At the start of a new year, it is a seasonable time to re-evaluate ourselves in our calling as husbands and fathers. In light of this opportunity, Pastor Uriesou Brito of Providence Church CREC of Pensacola, Florida offers “Ten Straightforward Godly Expectations for Husbands/Fathers in 2019.” He’s graciously allowed them to be shared here:
- It doesn't matter how many times I say it, it needs to be repeated until it pierces the Christian masculine soul: Under normal circumstances, church is not optional. It is God's fourth commandment requirement of you. Men, if you allow your wife or other circumstances dictate your faithfulness to worship God with his people, you are weak and need to be rebuked.
- Your children (to borrow Peterson's language) will grow to be annoying to you if you do not invest in them now. Love. Care. Spend time. Read. Play. Hug. Kiss. Instruct. You won't be annoyed with your future children when you invest in the present.
- Don't just "date night your wife," but kiss her, love her, write to her, romance her, cook for her, and make her job at home as easy as possible by making yourself useful. If you don't know what that looks like, ask her. She will tell you.
- Family devotions are either too boring or non-existent in the home. Secret: make them short and participatory. Men, most of you are not pastors and don't play one on TV. Don't play preacher to your kids. They will resent you.
- Read. If you don't read at least 3-5 books in a year, you're a poor leader in the home. "But I don't like to read!" Then get yourself an audible subscription and have at it.
- Pray like a man. "But I don't have a habit of praying for me or my family." Then get a copy of the "Valley of Vision" or Evelyn Underhill's "Prayer Book" on amazon. And read those and learn how to pray by reading people's prayers.
- Serve your church. "But I work odd hours and only have a few hours to spend with my family on the weekends." That's irrelevant. If your church has set-up to do, or if they have widows and shut-ins in need, or a host of things, there will always be time for service. And if you are concerned about not spending enough time with your kids, take them with you to serve. I guarantee you your family time in service will be doubly as profitable as just about anything you can do together.
- Sing God's songs together. "But I can't sing." Ever heard of youtube? Contemporary, psalms, hymns or whatever, it's all there. No more excuses, gents. Gather around dinner with a few printouts and sing something.
- Get together with other men. "But my wife says I am not allowed to go out at nights with my friends." Tell her it will make you a better husband if you spend time with other godly saints. Don't isolate your masculinity. On the other hand, if you don't extend the favor to your wife, you're an idiot that needs gentle but a firm rebuke.
- Watch good movies together. Quit isolating your styles from others in the household. A little here and there is okay, but when you have adult kids watching one thing, you watching something else and your spouse watching something else frequently, you have isolated the family from an exercise that may build healthy bonds and provide a forum for interesting conversations.
Men, don't waste your leadership!