldest daughter gets to play it, because she's learned, over the years, how to care for that guitar.  She wipes it down.  You know why – because I cherish it.  I know I could never replace it.  It's one of a kind.

Now, the question is, do I look at my wife that way?  Who is caring for the humidity in her environment?  To cherish her means that I do the things that help her prosper and protect her.  One of those we listed here is being trustworthy.  Gentlemen, there is nothing more important to your wife than to know she lives with a man she can trust, and the only way you build trust is by telling the truth, by being transparent and being honest and by allowing her to know that you are committed to the promise you made to her above your own needs.

Bob: Well, again, today we've heard a portion of the message that men hear on a Sunday morning at a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference.  That's Pastor Dan Jarrell really cautioning men to take their responsibilities seriously.  There's a lot at stake.

Dennis: There really is, and what he was doing was equipping guys to know how to love their wives and, frankly, there are a lot of wives listening to this broadcast right now who are saying, "I would give anything for my husband to be able to hear that message, and to just have the opportunity to perhaps absorb the truth of what's being talked about there."  Well, you know what?  That can happen.  I'd like to just challenge you – some of you have been listening to us talk about the Weekend to Remember Marriage Conferences for a number of years.  You've never been.  We meet you all around the country as you come up and introduce yourselves and say, "I've been listening to you guys for a number of years, and we ask you, 'Have you been to the conference?' and you'll say, 'No, I've kind of been dragging my feel about that, not sure about that.'"  Well, you know what?  Now is the time.

In fact, we have got a special deal coming up, especially around Valentine's Day, and it's on the weekend this year.  I mean, why not blow it out and make a great romantic fun getaway that does something to put your marriage on the right track.  There are all these things competing for it and against it.  Why not do something that helps you and encourages you and equips you for your marriage to go the distance?  Come and join us at a Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference.

Bob: Well, you're right.  Valentine's weekend is going to be a special weekend.  In fact, we're going to have conferences that weekend at the Gaylord Texan Resort in the Dallas/Fort Worth area; at the Tamaya Resort in Albuquerque; at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania; Hilton Head, South Carolina; Virginia Beach; Washington, D.C.; other locations Valentine's weekend.

And then throughout the spring, conferences taking place in cities all across the country, and the details are on our website at and, once again, if you register for any of these upcoming conferences this week, and you identify yourself as a FamilyLife Today listener, we're going to send you, at no additional cost, a companion certificate, so that you can pass it along to another couple, and they can attend the conference of their choice at no cost.

So you register at the regular rate, you mention my name, you say, "Bob told me to mention his name," or you fill out the form online, and when you come to the keycode box, you just type the name "Bob" in the keycode box.  When you do that, we will send you, at no additional cost, a companion certificate so another couple can attend the conference at no cost, and you can pass that on to a relative, someone at work, someone at church.  It's just a great way to give a gift to someone, and if you know a couple that doesn't go to church regularly, give the certificate to them and let them hear about God's plan and purpose for marriage.  We've designed the conference so that it is friendly for those who aren't regular churchgoers, so that they'll feel comfortable with what's being talked about and how it's presented.

Again, you can register online at  When you fill out your form, type the name "Bob" into the keycode box so that we'll know to send you the companion certificate or call 1-800-FLTODAY.  Say "I listen to FamilyLife Today," or "I heard Bob talking about a special offer," and we'll send you that certificate, and that way you can attend the conference at the regular rate, and someone else can attend for free.  This offer is only good this week.  So we need to hear from you this week if you want to take advantage of the special offer, and we hope that you'll do that.  We hope you'll plan to be at one of our upcoming Weekend to Remember Marriage Conferences and invite someone to come along with you or give them the certificate so that they can enjoy the conference themselves.

Once again, the website, or call us at 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY and join us for a Weekend to Remember.

I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team.  On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine.  We'll see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas – help for today; hope for tomorrow.  

We are so happy to provide these transcripts for you. However, there is a cost to transcribe, create, and produce them for our website. If you've benefited from the broadcast transcripts, would you consider donating today to help defray the costs?

Copyright © FamilyLife. All rights reserved.