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Men Wanted: Part 5

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted April 24, 2013

RELIGION – “Floggings (beatings) will continue until morale improves.” This is an expression of uncertain origins, but commonly used on ships. When supply rations would get low, the sea would get boring; men would go into a slump. It was said a captain would beat men, in order to make them improve their morale. Obvious there is a counterintuitive irony here. But this issue of morale in the home is a responsibility of the husband.

Now morale is described as the "the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose.” Morale is also known as esprit de corps, this is the capacity of a group's members to maintain belief in an institution or goal, particularly in the face of opposition or hardship. As we have seen that common purpose and agenda of the home should be set by the husband.
Proverbs 17:22 says that “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Men, what kind of medicine are administering to your home? Yes, there is a place to tough and hard, but in general your attitude and outlook on life, family, and God will be mirrored by your family. If you are giving them big doses of “Jerk pills” don’t be surprised when everyone is grumpy. If you are pouring spoonfuls of “get-away-from-me syrup” don’t be surprised when no one in the family talks or likes each other.
Men, good morale can be achieved by inspiration and affirmation. As the leader in the home, you are responsible for the morale of the group. You should regularly verbally encourage your family that we have a great home. Think about it. Whom else, outside of your home is going to do this? Now living in the Howle home is not one continual state of excited jubilation, but my family knows I think that they are all great!
Men, this is something that you can get in the habit of saying and doing when you are heading out for work in the morning, when you get home from work, when you’re putting your kids to bed at night, or at special moments along the way. Now you can phrase it however you want, but something as simple as “This is an awesome family!” Now no family is perfect, but showing grace and encouragement especially during difficult times will build them up as opposed to tearing them further down.

This also means men; it can be a little lonely at the top. You might have had a very day at work, but use your drive home to pray and strive to leave your stress at work or in the car. You can have a rough day, but you try not to let it drag your family down as a result. Men we don’t have the luxury of pouting and moping. It is our job to keep the morale up.
Now along with inspiration, there is the need for affirmation. I can remember dying on a football field and hearing our head coach say “Good job Howle!” and being absolutely reenergized to go back and give it my all. Everyone needs affirmation. And when it comes from people you respect as a leader it means the world. The greatest leaders in the world are those who know how to encourage and inspire.

This means in addition to building up the family as a whole, you also regularly pull your children aside and say, “I’m proud of you, you’re doing great, I’m thrilled to be your dad.” Look for things to be specific about, especially the areas that interest them and they take pride in. Men, this is crucially important for your wife. If your wife stays at home, she needs to know you value all her contributions in the home. If you wife works outside the home you are going to show her your appreacion by pitching in all you can around the home. Men, the reality is that you’re going to have big trouble if someone else is encouraging your wife more than you are.

We live in a culture that unless the man grips his family tight and pulls it to himself, this world is constantly pulling children away from their fathers and wives away from their husbands. Men the need to inspire and affirm them could not be greater!

Pastor Phillip

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