Prioritizing My Life According to God's Plan (For Husbands & Fathers)

 

by Dan Cook – Soul Care Pastor

I have the privilege of walking alongside men who are trying to do the hard work of leading their families when life is hard. Marriages are falling apart, kids are disrespectful and arguing - no one in the house is getting along! Even the dog is acting out!

Time after time, the first thing that always must be addressed is this: their relationship with Jesus. It always starts here. 

Until we have a clear understanding of what it means that our identity is "in Christ", it's foolish to think anything else around us can change. We must understand that we are a new creation and the Holy Spirit now empowers us to do and act completely different moving forward. Men, we must understand that we can do nothing - we can't love our wives well or lead our children well - without the strength of Jesus and without fearing God.

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1. Fear of the Lord is at the Center

Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! (Psalm 34:9)

Men, we need to ask ourselves this question - Do we really fear the Lord? Or do we have a preconceived idea that God is just a God of love and not judgement? Is He just someone who you expect to listen to all your wants and desires? Is He a person you go to to complain with when your wife isn't giving you the respect you "feel" you deserve? Is He the one you talk to when your children make a bad choice and you question whether God is just punishing you for your past choices? Or perhaps you often find yourself talking with Him when there is a new job opportunity or promotion you "feel" you deserve?

This list could go on forever. The truth is this, until you know who Jesus is - what He has done for you and have surrendered your life to Him - you won't have a healthy fear of the Lord. 

Application - PRAY!

Lord,
I can't do this without you.
Reveal in me what needs to change in my life.
Give me the ability to listen to you.
Give me the discipline and desire to spend time with you.
In Jesus' name, I pray that the fear I have for you is that of awe and adoration for who you are.
I pray all these things with expectancy - that You will do a work in and through me that only you can do.
Amen.

2. Love and Lead Your Wife Second

If you want a great example on how not to love and lead your wife well, you don't have to go very deep into God's Word. After failing to lead his wife well, Adam throws her under the bus, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit of the tree, and I ate."

What a great example we have from our boy Adam! "It was her! She made me do it!"

It's easy to look at Adam and think - "What a loser. This guy is a complete jerk...I would never treat my wife like that." However, before we get all self righteous, let's hold the mirror up and look into our own hearts. 

Do you get home from a long day at work and see that your favorite snack is missing? Who's to blame? Do you go to the dresser drawer to look for your favorite pair of shorts and realize they are still in the dirty laundry? Who's to blame? Do you reach for the shaving cream to realize no matter how hard you push the button nothing more is coming out? Who's to blame? Do you go to the DVR with excitement to watch the last three episodes of Deadliest Catch and make the realization there is no more room on the DVR because 350 episodes of Law and Order used all the available space? Who's to blame?

Again, you might think to yourself, "That's nothing like what happened in the garden!" If that's your response, then I would lovingly like to challenge you - you might be more like Adam than you think!

Ephesians 5:23 says that husbands should love and lead their wives like Christ loves and leads the Church. What should that look like? It means that we should, like Jesus, die to our needs and our desires. It means we must love our wives unconditionally. It means that we must serve them like Christ served the church. Ask yourself - "Am I giving up my needs for my wife's needs daily?"

Application - PRAY!

Lord,
Where do I need to stop being so selfish?
What things do I continue to blame on my wife?
God, what do I need to repent of and ask forgiveness for with my wife?
Lord, I am weak and need you to give me strength to be the leader you desire me to be.
I pray all these things with expectancy - that You will do a work in and through me that only you can do.
Amen.

3. Our Kids Are a Blessing

Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD. (Psalm 128:1-4)

Men, please hear my heart in this section - there are some of us who's children are out of the house and who believe we have done all we can to train up our children in the way of the Lord. And yet they have completely abandoned their walks with the Lord. Let me try to encourage you - trust in the Lord; know that His ways are much bigger than ours.

For the men out there that have kids at home - they are given to you by God as a gift to steward well! Don't waste the time God has given you with them! Take the time to talk to them and get to know them individually. Teach them, discipline them, and spend time with them. 

Men, if you don't have a healthy fear of the Lord; If you're not laying your life down for your wife daily - then why do you think anything would be different with your children? We can't lead where we haven't been. It's hard to train up a child in the way he should go when we are not training ourselves in righteousness.

Application - PRAY

Lord,
I ask that you give me the strength to lead my kids.
Allow me through humility to be an example to them.
Give me the discipline to keep you first, my wife second and my kids third.
God it is so hard at times to not allow them to take first place in my life, moving forward I want to do things your way. Not mine!
I pray all these things with expectancy that you will do a work in and through me that only you can do.
Amen.

 
Josh Rexford