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Men Wanted: Part 6

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted April 30, 2013

RELIGION – My wife is frugal and she married a handsome man (or so she tells me). How are these two facts related you might ask?  Well, she knows that I thoroughly enjoy over-indulging in food (this is called gluttony and it is a sin). The repercussions of this activity are much heart disease, diabetes, and many other things. But the one thing she cares about the most, and here comes her frugality, is the fact that gluttony can cause one to outgrow one’s clothes.

When you outgrow your clothes you have to buy new clothes (she hates spending money, men you should only be so lucky!!!)

So when we got married she devised a plan whereby I can keep my health in check and money in her stingy pocketbook, by refusing to buy me any pants larger than a size 38. This is radically effective. When the britches get tight I can either split them in the crotch as I passionately preach, or I can put down the chicken wings. Her method provides continual feedback on how my weight is doing and it provides the means and motivation for correction.

Now as we continue to look at areas of the home that men would lead in, we come today to evaluation and correction. These two can be tough. Men do not like to self-evaluate because we tend to think much more highly of ourselves than we ought, which is why I enjoy flexing in the mirror!
But the leader must regularly stick his head up, look around, and see if the family is going where it should. This is one of the true burdens of leadership and you must bear it. Simply being naïve and hoping for the best will not work. Men, this means looking at all the various areas of your home and being honest to look at, not just the short term implications of choices and actions of your family, but also through prayer, being able to get a glimpse of the long term trajectory of where you are leading your family.

This may mean recognizing that your schedule has gotten out of whack and you have to restructure your time. It means saying we are letting sports, recreation, travel, or other things get in the way of commitments to God. This means being able to look long term and say “I am teaching my kids that God is only valuable when something more important is not around.” Men, this means realizing that you spoke harshly to your wife or one of your children and you need to ask for forgiveness. Evaluation is something you need to do regularly and honestly. Ask your wife for her view on things, without being defensive about her opinions. God made her your helper for a reason!

Now if you are going to evaluate and find problems, then you must also be willing to make real changes. Jesus’ half-brother James writes “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (James 1:23-24). In the same way, evaluation is no good unless you agree on a plan to make the needed corrections. But again, you must initiate this process. It is a necessary part of good leadership. Findings from your evaluation need to lead to changes in your priorities, your calendar, and the way money or time is spent.

This may make you unpopular with your family. Parents are not called to be best friends, you are called to put your family needs ahead of your own and this means your need to be liked by your family. We all want to be liked, but leading is not easy. God has called you to this task.  Jesus was the finest leader who ever lived. He had a mission and set a course of action.

There was a time when the people wanted to make Him an earthly king, but he told them they had to “eat his flesh and drink His blood” and most of them all turned away. He did not want fickle popularity; He wanted to change the hearts and lives of His followers radically. This meant He did what was right, and not merely what was popular. Men, have courage and conviction to lead your home. If you don’t, someone else will and you will not like the results. And, most importantly, remember when you stand before God, you will be held accountable for your family.

Pastor Phillip

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