Experts suggest that conflict over roles within the family is a leading cause of divorce. As head of the house (Ephesians 5:22-33), it is the husband’s responsibility to make sure these roles are clearly understood and executed.
Since the time of Adam, a man’s primary responsibility to his family has been to go out and bring things in and a woman’s primary responsibility to her family has been to go in and bring things out. In I Timothy 5:8, God gives a stern warning to men who fail to take care of their own family. “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Notice again, God classifies the person who refuses to care for his own family as one who has “denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Men must provide.
In II Thessalonians 3:10-12 Paul gives this command, “...If a man will not work, he shall not eat. We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.”
Work makes a person feel good while a constant search for free handouts breeds misery. But being the provider means far more to a man than just work, it also brings the validation of headship. (See Ephesians 5:22-23.) This is very important to a man’s parental authority and respect, especially when rearing sons. When a man does not provide for his own, he often feels frustrated, unfulfilled and without value. Working, and being appreciated for it, builds contentment and gives strength to a happy home.
But providing physical needs is not the top priority of a man! A real man is also a spiritual provider.
Most hard-working Christian men become very angry when they hear stories about other men who lazily refuse to take care of their family. Yet sadly, these same Christian men hardly react to stories of men who refuse to care for their family’s spiritual wealth.
In I Corinthians 14:34-35, Paul says that men are to be the spiritual instructors of their wives. If women want to “inquire about something” they are to “ask their own husbands at home.” Men must give more than just physical security. Men must supply their wives with spiritual wealth.
Perhaps the greatest spiritual gift a man can give to his wife is the opportunity to fulfill her own God-given role within the home. God has called her to be a homemaker (Titus 2:3-5), but materialism often threatens her ability to complete this assignment. If Christian men will reclaim their role as head of the family, they then can trim away all unnecessary luxuries and a woman’s need to work outside the home will most likely become unnecessary. Wives will then be free to be “busy at home” (Titus 2:5) and complement their husband’s responsibility to bring up the children “in the training and instruction of the Lord”. (Ephesians 6:4)
Christian men simply must throw off the chains of materialism and worldly priorities and again claim their God-given position as provider and head of the family. Some day, men everywhere will stand before God and give an answer for the way they have encouraged or discouraged their family’s spiritual development. Nothing should be more important to a man than his family’s spiritual well-being. His children and wife may die penniless, but if they spend eternity with God, he has been a success. On the other hand, his wife and children may become wealthy, powerful and famous, but if they miss Heaven, he is a failure and God will require an answer for his mismanagement.
Still got questions? Take a look at the book “Marital Bliss-ters” by Sonny Childs
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