In preparation for our upcoming sermons series “Man of the House” I have been thinking about the pastoral nature of the husband’s role in the home… The church almost never teaches on this subject and many varieties of Christian men exist within our churches. I have made a list of 50 christian men I have known from childhood to present (myself included). I dropped each of them into one of four categories that best described them.
- The Slug – is an easy going guy who doesn’t generally rock the boat. He doesn’t lead his family but is content to be led by his family. He has realized that following is far easier than leading so he lays low and hopes for the best. He is sometimes considered a good father/husband by others because he is involved in a lot of activities with his family. The passive man is found in both lazy and hard working versions. His wife tends to be the disciplinarian, the bookkeeper and the pacesetter on spiritual matters. On occasion he attempts to lead but surrenders quickly in exchange for peace.
- The Bear – throws his weight around in the house. His wife wonders if she is his helper or his servant. The bear spends a lot of time at work and tends to keep every professional commitment while often sacrificing family commitments. His time away from work is dedicated to hobbies and media. When questioned, the bear generally responds with anger. He rarely says “thank you” or “I Love You”. The bear sees himself as a spiritual leader because he makes sure that his family is involved in spiritual activities such as church and mealtime prayers yet his family rarely observes any authentic spiritual devotion.
- The Ant – his good deeds and religious piety monopolize his life leaving no room for his ministry in the home. He cannot devote mental or physical energy to his wife and children without believing that he is robbing it from God. The ant is sure to make significant progress in his ministry but will achieve it at the cost of his family.
- The Dog – is able to be both strong and loving. He can lead the family and love the family. His spiritual devotion is interwoven with his devotion to his wife and children. He sacrifices himself in order to provide for them and protect them. He is chiefly concerned about how his actions will effect the spiritual climate of his household. He sees his wife and children as a flock that he is to shepherd and protect and lead. He embraces his role as a leader without lording over his family. The dog sets the pace on matters of faith and direction yet is always a servant to them.
No.. I will not put the list of men in this blog… nor will I share the details of my observation… What I will say is that more than 1/2 of the Christian men I know best from childhood until present are not the spiritual leaders of their home that they should be. Here is how my little subjective experiment shook out:
- Slugs – 12
- Bears – 6
- Ants – 9
- Dogs – 22
So Christian men…. take a few minutes and place yourself in the category that best describes you.