As men, we should be leading our families in all areas. This isn’t to say your wife doesn’t have any say, in fact she should be sought out and asked her input and feedback on all decisions, the difference being you as the leader make the final decisions. Please don’t misunderstand this is not about power and control, it’s about doing the very best for your family. Putting the needs of your wife and children first and ensuring their needs are taken care of prior to worrying about yourself.
As the husband I believe that you need to have an idea of what your life is about or your mission. I also believe that you are living out your values and beliefs in everything you do and you children are picking up on this in more ways than you can imagine. I wonder if your kids really know what your values are, do they fully understand why you do all that you do? In our home we have a mission statement posted up in our dining room. We use this as a point of reference for our children so they understand why we live our life the way we do and what makes us run. Here’s what ours looks like.
The mission of our family is…
to create a place of truth, love, happiness, and acceptance
to provide opportunities for each person to take chances in order to achieve worthwhile purposes.
to wisely use our time, talents, and resources to bless others…
We will…Put our relationship with Christ above all things in our home
We will…Look to God’s word for the answers tough questions
We will…Honor mom and dad
We will…Respect mom and dad’s time alone
We will…Love and protect each other, to the death if need be
We will…Obey the Lord and mom and dad
We will…Honor God with sound money decisions
We will…Put God and our family before any other activities
We will…Worship together as a family
We will…Be available; Be affectionate; Give affirmation; And accept one another
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk with them when you sit at home and when you walk along side 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 door frames of your houses and on your gates”
We came to this by sitting down as a family, discussing key values and my wife and I sharing our values as parents and what we are trying to impart into our children. This ended up being a fantastic discussion and we were able to have our kids express what was important to them. Based on the response from my family I was able to put our mission statement together. In doing so this has given our family something to stand for. This document is a living and breathing document and can change over the course of time. My wife and I feel like it’s a solid statement about what our family stands for and are extremely proud of what we came up with together.
As the leader of my family I am called to many things. Being responsible for my wife and children, their welfare, safety and many other needs. Because I dearly love each one of them, I want to give them the best of myself and everything else that I can. Each one is unique, different and because of this they each have needs that I need to be aware, so I can do my best to meet those needs. I am not able to do this if I am not tuned in and making them a priority in my life.
I do this by engaging them in conversations. I am purposeful in my questions and discussions so that I know what is really going on inside their head and most importantly their heart. As with all of my relationships I don’t ever want to know just surface type things I want to know what’s at someone’s heart. When something comes up, I continue talking with them so this process is always going and I can help through what’s going on. Do I do this perfectly all the time, no I mess up and I have to go back and ask forgiveness from my wife and kids. That’s also part of the process.
I have always been one to treat my kids as if they have important things to say and make sure their voice is important. We have family meetings where we talk about different issues and everyone gets a say. They have input in what is going on and I want feedback from them. As a family we discuss everything and my wife and I do our part to educate our children so they can make informed decisions. Often it’s been during these times I find out from their perspective if something is bothering them, offending them or hurting them. Upon finding out these things I move into action.
If something is an obstacle, offensive or is blocking anyone in my family from moving forward then I am going to do my part to remove it. Anything that will take away from our family and cause it to move us away from our target is something that needs to be destroyed. This has taken on many forms over the years. Things like unhealthy family members, poor boundaries, peers who can’t respect our family or children. Believe me the list is lengthy and it will continue to grow. At the heart of all of it, my family is my #1 priority and whatever it takes to keep them in that spot is what I will do. I refer to my family as an empire. I am the knight in battle protecting my empire and dynasty. If you try to destroy a part of that I will take you out and not look back. I do all that I do because I love my family and even though I don’t always speak or act in a loving way at home, my wife and kids know that I would lay down my life to protect them.
As a man, you have a lot resting on your shoulders, especially as a husband and father. We wear many hats and in doing so, at the core of who we are; love for our family should be at the center of all of it. This is a high calling, but one worth more than anyone really ever talks about. A battle is never easy, but it’s a battle that is worth laying your life down. When all is said and done, a husband and father who will do whatever it takes to take care of his family is someone worthy of great admiration and respect. Step up and take your spot, time waits for no man.
As a husband and father – How well do you love your family? Are you motives and actions done out of love for them? Does your family have a mission? Do you look at the larger picture when it comes to them? What are you doing to make sure that you are removing all obstacles that will take your family off course?