This father’s day I wanted to take the time to write about the roles of a father in the Christian household. Society would have us believe that the father is no longer a necessary part of the family. That children can be raised just fine without a male role model. In fact, if you really pay attention to the message being portrayed in the media today, it appears as if fathers are complete idiots, incompetent, only good for comic relief. In some cases a harmful hindrance. That the true child rearing and running of the household comes from the capable smart liberated women who does it all. I am NOT stating that women are not capable, or smart. We are, but God’s plan is not for us to be the leaders of the house. His plan is that our husbands are the leaders, the head of our household.
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Ephesians (5:23 ESV)
It amazes me that even in Christian households many people today don’t prescribe to this. I have heard multiple reasons. From, ‘That was how society used to run, we women are no longer seen as second class citizens.’ To, ‘Well I am not against the whole submitting thing. It works for some, but not our family. I can’t let my husband lead because he is an idiot.’
First off God has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8-9) His word is just as relevant today as it was in the past. Second, don’t believe the lie that a submissive wife is a second class citizen, or that she is somehow not equal to man. We were created equal. God created man and woman, we are co heirs in heaven. However our positions in the family, here on earth, are not equal; though each are equally important! Third, I would say regardless of whether of not you married an idiot or not, you are to submit to your husband as the head of the household. THIS IS WHY WHO WE MARRY IS SUCH A HUGE DECISION!Now, I really doubt most of us are married to idiots. But if you are, then you still have to submit to his authority. God did not command us wives to submit to our husbands only under certain condition, we are commanded to submit period! This is why we need to talk to our daughters and single women in our lives, preferably from an early age, stressing the need for them to wait for a Boaz to come along BEFORE they say ‘I do.’
Living in a society where the roles of men and women have been drastically bastardized what exactly is the role of a husband?
The first role of the husband is to be the spiritual leader. This is a big responsibility! While each of us have to choose whether we accept Jesus’ gift of salvation, it is the role of the husband and father to take charge. Make sure the family regularly attends a Bible believing church. Leads his family in worship. Encourages prayer and the reading of the word. Can you imagine having this great responsibility placed on you? Can you imagine what it would be like if you did not take this role seriously, knowing that someday you will stand before God, giving an account of your life, having to explain why as a husband and father you did not take this role seriously??? Yes, we all will someday stand in front of our creator giving an account of our lives, but as women, we don’t have the title of spiritual leader placed on us. While I know that God equips men to fulfill the task he has given them, still I am glad I don’t have this responsibility. This is huge! This is definitely one area men should not be lax on! Have you noticed that often times when you observe families today, the wives are in this role. This happens for several reasons. One being the husband is not a believer, and the two are unequally yoked. This is very frustrating, trying to raise godly children in an unequally yoked environment. And while I know many women are doing their best to be the spiritual leader, it will never work as well as if the man is in that role. If this is the case in your home, don’t lose hope and don’t forget you are still to submit to your husband! (As long as what he asks of you does not go against God’s word.)
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviors of their wives, (1 Peter 31:1 NIV)
Another reason many men today don’t know how to lead is they were not shown. Perhaps your husband grew up in single family household, or in a household where the ‘woman wore the pants.’ This too can be challenge. It can be frustrating when you want your man to lead, but he does not for lack of knowledge. First, bring this concern to the Lord. Second I would advise you to find a group of Christian men, who are strong in their faith and are willing to mentor and help your husband grow in his walk with the Lord. We all need a Paul, Timothy and Barnabas in our lives. (Paul’s to guide, Timothy’s to mature and Barnabas’ to challenge.)
The number one reason that will ALWAYS prevent a man from taking the lead on the Spiritual development of his family is his lack of relationship with the Lord. We all need daily quite time with the Lord. If your husband is not daily spending time in prayer and the word, he will not be able to lead your family properly. There are lots of ways you can come alongside your husband and help him to accomplish this. One way is to encourage him by offering to wake up an hour earlier and spend time with the Lord together. What a great way to begin each day!
The second role of a man is to nurture and love his wife (family). In fact your husband is commanded to love you as Christ loves the church. (Ephesians 5:25). On that verse alone I am glad I am not a man! Another huge responsibility. The liberated women would have us believe that being a submissive wife is degrading, old-fashioned. That we serve our husbands day in and day out, while they sit in front of the television after a long day at work. That our days filled with housecleaning and child rearing are awful and unrewarding. They would have us believe that we are not truly happy unless we are living for ourselves. First, being a stay at home wife and mother is not old fashioned and degrading. It truly is the most rewarding role we as women will ever experience in this life.
And so train the young woman to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:4-5 (ESV)
As you just read above, being a homemaker is the role God created us women for. If God’s will is for us to be homemakers, then we will definitely NOT be unhappy in that position. In fact the opposite is quite true. If we are living a life in accordance to His will, then we will be filled with joy and contentment.
If our husbands follow their commandment to love us as Christ loves the church, not only will they too be filled with joy and contentment, but outsiders looking in will see the sacrifices they make daily serving wife and family. People will not look at us and think ‘that poor woman,’ instead they will be envious of us!
Now when I say our husbands are serving us, I don’t mean that we women now have a pass to sit on our rear watching television all day. We still need to pull our weight in order for our families to run proficiently. That is the beauty of it…husband and wife both have to be willing to fulfill their roles to the best of their abilities. When that happens, marriage and family life runs like a well-oiled machine. I don’t have to ask my husband to take care of the house, to mow the lawn, make repairs, and keep the vehicles in running condition. He does these things because this is his responsibility. Above and beyond that he shows his love for me by keeping my gas tank filled. (It may seem like a little thing, but in the five years we have been married I have only once had to pump gas. And that one time was only because he was overseas for two weeks.) Nine out of ten times when we eat out, he allows me to choose the restaurant. When he arrives home after a long day at work, he often does an activity with the kids, so I can have thirty minutes to an hour to myself. When our son was a baby, I never had to ask for help. He changed diapers at all hours, bathed him, put him to sleep, entertained him. In fact there were times I was thankful I was nursing or I might never have had a moment to bond with my son! I could go on and on about the things my husband does to show his love and devotion to me. I am not bragging, my husband is far from perfect…but he is amazing! I am so thankful he takes his role as a husband and father seriously.
Another role of the husband is to be loyal. (Hebrews 13:4) Now this being said, we too are commanded to be loyal to our husbands. When we said ‘I do’ we promised to forsake all others. Don’t believe the enemy when he whispers that ‘the grass is greener on the other side’. Or that men and women cannot be faithful for any of the numerous reasons society would have us believe.
And He answered them and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God had joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6 (NKLV)
We are not animals, we are a separate creation. We did not evolve and we ARE meant to mate with ONE partner for life. We also need to be very careful what we allow into our homes, our minds involving the marriage bed. There is no right or wrong was to make love. That being said, we DO NOT need the aid of objects and/or graphic videos. Contrary to what society would have you believe, sex with the same person does not get old. In fact over time it gets better and better. The only reason we have so many problems is this area of our marriages today is because we have abused God’s creation! Many of us go into marriage already having sexual relations with one or more partners. We think it’s ok to look or fanticize about being with others, or we allow our husbands to do so thinking it’s innocent. That could not be farther from the truth.
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28 (NIV)
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV)
For from within, out or the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, Mark 7:21 (ESV)
Just looking at another is considered adultery! And as we can also see here, we cannot trust our heart!
So then how do we do this? How do we stay faithful in our marriages? One is to be in correct relation with God. If our vertical relationship (God) is in proper alignment, then our horizontal relationships, (others) will also be in proper alignment. Another is to daily choose to love our spouses. Love is an action not a feeling. We have to daily choose to love our spouses despite their flaws. (And we all have them!) We also have to invest in one another. One way my husband and I do this is to have regular date nights. We need our children to see that our marriage is a top priority. A date does not have to be expensive. Get creative. Pack a picnic and have a romantic dinner at a park somewhere. If you cannot afford a sitter, or are not in a season where you can get away. (Like right after a new baby comes). Then have a date night on the back patio after the kids are asleep, or in front of the fire-place on a cold winter’s night. Don’t put this off…your marriage relationship is more important than any other, aside from your relationship with God. Be intimate! God is the creator of sex. It is a beautiful thing! Make love as often as possible. If you are making love, you are not fighting and you are sure not thinking about another! If you struggle with intimacy, pray about it. Open up, and talk about it with your husband. This is not uncommon in today’s world! Remember I mentioned above that many of us come into a marriage with ‘baggage’? We need to confess our baggage to our partners and to God, asking God for healing. If we do this, God will break off the soul ties we created by not following his guidelines. Pray often; before sex, during sex, after sex. This sounds wired, I know! But God is already there with us! Our marriage really is a three-way covenant; God, husband, wife. If you try the above steps for healing, despite the awkwardness, the shame you might feel, I guarantee you it will work. There should be no secrets kept from your spouse, just as they should not have any secretes they are keeping from you. While this is hard to do, to share our past with others, who better than your partner, your best friend on this earth? If you do this, open up, be completely honest with one another. (I am not saying give names and dates, but reveal your past sins. If you come to God in prayer as a couple, asking for healing over your marriages intimacy, you will experience a new level of intimacy with your husband you never thought possible!
Another role of the husband is to care for his family. Thankfully most men do this, they work hard to provide for their family’s needs. Even those who don’t perform well in the other areas of a godly man’s role. Single women beware…it is becoming more and more common these days for men to mooch of a woman. Don’t attach yourself to a man like this…run, run and don’t look back! Look for a man who is first and foremost godly, one who loves Jesus! Look for a man who is not just willing to do the minimum, but who goes above and beyond what is expected of him. A man like this is going to be much more likely to find good employment and provide for a family’s needs.
On this same note…there is a part of this caring for the family role where many men today do fail. Not so much the older generation, here I am talking about many of the men who were born mid-seventies to early eighties and beyond. Caring for a family does not only mean that a man provides a roof over their heads and food on the table then call it quits. That once home he check outs playing video games or watching movies for hours upon hours. Not only have I experienced this myself in my past marriage, but I have spoken with countless women who struggle with this. Their husbands come home from work only to check out mentally, disappear into the man cave, perhaps come out when dinner is ready, and then retreat back into the man cave until bed. (Which often is in the wee hours of the morning). This is not a healthy habit! (I will also mention here, that while this is not always the case…many times it is not just video games and movies that our men are engaging in while segregated, they are involved in porn. This is VERY common! My husband has led many men’s small groups over the last several years and a very high number of men struggle with this.) As a whole, we are too connected to our electronics these days. I know this may sound drastic, but I would say in order to have a healthy marriage…get rid of the man cave, get rid of the video games and only watch television/movies on special occasions. There is too much at stake to have it any other way! Just do a little research on the harmful effects of video games. There are several harmful side effects! Side effects not only harmful to adults but to children as well. Which leads me into the other role of a husband.
He is to be a living example. If dad is sequestered in a man cave, then who is being the role model for your children? Who is teaching the children how to do basic home repairs? Basic car maintenance? How to do yard work? This may sound trivial, but there are so many men today who don’t even know how to change a flat tire on their vehicle. On those rare occasions that a flat does occur, they have to depend on others to bail them out. Some would argue that men don’t need to know these basic skills, especially if they have the money to hire these things done. It’s not about the money. My husband could easily afford to hire lawn care service, pay to have someone do all our household repairs, and to our car maintenance. There is something to say about men (and women) having these skills. Once when moving cross-country we had three flat tires, two on our camper and another on our truck. I was so glad to know my man could fix it! There was something so comforting about knowing that he was taking care of us, that he did not have to pick up the phone and call another man to ‘rescue us’. My husband does not come home after a long day’s work and sit on the couch watching television. He is working in the yard, on the vehicles, repairing stuff around the house. Doing projects I request of him, spending time with the kids; passing these skills onto the next generation. He takes us to church events, small groups and Bible studies. Go’s to our children’s extracurricular events. On the weekends we often go on day trips exploring the world around us. It is a rare occasion that he actually gets any ‘him time.’ He sacrifices so that we are fulfilled. Which goes back to the first commandment he has. (Ephesians 5:25). He is to love us as Christ loved the church.
Our society wants us to believe that our husbands not only have it easier, but are not capable. This could not be farther from the truth. While our roles as defined by God’s word are different, I do not think for one moment that my role is harder than that of my husbands. I don’t want his role…I was not made for his role. Just as you were not made for your husband’s role as head of the house. If you are the one who ‘wears the pants’ in your household I challenge you to release your control and allow your husband to take his place as head. Many women are afraid to do this, for fear that their husbands will make a mistake. Guess what…they will! Are you perfect? Have you never made mistakes in the past? Unless he fails, how will he learn? Unless you let go of your control, how will you learn to fully trust God? God will not allow our families to come to harm, over a mistake our husbands made, IF WE ARE OBEDIENT in our roles. Sure it might be uncomfortable, but true harm will not come to us. In fact, the opposite will happen. If we allow our husbands to be the leaders of the home, God will bless us! This is hard…I know, especially those times we know, just know that our husbands are making a mistake. But if we gracefully allow him to do so, (don’t nag, don’t rub it in his face), then we are going to be blessed in the long run. And the truth of the matter, while yes, our husbands will make mistakes, just as we do, more times than not they will make the correct decision for our families; especially if they are seeking God’s council! If you let go, and let him lead, you will find that you were not made to be the leader…the head. That your days will be filled with much more joy and peace than when you were trying to ‘kick against the goads’ and do things your way. (Acts 26:14)
We may not be in the lead, but our role as helpmeet is no less important! Our husband’s success is tied to us, and our position as wives. Without our support, our husbands could not succeed. So don’t ever believe that you are just a wife, mother, and homemaker. You are so much more! That being said, without fathers in the house, (this includes fathers who are physically around, but mentally checked out), look at these statistics.
Fatherless Home Statistics
63% youth suicides come from fatherless homes
85% of children with behavior disorder come from fatherless homes
80% of our rapist come from fatherless homes
71% of all high school drop-outs come from…yes you guessed it fatherless homes
70% of youth institutions are filled with children from fatherless homes
90% homeless and runaway come from fatherless homes
75% of people in chemical abuse centers (to include adolescents) – fatherless homes
85% of youth in the juvenile system come from a fatherless home
27% higher chance of child abuse in a fatherless home
53% chance that girls from a fatherless home will marry as teens with a 92% divorce rate
71% chance to have teen births
Instead of degrading our men, talking down about them and to them, we should be lifting them up, encouraging them with words of praise! Helping to equip them to fill this role that only they as men can fill! Don’t believe the lies that society would have you to, that fathers are old-fashioned and not a capable or necessary part of the family unit. As we can see from the statistics, fathers are so very, very important!
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)
Let your husband know how much you appreciate him and all he does for you and your family; not just today, on Father’s day, but every day!