In general, men are driven by intellect and women by affections, and because of this men in the Bible generally represent knowledge and truth and women generally represent love and the desire for good. This generally carries over into marriage, where the man's growing knowledge and understanding and the woman's desire to be good and useful are a powerful combination. In many cases in the Bible, then, "husband" refers to things of truth and understanding, much as "man" does.
Magnificent things can happen in a true marriage, though, when both partners are looking to the Lord. If a husband opens his heart to his wife, it's as though she can implant her loves inside him, transforming his intellectual urges into a love of growing wise. She in turn can grow in her love of that blooming wisdom, and use it for joy in their married life and in their caring for children and others in their life.
Many couples, even in heaven, stay in that state – called "Spiritual" – growing deeper and deeper to eternity. There is the potential, though, for the couple to be transformed: through the nurturing love of his wife the husband can pass from a love of growing wise to an actual love of wisdom itself, and the wife can be transformed from the love of her husband's wisdom into the wisdom of that love – the actual expression of the love of the Lord they have built together. In that state – called "Celestial" – the husband represents love and the desire for good, and the wife represents truth and knowledge.
Unfortunately it's hard to tell, when reading the Bible, which meaning of "husband" a particular passage has. For that we have to look to the Writings or to context for guidance.
People who are truly in love know that marriage is one of the greatest blessings the Lord has given people. But there's a lot of confusion and doubt about marriage these days. Let's take a look at what the Bible says about it, beginning at the very beginning. The very fact that the Lord has created us male and female (Genesis 1:27) seems to indicate that marriage is the intended condition for people.
In the Adam and Eve story, the Lord says, "It is not good that the man should be alone." (Genesis 2:18). Therefore, He creates Eve. It's a very ancient story that depicts marriage as one of God's blessings for humanity, part of his plan for people.
God's blessing on the first marriage makes this even more clear: "And God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply.'" (Genesis 1:28)
Not only does marriage have the Lord's blessing - it is also phrased as a commandment in this passage from the prophet Jeremiah: "Thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel.... Take wives and beget sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters--that you may be increased there, and not diminished.'" (Jeremiah 29:6)
King Solomon said, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord." (Proverbs 18:22)
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus has a telling response to the Pharisees who are quizzing him about divorce:
Jesus answered, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female', and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate'." (Matthew 19:4-6)
There are also frequent references to a marriage between the Lord and His Church, in the text of the Bible. These provide perhaps the clearest evidence that marriage is a beautiful and holy ideal:
"As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." (Isaiah 62:5)
"Your Maker is your husband: The Lord of Hosts is His name." (Isaiah 54:5)
"'Turn, O backsliding children,' says the Lord, 'for I am married to you.'" (Jeremiah 3:14)
"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." (Revelation 19:7).
See also Jeremiah 31:32; Isaiah 49:18, 61:10; Jeremiah 2:32; Hosea 2:2; Ezekiel 16; Matthew 22:2-9; 25:1-10; Luke 5:34; Revelation 21:2, 9; 22:17, etc.
From all this, it seems pretty clear that there's strong support in the Bible for marriage.
That said, there are also some passages that have led people in other directions. In some of Paul's letters, there are some things which can be taken to say that marriage is less chaste than celibacy. In another place, Jesus says that in heaven, they neither marry nor are given in marriage. What did he mean by that? We will dig into these issues in separate topics, or in an extension to this one... but, overall, the Bible's pretty clear that marriage is part of the Lord's design for us, and that our physical, earthly marriages represent a spiritual marriage, too.