What are our priorities as Christian Dad’s and men? Are they merely to provide money and give hugs and kisses to our kids at bedtime, or do they go much, much deeper? S. Michael Houdmann from gotquestions.org gives us some insightful wisdom into this matter:
“The proper perspective for this leadership comes from Ephesians 5:25–32. The goal of every believer’s life is to become more and more like Christ (Romans 8:29). For men in their God-given role, this means leading and loving their wives in the same way Christ loved the church: sacrificially (Ephesians 5:2), through service (John 13:14–15), and in selfless love (Ephesians 5:28). Just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equal yet serve different roles, so, too, can men and women be equal in value and in spiritual worth yet have different roles to play.
The fundamental requirement for biblical manhood is a proper relationship with God (Micah 6:8). This informs and empowers every other responsibility a man has in his life. Humility means an acknowledgement of his imperfection (Romans 3:23), acceptance of Christ for salvation (2 Peter 3:9), and a continual sense of dependence on God (1 Peter 5:7; Hebrews 13:15). A godly man will study, learn, and understand the will of God (Matthew 6:33; Romans 12:2) through the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12). This gives him the tools to meet all of his other obligations; it does not automatically make his life biblically sound (1 Corinthians 3:2).”Got questions ministries, 2016 “What is biblical manhood?” viewed June 29, 2016 <http://www.gotquestions.org/biblical-manhood.html>.
There are fundamental differences between male responsibilities and female responsibilities in marriage and Christian life. These are God-given and essential for Christian witness, as well as complementary male and female relationships as a whole.
I think that humility and having a servant attitude around the home and our spouses helps greatly in the area of male responsibility. I know that around our home if I refuse to help my wife with anything to do with cleaning, cooking, children or home education that I am going to burn her out with my ignorance of her need. The same applies to spiritual leadership. If I let my wife take the lead in spiritual direction of the home, then I’m neglecting my God given role as male and husband to lead our family to the point of trusting Christ for salvation with our kids, and completely leaving Peta in the dark spiritually as to where our family is heading, what we believe and how we are going to present Jesus Christ to this dying world. We work on family devotions together, but ultimately I’m responsible for the leading of this event in the home. It is an office given to males in the church structure itself as well as the home. A Godly man will trust Christ, be humble, submit to God, faithfully preach the word to his family & wife, and ultimately lead his children to Christ in this sense. This is a huge, terrifying responsibility.
Scripture teaches that a man’s backbone will be his ability to interpret scripture well, guide his family well by persistently reading scripture to his kids and wife together, will be strong, lead well, be courageous in standing for Christ in a dying world, and that he will love his wife with a sacrificial, self-denying love as Jesus did for the church. A godly man will acknowledge his failings and apologise to his wife and children when he makes a mistake or is hot-headed or arrogant, and will boldly confess his weakness and inability to do anything well without Christ as the head.
Ultimately our priority lies with leading the family with scripture soaked family worship, having a continual self-denial (especially when it’s perceived as being “well deserved rest”) and a love for spiritual truth, which is only found in the Holy Scriptures!
A Godly husband and father will earn a respectable income (it does not have to have 6 figures), listen to his wife when she’s wanting to unload, be there to support her, love his children with disciplinary and open love, yet firmly stand strong when temptations to become lazy and flat present themselves. This happens often!
But all of this is an ideal, and hard to do when you’ve got responsibilities, a mortgage, a car loan and have had no sleep for 6 months. There is simply a flesh nature that wants to undo all of the responsible work done daily as a husband and Dad. But the anchor that holds all of it down is that knowledge of the truth that Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost, and our families are in need of that message presented as often as possible.
Our priorities are to preach to our mini-congregations of children, and to love and lead our wives with strength and reliance on God’s word alone for life and practice.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon is onto something when he quotes about growing a beard, but is more astute when he said:
“Train up a child in the way he should go – but be sure you go that way yourself.”