This subject constitutes a primary basis for many of the expectations of men and women in all marriages, homes, and love relationships.
A man wants a woman who will follow him in life, to give him the pride and support he desires, while the woman primarily desires to have a man in her life who will unite with her to move along on an equal plane but simultaneously lead her in a spirit of genuine love, with a clear vision towards a goal that will ultimately benefit both of them.
There should be no selfishness, domination, apathy, insensitivity, thoughtlessness, or lack of wisdom on either side in the marriage, or romantic relationship for people that are courting with the intentions of marrying. Both partners must be committed to their roles, duties, and responsibilities in the relationship. The man or husband is designed by God with specific qualities to be the Head of his wife and his family. God designed the strength of men to make them good providers, protectors, and strong leaders.
The leadership and Headship of men is more of a responsibility and a solemn obligation to be a true guide, lover, caregiver, strong protector, and dutiful provider for his wife and family. It is never meant by society or intended by God for any man to be a boss or controller of his wife and family. Societies that do not know this true definition of a man’s leadership, or refuse to agree with this truth, due to outmoded cultural or traditional practices, is (in my opinion) an unenlightened society that is unprogressive in marriage and family matters.
I should emphasize right from the start that if the woman decides to be ungrateful for the efforts of her fiancee or husband, and becomes unsubmissive to the leadership and headship of the man, along with an uncooperative attitude, then that woman should never expect to enjoy any man as a true leader or happy lover in her relationship or marriage.
A man’s headship is a privilege and a responsibility given him by God for him to be the tender lover, compassionate nurturer, wise and goal-oriented leader, and a good organizer of his personal and family affairs. If he genuinely understands his true position plus expected roles, and humbly performs his duties diligently with distinction, the blessings and the ultimate fruits are enormous. He must be humble and gentle, but also bold and fearless at the same time, in order to exhibit persevering and courageous leadership. There are at least five characteristics of every human head that help us to define the role of the man as Head of his wife and home:
1) BRAINS TO THINK
He must be a good thinker with abundant wisdom for the varied and challenging situations that would face him throughout the relationship. He should carefully use his sanctified common sense and compassionate heart to be tender, gentle, patient, and considerate towards his wife or fiancée as the “weaker vessel” in the marriage or relationship, and should regard her as a “joint her” who shares all rights and resources equally with him (as God emphasized in 1 Peter 1:7 of the Bible). In that verse, God (who is the Creator of mankind and originator of marriage) sternly warns that if a man does not treat his wife as a “weaker vessel” (physically fragile), and cheats her, or is not considerate towards her, and abuses the woman in his life, his prayers would NOT be answered.
I wonder how many men or husbands are not being blessed today because they cheat, shout, kick, strike, and abuse their wives or fiancées mercilessly and unwisely as domineering and unkind “bosses” in the homes or relationships.
2) EYES TO SEE
He must develop insight and open his eyes widely to observe all the good things in his wife, fiancée, or children, in order to acknowledge, admire, affirm, promote, and make joint plans with her for maintenance and improvement of their values and virtues to higher levels. He must take time to keenly observe the weaknesses and shortcomings of the woman, as well as evil or negative forces that would seek to attack the relationship. He must know how to use wisdom to wait patiently for the right time to fight an opposing force or correct a fault, or take immediate action to avert danger and protect the woman, children, and integrity of the marriage.
3) NOSE TO SMELL
He must develop and employ his keen senses to smell any impending danger that threatens to wreck the marriage or relationship. It is good to smell aromatic perfume and good, delicious meals, but even better to smell trouble before it explodes and shatters the marriage or devastates the home.
4) EARS TO HEAR
He must be diligent enough to open his ears to listen to his wife and children or fiancée with the godly heart of compassion, and undivided attention. He must sense the spirit behind words that he hears in order to synthesize the information properly and act accordingly. He must be able to hear from God for the family, and listen carefully to instructions that are necessary for his leadership role and effectiveness. A good man would train his wife or fiancée to catch his vision for life or for any project. He would humbly listen to her wise counsel for better results and building of love and intimacy with mutual discussion and rich conversation. A man without listening ears cannot genuinely bond with people. His behavior sets the stage for him to become a domineering and commanding person who only dishes out instructions without receiving any advice or instructions from anyone else. He cannot be a good conversationalist whose company is enjoyed by his wife and children. Such a man becomes proud and “wise in his own eyes” (Proverbs 3:7), drives his life towards the road of destruction, and end up with poor relationship with his family and people. This is one of the major causes for unhappiness in several marriages, as well as problems that lead to separation and divorce. A man without listening ears should not expect his wife and rest of the family or friends to render him any listening ears in return for his closed ears.
5) MOUTH TO SPEAK
He must be the spokesperson for the wife and family. He should be the leader in witnessing about God’s salvation and goodness, and demonstration of the benefits plus blessings of marriage and family life.
A loving, caring, responsible, and wise man, who is a real Head of his wife and home, and truly understands marriage and family life, would not close his mouth passively and place all the burden of teaching and instruction of his children on his wife. Sometimes men close their mouths and deliberately or inadvertently shirk their responsibilities of active parenting. Such apathetic men do not engage in proactive parenting that seeks to sit down a child to give pre-emptive advise as insurance against future problems, or as a guide towards a productive future. They do not also help to instruct the children regarding their homework, domestic duties, and other assignments. In almost all cases, men defend themselves with the excuse of being busy with business, work, ministry, projects, positions of authority, board meetings and conferences, important trips, and responsibilities towards their relatives.
The most common excuse for men’s apathy and silence regarding active parenting and time for family is summarized in the notion of being the “money makers, and agents of property acquisition for the family”, who are therefore actively caught up in the tentacles of being “the bread winners” for the wife and family. But God, our families, and society, expect men to become “soul winners” too, and not just “winning bread” all the time!
Otherwise at the end of our lives there will be no responsible and wise sons and daughters who have been trained to manage our “bread that we have won”, plus acquired wealth and property for productivity and continuation of our legacy when we have gone into glory.
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