Husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers. Some of us are blessed to have all of these male figures, while others have none. Then there are those who have these figures in the family of Christ. I have been blessed with a father and many brothers in Christ. Though I am not yet married, I know God is working on him and I to ensure a strong union.
As the eldest of three girls, I have watched as my father has struggled to fulfill his role as the head of the household. He has struggled to be the husband and father God has called him to be. Being around mostly women, is no easy task. Men need that support system in order to be encouraged as they press forward.
Over the last few days, I have had an opportunity to bond with my father. So often in life, we fail to make time for family togetherness. Yet we wonder why families around the world are breaking apart. During this daddy-daughter time, I realized some of the sacrifices he made for my sisters and I. I cannot truly thank him for putting his own needs aside for the needs of his children. I wondered if I had ever showed my appreciation. Had I made him proud of my accomplishments, our accomplishments? I asked him and he confirmed that the sacrifices he made were nothing compared to the successes of his three daughters. Those words brought me comfort, motivating me to strive for excellence. I wasn’t only doing it for myself, but for my father.
Our pastors, our husbands, our fathers, our sons were called to be the priests of our churches and homes. Sadly, we have witnessed the end result of these men who were called to be strong leaders for Christ. The devil has launched a full assault against our men, because he knows their undeniable strength and great responsibility in the gospel. Families have been torn apart by violence, crime, drugs, imprisonment, and even death. Women have had to fend for themselves, starring as the mother and father in their households.
By God’s grace our families, though broken, continue to push through every obstacle, overcoming every challenge placed in their paths.
Throughout the bible, we find examples of men in leadership as disciples, priests, elders, and rulers. They have been called by God to serve in ministry, guiding the church and its people according to His will. Many men have stumbled, however, God continues to hold these men accountable for the great responsibility He has placed on them. They ought to care for their families as Christ does. They ought to care for the church, as He does. There are no acceptable excuses.
God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to “dress it and to keep it.” [Genesis 2:15] Adam was given the authority to name all of the animals. As he walked through the garden, he realized that every animal was paired. He was alone so God decided to create a help meet for him. He was to also look after his wife, Eve. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. [Genesis 2:18, 21-14]
From the very beginning, God established the role of man and the importance of family. They go hand in hand. “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” [1 Timothy 3:5] Without those two foundations, the church of God cannot prosper. [Read Ephesians 5:23-33] We can no longer choose to ignore the growing problem in our churches, the exodus of our men.
I challenge you to appreciate, empower, uplift, and encourage the men in your lives. Pray for them whether they are in the church or not. Love them unconditionally and take the time to treasure them. Do not judge them, for they are not perfect…and neither are you. Keep in mind that our pastors are men first. They also need our support. Though the men carry a heavy burden, they do not carry it alone. That is the purpose of family. We share our struggles and victories together.
Author: Kristia M. Beaubrun