December 8, 2014

Understanding Women, Part 5

“And now a word to you fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them.  Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 (NLT)

The quickest way for a husband to win the heart of his wife is to invest time and energy with their kids.   Family commitment is top on her needs list!  Both the books of Ephesians and Hebrews speak to the role of dads about training their sons and daughters.  Somehow, our generation is abdicating that role to the detriment of our own marriage relationships.  A wife needs her husband to willingly and intentionally commit himself to a parenting partnership with her.  When her husband spends quality time with their children, it fills up her love bank in the marriage.  It’s a win/win opportunity, guys!   I’ve talked to so many men who have made the same mistake I’ve made, thinking that my role was to provide and protect, and leave the nurturing part to my wife.  Yet, as I saw my kids growing up, God began to redirect my focus; I began to find more balance in my work schedule, investing time and energy into my kids.  As I look back on our lives, I am so thankful and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything!  I didn’t realize how much my wife needed this as well.  Our basic need for respect, as men, is so much easier for our wives to meet when we involve ourselves in the lives of our kids and make time for family activities together.  A great place to begin is leading your family spiritually.  Set the example of worship through your own personal time of worship and by taking your family to church.  The Bible challenges fathers to train their sons and daughters with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.  No church can do that for you.  At best, the church can come alongside and support you in the process.  Use the weekend worship experiences with your family as a spring board for spiritual discussions with your children.  Let them see that Christ has first place in your life by the way you spend your time and resources, as well as the way you treat their mom.  Listen to the emphasis Moses gave this to a new generation of Israelites as they prepared to enter the Promised Land.  In Deuteronomy 6:5-9, he says, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.  And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children.  Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.  Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead.  Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”  Read those verses again and consider your involvement with your own kids.  What kind of adjustments would this require in your schedule?  Make that adjustment, and see what a difference it makes not only with your kids but in your marriage as well.