What does it take to be man of your house?

LET’S SAY you’re a president or king. Everything’s fine until one day your intelligence team comes to you with some bad news — a deadly terrorist has slipped into your lands. So you ask yourself: who’s the most dangerous person in your kingdom right now?

The answer? You are.

The way authority responds to a crisis is critical to the survival of a nation, kingdom, or family. In the face of a threat I can oppress, ignore, or overreact. All these reactions could potentially do much more harm than any terrorist threat.

You are king

In your family, you are king. Your family, home, possessions… everything is part of your kingdom. You can choose to be authoritarian or negligent. But if you want to prosper, you must act kingly. Part of this means fully grasping that you’re potentially the most dangerous person at all times since you wield power on the inside.

If I imagined an ideal president, I would think of someone who always governs with the people’s best interests in mind. A true servant. We know this never happens, at least not in our times. But as head of the family, am I any different? How often do I put my interests first?

The king’s prime objective

Above all other earthly responsibilities, even children, my primary job as king is to protect my queen. This basic principle even makes sense biologically. If my mate survives but not my kids, I can always have more children.

You might cringe at this, but think deeper. My mom always told me, “If your wife is happy, then the family will be okay.” She’s so right. My wife is the glue that holds us all together. She’s the multitasking conductor that doesn’t forget about family dynamics, birthdays, and how much milk is in the fridge. If she goes down, then I must defend the tribe alone. The family unit has a much better chance of survival if two sets of eyes, ears, and limbs are working together.

“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5b-6)

Divided we fall

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of marriages under attack. It strikes me since, in many cases, both husband and wife are good people. Both are believers. There’s no sick child, infidelity, or financial crisis happening. They just don’t get along. What puzzles me even more is that they seriously consider separation. Some even end in divorce.  I see this as nothing less than a diabolical attack.

After living with anyone for a long time, you really get to know their ugly side. It grates upon your nerves. You have the same effect on the other. This is human. But our response must be heavenly.

Get out the sticks and bats

What if a pit bull came barging into your home threatening to maul your wife and kids — what would you do? Would you run and hide? No way. You would grab a stick or chair or anything you could get your hands on and blast that mutt out the door. Even if you were scared, you would go beast mode.

Consider this. There are demonic forces trying to invade your home to divide and destroy. Sometimes they’re subtle lines like “we just don’t get along” or “we’re just not compatible”. Maybe your mind wanders thinking about a female coworker that seems to flirt with you. Or maybe you find yourself wasting time on porn. These things are just as dangerous as a rabid dog in your home. And you have to give them a swift kick in the a**. Blast them out of your heart, mind, and home. I don’t want to give them even a nanometer of space.

Deal with it, like a king

If my wife bugs me, I try not to let it happen. How do I fight back? By returning to my role as king. I must protect her from my reactions and even from herself sometimes. Women need to talk, let it all out, and unload. I tell myself, “Listen, but don’t make a lot of comments. Be a support. Wait till the waters calm down. Be a king.”

Too many times I’m either too distracted or too quick to respond. Being in that sweet spot where I really listen requires humility and patience — not always my strongest points, but I try.

One way or another, a woman will test and challenge her man at times. Again, this might be something primal. Her lioness instinct tells her, “Is this guy up to snuff? If he can’t even figure out how to defend himself from me, how’s he going to protect the pride with me?”

Now here I have to be careful. I don’t want to respond violently or withdraw in apathy. The true Christ-like king is a servant.

Be a good student

One thing that helps me a lot is studying my wife’s behavior. I want to be an expert in the things that she likes or doesn’t like. When I study her, I get to know her better. Women are better at intuition. Men are better at lists and logic. Relationships shouldn’t be mechanical, but if I stop and take note of things, it means I care. I’ll never nail it 100%, but I try to shoot for an A minus at least.

Still, I don’t want to take this process too far. Yes, I have to use my head in our relationship – but the thing she wants more than anything is my heart.

Scripture tells me how far I have to go

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,  that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,  that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Ephesians 5:25-28)

Think about these words. Paul asks me to do for my wife what Christ does for the church. Jesus knows the church isn’t perfect. He knows we’re full of annoying tendencies and frustrating habits. But he loves his church and does everything he can to make it holy. You have a responsibility to make your woman holy — that’s huge. It’s not by force or control. How did Jesus reach your heart? Through grace and love — through goodness and forgiveness — and by going to the cross for you. Yes, I have to lead. Yes, I have to place limits, but it must all stem from the concept of a service.

But how?

How can I possibly live up to this? Imperfectly that’s for sure. But at least I know the formula for success. As I am king, I must invoke the Kingdom of God — “thy kingdom come…”

A kingdom is a government or seat of order. So I ask and pray for this order to come to my life. It won’t happen by understanding the concepts alone. I must pray for God to establish his order in me first, and then for my marriage and family. I have to study how the kings did it right and wrong in the Bible. And I have to meditate upon the things that bother or scare me about my role as king.

Loving your spouse is a choice. Make the choice every day. And watch your kingdom thrive.

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