Summary: Responsibility #1: The Bible commands you to love your wife Responsibility #2: Do not provoke your children to anger. Responsibility #3: Discipline Your Children Responsibility #4: Instruct Your Children
Today, I want to speak on this subject, “Four Responsibilities of Fathers and Husbands.”
David Brooks talks about the difference between résumé virtues and eulogy virtues. Résumé virtues are the kind of achievements you list on your résumé, skills that make you more successful. Eulogy virtues are deeper and they are the virtues that people will talk about you at your funeral. Eulogy virtues are the very core of your being – your kindness, your bravery, your faithfulness, and your honesty. Most of us think eulogy virtues are more important than résumé virtues. But for much of our lives, we spend a lot more time thinking about our résumé virtues.
Evidently, this is not a new thing because as far back as the famous philosopher Socrates he complained of the same tendency:
“Could I climb to the highest place in Athens, I would lift my voice and proclaim, ‘Fellow citizens, why do you turn and scrape every stone to gather wealth and take so little care of your children to who one day you must relinquish it all.’”
I have good news: you can become a better husband and a better father. You can “level up” in your father and husband skills. This isn’t just good news for men – it’s good news for everyone. Because God has determined that the rudder of the family is the husband and father. I do not wish to minimize a women’s role in the family by even one iota. Yet, I want to highlight what is plain in the text of Scripture: husbands and father are the rudder that determine much of the future of the family. Statistics verify that a man is the rudder to the family. Consider the following from a 2016 study:
• If a child accepts Christ first, there is a 3.5% chance of the whole family becoming Christian;
• If a mother accepts Christ first, there is a 17% chance of the whole family becoming followers of Christ;
• If the father accepts Christ first, there is a 93% chance the whole family will follow Christ.
Dads and husbands, you are so vital. Again, the good news is this: you can become a better husband and a better father. Over the next few minutes, I want to help you next your fathering skills and your husbands skills up another level.
Today’s Scripture (page 1162 in your pew Bibles)
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 5:25-6:4).
Again, men you can improve your as husbands and fathers. This is a simple message intellectually but there’s real challenges to do this long-term. If you are single, what I hope you’ll see today is what you should be looking for in your spouse if you get married. You can’t know what qualities to look for if you don't know God’s design in a marriage.
1) Husbands, Love Your Wife
Notice this: there’s a whole lot more written to the husband than to the wife. Notice the first thing the Bible says to husbands: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” (Ephesians 5:25).
Responsibility #1: The Bible commands you to love your wife. Sometimes this isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
1.1 Wedding Ring
One day a man was riding on the airplane and he noticed the man sitting next to him. He noticed something very unusual and that was his wedding ring was on his right index finger. Somewhat curious, he looked over to the man and he said, “Sir, I believe you have your wedding ring on the wrong finger.” The man said, “No, I don’t; I married the wrong woman.” No doubt this husband was difficult to deal with too. Maybe loving your wife is easier said than done. The first way you can improve on being a husband is simply love your wife. Notice that nowhere does the Bible tell you to love her only if she’s loveable. A man doesn’t love his wife because she deserves to be loved; a man loves his wife in order to turn her into somebody who he wants to love.