According to God’s Word every man has five basic responsibilities.
First, God expects men to be filled with the Spirit. “So then do not be foolish,” writes Paul, “but understand what the will of the Lord is. [What is God’s will?] And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation [a wasting of your life], but be filled with the Spirit,”—Who maximizes your life (Ephesians 5:17-18).
To be “filled with the Spirit” simply means to be under the Holy Spirit’s control. Just as a drunk person is under the “influence” of alcohol, so a man filled with the Spirit in under God’s control.
God’s second expectation of a husband is that he love his wife. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, ... So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:25, 28).
In other words, if a husband will take care of his wife and her needs, she will take care of him and his needs. Men are the initiators and women are responders. When our wives “react” instead of respond, it’s a sure sign that we’ve failed in our love for them.
God spells out His third expectation for fathers in Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
The father, not the mother, must be the chief disciplinarian. The mother’s authority to discipline and instruct the children is directly derived from the father’s authority as the spiritual leader of the home.
Fourth, God expects a man to provide for his family’s needs. “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).
A father’s provision includes meeting his family’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Put a roof over their heads and food on the table. Let your wife and children know that you love them by your words and actions. Accompany them to church. Read the Bible and pray with them at home.
Finally, God expects a man to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).
Jesus warned, “The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10a). Thus, we must fight for our families because our families are in a fight.
(Jessie J. Charpentier Sr. is pastor of Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church in St. Martinville.)