The Role of the Husband and Father
In the husband-wife relationship, a couple is a complete unit.
They are one-flesh as the Bible clearly explains in Gen 2:24. At the
same time they are interdependent on each other (1 Cor 11:11). They
are to complete, not compete with each other. Couples must understand that
their weaknesses and strengths are meant for them to complement each
other. The woman is to be her husband's helpmate as well as
playmate. Couples who do not recognize this truth and build their
marriage according to God's design will experience a lot of tension
and disharmony when they compete with each other like enemies.
A man who wants to establish a harmonious home will give top
priority to his wife. He will love her, lead her and listen to her.
What does it mean for a man to love his wife? I'm afraid the word
'love' has been badly misused. "I love my dog; I love durians;
I love Honda" and "I love my wife." What is the
difference? Is there any distinction? According to Eph 5:25 "Husbands,
love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up
for her." This is the standard of love we are talking
about. Regardless of my feelings, the command to love my wife is
"agape", the unconditional and sacrificial love which
lasts for all seasons; whether in spring when my wife is blooming or
in autumn when she will be withering. Love is a commitment. Love is an act of the will, not one based on emotions. Feelings cannot withstand the difficult trials in a marriage. Only
love built on commitment and sacrifice can stand the test of time.
When a wife is secure in her husband's love, she will have no
problem submitting to his leadership. Leadership without love is
like a dictator's rule. The husband who loves best leads best. And
the best way to love your child is to love his mother. Someone said, "Be
careful that your marriage doesn't become a duel instead of a
duet." Love your wife unconditionally and sacrificially, and
then your marriage will become a beautiful duet.
Another important role of the man is leadership. The man must lead.
Eph 5:23 "For the husband is the head of
the wife as Christ is the head of the church, ..." God
has designated the husband as the head of the relationship. This is
the creation order. The husband is therefore responsible to lead his
family, with his wife as his helpmate. Together, they are a team and
not enemies. It is unfortunate that some wives would say, "My husband is the head, but I'm the
neck." Given such a situation, it is likely that in that
marriage there is a power struggle. In many homes, there are men who
are reluctant to lead.
Perhaps out of frustration, women either take control of the home or
refuse to follow the husband's lead. This is a 'no win' situation.
The husband is the pilot, his wife the co-pilot. Together, they
chart the course of their destination. Along the way, if they go off
course, both must help each other to get back on course. The safety
and well-being of their children is in their hands. For whatever
reasons, a man who does not lead as he should is ultimately
answerable and responsible for the consequences of his lack of
The husband must love, lead and listen to his wife. When a husband
fails to listen to his wife, this is one sure sign of a
communication breakdown. One of the most common complaints a
counselor hears is, "My husband doesn't listen." Husbands, hear your wives out, don't
interrupt, and don't offer solutions, just listen! When you listen,
you're showing your love as you consider her feelings and points of
Let's look at the man as a father. To be a good and effective
steward of his family, a father needs to remember the following.
Time is essential. A father cannot teach and train if he does not
give time and spend time with the family. I have yet to meet a man
who complains he has plenty of time. Try asking your children what
they think is the most important to you. Fathers, don't confuse the
important with the urgent. Prioritize your time. You need to block
out time to attend to the things that are important. What matters
most to you? Is it your family - your wife and children? Make them
your priority! Fathers, when was the last time you spend an hour
with your children? Matthew 6:21 "For
where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Where is your heart today? What is your treasure? Look at how you
spend your time. Most of us would like to think that our family
matters most, but how much time do we give to our wife and children?
Tim Hansel said, "It takes time to be a good father. It takes
effort - trying, failing and trying again."
Without time, it is impossible to teach and train. You need
time to give instruction to a given subject, to give knowledge, to
give lessons, to impart to another. A good teacher is a trainer.
Deut 6:6-9 "These commandments that I
give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your
children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk
along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as
symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on
the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
A father's responsibility in giving spiritual instruction is a
continuous process. Fathers, do you realize that little ears are
listening; that little eyes are observing you? Who are their role
models in today's culture and society? Who are your children
following? 1% of the child's time is spent under the influence of
the Sunday School; 7% the influence of the public school and 92%
under the influence of the home. Fathers, if we do not impart to our
children the positive moral and spiritual values while they are
under our charge, it is unlikely we will have much influence when
they leave the home later. While they are still young and
impressionable, teachable, we must spend time to teach and train
them. We are their mentor, their trainer, their discipler, their
encourager, their cheerleader, their hero and best of all, their
Do you know what they are learning in school, outside of school,
from friends, from TV, from books they read? Do you know what
influence them most today? What is going on in their lives? What
kind of information and influence are shaping their lives? If you
don't, fathers, make sure you find out! Otherwise, you will not be
able to help transform them!
Rom 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to
the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of
your mind." The word 'transform' is derived from the
word 'metamorphosis' which is to change, like the ugly caterpillar
changing into a beautiful butterfly. Our children too are directly
influenced by worldly values through the media, their peers, etc.
That is why as fathers, we need to teach and train to transform them
to biblical standards and values so that when they become adults,
they will be able to make good judgments and decisions based on such
biblical values. When we have them grounded in the Word of God, we
have discharged our responsibility as a father, as a steward of our
A father prayed, "Our Father in heaven, I'm a father on earth.
You have given me this gift and responsibility. Grant me wisdom to
carry it out. Let me be there for my children when they need me, and
get out of their way when they don't."