Today's post is a guest post by my husband Colby. I wrote last week about submission and the role that plays for women so I asked my husband to post about men's role as the head of household. I think he did such a wonderful job and I encourage you to share this with your husbands and other men in your family. So once again, please welcome Colby.
This week marks the end of another season of the reality show Big Brother. In case you are not familiar with this show, let me give you a brief synopsis: It is basically a 3 month power struggle between a handful of people or "house guests" locked in a house, away from the real world, for a half million dollar final prize. Each week, they compete to become "Head of Household" or "H.O.H.". The H.O.H. then chooses 2 people to nominate for eviction, they have another competition to win the golden "Power of Veto" or "POV" which gives them the power to un-nominate themselves (if they have been nominated) or someone else. Then the house guests vote on who should leave, that person leaves, and the process starts over again. The thing I find interesting is this: In this game, every body wants to be the head of household, and everything it entails. However in the real world, nobody wants to accept the responsibilities of that position, and those who desire it only do so for the inherent power that comes with the position. The truth is the term head of household has gotten so twisted, we no longer even know what it really means. Let's see if we can figure this out.
Paul says in Ephesians 5:23 "For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.". This tells us we should lead our house in the same way that Jesus leads the church. Well, how did Jesus lead? We will examine that in a moment, but for know I would like to pose a more general question: How can anyone lead? Lead is defined like this "to go before or with to show the way". If we have people under our watch, or following us, they will only know where to go by watching us, and following in our steps. Like I tell my son, "I do not try to be a good father just so you can survive to adulthood, I try to be a good father so that you will grow up to be a good father."
So how did Jesus lead? He lead by example (Matthew 6:9-13, John 13:1-17). The disciples learned how to live Christ like by watching Christ live. So it is with our families. There is no better way to raise a child of God than to let them see you being a man of God.
So what exactly is our responsibility to our wife and kids? I'm glad you asked. Allow me a moment of catharsis before we move on. You need to understand exactly what God expects of you if you have a wife and child. There are far to many children growing up without involved fathers for this issue to go un-addressed. If you do not want to accept the responsibilities that come with having children, don't have sex. It's as easy as that. If you think you can be sexually active, get a girl pregnant, and simply walk away with no strings attached, you are a like a little boy on the level with the child who finds and wields his father's handgun as a "fun toy". If this is you, you are free to go. I have nothing else to say to you, although I would love to give you a hard punch in the gut. Fortunately reality will do that for me. Now, turning to the men who are left. We are charged with 3 primary positions:
This one is very basic, but it is often misinterpreted. As we have discussed previously, this is not limited only to physical protection. I would bet most everyone reading this has locks on their doors, and a weapon of some sort in your house. You may even have a security system with motion sensors, camera's, and all the bells and whistles. These are all good things, but not one of them can deflect an attack of the devil. As men we know that if someone breaks into our house, it is us who must take the assailant on, and even give our life fighting to keep our family safe. Should our houses not be equally fortified against spiritual attacks? The bible tells us our enemy is like "a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." Notice he may not devour just anyone. Only those who placed themselves within his reach. I encourage you to make your home a spiritual safe house, as well as keeping it safe from physical enemies.
This one is easy to describe, but can be difficult to execute. As husbands and fathers it is our job to work. You can't be afraid to work hard, or your family will pay the price. 1 Timothy 5:8 says "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." That seems inescapably clear to me. You must do what it takes to provide a life for your family. Period.
Most men would agree about the first 2 points, but I'm afraid this is where most men drop the ball. If I asked you who should be the primary spiritual influence on your family, most of you would probably say your pastor or perhaps children's pastor. Absolutely not. It's you. You must make sure you have chosen a church that is teaching biblical truths. You must make sure your family attends, even when the pastor is on vacation. You must make sure you are learning so that you may turn and impart that wisdom into your family. Can they learn from the pastor and children's pastor? Of course, and they should. But if you take them to a church were the are teaching false doctrines, you are accountable to God for that.
As you can see, being the head of your household is not a power trip. Now, don't misunderstand me, in training our children we must sometimes tell them what to do. However, it is not a license to simply bark orders at them and then sit back and do nothing to help, but a responsibility to love and lead by example. It is the high calling to the ultimate life of humility and sacrifice. And what a blessed life it is! I urge you to take your job as husband and father seriously. It is the most important title you will ever hold.