Elifeonline... first online, best online.
A Metaphor As we look around our homes, we can see that most items within it have a specific purpose. The chair is for sitting. The table is for eating. The window is for light to see, as well as fresh air to breathe. Just as it is true that “things” in our homes are put there for a reason, so God has placed us men in our families because He has a purpose for us. A chair with a broken leg is useless in the home. It takes up valuable space, but it cannot be sat upon. Everyone has to be careful of it rather than its offering itself to serve others. People living in the home, and their visitors, all have to be protected from sitting on the broken chair or they will likely hurt themselves by crashing to the floor!
Christianity must come before culture, tradition and parental expectations. Where any of these conflict with God’s plan as seen in the Bible, we men must choose to put the Bible’s way into practice. To do this, we may have to be man enough to stand alone against community expectations.
God held Adam accountable for sin in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:9-19), even though it was Eve who first took the forbidden fruit. Leadership involves accepting responsibility for the whole family unit.
The principle is in Ephesians 5:1-2: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” We men must choose to copy God in His patient, persistent dealings with wayward people. God has given us some examples of loving attitudes in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. We cannot control how others behave, but we can, and must, control ourselves.
Christian love is much more than sex, although sex should be a deep expression of love. Sharing in marriage is more than sharing bed and body. Making time to listen to your wife, taking an interest in her practical needs, and being available to do things and go places with your children, are all expressions of your love for them. In fact, your doing these things expresses your love for God as well as your family.
In Africa, the common cup, left by a water barrel for anyone to use, can spread disease as many people put it to their lips to drink. Basic hygiene says it is much safer for each person to drink from his own cup when possible.
A Christian husband and wife are exclusive to each other. Adam received Eve as a gift from God (Gen. 2:22-23). Christian men must never give to anyone else what God has given them to share only with their wives – their sexuality.
Christianity prohibits polygamy, adultery and pre-marital sex. Standards of society and tribe must be measured against God’s standards through the whole of the Bible, and the choice must be made to live God’s way.
God took something away from the man, in order to bring him his wife. The sacrificed rib (Gen. 2:21-22) was used in the Creator’s hand to make the best “thing” ever to come into Adam’s life! In God’s intended way of life for us, giving is regularly our best way to receive.
As a young boy plays with a stick, holding it as if it were a gun and pretending to shoot because of what he sees, so I must remember that how I live in front of my children is more influential than what I say to them. Children are confused if they hear one thing yet see another (Prov. 22:6).
God trusts you with being a father to your children. It is an awesome responsibility. God the Father in heaven, will be understood by what your children see in you as their father on earth! Pray and live so that you will show many of your heavenly Father’s qualities to your earthly children.
The more years that go by in my marriage the more I appreciate my wife. The better I get to know her by the things we live through together, the more I realize how thankful I should be to God for His gift of her to me.
Men and women are not only physically different, they are emotionally different too. This does not make one of any more value than the other. But it does mean that men and women require different treatment. What pleases me may not please my wife, so I must learn to bring her pleasure. A word of praise or encouragement can mean as much as a bouquet of flowers. A “Thank you” or a “Well done” from you may make this the best day of the week! She knows you have noticed her and appreciated what she has done.
Christianity always puts self last. You probably love most what you think about most. Little actions you do, and words you say that please your partner, come from your thinking less about yourself and more about her. They are two good habits to cultivate.
God made the family before He made any other institution of society. We must learn from God’s priority and make our priorities the same as His. Time passes no matter what we are doing. Partners get older. Children grow up. It is not possible to turn back the clock of life. We will only have one today. Let’s make sure we use it wisely and well.
That favorite chair that has been broken deserves to be mended. It can be made useful again. If God has challenged you about your relationship with your wife and children, and your responsibilities in the home, decide now to act on what He has shown you.
If you really want to be what God wants you to be as a Christian husband and father take heart! Your Heavenly Father knows what you need before you ask, and He will give you all the abilities that you need (Mt. 7:11).
Together with God, you can become the father and husband God wants you to be, and yours can become the family God wants you to have.
By Colin Salter