As men and husbands, we are called to be the head of our homes; to be the bread winner and leaders of our families. But what does that really mean? 1 Corinthians 11:3 teaches us that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God; and 1 Timothy 3:4-5 not only gives the qualifications for a leader in the church, but what is expected of a husband, that is he must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive…
The men who grew up in my generation and were fortunate to have fathers as the principle bread winner, were taught that you do whatever is required to feed and clothe your family, pay the bills and put a roof over their heads. At times, my father worked three jobs to ensure that he fulfilled his responsibilities. My father learned this from his father and my grandfather learned this from his father. This same principle and work ethic were passed on to me.
As a result, I have always worked extremely long hours during the week and even on the weekend. I always believed I was fulfilling my duty to my family. I often missed special events, and when I was with my family, I was often distracted – answering texts, phone calls and emails. Now that I am older and more experienced, I realize material necessities were only part of my responsibility to my family and are not the most important responsibility.
Ephesians 5:25-26 says,
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by washing of water with the word.”
Jesus is our ultimate example, and He died for the church – for you and me. To love like Jesus means that, as husbands, we are called to die to our own desires and put the needs of our family above our needs. We need to attend to their spiritual, physical, psychological and emotional needs as well!
Ephesians 6:4 instructs fathers,
“…not to provoke our children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”
and Proverbs 18:22 tells us to,
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
It is very difficult to do these things, if we are not present mentally and physically. Too often, we have abdicated this responsibility to our wives. The Bible is full of examples of great men, e.g. kings, prophets and high priests, who were not great fathers. David, Eli and Samuel are a few examples of great men in the Bible who did not do a good job teaching and training their children.
So, while providing for one’s household is important, building our children’s character and giving them the tools and example to strengthen their soul is more important! Proverbs 1:7 tells us,
“…the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
Bishop Dukes frequently asserts our children and wives need to see us pray, read the Bible, and praise and worship God!
My father taught me how to provide for my family’s physical needs, but he did not teach how to be a good father. After all, my father could not teach me something he did not know himself. This very important trait and example is rarely passed down from generation to generation, like other lessons. As husbands and fathers, we must conquer this generational curse now! As our spiritual father Bishop Dukes says, “if it is to be, it is up to me!”
I adjure you to be “present” for your family now, God may give you a second or even third chance when kids move home from college, exit the military or another scenario. But tomorrow or even a second chance is not promised to anyone — don’t wait, act now and seize the opportunities you have with your family!
BY BARRY HARRIS