Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:4
Have you heard the song by Sanctus Real called “Lead Me”? It’s about a man who looks at the photo of his wife and sees how beautiful she is. Then he looks beyond her smile and sees a woman who is lonely and needs time with him, who needs him to be her strength and to lead her. He sees a wife who needs him to show her his continued love. Then he looks at the photos of his children andsees the same thing – how beautiful his family is, but how his kids also need him to lead them with confidence, to be their strength, to be there for them and to give them his continued love. In short, when he looks at his family, he’s reminded of all the responsibilities he has to them as a husband, father, and provider. So then He turns to God and prays for the very same things from his Heavenly Father – For God to be His strength, to lead him, to be there for him and not let him feel alone, and to give His continued love.
It’s a touching song that brought me to tears the first time I heard it. I hope you’ll go online to listen to it if you haven’t heard it before. Sanctus Real sings it much better than I can give a brief summary!
Hearing this song moved me to tears because it led me to see my husband in a new way. It gave me a glimpse of life from his perspective. I’ve always recognized and appreciated that he works hard at his job, and even harder as a husband and father. How he gives more than 100% to all he does, I don’t know, but I do know that he pushes himself out of dedication and devotion to us. What I’d never considered were the pressures and obligations that he might feel as the man, the husband and father – all the while striving to be a man of faith and follow Christ.
Rex actually expressed these things as we talked about our concerns for a family member who has been very sick and is struggling. Rex had sympathy and compassion as he considered what it’s like for this man who is a young father trying to support his wife and toddler, prepare for a baby on the way, serve part-time as a youth pastor, and try to make a living outside his service to the church. Along with those things are also daily challenges and personal battles.
As I listened to Rex, I realized it’s not easy to be the man. Men take a lot of weight on their shoulders trying to be the provider and care-taker. Even in two-income families, men usually feel the primary responsibility to provide – and provisions aren’t just financial. Men feel they need to provide strength, stability, and leadership – to set the right examples, do the right things, and be successful. They want to keep their families safe and cared for, and to provide for their needs. They want to ‘be the man’, and that can be hard – especially in today’s
life and times.
Why do I share this?
1) To encourage respect and appreciation for men who are doing their best to meet the challenges of being godly men, husbands and fathers. My thoughts go especially to my own husband. The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another… ~ 1 Thessalonians 3:12
2) To encourage men to listen to the message of the song, “Lead Me”. Before you try to be the strength and provider for those around you, pray for these very things. Let God be your strength and the source of provisions for you. …Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. ~ 1 Peter 4:7
3) To encourage the rest of us to pray for the men in our lives. Not only should we pray on their behalf, we should also pray for God to show us how we can show them respect and appreciation, how to be their helpmates, how to be there for them and help make things better for them, to be compassionate and understanding with them. Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. ~ Hebrews 10:24
To the women: Yes, I know it’s hard to be a woman, too; but I feel God calling us to be aware of the many responsibilities and obligations men feel they must live up to, and do what we can to understand and help them along.
What can women do?
Men, speak up and share your thoughts!
Women, what are your ideas?
A few books that might be helpful:
- The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
- Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
- The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- The Love Dare Book by Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. ~ 1 Peter 4:8