Brothers, We Were Made For This.

There is a huge difference in trying really hard to be something, and realizing suddenly that you are something. When I first got married, I found myself trying really hard to be the right kind of husband. The same thing happened when I became a father. But the gospel is applicable, here too, and it reminds us that we aren’t trying hard to be something we’re not; we’re trying hard to embrace what God has already made us in Christ.

Brothers, we were made for this:

To work hard and provide for our families.

To bring a sense of calm and peace when we walk into a room.

To teach our children the nature of love and respect and how they fit together.

To give our whole hearts to our wives.

To teach our sons how to treat a lady.

To teach our daughters how to be self-confident and secure.

To deny ourselves material comforts for the sake of our families.

To get up earlier than anyone else in the household.

To make our families feel safe when they are at home.

To know our children well enough to understand and encourage their passions.

To know when our wives aren’t looking for a problem fixer but a listener.

To be secure enough in our identity to say “no” to an opportunity at work if it costs our family.

To eat well and exercise so we can walk our daughters down the aisle someday.

Brothers, we were made for this… and more.

What would you add?

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  • K.C. says:

    Michael – thank you for this encouragement and exhortation to be more than we are. To be what we were made for.

    To be slow to anger and demonstrate Christ’s love to our children. Their view of God will be shaped by this.

  • Tara says:

    Great post! I’ve really enjoyed hearing you speak at Paradigm. . err. . I mean give us “talks” at Paradigm.

  • Joel says:

    “To work hard and provide for our families.”
    so how does one do this when your wife is working to finish her medical training and you don’t want your children raised by a different person every few months? is there a season where working hard and providing entails keeping the family together? is the husband at home an area that isn’t ideal or maybe even “right” but is necessary?

  • Steve says:

    Great post Michael! I particularly love the line on not trying to be what we’re not, but who we are in Christ. We must lay ourselves and our wills down and let Him live in us and His will be done. That brings great joy.

    Joel, I share your feelings on that line as well. My wife and I have our first child on the way, and she has found an office she really enjoys, doing work she likes. She also wants to finish her CPA requirements which means putting in a large number of hours on auditing projects, so she doesn’t really want to give up her job. But she would also be uncomfortable being the only source of income for our family. We agree with each other that most important is for us to be home with our child and the ones that raise him, so she will be working a minimum full-time schedule (30 hours a week) and I will be filling the rest of the hours part-time at my job.

    I would think providing for our families is more than a monetary thing. We do what we can to provide our family with good opportunities, to provide a good environment (home instead of daycare), to make that a safe place, to provide spiritual leadership (us submitting to Christ)… and this is hard work, because the easy road is to be lazy and not care. Not to get too broad, but there’s also the hard work of keeping the house in good repair (you know all those house projects) so that it’s a comfortable and healthy place.

    I suppose that was a little long winded to say that working hard and providing doesn’t singularly mean a job bringing in cash. Although you aren’t at a job making the money, you made sure that the arrangements would still provide all that’s needed for everyone. You’re also providing your wife the option and freedom to work (rather than no choice and stuck at a job) by being ready to step up and return to work so that she could stay home. I think it’s a big thing for a husband and wife to work at keeping their child at home with them… a lot of families can’t (or perhaps some just don’t) do that.

    Phew! Didn’t mean to type my own blog post here! Just wanted to reply to Joel’s comment and provide a little brotherly encouragement. Still curious to hear Michael’s input on Joel’s question. Those were just my thoughts.

  • Michael K. says:

    “To work hard and provide for our families.”

    This is a good question, Joel, and thanks, Steve for your thoughts. I’ll admit, when I wrote it I was thinking primarily in financial terms. And while I think it’s probably the normative situation for the father to be the primary financial provider, I don’t think it has to be that way. It seems to me the larger question is one of leadership – whether or not a man is providing that for his family. It would be a different situation if a man were saying, “I’m really tired of working. I want to sit at home in my boxers.” But that’s not what we’re talking about here – we are talking about a man PROVIDING an opportunity for his wife and family to pursue their God-given dreams and passions at his personal cost. That seems like pretty good and sacrificial leadership to me.

    And it also seems like, from time to time, it’s appropriate to evaluate whether or not that continues to work in the family. I like your language, Joel, about “seasons of life.” This might be the right thing for this season; might not be for the next one.

    Thanks for the interaction.

  • Steve says:

    Well said, and in fewer words 😉
    Thanks Michael.

  • Joel says:

    thank you guys for your thoughts. for me at this time i need to “be secure enough in our identity to say “no” to an opportunity at work if it costs our family.”

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