I believe it. I love it. I live it. Being a family man is my favorite job. It’s my #1 calling.
Yes, I am driven to create something beautiful in this world. I am an entrepreneur at heart and love to build, move, and progress forward. I want to look back on my life and see the fruits of hard work and dedication.
But investing in those closest to me, my family, stands head and shoulders above all else. I refuse to sacrifice my family on the altar of my career, my portfolio, my influence, or even my ministry. I hope to succeed in each of these areas, but my family will not be left behind.
Before we dive in, the three roles require some explanation. Each of the three words used to describe the roles can be twisted. While I truly believe these three areas are important for every Christian husband and father, I know of many men who have distorted these words for their own purposes.
Actually, it is so important that we don’t use these three words in the wrong way that I want to give a quick foundation that should be the basis of all biblical masculinity. (Taken out of context, these three words have been used for all sorts of verbal and physical abuse. That is why this is so important. Every good thing has the potential for darkness. My worst fear would be that my words, which are meant to encourage, would be twisted for evil.)
The foundation of biblical masculinity is humility.
I know that is hard for some of you guys to read. Humility seems so, well, weak! But look at the most humble man in all of history, Jesus. He had more power and influence than anyone… ever! He was the ultimate leader. And, yet, He was completely humble. He didn’t need to go to the cross. He chose to go to the cross. We can still be strong, masculine men who are humble. Humility is not weakness. Humility is strength with restraint. Humility is leadership plus love. Humility is influence added to understanding. So, men, let us first be humble. It is only in humility that we can truly be the man God intended!
The Three Roles
In college, I learned three key roles of husbands and fathers from my pastor. He taught us that these three roles outlined biblical masculinity. According to the Bible, this is what it means to be a man. These roles can be summed up in one phrase.
The role of biblical masculinity is to lead, provide for, and protect women in a Christ-like manner.
This phrase lays out the three roles of husbands and fathers: Lead, Provide, Protect. Now let’s dive into some explanation because those three words can be taken a lot of different directions!
I believe it is the role of the Husband to lead his family in a biblical way. But this type of leading is not like how you would lead an animal. This is your family, not your property. We aren’t tying a rope around a horse and leading it down a trail. That is not humility. No, we are talking about servant leadership. We lead our families like a guide would lead a group. Think about a Sherpa leading an expedition up the treacherous side of Mount Everest. He is not the lord of the group. He is their servant. Yet, he leads with understanding and patience.
In our marriages, leadership is a conversation. I make no major decisions without discussing it with my wife. Actually, we discuss just about everything. If it’s more than a $20 purchase at Target, we are talking about it. And many times, we even run those by each other. Like the dreaded word, submission, leadership is a two-way street.
Let us lead our families well.
Is your family provided for? Provision covers a lot of ground! This is more than bringing home a paycheck. Providing for your family is thinking through every need they possess and doing all you can to meet that need. You know what it doesn’t mean? That you have to make more than your wife. That bull-headed mindset needs to be left in the dust. My wife hasn’t always worked outside the home, but every time that she has (Seriously, every time!), she has made more than me. It doesn’t mean I am less of a man. It simply means she chose a field that pays more than mine. That’s all.
But even when she needs to work, I am still providing for my family. I am doing my part. I am working and adding my paycheck. I am helping out at home with the kids, laundry, cooking, and cleaning. Provision has many corners, and they all need to be covered.
Men, are you providing for your family? Truly providing? Even if you bring home a good paycheck, coming home and sitting in your chair all night is not providing. Help out! Do you have life insurance? Do you have a will? Do you have a budget? Even if you have been laid off, you can still provide for your family 99 other ways. Honestly, I am not always the best in this area. I need to up my game in a few areas. But we can all work on improving a little bit every week.
Let us provide for our families in every way they need.
Our families need protection. This can be safety at home or out on vacation. Maybe it means getting a dog so your wife feels safer when you’re away. But it can also mean protecting them in other ways. Prime example: the internet. I have three children: 12, 6, and less than 1. But I will always know EVERY one of their passwords for EVERY device and social media site they have! If you disagree with me, you’re stupid. And naive. I’ve been working with kids and teens for about 15 years, trust me. You need to keep watch. But what about their privacy? Don’t they need their space? No. This is called parenting in the 21st century. Disagree? What do you know about YikYak?
For years, I thought protection meant being the toughest guy around. Give it up for the thinking of a 20-something. Now, I realize every husband and father can protect their family. When it comes to safety, check into home security. When it comes to being online, I will know the sites we visit and passwords (and my wife knows mine!). When it comes to the future, I will have life insurance. When it comes to stupid people saying stupid things, I will protect my family by turning my back and walking away. Protection has many hats, and I will wear them all.
Let us protect our families from anything that can tear us apart.
Taken out of context, these three roles can actually be destructive. Men can use these words to verbally abuse their families or make their wives feel inferior. This is the complete opposite of biblical masculinity. Men, if we seek after Jesus and exercise humility, we can lead, provide for, and protect our families in a godly and Christ-like manner!