Earlier this week I posted all of our small group questions and I wanted to follow up with some discussion our small group had. As the ladies of the group we discussed how the old testament roles of men, particularly husbands/fathers, apply to today. But we also took it a step further and talked about how we can encourage these attributes in our men. Check out Josh’s Blog for his thoughts on The Role of Men in the Family.
- Personally modeling strict personal fidelity to Yahweh;
First, you need to make sure that you are growing in your relationship with God. Who knows, your man may be inspired by the work that God is doing in your life. Instead of expecting your man to connect with God in the same way you do, be open to him forging his own way. Allow room for him to have his own journey, and become his his biggest cheerleader. When he sees your respect and admiration for who he is becoming, he will naturally want to become more of that man. Figure out how best to communicate your admiration to him. Many of the ladies in our small group found The Five Love Languages book very helpful in learning how to communicate to their men. Stay away from nagging your man, he will start to resent the nagging and then start to resent you.
- Leading the family in the national festivals, nurturing the memory of Israel’s salvation;
Help to remind him of what God has done in your life together. One thing that I have been working on for a while now is our “Stones of Remembrance”. Meaning that just like the Israelites had to take 12 stones out of the middle of the Jordan river as they were passing into the promised land to remind them of what God had brought them to, our family is putting together a visual montage of specific times God has come through for us and our family in big ways. Do you have a physical reminder of how faithful God has been to you?
- instructing the family in the traditions of the exodus and the Scriptures;
This is something that as a couple with no kids you get to do together. Figure out how you as a couple connect with God, and how you as individuals connect with God. Then work on discovering how you can both pass this on to the rest of your family.
- managing the land in accordance with the law (Leviticus 25);
Make sure that you are pulling your weight around the house. As women I am sure that you tend to be more concerned with the house then he may be, but look at your home as a place to minister to your husband. Does he come home after work and have to step over toys or laundry just to get in the house? How you take care of your home speaks volumes to what you think of your husband. Also, don’t nag at your husband to remember to put away his dirty dishes or laundry. By all means ask and remind him, but instead of getting frustrated with him leaving the lid off of the toothpaste, take a moment to remedy the problem and say a prayer for him or remind yourself of a sweet and precious thing that he has done for you. Try to make your home a place that he wants to be so he does not feel the need to find appreciation and respect in someone else.
- providing for the family’s basic needs for food, shelter, clothing, and rest;
This one is huge for me; I need the security of knowing that I am going to be taken care of by my man, and his identity and fulfillment come from providing for the family. Because a man’s identity stems from his job, what are you doing to make sure that he is fulfilled at work? Do you pack his lunch? Put a note in his work bag? Thank him on a regular basis for all that he does in helping to provide financially for you and your family? Have you thought about the impact that it would make if you were willing to follow your man anywhere in the world so that he could find his calling and fulfillment in his job? Take a moment to thank the man in your life for all the hard work he does, he will appreciate it.
- defending the household against outside threats (e.g. Judg. 18:21-25)
Obviously you do not have lions or many wild animals trying to get into your home, but there are things that you can do to protect your marriage and your family. One of that things that Josh and I did and encouraged our small group to do was talk about boundaries in their relationships, especially boundaries when it comes to the opposite sex. Take a few minutes to talk with your man about what is appropriate behave for you and him around others. Let him know when what he does around other women makes you uncomfortable. Josh and I also, make sure that we do not use the computer late at night with the door to the office closed, and we both have access to each others accounts. Are you allowing your man some man time? Time for him to spend in his “man cave” or with other guys. Make sure that he is spending time doing something that he enjoys. We all need boundaries in our lives, to make sure that we have a way to release stress. What is yours? One last thing: sex. Are you having regular sex with your husband? Please take time to care of yourself, and make sure that he is being fulfilled within your relationship. In the book, Every Man’s Battle, I learned that a man has a need for release every 72 hours. Maybe take time to put on your pearls and pursue your husband tonight!
- serving as elder and representing the household in the official assembly of citizens (Ruth 4:1-11);
Enough cannot be said about encouraging your husband when he does take steps to pursue a life chasing after God. When he picks up a book, prays out loud, or makes a great decision for the family, take time to notice and tell him. Encourage him to use his gifts for and in the church.
- maintaining family members’ well-being and the harmonious operation of the family unit; and
Try to make sure that you are taking care of yourself so that there will be less emotional meltdowns and blowups. Have you taken time with God? Do you have any hobbies or things that you do that you use as a release valve? Make sure that you publicly take your husbands side, and that you NEVER speak ill of your man.
- implementing decisions made at the clan or tribal level.”
We kind of drew a blank on this one…
Continue to be creative on how you support your man. Think of ways to surprise him with your respect for him, and he will start to become all of the man God intends him to be.
A final note: We ended our discussion of supporting our men with the thought that this is what submission is. I know that word has many negative connotations, but for a husband and wife to truly be fulfilling their purpose, the man has been given the role to sacrificially love his wife and be ultimately responsible to God for how his family runs, and the woman is there to support and respect her husband, so that she can see her man become who he is intended to be. Please try not to take control from your husband, but give it to him. He may not always do things the way you would, but it does not mean that he is wrong.