In recent times, the prevalence of confused and insecure men has become a major challenge that is threatening the family institution across the globe. While growing up, many men did not have the opportunity to learn what it means to lead a family. Their fathers were either absent or not particularly good models of leadership. As a result of this, they have the wrong ideas or no idea at all of how to be a man in the home.
Contrary to the widespread notion of exercising lordship over the family, as it were, the role of a man in the home is that of a servant-leader. Many men do not have the right understanding of this and have passively relinquished their roles to their wives. This is especially true for men whose wives have a strong personality.
However, this does not have to be so. We can learn from the timeless wisdom of the Scriptures and pattern our families after the God-given model. When a couple understands and lives by this model, they will enjoy more freedom in their home while also having a more harmonious relationship. This article presents three keys to get you started.
First of all, as a man, God has saddled you with the responsibility of leading your home. When the Scriptures teach that man is the head of the woman, it is not about “male dominance” as some men have made it seem. Rather, it is about being the head of your wife in the sense of being vitally interested in her welfare, caring for her, protecting her, offering guidance and direction, and performing other responsibilities that are required of the head. Even if you fail at times, you must be committed to caring for your wife and family with love and perseverance.
Secondly, you must love your wife unconditionally. Let her know that you accept and appreciate her, not based on her performance, but on her worth as God’s gift to you. Demonstrate your love to her both in words and in action. Affirm her constantly. Tell her that you, treasure, appreciate, love and respect her. Spend time with her even if that means giving up something that means so much to you, such as attending a game or hanging out with friends. Practise sacrificial giving of your time and resources. As the saying goes, you can give without loving but you cannot love without giving.
The third key to fulfilling your role as a husband and father is to serve your wife. Your position as the head of your wife does not make you her master; rather it makes you her servant. We see an example of this in Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, who set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a servant, becoming human. To serve your wife, you must understand her needs and make efforts to meet them. Help her alleviate her pressures, fulfil her hopes, cultivate her gifts, and accomplish her dreams. Be a worthy role model and help her become a better person spiritually, intellectually, physically and in every way.
When it comes to taking your place in the home, relating with your wife as a leader, a lover and a servant is how to be the man that God has called to you to be.
Photo credit: Rana Faure/Corbis