As the spiritual head of the home, fathers are first and foremost responsible for the spiritual training of their children. This means we teach our children how to be humble, how to talk with God, how to be accountable, how to repent, how to forgive and receive forgiveness, how to be in a healthy relationship with a wife (mom), how to discern God’s will, how to trust God when times are tough, how to resist temptation, how to worship and praise God, how to give an offering to God, how to have hope when things are beyond difficult, how to be a family. Now that is quite a list. And there is so much more. The first principle to Godly fatherhood is to “be the head of the wife.” Ephesians 5:23. Paul goes on to explain what he means. “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 as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkly 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.” Ephesians 5:25-28 Husbands need to make their wives the highest priority in their lives, responsible for helping her to become “holy and blameless.”
This first and foremost means we should honor our wives, especially in front of our children. Our children need to see how important we think their mom is. This single principle will train our children to learn respect and honor for other people, and this is Godly! So how do we honor our wives?
First, we understand our wives enough to know what pleases them, what excites them, what brings tears of joy to their heart. Then we create opportunities for them to experience this honor IN FRONT OF OUR CHILDREN. Sometimes it is something as simple as flowers, or helping in the garden, or giving her a break at the end a an exceptionally hard day by bringing dinner home, or starting the day off right by making breakfast in bed. Do these things and your children will soon make both of you breakfast in bed, scary but awesome.
Our efforts at honoring our wives need to be intentional and far more frequent than we think. We need to ask her, “What do you want to do tonight?” And sometimes, we need to solicit the help of our children to surprise mommy with something she will love, and not just on birthdays. I run through literally thousands of times we did this in our family. My son Matthew learned at an early age that if he hid, he could scare the pee put of his mom and then we would all laugh. So he did this everywhere; home, store, church, everywhere! It became a love language for the two of them. He still does it and now it is really funny because she is in a wheelchair and cannot run away.