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.
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.
Why has the American father largely disappeared from his sons’ lives? One answer lies in the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the transition from an agricultural to an industrial society.
A century ago, the majority of fathers and sons lived and worked together on the family farm. Those who didn’t farm often owned and ran family businesses or labored at trades that their sons learned from them through years of observation, instruction, and hands-on experience. Boys spent most of their time with their fathers, who where their primary mentors.
But as the industrialization of our nation expanded, more men were needed to build and repair the machines, sell and deliver the products, count the profits, and pay the bills.
Increasing numbers of ambitious men moved to the city to take these jobs. Instead of spending the day tutoring their sons in the skills of life and work, these men left home every morning to pursue their careers’and their sons stayed home. The more time a man directed to his work away from home, the less time he had to mentor his sons. The downside of this revolution was that young boys were cut loose from the means that once so efficiently ushered them into confident and prepared manhood.
I know it’s much harder now, but you need to make time for your sons. If you feel ill equipped, I encourage you to take advantage of the resources available to you.