The best a man can leave for his children is not money, power, fame or his name but a trail to follow;
with a trail they will know the way.
What does your family say about you? Do they say, “He cut a trail through the jungle of life for them to follow?” Would they say, “He was a great father, husband, devoted to the things of God.”
WE ARE THE COVERING for our families. No matter how we try to avoid it we still will be held accountable for our families. Jesus showed us by His life what it means to be the covering. First, He was our priest who sacrificed for His flock. As men we are the ones required to sacrifice for our families, and not our wives. God has not given this position to the woman. It may be that the woman may want this position or she may think she’s qualified to be the priest, but this does not change the fact it is our position to do the sacrificing for our family.
On the night the Lord was betrayed, where was He and what was He doing? He was praying for you and me. He stayed there all-night laboring in prayer. Prayer is not about my will but rather bringing my will into line with His will. I had a very dear friend who told me of a dream he had about our Lord in the garden. My friend had become sick and was in the hospital. In his dream he saw the Lord praying in the garden and the Lord asked him to partake with him. My friend said, “No Lord, I am not worthy to be in this place with you.” But the Lord kept on insisting and then He said, “What if I do not heal you but bring you home with Me?” My friend then went into the garden with our Lord. Soon after his dream he went home to be with the Lord. The garden of prayer was not about Jesus’ will, but rather His Father’s will. What is the will of God for my children and my wife? Am I willing to labor in prayer for them?
Another aspect of being the covering for my family is in serving. At the last supper Jesus washed the disciple’s feet. He did not think He was above them, but wanted to show them how much He loved them. Our society thinks backwards, about how many people serve them. Will our families remember us by how demanding we were, or by how we lovingly did things for them that put them first before ourselves?
We are providers. What a powerful, yet misunderstood idea. Some men think that this is all they are to their families: a provider. They can take pride in it. I am going to make a statement that you might not agree with and that is I am not responsible for providing for my family. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” God is the provider of my family. God has set a circle of provision around us. The problem is that I want what is on the outside of my circle. It is when I go beyond my provision from God that I run into trouble. When I live on the outside of my circle, I become enslaved, and because of my enslavement I must get another job or work overtime. I may even expect my wife to find a job. When I go beyond the provision that God has given me there are consequences. While on the outside of the provision of God I will not have time to seek the Kingdom of God.
When men finally realize that God wants an eternal love relationship with them then their work, authority, competition and adventure makes sense to them. God knew that man’s life was in need of more than work, authority, competition and adventure so He created a woman for man to love and have children with; to fellowship with and to have a helpmate for his purpose in life.
Adam wanted to make sure that the woman understood the rules of the garden. It seems that man (Adam), did not think that God’s words were adequate for the time in which he lived. So, he added to God’s word in telling Eve not to even touch the tree that God said not to eat from. Today we have some very good intentions of wanting the best for someone, so we add more to the Word of God for whatever reason we have – feeling justified. Satan will always attack at the very heart of our arrogance and use our unfaithful words to hurt us. When we add to the words of God – we want to control someone. Half-truths are still lies, and to hold back part of the word of God will have a bad result.
What happened after the fall of man? God sought him out asking, “Adam, where are you?” Today God seeks out men as to why their families have fallen into sin. Eve bore her own consequences of sin just like Adam. She blamed the enemy for deceiving her. But Adam blamed Eve, for he says to God when approached about his sin: “That woman You put here!” Some things never change. We still don’t want to admit we are sinners. It will always be someone else’s fault why I am in trouble.
The consequences of sin can be very hard to bear. Eve was to have great pain in child birth now, and God also declared to her: “Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.” This is why women have a strong desire to want to rule over their husbands. What is sad is that most of these women have very good intentions, and much of what they expect is right. The problem comes when she lets loose her desire instead of turning it over to God in humility. The longing in her heart can only be satisfied when she submits to God. Submission puts a woman in the position to be provided for, protected, and blessed. Her husband’s covering from God is to honor her, not to punish her like many believe.
Today woman can bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan. (Old cliché) So, what does she need a man for? The more independent she becomes the unhappier she is. What has stolen her joy? She, like Eve, has gone around her husband to listen to the enemy. She stepped out from under God’s covering for her. The Proverbs 31 woman is not a wimpy woman, but a confident fulfilled woman.
When Adam ate of the fruit, he did so knowing full-well what he was doing, and his actions affected the whole world. His sin affected me and my children’s children. Why would a man do this? Adam had to make a choice, the woman or God. We don’t know what would have happened if Adam would have chosen God, but we do know the story of choosing a woman over God. This is still happening today; men who chose to follow their wives instead of God set a standard at home that is in conflict with God and having a happy peaceful home.
Today men are looking for their worth from a woman by either being a swinging bachelor, or by his looks, income, or by his many conquests. It is very dangerous for a man to have his manhood validated by a woman, for she can also invalidate him. A righteous man does not fear the words of a woman, but a man who has taken his eyes off God will be affected by the words of a woman. Look at Samson who after consistent nagging gave in to Delilah. And why did Elijah run from the threatening words of Jezebel?
The Godly man seeks God and worships Him with all his heart, knowing that he is a sinner and that he is forgiven. He knows that he alone will be held responsible for his family. So, he prays for his family daily, sacrificing for them. He must lead them towards God in the way God has shown to the man. He must empower his wife to be the godly woman she desires to be.
The adventure of a Christian man may have many forks in the road, but the true road is the one you walk with Jesus doing what He has asked of me. In the book of Daniel, we find three young men who are given the choice to deny their faith or die in the fiery furnace. We may not be faced with death, but in reality we are dying spiritually when we choose the world over obedience to God. When I decide not to be obedient to what God asks of me, I die in my walk with Him and in my passion to worship Him.
What comes from the Lord because it is impossible for humans to manufacture it? Wisdom. What comes from humans because it is impossible for the Lord to experience it? Worry. And what is it that brings wisdom and dispels worry? Worship. How do we gain wisdom and end our worry? Worship and God’s Word. Let nothing detract from your time of personal worship in the Word and in praise to God. Let nothing frighten you… nothing from the past or present, or about the future. God is in control.
Here is a little story about giving up and letting go, so that God can do immeasurably more than we can think or imagine.
“The cheerful little girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. ‘Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?’
Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl’s upturned face. ‘A dollar ninety-five. That’s almost $2.00. If you really want them, I’ll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday’s only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma.’
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace. Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up.
She wore them everywhere, Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night as he finished the story, he asked Jenny, ‘Do you love me?’
‘Oh yes, daddy. You know that I love you.’ ‘Then give me your pearls.’ ‘Oh, daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember, daddy? The one you gave me. She’s my very favorite.’ ‘That’s okay, Honey, daddy loves you. Good night.’ And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny’s daddy asked again, ‘Do you love me?’ ‘Daddy, you know I love you.’ ‘Then give me your pearls.’ ‘Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper.’ ‘That’s okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you.’ And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.
‘What is it, Jenny? What’s the matter?’ Jenny didn’t say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, ‘Here, daddy, this is for you.’ With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny’s daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.
He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.” (End of story)
God is the One that can establish a strong marriage and the family on earth. If the journey is great, then the end will be sweet. If the journey is bitter, then the ending isn’t so sweet.