Men: Being the Spiritual Leader of Your Family – You Gotta LOVE Your Wife

This is the second in my series on helping men become the spiritual leaders of their family. You can find the first post and links to remaining posts as they become available HERE.

I remember a story that the pastor at a church I used to attend and then served as children’s pastor told from time to time. The story was of a street preacher. You know the ones standing on a random street shouting at people as they walk or drive by. Sometimes they have a megaphone or even a speaker system. This particular street preacher used to regularly shout, “Husbands, you gotta LOVE your wife.” If you want to be the spiritual leader of your family this is one of the first things you gotta do.

You gotta LOVE your wife. Street preachers like the one in my pastor’s story can be easy to ignore. They’re kinda wild and sometimes downright obnoxious. But, in this particular case, the street preacher makes a good point. You’ve gotta LOVE your wife. It is unfair for you to expect your wife to follow you, if you don’t love her. Not only do you need to love her, she needs to know that you love her. More about that in a little bit, but for now let’s just say that you need to love your wife. If you don’t then we shouldn’t go any further.

Take time right now, and every day, to pray for God to help you love your wife more and better.

She’s number 1, well number 2, but also number one. There is a mistake I often see in families today. Things are pretty good until kids come around. Then, suddenly, the husband or wife get’s pushed to the side. Suddenly, one or the other begins to feel like a second-class citizen. I get it. the kids NEED you. They require more attention. Still, we HAVE to remember that your wife MUST remain your number one. There should be no human relationship that outranks that with your wife.

There is one relationship that must outrank your wife. That is your relationship with God. You must focus on that. I’ll talk more about that in a later post. For now let’s just say that God is number 1, but your wife comes in at a close number 2.

The best witness for your kids. As dads we often think about ways to witness to our kids. We think about how to be a good example to our kids. We want to show our sons what it means to be a Godly man. We want our daughters to see what a Godly man looks like to help them choose a Godly husband. The best way that you can witness to your kids is to love their mother. Your sons will learn that this is how you treat a woman, especially their wife. Your daughters will learn that this is how a woman should be treated, especially by her husband. Hopefully this will help our sons be better husbands and our daughters to choose better husbands.

More than words. It’s easy to tell people we love them. However, it requires WORK to show them. I’m not taking about flowers or chocolates, that’s too easy. I’m talking about doing things that show your wife that you love her. There are probably things you already that show your love for your wife. From making sure the cars are in top running condition, or that the yard is well maintained her not having to worry about these things is HUGE. But, when you do things that maybe she normally does, that’s a game changer. When was the last time you send her away and cleaned the house? Or maybe prepared dinner? Or maybe do the dishes. I’m certainly not saying that these things are HER job. But, you might be amazed at how much she appreciates you doing them.

She’s YOUR wife, not mine. Ultimately, she’s your wife, not mine. I’ve spent the last 27 years getting to know my wife. I know what it takes to make her feel loved, even if I’m not always good at doing it. You need to take the time to learn your wife. Look for the things that cause her stress. She’ll when you work to reduce that stress. Find out what she enjoys, do those things with her and help give her opportunities to do these.

Tag, you’re it. Now, it’s your turn. I’ve given you some things to think about. Now, you have to go out and do them. You’re wife will never follow you as the spiritual leader of your family if she doesn’t feel loved by you. So, first step. Learn you wife. If you don’t do that, then nothing else you do will help you become the spiritual leader of your family that you want to be.

Matt Norman

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Men: How to Be The Spiritual Leader of Your Family: Part 1

It might not be popular these days, but I truly believe that the Bible calls men to be the spiritual leaders of their family. This is not to say that men are somehow better than women. This is not say that as a man, husband, father that I out rank my wife. This is not to say that I am the boss. Rather this puts a responsibility on men to LEAD their families. But, how do we do that? What does that look like? This is part on in a series that will look at just that: How to Be The Spiritual Leader of Your Family.

This is tough. In an era when society is constantly attacking what it means to be a man, it becomes harder and hard to be the “man of the family.” I’m certainly not suggesting that we go back to a time when most women wore cute dresses and aprons and spent most of their time cleaning and other chores. I’m not saying that women need to get back into the kitchen “where they belong”. Frankly, I don’t think I could be married to June Cleaver, or Carol Brady. I LOVE that woman today are encouraged to be strong. But, what does that mean for us men? Where does that leave us? How do we lead without pushing women down?

I don’t have all the answers. I’m not even going to begin to say that I know all the answers. What I intend to offer here are some things that can move you towards being the spiritual leader of your family. I am certainly open to discussing specific questions or issues you may have. While I don’t have all the answers, I do believe that together we can discover them.

You’re NOT the boss. Again, this is not about being the boss. If you’re looking to be the boss, you probably need to read these posts, but you may need to do some soul searching first. Identify your TRUE motives and then come back and read this from a perspective of leading your family, not trying to be the boss. If, however, you are not looking to become the boss, but have a true desire to lead your family well, then keep reading cause these posts are for you.

Here is a preview of the upcoming posts in this series. As the posts become available. These will also become links to this posts.

  • You Gotta LOVE Your Wife
  • Prayer Matters
  • You Gotta Grow
  • Church Attendance Matters
  • Be Kind
  • Be the leader, not the boss
  • Don’t go it alone

Check back often to read the rest of the posts in this series.

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Matt Norman

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Why Are Dads So Dumb?

Before I go any further let me remind you that I am both a man and a father. This may be why this topic bothers me so much. I’m not talking about real dads. I’m talking about TV and movie dads. Why are so many of them simply so stupid?

My least favorite movie. Some years ago Nicholas Cage starred in a movie called Razing Arizona. I disliked this movie, and Cage’s character, so much that I wouldn’t watch any movie that he was in for years. This character was a father, but he was not a good one. He was not what I would consider a strong man. He simply irritated me. Unfortunately, this character is just one of many that have come to characterize the typical TV or movie dad.

Bob the bug man. Disney has a fairly innocent show called, Good Luck Charlie. The show is actually quite cute and I have often enjoyed watching it with my kids. But, the dad, Bob, is portrayed as barely capable of walking upright, much less leading his family. The intent of this character is probably simply to be funny. He is goofy and often quite funny, but what is the effect?

Al the shoe salesman. When I was a teenager there was a very popular TV show called Married With Children. The patriarch of this family was one Al Bundy. Al was a miserable man who was far more interested in watching TV than in being a father to his children or a husband to his wife. His wife was little more than an aggravation to him. His children were the same.

Why does it matter? We live in a day where many fathers have little to do with their children. In many cases these children don’t live with their fathers. Still many DO live with their kids, but have virtually no connection with them. Furthermore, we are seeing a generation of kids with less and less respect for their parents and other authorities. I certainly don’t completely blame TV for this, but I do thing that there are images from these bad dads that are being place into the minds of children. These effect the way they interact with adults. Also, in the case of kids without a father present, these may be the only example of what a father is that they see. What image of fatherhood will they form based on this.

Maybe this is much ado about nothing. But, in a time when families are perhaps weaker than ever before, we need men to be strong fathers. We need images of good fathers. TV is not devoid of such fathers. Consider Little House on the Prairie  or The Braddy Bunch. Certainly these dads were not perfect, but they led their families and they loved their wives.

In a time when there are fewer good dads in our world and and even fewer in TV, I think it is time for the church to step up. Equip and encourage dads to be Godly men. Stand in the gap where dads are absent. Men, step it up. Be the dad and husband that God called you to be.

Matt Norman

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