We have been moving into a “Me” based society in the last couple of generations and it is strongly affecting families and households all over. Godly households should be strong and intact, yet we still hear of even these, falling apart. God is calling men to be men and to teach His Word and values through example to their wives and children.
“In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.”
“So again, I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”
Now, anyone who knows the bible has heard these passages. But these are God’s words given to us as instruction on how God wants us to act in our relationships and families.
God is a God of order and justice. He is a loving God, but He is also a firm God. This means that when we walk in obedience and according to His commands, He can choose to bless us. However, when we are disobedient to Him and abusive to others, He can choose to discipline us.
There are so many existing relationships that could be turned into great relationships by submitting to God and placing Jesus as the foundation of the relationship. If a couple entered into a relationship apart from God, this doesn’t mean that they missed their chance. No; it means they can agree together to come before God humbly and ask Him to be part of their relationship and to grow that relationship the way He wants it to be.
We are all called to love one another
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
In relationships, the husband has a position and the wife has a position. Each has certain duties to fulfill. Both are free in the relationship, but both are called to love each other. So, to help understand further what this means, we can look to another verse about what love is:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
We can see here that love is more than making our partner breakfast on their birthday. Love covers many daily habits and attitudes that we commonly have; especially, with our spouse.
When we get comfortable in our relationships, we can get to a point where we speak whatever is on our mind and act according to our emotions. What I mean is, we can become harsh with our spouse and treat them more severely than we would our neighbor.
But according to God, everyone is our neighbor; even our spouse. We are all God’s children and we are all called to love each other as Jesus loved us. And, if you aren’t sure; Jesus loved us unconditionally, even in our sin.
When we have a bad day, instead of lashing out on our spouse as we vent and let off pressure, we must treat them with love and respect and see them as our loving support.
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God wants us to bring our issues to Him
Instead of husbands and wives fighting over certain issues because the pressure of life has built too much, He wants us to come to Him and give our problems to Him.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
For most husbands and wives, the fight is often that of money or parenting. God wants for us to walk in His wisdom in both of these areas. Even though we might be struggling with debt or a lack of finances, God wants to provide for us. He is a provider and He wants all of us to put our trust in Him for His provision.
Also, He knows that children can be strong-willed, also known as stubborn, and that against the parent’s best efforts, they can rebel against us and go down their own paths. In this, God also wants us to put our trust in Him to guide and direct our children and to keep them safe.
Children will grow into young adults, and young adults may want to figure things out for themselves. This means that even though they lack wisdom, they still want to venture forth and make choices. These choices might have certain consequences attached that might be painful for the young adult, but God uses these as a learning aid and disciplinary action. In many instances, a child who was raised well, but went down their own path for a while, will return to what they were taught earlier.
When we have children, we are called to raise them to the best of our ability. God expects us to raise them according to His standards. We can’t control everything they do; especially, as they get older. For these times, God calls us to pray for them and to leave them in His hands. God has a will and purpose for each of us. He is a God of Wisdom.
Men, we are called to teach our family and to pray for them daily
The husband is placed at the head of his household, just as Jesus is placed at the head of the husband. Each one of us is called to live up to the standard of Christ and to then model that standard to anyone and everyone we come into contact with. We are to live as Jesus would have us live; especially, in front of our children who are always watching and learning.
There are a few things that God would have us do each day and He wants us to teach our family to do these, too. These are: pray to Him, read the bible, sing songs of praise and worship to Him, and do good to others while building them up in love.
For an example in praying:
a husband can pray to God to protect his family. He can ask God to provide for all of his family’s needs. He can ask God to teach him to be loving and gentle with his wife and children. He can ask God to make him a strong leader who is exceedingly capable to raise his family according to God’s Will. He can ask God for wisdom and discernment. He can ask God to strengthen his marriage, strengthen the attraction between him and his wife, and to eliminate the potential for any type of lust or affairs. Finally, he can ask the Holy Spirit to fill each of them, and his house, with God’s Spirit, and to protect each of them from the attacks of Satan.
This is just an example, but nonetheless, a similar prayer should be prayed by husbands and fathers everywhere. Women too should pray a similar prayer over themselves and their families. This should be done daily.
We are called to do the best we can
We all will make mistakes. Men, especially; if you have a wife and children, you have a responsibility before God. God gives us the strength we need to hang in there and be there for our family. At times, the going can get tough and at this time, many men abandon their wives and children. But it’s in these times that we must “man-up” and submit to God first.
By doing this, God can work with us and strengthen us and give us direction. He will speak to us and help us to deal with our most difficult situations. If finances are so tight that it is putting a wedge between husband and wife, then it’s at this point where we must go before God in prayer as a couple and offer all of the household finances to God.
This means that we bring the problem of lack and struggle before God and ask Him to help. Abandoning our family in a tough time doesn’t help us or our family. Together, and especially, together with God, we are strong and able. It is when we don’t include God into our family life and finances that all goes wrong. We are not wise, even though we think we are; we are not strong, even though we think we are; and, we won’t make a good choice on our own, even though we think we will.
God is all-seeing and all-knowing. He wants us to do the best we can and leave the rest up to Him. God doesn’t want us to abandon our wives and children; Satan does. The devil is all about division, and especially, division in marriages. By dividing husband against wife, he has effectively destroyed that family. But God can repair what Satan breaks if we will reach out to Him.
So, if you are a husband and you are struggling in any area of life, and especially, regarding your family, reach out to God and ask Him for His help. God will expect you to be loyal to Him and walk in obedience to Him at that point, but He is faithful and will come in and help.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
A quick word about abandonment
I just want to add to our conversation about what abandonment is. The understanding of abandonment is that a person walks away from something and never thinks of it again. However, I just want to say that it’s fully possible for us to live at home with our family while still abandoning them.
We can get to a point where we become defeated and give up completely. This means that we come and go as usual and pay no attention to what is going on in the house. By doing this, children are left to their own thoughts and choices and our spouse is left to do life alone.
We have a choice and we are wise to seek God in all we do. We are wise to give our issues to God and trust Him to help us instead of trying to carry all the weight alone. A spouse and children are God’s blessing for us and we can take them for granted and lose them. Or, we can cherish them and lead them according to God and the family can grow strong and become a blessing to others.
Too many households are trying to live and grow on their own, apart from God. Interestingly enough, too many households are falling apart. We must make a turn back to God and seek His teaching. We must start raising our family according to His standard and Will.
Instead of women and children being abused and abandoned, we can instead be a column of strength and support for them, just as Jesus is for us.
My wife and I have been married for more than twenty years and through our whole marriage and many hard times, God has kept us together. We are a praying couple and we trust God with all that He has given us. We still struggle and we have children who are strong-willed, but God is surely helping us. I know that if you give Him a chance, He will help you, too. But, you have to take a step of courage and faith and go to Him first, and He will be there to accept your invitation.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how.