A Christian Husband
Chapter 23 of The History of the Love of God, Volume III - God-Fearing Families
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Titus 2:2
We all long to be closer to Christ, the Apostles and their examples, which show us how we are to live and what we are to be doing - a picture of the behavior of God-fearing men and God-fearing families. The depictions of the Christian men in the Bible are not there as merely a historical record. It is there for us to emulate and imitate and incorporate into our lives in every way. Our goal is to imitate these Godly examples. In Ephesians, Paul laid out for us the foundation of being a husband and a father.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church, for we are members of his body. Ephesians 5:25-30
"To make her holy" is quite a mission. Think about this vision - every husband investing time and energy into his wife, like a man invests time and energy into his most beloved, treasured hobby. When you see this lived out, it is such a light. Can you imagine this light in every household - where there is complete compliance inside the home and unity with the Church and the leadership, with everyone walking shoulder to shoulder in the same direction for the Kingdom of God?
Now, what does this look like on a practical level? A Godly man assures the wife of his love and commitment to God first and then to her. These men are free to let the world know that they love their beloved partner for life above all other humans - that this woman is who they have been put on Earth to take care of. They have no hesitation in letting others know about their deep devotion to God and how much they love and adore their wife. At home, they spend time troubleshooting anything that blocks attendance at Church so that the whole family is in place sitting in the Sanctuary and ready to worship God. Attending the assembly is the focus of the whole week, and everything that happens throughout the week is directed toward that goal. All efforts are directed toward guiding and purifying the hearts so that the parents' and the children's minds are ready for the Sabbath. It is not the wife who pushes to get the family cleaned up and ready for Church; it is the husband. He lets the children know that he is excited about going to sing and to pray before God Almighty with a host of other Saints.
Making Prayer a Priority
The Church is a house of prayer. Growing up, perhaps the picture of my father that I most remember is of him in prayer. He was always bent low in prayer with his arms on his knees. What is the picture that your children and your wife have of you? Is it one of prayer? The early Christians were devoted to prayer, to the teachings of God and the Apostles, to the fellowship, to evangelism, and to baptism. They were full of the Holy Spirit. They were so devoted to prayer that in almost every book in the Bible you will see that anytime something happened, they were in the middle of prayer.
On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God...After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:23-24a, 31
We need to slow down and take the time to get down in prayer before our God while we have the chance. If God really is your first love, then why would you not talk to Him all the time? If you really believed that your prayer will be answered, then why would you not pray without ceasing? Are you leaving that impression on your family? Are your children familiar with seeing their father down on his knees in prayer? Nothing in our lives should be half-hearted, mundane or aimlessly done. No aimless meals, no aimless times getting together, no aimless time spent without prayer.
Here is the question to ask: What does your home look like? The home is a reflection of you, and you are going to be responsible as you work out your own salvation. In your home, do your children know you as a man of prayer? Do you have callouses on your knees? As they all wake up, does your family know that this new day is about prayer? Do you have just one prayer time during the day, or do you have many times of prayer throughout the day? The Jewish people had three times a day of prayer, but again, we also see the early Christians praying throughout the day. In Acts 10, we read that Peter went to his roof to pray and received a vision and revelation from God. How do you expect revelations to come if you are not praying? For the sake of your family, you need to be sure you are praying throughout the day, both praying over your family and praying with them.
Attention to the Needs of the Family
Kind instruction is on the mouth of Godly men as they gently remind their children of the behavior that is expected in the presence of the Lord. "Kind" is the key word. At home, these men are not self-focused or self-seeking; therefore, they are not moody or manipulating with silent treatment, anger or slamming doors. These men encourage the wife and have respect for her intellect and her gifts - always including the wife's gifts in managing the household. This union is not a dictatorship; this is a partnership.
These great men do not just leave housework up to the wife; they help out when needed. They spend time with the wife and time with the children, teaching the right way to live, both in work and in play. A lot can be learned in play, such as how to be a good sport and how to be Godly in play time and not selfish or greedy or competitive to a fault. There are family times of reading the Bible, and then, most importantly, individually checking on each member's prayer life and their time with their Creator.
This teaching should not be left only up to the wife; it is the father's role. The fathers get to be professors, instructors, kind teachers; and as you are teaching, you are learning as you share with your family everything about their behavior, their mindset, their interactions, their character, and how they approach God - the things one should do and the things one should not do. There is so much to learn! The family knows what you love, and they will see your love for God first. It is instinctive; you do not have to say it with words. They know it by your actions. They will know if your first love is really self. They will know if it is food, alcohol, money, or your job. They will know if it is sports, hobbies, or womanizing. They can see right thru you! They know if your heart is filled with pride - they can tell by the time you spend with them and by what comes out of your mouth. You cannot hide what you love. A righteous man loves God - you should be known by your family for loving God first and worshiping God above all things.
The Godly Man
Your goal as the leader of the household is to allow no idols in the house, and then to bring the family to Church, to a Body of Believers, as every unit in this Royal Priesthood is being refined. A Godly man is willing to bow down and prostrate himself before God in submissive prayer so that his wife and children know that he worships and adores God. You long for purity in your home, where the words are gracious and there is no gossip. You cannot ignore things anymore. You will want to have a finger on the pulse of every conversation in your home. You cannot tune it out or turn the television up louder. You need to listen to what the children are saying, what your wife is saying, and what is in their hearts so that you can encourage and advise them and help with their needs. Are you listening to your family, to what is in their heart, to what is in your house? The family knows you - do you know them?
Are you more concerned about the praise of man over the praise of God? Your family will know this because you will never help your wife or child go all the way to true self-denial and putting God first. You might correct them initially, but you do not follow up on it; or you overlook it and you let it go. You do not hold the line. Children will know when you care more about their approval than about the approval from God, or when you care more about making them happy than you do about having unity with your spouse, and they will use this knowledge to control the whole family. A Godly man will kindly maintain the line of authority, but not to make his own life more comfortable or so that everything will be perfect for him. No! He is making sure that every direction is for the Godly direction of the family so that they will have a better relationship with God.
The selfish man will control his children and wife for his own reasons. He will manipulate the family to make sure that it is easy on the father, so that there is no noise to bother him, nothing to interfere with his television show, nothing that might interrupt his evenings. He will make sure that those children grow up to be "independent" so that they will not seek him out for his time or advice in the future. Another form of selfishness is seen in the father who gives the children whatever they want, hoping that his child will be his best friend and always be there for him to meet his own emotional needs. Both situations are sick. It is selfishness...using people...loving things and using people for his own means. A royal man of God will use things and love people; it is the opposite way of life.
A good, righteous father will think only of God first - God's need for righteousness and God's need for righteous offspring - and he will consider the needs of his child so that child will be able to access the Kingdom of God and build a personal relationship with God Almighty. That is all that matters to the Godly man; it is his only worry. It is the reason that Godly men help their families and guide them, strengthening the wife's relationship with God and the child's relationship with God. There is no other purpose but this Connection with God Almighty. The father is teaching the family about self-denial, living out self-sacrifice, and helping them learn how to pick up their cross, showing them thru his own example that this focus is lovely. As a result, Godly men are never self-focused or self-seeking, and their families will follow their example. These men will kindly, gently, longsufferingly direct the family, with all patience, knowing that if the father has to gently repeat himself over and over, that is just what God's kind Holy Spirit does for us every night. They are ready to give kind, thoughtful, daily instruction of the same idea over and over if needed, almost expecting it not to sink in, and ready to repeat it when necessary.
This Royal Remnant Revival was not founded on selfishness but on self-less-ness. The men of Remnant are to love their wives, as we read from Ephesians earlier, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her to make her holy by cleansing her by the washing with the water thru the Word. But what does that mean? As the father, you are taking the time to study God's Word. You are up in the middle of the night seeking out God, and then you are with your family during the day, studying God's Word, looking to see if there is anything else hidden in your heart. Are you giving enough of your time to this responsibility? Are you washing the entire family thru this Word?
The Driving Force for the Family
Near the end of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul continues:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:31-33
This is a beautiful, powerful, unbelievably amazing picture. It is profound - a mystery, as Paul says - and it is worth fighting for. It is worth getting up every day and living for this objective. It is the number one purpose of your life, your very being, why you are where you are, why you are married to whom you are married. There is no place like the Church in being able to implement this God-given authority line in the home. In fact, I would say the world is the opposite - in this world, it is impossible to implement God's authority line. No one in this world is going to back you or support you on the idea of upholding authority, but the True Church will support Godly authority.
Having this authority does not mean you are the source for everything. For example, you may have a wife who is a talented accountant or bookkeeper, and you want to use that gift in your household. You do not have to be the one who knows it all, but you need to know where to find that information. You need to be involved at Church. You need to know how to counsel and encourage. You need to know what God wants and how He wants it implemented. You need to be in the Word more and more every day. You need to be on All Access. If you do not know as much about an issue and your wife knows more, find out what she has learned, but your position is the one who implements it in the family. You are the driving force for your family.
You have everything you need for a beautiful, peaceful household, letting your family know that your focus is to serve God. Your children should have confidence that everything you are asking them to do, every task - whether it is cleaning their rooms, doing homework, helping their mother or siblings, going to Church, or any other request - will be prayed over and is only there so they can have a relationship with God Almighty and live forever with Him. That is your only goal for them, and that is how they will know that you truly love them. It is about their relationship with God so that God's Kingdom can grow.
Authority in the Workplace
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:1-2
Where many men stumble in this faith is committing to their authority line at work. Most men believe their problems all stem from their boss. They have expectations for what they think they deserve or how they should be treated. You may feel you have been given more responsibility with less pay. Perhaps people who are less productive than you are receiving more favor at work. You see yourself as the one doing the lion's share of the work but not getting salary increases. You are the one who is put down or not invited to committee meetings. You believe you are entitled to a better job because of your skills, your creativity. You deserve more attention. But it is just the opposite. It is the men and women who humble themselves and are grateful - who feel they do not even deserve a job or recognition or bonuses - who are the ones who end up being honored and upheld in the workplace. They are the same ones who build up the True Church.
The New Jerusalem, the City of God, was founded on the suffering Christ. The Remnant of the Kingdom of Love and WeighDown is a message of Christlike pridelessness and selflessness that starts by eating less food, because the Truth is you do not deserve another bite of food. In fact, you deserve a lot less of anything that you have. I cannot think of a better medicine to make the soul happy and content than to take this concept to heart and know that it is true.
Providing for the Family
As we read earlier, "He who loves his wife loves himself." You love yourself and feed yourself and take care of yourself, so you are loving your family as yourself and providing food and housing, meeting their needs every day, working to provide for them as the Lord has commanded. The amount makes no difference because it is as the Lord blesses - everyone has a different lifestyle, and that is all for the glory of God. If there is a need in your family, you bring it into the Church. That is God's joy! Within the Church, every person is cared for, and even every animal is fed; there should be no needs within the Church. No one has too much and no one has too little, and therefore we can praise God together as one unit and as one family. Not that everything will be equal, but we will all be able to give to one another using our different gifts, and those who are able to be generous can be generous.
Most of all, providing for the family means providing the spiritual food they need, making sure they fill up on Truth...having time in the Bible, being able to get on All Access and being at Church on time with their minds and hearts ready, even arriving early to give the family time to prepare and be in prayer before the service begins. This is important. It also means being prepared for demonic attacks and knowing how to focus only on God. What father would not give food to a child who asked for it? Who is going to turn their child away when there is a need? In the same way, what father would not feed spiritual food every day to a hungry family?
Homes in this beautiful, Royal Revival are to be different than homes in the world. If each man has a relationship with the most powerful Being of the Universe and then passes on this relationship to their families - if they do everything to ensure their own relationship with God for the sake of their wives and their children - then the whole family will be connected to God, and the beauty will be mind-boggling.
Excerpt taken from God-Fearing Families.
 These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. Isaiah 56:7
 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42
 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12
 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45
 To learn more about how to overcome overeating, see The Tablet. Find out how to get your copy in the Appendix.
 As it is written: "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little." II Corinthians 8:15
 For more about All Access, visit www.WeighDown.com
 Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Matthew 7:9
Copyright 2017 Remnant Fellowship, Gwen Shamblin and WeighDown