Weighing Your Options

Steve Arterburn

Okay, men, imagine that God offered you these two following options:

Option 1: Working twelve hours a day for two years in the business of your dreams, a commitment that would quadruple your income.

Or’

Option 2: Working twelve hours a day for two years to passionately live out the heart of a servant-leader when you’re at home, an effort that would quadruple your wife’s joy.

Be honest’or at least willing to consider each option. If you’re chasing after the next rung up the corporate ladder, then you’ve misappropriated your passion. If you’re willing to become a bondservant to your wife, then you’re worthy of your Lord’s daughter.

Let’s face it. If the passion’s not there in your marriage, you won’t find much oneness. Sure, you may be comfortable with your wife. As a mother, you may think she’s matchless. She may still knock your socks off when she slips into a sundress. Perhaps you can’t even imagine living without her.

But what do these feelings show? Many men feel them, but be very careful in your assessment of them: such sentiments don’t necessarily reveal that you’ve actually done anything more than love yourself in the marriage.

Men, it’s your passion for oneness and your passion for service that demonstrate that you love her. That’s what brings her joy on your journey together. If that passion’s not there, you must find it. But if it is, your motives for serving your wife will be true.

Working Toward A Career

Steve Arterburn

More and more women are now working outside the home. Therefore, a growing number of men are being called upon to help their wives prepare for and manage this aspect of her role. This, of course, constitutes an important area where husbands must learn to think and act sacrificially for the good of their marriages and families.

Listen to this testimony by Joanne, a wife and mother in her third year of graduate school: ‘I couldn’t succeed in this challenge if it weren’t for my husband’s constant support when I’m in class and when I have to barricade myself in my room to do homework. He feeds the kids, helps with their homework, and runs them where they need to go. I can’t explain the relief I feel when I know he’s stepping in’He never ever pouts or acts put out that he has to do more. I feel so responsible for my family that if he did these things for me grudgingly, I would feel defeated very quickly. Because he helps me with a cheerful attitude, I feel a lightness inside that help me get through the day.’

Joanne’s husband is a wise leader. They’ve made a decision that, in their particular situation, her return to school is in the best interest of their family. And this decision requires him to think and act sacrificially. He knows his family’s needs, and his wife’s insecurities, and tends to them accordingly. That’s a real man.

Consistency In Spiritual Leadership

Steve Arterburn

Men, not only should you be comfortable in leading your family in worship, you should be the most consistent among them when it comes to cultivating your own personal life of worship. Remember, the character and quality of our public leadership is a direct by-product of the character and quality of our private discipleship. You simply can’t give your family what you don’t possess yourself.

Men, consistency in private discipleship brings intimacy with the Lord; and intimacy with the Lord puts you in the position to bring life and truth to your family. Without it, you’ll have little fresh understanding with which to guide them.

How consistent are you when it comes to praying? How consistently do you lead your family in Bible study and prayer? Sure, no one’s busier than you. I know that, and I share your predicament. But the simple reality remains: each of us must make it a top priority to carve out time in our day-to-day lives to lead our families in this area.

Remember guys, many of the most important issues in our children’s lives will be caught rather than taught. They’re watching your example. If you’re not praying together as a family, then all your talk about God’s being the center of your marriage and family is just that’talk.

Make family worship or devotional time a priority. Be disciplined about following through. Model your faith with action. It’ll give your family someone to respect and someone to emulate.