This is a guest post from Daniel Robertson of God’s Help For Marriage. Feel free to share your own tips on what it looks like to be a Godly husband in the comments!
Being a Godly man in today’s culture isn’t always easy. We are ridiculed for our old fashioned beliefs, such as the idea that we have been placed in a position of authority over our wives. We are treated like criminals and abusers if we are caught spanking our misbehaving children. The idea that there is an absolute morality and only one true religion makes us intolerant bigots. And the belief in a God who lovingly chose to create us rather than the random chance of evolution makes us ignorant zealots who would keep us in the dark ages because of our refusal to accept scientific “fact”.
And yet, never more has the world needed Godly husbands, fathers, and leaders more than it does now. The moral ambiguity of our current generation has given rise to a lawlessness that threatens to unravel society at the most fundamental level: the family unit. Statistics have shown that fathers play a significant role in the development of their children. Children who have active fathers at home do much better in school, have fewer development problems, and are less likely to get into trouble with drugs, sex, and crime than kids who have fathers who are absent, inattentive, or abusive.
Yet how is a man to know what it means to be a Godly influence on his family in a world that looks down on him for doing so? If you’re lucky, you had a Godly father or father figure to show you the way. Most of us aren’t that lucky. We’re stuck trying to figure this out while dealing with our own brokenness. On top of that we have demands on our time that make it difficult to stay involved.
Being a good husband and father isn’t that difficult. There are some very basic things you can do that will go a long way to building positive and healthy relationships with your family. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
The Godly Man as a Lover
The ultimate good any of us can do is to be an echo of God’s love for others. This, more than any other thing, is our highest calling in this life. This is also the most important thing we can do for our families. God’s design and purpose for us is to experience His love, to be in relationship with Him and with those around us. Love is the most fundamental of all human needs.
If you want to be a Godly husband and father the most important thing you can do is demonstrate your love for your family. This means being involved and available. Show love with your words and actions. Tell your wife you love her every day. Tell your children you love them often. Play games with them. Tickle your kids and laugh with them. Show up to school functions. Don’t check out emotionally from what’s happening in their lives.
If they have a problem be there to support them. Encourage them and tell them it will be OK. Be a comforting presence before you try to solve their problems.
Let your kids see you express affection for your wife. Demonstrating love between a man and wife in a Godly context is one of the greatest gifts you can give to both them and to her. Hug her, kiss her, tell her you love her. Write her love letters and give her gifts for no reason other than to bless her. Be relentless in pursuing your wife. Learn to speak to her in her love languages.
The Godly Man as a Warrior
The Bible is full of imagery of war and warfare. God is depicted as as Warrior who rescues the lost from the chains of sin. We are told to don the full armor of God and to hold our ground. All around us an ancient war is being waged between the forces of good and evil, and we remain largely blind to this struggle. Often, we willingly chose to remain ignorant of this battle, choosing instead the path of comfort.
Christian man, God invites you to take up arms in this battle. He invites you into an epic story of His making and has marked you as one of His Chosen Ones. You can choose to take up the fight against the Dark One or you can sit on the sidelines.
When the Bible talks about the Devil it isn’t just metaphorical. When you read about Jesus and the disciples casting out demons it isn’t because of some crazy superstition. The Devil wants to keep you ignorant and complacent because that gives him the freedom to run amok in your life and the lives of your family.
I plan to write more on this topic in the future, but if you want a basic primer you can read this post.
The Godly Man as a Servant
Jesus instructed His disciples to serve others. Rather than seeking our own gain, we are to place the needs of others before our own. As husbands, we are expected to serve our wives to the point of sacrificing our own lives for them.
There are many practical ways to serve your wife. Volunteer to help her around the home. Take the kids off her hands for a while so she can relax. Give her back rubs or massage her feet. Look for ways to make her life easier, like leaving the seat down or replacing that darn toilet paper roll (and make sure to put it on the right way). The little things can really go a long way.
The Godly Man as a Leader
God has made it clear in His Word that the man is the spiritual head of the home. You can gripe and complain about it all you want. You can leave nasty comments saying I’m a bigot if you want. To be honest, I’d rather not be the leader. I’m much more comfortable letting others make all the decisions.
And yet, leadership is a burden I don’t want to force on my wife by my own passivity. God has given me the responsibility to lead my family, and though I fail often, I am trying to take this role seriously. It isn’t easy or comfortable for me, but it is something I need to do if I want to have a healthy marriage.
One thing I’ve been intending to do is to work through a couples devotional with my wife and to spend more time reading the Bible. Every time I try to start this, it never lasts very long. We just started up with this again, so with some discipline we’ll be able to keep it going.