I recently had a great talk with an old friend over a couple glasses of nice single malt scotch. My friend grew up Christian but abhors corporate religion and refuses to go to church because of this, however his wife attends church regularly with their young son. My friend conceded that his wife secretly emulated my wife and I's marriage and I took this as an opening to subtly minister to my friend. I'm a firm believer that relational ministry and setting the example as Christians is by far, the best advertising and form of ministry available. The following is a paraphrased version of the ebb and flow of our conversation, the points we discussed and my opinion on three critical areas in a man's life.
This post is meant for the 10% or those men that desire to be in the 10%.
The 10% being actively engaged, passionately present husbands and fathers. Leaders, Example Setters and Pillars in the Church, Community and Workplace. - The Men among men.
This leads us to the current problem and downfall with some men - Passive Manhood.
Defining the Problem.
I define Passive Manhood as tending not to take an active or dominant role in marriage and family matters.
Paul at Hardcore Christian Men defines it well..."A passive man is one that does not take an active role in decisions or actions. Often this is a person who submits to another person’s will simply because it is easier than figuring out what to do or taking responsibility themselves. It is submission to another out of ease regardless of the consequences. Another view of passive nature is passive aggressiveness. This is the nature of supporting someone to their face while stabbing them in the back. This is the person who will leave a note griping about people using something of theirs and then act like it’s perfectly fine if you use it. Passive aggressive people do everything they can to avoid direct conflict, but stir the fire incessantly anonymously."
Being a leader does not mean your the smartest, most talented, or the one who has it all together. Leaders are the ones who take courage. They step up, act decisively, make decisions and influence others in a positive direction. Men are commissioned as the leaders of their household. Rule #1 of Leadership - You are Responsible.
Your wife's happiness and intimacy, your children's education and upbringing, the emotional atmosphere of the family, the family finances, the spiritual direction of the house hold. This is all our responsibility.
When men shirk responsibility, they do two things.
1. Disobey God's Commands and act cowardly.
2. Belittle themselves and lose respect in the eyes of their wife and children.
My wife has listened to countless women complain that their husbands won't lead the family. Or when they do lead, it is to satisfy their own needs and not the best interest of the family.
I told my friend this. "You don't want to go to church with your wife because of your own mixed emotions? Well guess what, it's not about you. It's about your wife and son and you being the leader and doing what is right for them. That's what a man does when he loves his family."
Being the leader of the family doesn't mean picking and choosing our battles or taking the easy routes. It means constantly getting out of our own comfort zones and doing what is right for the family as a whole. It means sacrificing our own self interests for the greater good of the families or our wife's happiness. It's unconditional love and commitment.
I would love to sit around in a t-shirt and watch sports all weekend but that is not what is best for my family. Instead, we get up, put on something nice and take our family on a family picnic or go with our wives to some social event or take our daughter to the mall on Saturday shopping (Yikes)! That's what a leader does.
The bottom line....Lead our families. Act bold and decisive and make decisions. Involve the family in the discussion and always asks our wives opinion but in the end, be the leader. Make the hard decisions and show your wife and family that you can be counted on in ALL situations.
Added bonus....Quote from my wife "Nothing turns a woman on more than to see her husband take charge and lead the family. A man that wakes up, gets his kids ready and takes them to Church on Sunday morning without prompting, is a man any woman would desire."
For more help in this area, I recommend you read the book the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell. It is one of the most prolific books on leadership and is used by Fortune 500 companies and the military to teach their leaders. You can have the same training for about $8 on amazon.
Side note: I know some men have more dominant wives than others. If your wife has been the leader of your household for some time, she may be resistant to give up control. Also, some women prefer control because they feel their husband is not capable of leading. If this is your situation (No shame here) I recommend you read the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell first then slowly and subtly start implementing change in your household. Talk to your wife privately about slowly taking back the reigns, she may give you some small, menial leadership tasks at first but under promise and over produce on these tasks. Slowly build from here. The fact that she and the family sees that you desire and are committed to lead will pay big dividends. Don't give up!!!!! Take the hard jobs or leadership roles and treat them as if you were leading the Normandy Invasion.
Stay Tuned for Part II ......