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.
I host a weekday call-in radio show with five other counselors called New Life Live! Since we handle many calls each day, it’s easy to spot common themes that arise.
One common theme is the one about blaming and judging a wife who ‘just isn’t enough’ for a man. It’s amazing the mental gyrations some men will go through not to take responsibility. One day we commented that the worst-selling T-shirt we could market would say, ‘It was my fault.’ No guys would buy it!
Here’s an idea for another T-shirt message: ‘You’re not to blame for my problems.’ But let’s not wait for that T-shirt to land in stores to own that truth. Because when we own this, we’re humbled and ready to do what needs doing: asking for forgiveness.
Every computer has a reboot key that allows for fresh starts. Everything cranks up as if it were doing it for the first time. For individuals, the reboot key is called confession. Confession realigns the person with God and removes the stain of denial. The reboot key for a relationship is asking for forgiveness. It places the relationship back at ground zero. It doesn’t ensure that forgiveness will be granted, but at least from the point of forgiveness the relationship has an opportunity to flourish. Men, if you and your marriage are stuck, consider the most humbling thing you can do: Ask your wife to forgive you.
Men, we were created for worship. It enhances and expresses intimacy with the Lord, and brings both Him and us great pleasure. Yet many men tighten up just saying grace before dinner. Public worship’even if it’s only in front of your family may cause you to feel as nervous as a third baseman charging a short-hopper with the game on the line in the bottom of the ninth.
Most of us have been there. And most of us have also blamed it on our lack of experience praying in public. Yet for the vast majority of men, that’s not really the issue. The real issue is that you don’t have enough experience praying in private! Deepening your private life of worship will naturally embolden your public life of worship. And the first place it’ll bring benefit is in your ability to provide better spiritual leadership in your home.
Guys, no one in your home should be more comfortable with worship and prayer than you. Your family absolutely needs you to lead them. Feeling funny about it is no excuse.
Start small, but be courageous and committed to growth. You simply cannot and must not ‘chicken out’ when your family looks to you for spiritual leadership. The Holy Spirit is waiting for you to step up to the plate, and He’ll meet you there. That’s a promise from God.