We started out in this series discussing the different parties to a marriage and promised to examine the role of the man.
Be reminded that I am writing within the context of marriage as an institution that was started by God, and also a union between a man and a woman. I am aware of different cultures and concepts people have about marriage. So, I invite you to continue reading, gauging the concept described here against the one you are used to.
It is really surprising to see how some men act when it comes to marriage matters. I have come across scores of cases where the problem in the home was actually initiated or badly handled by the man. The attribute of being a real man is not obtained as a function of your age or grey hair. It takes much more than that!
The man is referred to as the “Head of the Home”. It is on the head that we have practically all the sensory organs. The head is where we have the eyes, nose, ears, mouth and the skin. The man is the leadership figure for the home. One word that we can use as a synonym for leadership is RESPONSIBILITY.
The singles in courtship can also learn from this. Your fiancé today will be your husband tomorrow. The traits he is exhibiting now can be traced to the traits he will be exhibiting after you guys are married. I will advice all the singles preparing to get married to also read on.
The man is expected to;
Take care of and satisfy the needs of the wife as the number one responsibility.When your woman feels that caring and satisfaction of needs are not in place, she will not be as open as she is supposed to be. A restriction in openness to you will frustrate your efforts at effective communication, and this will in turn create problems between your partner and you. Needs such as: the assurance of being loved, safe and protected under your leadership, and the feeling that she is appreciated through praise and appreciation, are some that the man should work at.
See and harness the future for his family.The eyes located on the head serve to achieve more than physical sight. Beyond this function, there is a need to use the inner eyes that see beyond the physical. You need to sense things beyond physical trends and see the possible outcome of events in two, four, eight or more years; and then, make a decision now that will gradually make the family to be relevant and at an advantage position when the time eventually comes. How does this play out? You are able to see the trend of things for a period of time, and are able to deduce patterns that can give you an idea of what it will translate to a few years into the future. Being the man, you have to develop the skill to play this role with God’s help, in order to put your family in a favourable position. Can you pause and think of families you know where it is the wife that seems to be taking initiative? You will agree with me, if you are close to the family, that the wife is sure to complain about her husband not being strategic for the family. And, if the man doesn’t do anything about the wife’s concerns, the situation usually degenerates.
Smell the seasons and timing of events for the family.The observed patterns will give you a fair idea of the outcome of different situations. The head of the family is expected therefore, to sense the season per time in order to make accurate decisions in those seasons. I have seen cases where decisions made were actually right, except that such decisions were made at the wrong time. Making the right decision but at the wrong time will have a negative impact, instead of paving the way forward for your family. You don’t start erecting structures before considering the foundation of a building, for example. A foundation must be in place before work starts on erecting the structures. The same is true in this case.
Hear God. There is a need to be attentive to hear and understand from God what the family should be doing from one phase of their lives to the other. There is a serious need to consider the God-Factor. There is a sense in which everything might look perfect and well mapped out. If you believe that God instituted marriage, then you will agree with me that there is a need to consult with Him in order to get the final running instructions on any issue. It is not all fantastic ideas that succeed, though they look rock solid. Something might be wrong with the timing, the heart, motives, etc.
Have a commanding presence and the confidence to speak boldly from the standpoint of conviction.The man should be courageous enough to take his family through difficult situations, yet upholding assurance and confidence in his home. As the man, you should be able to work through problems and circumstances without necessarily taking it out on your family members. You may be weighed down for some time, but you’re not to remain down permanently. Now, I am not inferring that the man is superhuman. I know he is a human being. However, he must be strong for the family, as an inspiration and a pillar of strength.
Be the main trainer of the children. The head is expected to take primary responsibility for the children. In our fast paced world today, where activities have taken the bulk of our time, it has become difficult to spend as much time with the children as parents did years ago. This has resulted in lesser attention to the children, while the media have come to dominate their lives. Most times, we justify our actions as necessary, if we have to provide for the family and take charge of our responsibilities. If you continue along that line, you should not wonder in later years, where your children learnt certain behavioural patterns contrary to yours. Really, there is the need to work hard in order to provide for the family. However, a balance must be maintained in achieving this. What we generally observe is that most women assume this responsibility and after they have been at it for a while, men naturally switch to the belief that it is their responsibility, especially in situations where the wife has more flexible time than the husband.
Provider. Provide for the family, both in terms of home upkeep and bills. This should be both bills incurred in the running of the house and the children’s school fees. The man should take this role as a challenge. We have different situations for different families. We have cases where some wives earn more than the husbands. Despite this, that it is the reality at the moment doesn’t mean it has to remain so. There are two possible outcomes when you have this in any marriage:
a. If the man is insecure, he will be over-sensitive to the choice of words of the wife. The interpretation will always be: “Because you are earning more than I am, that is why you are talking to me that way.”
b.The man may become complacent. This happens if the wife’s income adequately takes care of the expenses in the house and other bills. This category of men lack drive in themselves and are sometimes simply lazy.
I encourage husbands to take up this challenge. When you are committed to your family, though your wife might be the bread winner today, I want to assure you that the law of life has a tremendous way of changing events where you will eventually take full responsibility of this role. May I also add that when you depend on God for help, He will help you assume that role at the appropriate time.
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