Cleveland Prayer Group Website

Role of Husbands/Fathers in Christian Life

by Fr James Thottupuram

Husbands as Servant-Leaders, Ephesians 5:23,25

For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church....Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.

Our culture has spent more than two decades redefining the roles of husband and wife. At one extreme is the Oklahoma newspaper headline that said: "State House Repeals Law Appointing Husbands as Head of Household." At the other extreme is the man who thinks being the head of the house means his wife must obey his every whim without question.

But the Scriptures clearly give us the model for being not only a man, but also a husband and father. I call that model the "servant-leader." According to this model, the husband and father is to lead, to love and to serve.

Webster's dictionary defines a leader as "someone who commands authority or influence, who shows the way, who guides or conducts, who directs and governs." God designed this position of responsibility, and the mantle of leadership comes along with it.

Flowing out of the responsibility to lead is the responsibility for husbands to love their wives-unconditionally. I can't help but wonder what must go through kids' minds today as moms and dads have verbal slugfests. As leaders of the family, dads need, more than ever, to affirm their commitments to their wives and children.

Serving his wife rounds out the husband's and father's role. Some men cannot understand the biblical definition of a leader as a servant. Even though He was Lord, Jesus said, "the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve" (Matt. 20:28).

As your wife's "servant", can you name her top three needs?
What worries her?
What circumstances quickly put her emotional gas tank on empty?

Men, let me challenge you to lead, to love and to serve.

Discuss/Meditate:

As a father, rate yourself from one (highest) to five in the following:

Leading
Loving
Serving.

Answer the following questions regarding your wife:

What are your wife's top three needs?
What worries her?
What circumstances quickly put her emotional gas tank on empty?

(collected by Fr James Thottupuram)

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