A family is the perfect script for a great movie. There is a “good guy” (God) and a “bad guy” (the Devil) fighting for the prized possession – you, the family. Unfortunately, this battle is not fought on the silver screen but in real life. This is why God commanded Nehemiah to “fight for your families.” (Nehemiah 4:14)
When God instituted family, He provided a roadmap. He gave specific roles to each member of the family to set them up to be victorious. If we are to be successful in our family life, we must follow God’s plan. It is God’s design for the man to be the leader of his home. Eve was created to be a “help meet” (Genesis 2:18) because God knew man would need a lot of help! Today, man’s value and role have been emasculated by modern society and women are left with a burden on their shoulders they were never intended to bear.
So what makes a successful family? I believe a successful family begins with a successful marriage. And a successful marriage is based on two quality decisions: commitment to God and commitment to each other. Without this commitment and the determination to reinforce it daily, you will be tempted to give up.
Let’s look at the husband’s role. The word husband comes from a Latin word meaning “house-band.” Like a rubber band, the husband’s job is to keep the family bound together. Do not take the easy way out and just be provider – spend time with your family as well. Be faithful to your wife. It is not enough to provide for the family financially; you also need to provide for them emotionally. In the complex world we live today, they need your listening ears, approval, and understanding. As the leader of the family, the husband needs to lead, guide, provide, protect, and serve his family. When a husband serves in this way, the wife will not have any trouble submitting to him. When I counsel couples, many wives tell me they dream for a godly husband they can follow. Husbands, step up to the plate and be the spiritual leader of your home. The husband’s job is to receive and apply the word of God in his family, in the same way Christ loved and served His family. A leader is not a dictator but a humble servant who serves his family.
It is every woman’s desire to be loved, cherished, and even pampered. They need listening ears without being interrupted when they share their feelings. Women need to feel beautiful and validated. Instead of complaining, develop a habit of complementing. Like the great king Solomon advised, daily build up your wife. Allow them to blossom and develop confidence. Do not give half-hearted approval. They need full endorsement; complements, not criticism. When you treat your wife like a queen, she will treat you like a king.
The wife’s primary role is to support her husband and children without losing her own identity. Modern culture, media, and movies have taught us that being a wife or a mother at home is an inferior vocation. But nothing is more rewarding than to follow God’s design for the family. Nothing is more powerful than raising and influencing the next generation. What you deposit in them is far more important than what you leave for them.
Wives, your husband needs you. Nothing makes a man feel taller than when his wife standing by his side. Your husband’s number one need is to be admired. This is even more important than their need for intimacy. Your husband needs your respect and appreciation. Instead of nagging, start bragging, especially in public. Build him up with your words of encouragement. Tell him what a great man he is. Give him something to live up to!
Children obviously make up the fun part of the family. One thing I have learned as a father is kids spell love, “T-I-M-E.” Parents, “waste” time with your children. Play with your children. Train them in the ways of the Lord. If you don’t spend time with them, someone else will! Discipline them from a young age. Teach them responsibility, respect, and honor. Speak affirmative words over them. Catch them doing something right. Remember, they will learn more from your walk than from your talk. Ouch!
A family is the highest representation of God on earth. If you are blessed with a family, cherish it. Do not take your family for granted. Husbands, love your wife so your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7) Wives, admire your husband and speak well of him. Children, enjoy the family God has given you – it is the only one you will have. A Spanish proverb says, “An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship.” God has shed His blood to save His family; now it's your turn to save yours! He is watching over you with everything you need. Live, Love, Learn… at the end of your days, your family is all you will have left.
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