Men, as the father in the home, you shoulder a great responsibility in raising your children. How will you and your wife go about it? What standards will you choose? How will you discipline? What values will you teach and demonstrate?
These questions are crucial; and whether it’s intentional or merely by default, they’re all communicated to your children. Intentionality is the key; and it’s a huge help when you and your wife are on the same page.
You and your wife can provide two basic elements in your home that are invaluable to helping your children become the individuals God wants them to be. One is consistency. There are few things worse than one parent operating off one set of values while the other confuses, and ultimately, sabotages those principles with a competing set of values. Parents must strive to agree on core values’living them and passing them on in a unified front to their kids.
The second important concept in raising kids is teamwork. Guys, surrender your individual rights and the blatant exertion of authority and be your wife’s teammate. Help her. Share duties. Pitch in. And never undermine your wife’s position by making yourself appear more important in the eyes of your children.
Instead, help your children learn to honor their mother and to appreciate the value of a woman. This bedrock principle will have a tremendous impact on your kids’ future.
Men tend to be less romantically inclined than women. In itself, that’s fine. However, we shouldn’t let that tendency cause us to fall short when it comes to stoking the fires of our marriage.
It’s easy to think, ‘Okay, now I’ve got a wife. What’s next on the agenda?’ But men, that’s a big mistake. Romance lies at the heart of the female essence. Most wives are incurable romantics, and it’s highly unlikely that your wife’s an exception.
Bring her flowers on your anniversary, or sometimes for no particular reason at all. Take her to eat at your old haunts; drive by your old homes and apartments; skip a Monday night football game to take her to dinner; walk together at dusk holding hands; and give the gift of your time generously.
Romance tends to become less a priority after marriage. To make matters worse, many of us tend to confuse sex for romantic intimacy. One married woman put it like this:
‘I love the romantic intimacy of a hug and extra attention, but any little hug and kiss I give’seems to suggest that I want to make love. How exasperating! I just want him to know that I love him, and I just want the same response back without feeling that I have to jump into bed. I just want him to hold me and talk to me; I just want to be near him.’
Men, being mindful and responsive to your wives’ need for romance is one of the most practical and powerful ways to love and honor her.
Men, no one in your home should be better and quicker at submitting to what Scripture teaches than you. In a recent marriage class several women were asked, ‘What’s the one thing that impresses you most about your husband?’ One woman responded, ‘[My husband] is much quicker to submit to the teaching of Scripture than I am. He’s quick to fix anything in his life that he feels doesn’t line up with Scripture. He has always been submissive to God’s ways, and this makes me trust him and feel one with him.’
This woman’s husband leads by example. What could possibly be more fitting or effective? And did you pick up on the security this woman feels because her husband is receptive and responsive to God’s word? Guys, this woman’s not the exception; she’s the norm. When you submit to Scripture, it fortifies your wife’s trust and respect for you. And note the irony here: even though Scripture exposes your flaws, your wife’s trust and respect grows’as does her willingness to give you the benefit of the doubt when needed. So long, that is, as you’re submitting to God.
On the other hand, your failure to submit to Scripture invites disorder, confusion, and fear into your home. It puts a formidable stumbling block in your pathway to oneness’not only with your wife, but with all members of your family. To put is plainly, men, God is not pleased with spiritual leaders who harbor sin.