June 14, 2024

Godly Husband: Do You Do Too Much?

This entry is part 6 of 17 in the series Godly Husband

Husbands, let’s be honest, there are many times when we have our priorities out of whack. There are a lot of things we as guys would like to do, some we need to do, and some we just plain refuse to do. But the reason that we use to determine which category life’s tasks fall into is often how it impacts what “I want to do” or “what I feel like doing” rather than is it what is best for our families.

This is closely coupled with where the request is coming from. If it’s a request to do something in the home, I think that we’re much more inclined to say we don’t want to do it or it is someone else’s job than we are to step up to the plate and do it. However, for some, if it’s from the outside (say a boss, a pastor, etc.) we’re more inclined to take on responsibility that takes away from time with our family.

I’ve just come off a three year stint as Deacon in my local church. When I started, we were expecting our second child, and I asked the pastor just how much time the job would entail. He told me that they have a monthly meeting and occasionally a meeting on a weekend if there was something important to discuss.

That was before the pastor resigned, the church split, I had to take over as pulpit committee chair, and then got picked for deacon chair and have had yet another controversial issue come to the front. All the while, one meeting a month became one meeting a week, and the meetings ran from when I got out of work until when my kids were in bed.

When it came time for nominations, I told the pastor that I was not willing to to be on this year because I needed a chance to clear my head, and because of the soon arrival of our fourth child. Young children, as I’m sure you are aware, need a lot of time and attention if you want to bring them up in a godly home.

I say all this to illustrate that men naturally (or should have) have a sense of duty and honor that makes them want to step up to the plate and complete the task. Well, you stepped up to the plate on your wedding day and said that you’d be with your wife in a lot of different conditions– and that included doing the tasks in the home that you may not want to do. It also included not taking on too many responsibilities that keep you out of the home.

Paul talks in the New Testament about the glories of the single life, and the big one that he mentions that relates to this topic is that he says that the married person has to be concerned with how he ministers to his wife, rather than the single person who can be totally consumed with his ministry to God.

Godly Husband, do you do too much to be of good use to your family? If so, it’s time to start practicing saying “no.”

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7 thoughts on “Godly Husband: Do You Do Too Much?

  1. This is a good one…be it hunting, fishing, rodeo, or whatever. Before we had kids, my dh was a team roper with his brother. We traveled all over, spending too much money but having so much fun. Thankfully, when we were expecting our first baby, something happened and we were convicted about how much time and money roping took. Actually, dh was convicted, because I always went along for the ride since he was the one bringing home the paycheck, not me. He’s been a family man ever since. His brother still ropes all the time, with other teams, and his family rarely sees him.

    I’m so thankful.

  2. Family first. The priorities are there, should be there. Once you decide to have a family, it must be the second love of your life (after Christ). It applies to both husbands and wives. I write this because in our family I am tending to be a workoholic, and I am becoming aware of the consequences.

  3. A very good point, although I can see some men using it as an excuse to do nothing.

    I’m sure your management of your family makes you well-qualified to fill all these responsibilities and now you are serving as a role model for others by stepping back.

    I would like to see more understanding of this by our church leadership. Although the priority of family first is consistently preached, we have at least one deacon whose children are all unpleasant, completely out of control. Why is he even invited to be a deacon?

  4. Rebecca, I think you’ve hit on why pastor’s kids have such a reputation for being rebels. Pastors usually carry more than their share of responsibility…at least they do in rural churches such as in our community. There’s no assistant pastor to help with the visiting, funerals, weddings, preaching, prayer meetings, church stewardship, etc. The Pastor’s time spent “doing it all” leaves his wife and kids starved for his influence. All they get is his stress and exhaustion. And the poor man is just trying to serve the Lord!

    Deacons and Elders face the same stresses, it’s a huge job, but somebody’s got to do it. So what happens when no one steps up? Scary. That’s why all the parts of the body have to be functioning.

    I’ve recently been asked to chair the Education committee. I don’t want to, primarily from selfish reasons. I see others in the church with fewer children, less responsibility (they don’t homeschool! :O) ) and wish I hadn’t been nominated. I’d rather organize VBS than chair the Education committee. I’ve been praying about it though, b/c if God wants me to do this, I’ll do it. And I can’t do it fighting it every step of the way. But I also won’t do it if my family will suffer. And this is a little bitty job compared to being a deacon.

    If the people God wants in these positions of leadership won’t step forward, then what choice does the church have but to invite others who are willing? I agree though, that it doesn’t sit well if they don’t have their family in order as Biblically directed.

  5. Well, as someone who drastically reduced my church involvement when I started a family, I get to pat my own back đŸ™‚

    But there is a twin danger. Just as we can do too much, we can do too little, and excuse ourselves by saying that our families come first. Perhaps a good warning sign that this is happening is the realisation that we still have time for a round of golf, or surfing or whatever, when we are saying we don’t have time to do anything for the Church.

    Then we get the situation I think Mary is talking about here – where it is the busiest people who are constantly asked to do things…because we know that these are the people who will say yes!

  6. There is certainly a balance in all of this. There is no reason why someone should not have enough time to spend with their family, serve the church, and make a decent living. In certain seasons one of the categories is probably going to be out of whack with the other categories. The danger is in keeping that balance out of place longer than God’s grace is there to sustain it.

    At one point in my married life I had a job installing cable. Cable subcontractors work very long hours (70-90hrs per week, 6 day weeks). When I first heard about the position I did not consider it due to the amount of hours it would take me away from my family.

    As time progressed it was made increasingly clear that the job I had was not making enough money for me to continue and allow Meg to stay home with our son. As a result I decided I should at least pray about the opportunity to install cable. I was very surprised when I felt like God said “Yes”.

    For the next year-and-a-half I installed cable. God’s grace was in all of it and somehow my wife managed not to go insane with me gone all the time. I learned how to leverage the time I did have available, and made sure I spent all the time I could with my son when I was around. After a year-and-a-half things just seemed to start to grate. About that same time God provided an opportunity to leave cable and I took it.

    One of the first thing I was struck with my first week of a “normal” job was how much time there actually is in a day. It was suddenly very obvious how much time I had wasted watching TV, or with other activities that didn’t really accomplish anything but somehow made my pre-cable life seem busy.

    I think that if many father’s would just cut out television and limit their internet access they would suddenly also find how much more time there is even in their busy day, to spend with their family, serve the church, etc.

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