daily Broadcast

What's a Man to Do?, Part 1

From the series Marriage that Works

What is the role of the father in the home? For most men this is a confusing and frustrating question. If you want some help figuring this out, join Chip as he discusses the role of the man in the home.

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Message Transcript

What’s a man to do? And what do you, okay, you’re supposed to be a leader and a lover. Great, I’ve got it. What’s a man to do?

To get this, I need you guys to get riveted. Imagine, if you will, you’ve just been pulled off out of this room right now, eight or ten of you, you’re stationed right here.

And either the head of a Navy Seal, the head of the Marines Special Ops, or in the Army Ranger Program said, “You have been selected, you eight or twelve right here, that’s the mountain we’re going to take. There’s a two-year journey.

“Let me help you understand something, men. You’ll go through the most difficult training you’ve ever been in your life. Your commitment and ability to stay on track and get each other’s back will determine whether you live or die in this matter that we’re going to go for together.

“If this group is successful in what happens up on that mountain we’ll save tens of thousands of lives. If not, not only we will die but all those people will die as well.”

I saw a documentary recently on the training of Marine Special Ops. And just the beginning, in full fatigues, they tread water for an hour. With clothes on. Boots on. You can’t take it? You’re done. We don’t need him.

They teach them, “You will make decisions and you will keep commitments, and you will do what you never thought you could do and you’ll never do it apart from being with a band of brothers that will push you harder and farther and deeper. And you’ll change the world.”

And it was in that spirit that Moses, after watching people fail for forty years, pulled together the next generation of leaders.

And he pulled them together and he watched about two million people die out of disobedience. They wouldn’t take the hill. They wouldn’t make the commitment. They wouldn’t swim upstream.

And in his last words, he steps up and he speaks to the men. Deuteronomy chapter 6 he says, “These are the commandments, the decrees, the laws the Lord directed me to teach to you. To observe when you cross the Jordan and when you possess it. So that your children and their children after them may fear the Lord.”

And then he describes what it means to fear God. “Keeping His decrees, living by them in order that you may enjoy a long and good life. Hear, O Israel, be careful to obey so that you may increase greatly in this land flowing with milk and honey.”

In other words, the desire and the goal is awesome and it’s great. And then he says, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is one.”

And he’s talking about one God. And they’re going to go into a land that’s filled with multi-gods, and multi-idols, and unbelievable perversion. And then he says, “Men, you’re to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, all your strength.

“And then, you’re to teach it to your children. And after formal teaching, you’re to talk about it when you walk by the way. And you’re to talk and impress upon their hearts and their minds when you get up, and when you lie down, and when you go out.

“And then you’re to put certain symbols on your hands so that everything that you do, you’re kids and your grandkids, and everyone follows your example.

“And you even put frontals,” he talks about, “so that you’re thinking and your world view is that it’s more than about you. It’s about this agenda for God and you’re to fear Him. And then, when you get there, the hand of the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-wise God that created you will prosper you and bless you because He loves you.

“And so, when you begin to eat grapes from vineyards that you didn’t plant, and when you begin to drink out of wells that you did not dig, and when you have beautiful houses that you did not build, you better be careful.

“Because in that consumption, in that luxury, in that blessing, you’ll be tempted to drift away.” And then he goes on to say, “And fear God for He is a jealous God. For in that day that you refuse to obey Him, all the things that I was going to do to these people, I will do to you.”

That will make being a Navy Seal, being a Ranger in the Army, or being a Special Ops Marine look like a walk in the park.

And what I’m to talk to us men about is what God wants you to do and it’ll take intensity, and commitment, and you can’t do it alone.

And what I’m going to share is so different than, probably, almost any man you’ve ever met. And most of you didn’t, you’re like me, you didn’t have a father like this. I got the Marine part of the father. I didn’t get the Christian part of the father.

But I will tell you, those of you that aren’t married, this kind of a man attracts the kind of woman that you dream of.

This is the kind of man that a woman waits for. This is the kind of man that, if you do what God says, there’s a daughter that will probably marry someone different than a passive, “I hope it goes well, I kind of come to church,” type dad.

This is the kind of man whose son says, “Someday, someway, I want to be like my dad. I want to be a man of integrity, a man of focus, a man who makes a difference, a man who walks with God.” And this is going to be, what do you do? What do you actually do?

You’re to be a leader and a lover. What he says you’re to do, after stepping up in love, he’s going to say you need to provide, protect, and nurture. It’s what men do. Real men do.

You provide financially for your family. You protect them physically, spiritually, and emotionally. And you nurture them.

And all this flows out of one passage. We’ve been in Ephesians chapter 5. But I gave you three specific other places where it specifically lays those out.

1 Timothy 5:8, “But if anyone does not provide for his own and especially for those of his household, he’s denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Translation: Men, the moral responsibility for the financial welfare of our homes is ours.

Second, “You husbands, likewise, live with your wives.” How? “In an understanding way as with the weaker vessel.” Since she’s a woman. “And grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

So, after provision, there’s a spiritual something that occurs that a man does. You become the student of your wife, or if you’re not married, become the student of your girlfriend. What is she like? How does she think? What are her weaknesses? Where does she struggle?

And you live with her in an understanding way so that the grace of God comes through you to help develop her in her life.

And then notice the implication, if you don’t do that, your prayers get hindered. How you treat your wife, men, has a direct relationship to how God answers your prayers and mine.

And third, it goes on to say, “But if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the Church of God?” 1 Timothy 3:5.

What I want you to know is that what Moses did for the Old Testament, what we’re going to see is this is the New Testament version of being a non-conformist, Navy Seal, spiritual, committed man who changes the course of a whole family’s destiny.

And so, get your pen out and let me give you the job description and tell you in advance this is a pathway. You can’t do all this but let me tell you what it is.

I want you to know what it’s going to be looking like when you get on that hill and what’s going to be required. The question: how to step up in love to lead your wife and your family, or your future wife and potential family, if you’re single.

Number one: husbands hold the primary responsibility for the financial welfare of their families. Financial provision.

You are the family CFO or bank president. At the end of the day, if the numbers don’t work at a bank, you can’t blame the tellers. You’re the man. If there’s not enough money to go around, if you got too much debt in your debt ratio, if you got a big financial problem, at the end of the day, that’s on my shoulders.

I’m glad for your wife when she can help out, there are times when a woman, it’s great when they can work. There are other times where family responsibilities don’t allow that.

But I will tell you what. When you own and take the pressure off and say, “I own the moral responsibility to provide for my family.”

There are five specific objectives to that. Shelter, food, clothes, financial training. Financial training.

And so, where’s that begin? Well, it just starts with me. You do honest work. You might jot down, just in the notes, Colossians 3:23. Your wife, and if you have kids, your kids need to see someone that works hard and works well.

Colossians 3:23 says this, “Whatsoever I do, I work unto the Lord and not unto men.” In other words, when I clean the garage, when I wash the car, when I teach my kids, when I go to work, they need to see that I don’t work just for this. I’m working as unto the Lord. It’s an act of worship. So you do excellent work and you work hard.

If there’s nothing that you pass on to your kids apart from a strong, clear work ethic unto God, changes their life.

Second thing is you need to honor God first. You’re the steward of your finances. Some of us get a paycheck once a week, some of us get a paycheck every two weeks, some get a paycheck once a month, some of you work like crazy and then you get a commission.

If it’s once a week, once a month, whatever it is, for thirty days, I work, work, work, work and there’s time, energy, talent, all that God’s given me. And when I get that check, God says, “All that you are and all is mine. You’re a manager. I’m the owner.”

And so, as a manager, I come over here to God and say, “I want you to know, I remember that you are the One in control and I’m trusting you, not me.”

So, the very best, in the Old Testament, it was your best sheep, or your best goat, or your best ox, or the first fruit. So, I give the first tithe or ten percent to God.

And as you get older and mature you can give more than that and there are some crisis times where you figure out and God shows you some other specifics. But, as a general rule, you say, “That’s yours and this is what I’m going to do, and I want you to know that I trust you.”

We could talk all we want but submission and lordship plays out, not in my words, but in my money, my time, and my energy. God says, “I’m the CEO of the universe. I want to bless you. I want you trust me.”

So, you model that for your wife and for your family and your kids. And it takes a step of faith.

Third, you live within your means. You don’t have more money going out than comes in. You realize last year that more college students filed bankruptcy than graduated from college in the United States?

Someone didn’t train them very well. When you’re a freshman in college, you know how they say, “Hey! Do you want a t-shirt?” “Yeah!” “We’ll give you this t-shirt if you sign up for this credit card.”

And then they just think – learning the value of the dollar, learning to get out of debt, learning to handle money. Dads, doesn’t mean you do it all but I’m responsible for that in my family.

So, when you’re the financial manager, you’ve got to live within your means and then you have to prepare for the future. You have to say, okay, we need to have a savings plan. When I started out, I had three kids, making eighteen hundred dollars a month, pastoring a tiny little church, and I knew it wasn’t much but I saved fifty dollars a month for retirement. At least it got me started.

But you’ve got savings, retirement, do you have a will? What happens if you die? Do you need to have a trust? What are your investments? Where are they and why?

Some of you, in where you’re at, do you need to meet with a financial planner? Do you have life insurance that does anything if you actually die? Guys! That’s your job! Over half of all the Christians who die don’t even have a will!

We are owning the moral responsibility for the finances in our home and then train your kids. Train your kids how to use money and how to use it well.

The second here is the core values is to model and teach a work ethic. So, you want to teach your kids early on to start early to work hard. If you have small kids, everything from making their bed, and taking out the garbage, and when they get a little bit older, let them help out with the dishes, let them help out cooking.

When they get to be junior high, give them their own alarm clock and let them learn to wake up themselves. What you want to do is feed your kids responsibility, and work, and teach them to become more and more, not independent, but dependent on God.

So many kids get lost because everything’s been done for them. Or the process has been nag, nag, nag, do this, do this and there’s conflict in the home. Teach your kids, Dad, this is where we step in. And you teach them how to work well and to work hard.

And then the value is here of the stewardship of their time and their money.

When our kids got to be about two years old, maybe three, we put three jars on each of their dressers. And they couldn’t read it yet but one said “spending,” one said “giving,” and one said “savings.”

And we just started out and they would help out, help pick up your toys and you get ten pennies. One goes there, one goes there, eight goes there. They get a little older, they get ten dimes. One goes there, one goes there, one goes there.

They get a little older, they start getting quarters. Pretty soon, they earn some more money. And you know what they learn? They just learn, everything belongs to God, they learned early, and I want to honor Him. And the joy of my kids, when they were five, seven, eight years old started doing Faith Promise and would meet a missionary or we’d have on the refrigerator a little World Vision kid with their stomach out to here.

Do you know what happens when your child, seven, eight, nine years old learns to be generous, and love, and care? Instead of, dad, how come we don’t have this? And what’s the…” Right?

We will develop a whole generation of consumer-aholics and it’s not their problem. It’s us. We have to be the ones to set the pace. We’ve got to be the ones to say, “Honey, this is how much money we have. Here’s what we can buy, here’s what we can’t.”

And then, when they save? They have this amazing experience of delayed gratification. This is something they really want? They save, they save, they save. And they buy it, and they love it, and it’s good.

And you teach them some discipline and responsibility and so they get to be teenagers and they’ve got to have Diesel jeans, right? And they’re only a hundred and fifty bucks. “And, Mom, you’ve got to understand…” Right?

And you say, “Honey, let me tell you this, at the Gap, I can get you a good pair for fifty. Maybe fifty-five. And here’s what I’ll do. You can start saving. We’ll put my fifty-five in a jar. And you can baby-sit and I’ll give you some money for cleaning this out. And you can earn the other hundred and you can wear any kind of jeans you want.”

And you know what? I did that with my kids. And it was amazing. Those Diesel jeans were not near as cool.

Money is just a symptom. Money is never a problem in any relationship.

Money is never a problem in your relationship with God, money is never a problem in your relationship with your mate, your girlfriend, your friends. Money is never ever a problem. Money is an outward symptom that always reveals your true values.

What really matters is where you spend your money and what really matters is where you spend your time. Why Jesus talked more about money, than heaven and hell combined, is not that He needs your money. What He knows is, where your treasure is, that’s where your heart is.

And so, He wants me to be dependent. What I want my kids, what I know is, where they spend their money is their true values. And so, these are the kind of things: stewardship, responsibility.

And then enjoyment. Just really having fun. And knowing that, so many Christians I meet, when they buy something nice, or get something nice, and their priorities are in order, they always tell me stuff like, “Well, it’s really nice but I got it on sale.”

Or, “This pool, we got this pool, it’s really nice but, it’s for baptisms. It’s for the youth group.”

How about this? God’s really blessed me, I’m really generous, everything I own is His, I give a ton of it away, I live within my means, I wanted a swimming pool! I like a swimming pool! It’s a beautiful swimming pool! You know what we do? We sit out and enjoy it and He’s prospered me and I’m thankful.”

See, we’ve got to get clean and clear about what money is and what it’s not. But I will tell you, there are a lot of people buying swimming pools, and clothes, and cars, and getting statements that are saying, “You better keep this job or you hope something changes because you’re presuming upon the future and it’s called debt.” And what you do is you get out of that.