I'm really having a problem with headship. I understand that I am supposed to be the spiritual leader in my home, and that Christ is in charge of my life, and that my wife and children are under my leadership, but there are times when I wrestle with the inadequacy of my leadership.
A good spiritual leader would ...
- lead his family in prayer every day. I don't do that as often as I should.
- study the Bible with depth and commitment. Most days I don't make time to do more than a short morning devotion.
- look for ways to involve his family in ministry. Right now our biggest ministry involves letting the neighborhood kids play in our backyard.
A good father would ...
- raise obedient children. Most days are passable at best, with other days going to one extreme or the other.
- have children who are kind and patient to their siblings and others. Sometimes our kids are downright cruel to each other.
- raise happy children instead of constant complainers. Selfishness abounds in the hearts of children, and I'm afraid I haven't done a very good job of instilling a servant's heart in them.
A good husband would ...
- love his wife as Christ loved the church. I have some work to do. If I loved her as a christian husband should, she would be much happier.
- take the lead in our relationship and in our family. I pass off way too many decisions to her. I should be leading and getting her and the kids to follow, NOT the other way around. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:37)
- study his wife and learn about her needs and desires. I admit that I don't always take her needs and desires into account. I have to serve her in a more selfless way. She was given to me by God, and I need to take care of that precious gift.
- teach his wife what he needs her to know about his needs. Many times I allow my needs to be trampled or ignored in the name of harmony. If I would be more assertive in my leadership my wife might be more willing to submit. We both would be happier.
Intimacy grows from selflessness, not selfishness. I'm a selfish creature, that much is true. I want what I want. I want a new car. I want a larger paycheck. I want electronics. I want new clothing. I want __________ (fill in the blank). And when I don't get it, I don't always feel like playing the nice guy.
However, some of my decisions are not born out of selfishness, but out of a desire to move my our marriage and our family toward a better relationship with God and greater intimacy with each other. If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that intimacy is big on my list of godly stuff, and that I place a high priority on being known completely by my bride, and developing a more intimate relationship with her and with my Creator.
That said, where do I go from here? I have to get back to the basics - remember what God has called me to as a husband, and do it. In order to do that, I must ...
Pray. My prayer is that God will show me the selfishness in my heart, and turn it around so that everything I do will be for His glory and for the benefit of my wife and our relationship, ultimately drawing us and our children closer to Him.
Learn. I have to dive in and develop some new skills. I need to find a good Paul and a good Barnabas to help me walk the walk. I need to seek out help from someone who won't blast me for what I'm thinking or give me a bunch of high-brow advice that makes him feel superior but does very little to help. I need an honest-to-goodness friend to hold me accountable.
Act. I need to start acting like a leader. I need to let my yes be yes and my no be no. I need to make decisions regarding our family, setting down boundaries and enforcing the rules. I need to be more self-disciplined in this area and not let inconvenience or laziness stop me from doing my job. I have to learn to lead my wife in a way that draws us closer to each other. I need to make her feel safe and happy about submitting to her husband in everything (Ephesians 5:24).
Sometimes I lose sight of the vision and purpose God has given my for my marriage. I need to regroup and re-establish that vision and never lose sight of it.
I need to be a better husband.