Let’s state the obvious in regards to the husband’s role as protector. If a burglar is in my house, I will never say to my wife, “Honey, you wanna get up and check the house; I heard a noise.” I am the man and I will protect my family no matter the danger. That is just what guys do. We may not always feel strong and courageous, but we need to be on the front lines in our homes, walking point for our families, which also includes an awareness of what is going on in the personal lives of wife and children. If they are struggling in some way, I need to ask, “How can I be strong for them”? Sometimes that will involve a well-timed inquiry and conversation; other times it will be standing in the place of intercession on their behalf. Protector and provider are closely linked and often seen as a dual function.
As provider, I seek to protect my wife and family from needs going unmet. The Scripture makes our responsibility clear. “If anyone fails to provide for his own, and especially for those of his own family, he has denied the faith [by disregarding its precepts] and is worse than an unbeliever [who fulfills his obligation in these matters].” 1 Tim. 5:8 (AMP) A husband who is faithful in work, provides a canopy of security for the home. But as in all areas of life, balance is the key. There are spiritual and relational aspects of providing, namely companionship, the currency that our wives and children need to thrive. The insecure, workaholic husband may successfully eliminate financial debt, but will fail to build solid relational equity in the family. After all, there’s only so much time in a day. In addition, a husband’s role is to protect his wife and family from feeling rejected or minimized. A committal of time along with open communication, is a must.
When pressing through a lean season, where money is tight, my mandate of provision is to draw closer to God and model contentment for my family. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:12-13 Personally, I live a modest lifestyle by American standards, not because it’s more spiritual, but it’s just the way it is. The key is to be content, as Paul said, “in any and every situation.” I’m thankful for my wife’s support and good attitude along the way, even when we needed to receive help from the local food pantry or we fell behind in our bills. She knew I was doing everything I could to provide financially, and we journeyed to contentment, as a team.
So men, can we wrap our minds around this truth? We are protector and we are provider. “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.” We are positioned to lead. We are called to set the example. Maturity is not an option. Seems overwhelming, doesn’t it? Thankfully, we have a powerful source to draw from – “Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” Col. 1:27-29 I love the Message Bible rendering of verse 29: “To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.”
Lord, help me to tap into the energy and stamina resourced to me by the indwelling presence of Christ. Reveal any obstacle or hindrance that has been obstructing this life flow. I want to be the servant leader, protector, and provider, on every level, for my wife and family. Teach me how to be the priest of my home, to be the “burden bearer” like Christ, interceding for the needs of my family. Show me how to structure my time, that I might be “available” to the full extent that my wife and family need me.