Women Of Reverence welcomes Thabiso Motsepe as a guest blogger for Fathers Day month.
Thabiso Motsepe is a Lead Elder at Cosmo City Church and also serve on the NCMI Global Apostolic Team. He is a published author. He is married to Dihedile Motsepe and they are blessed with two gorgeous girls.
“Marriage should be honoured by all…” (Hebrews 13:4)
Marriage is fundamentally given a status of honour by the One who instituted it, God.
This honour should be maintained by the married and admired by the observers. Husbands, or men, are the lead custodians of this virtue, the pioneers of this honour. We are bound by our vows and our loyalty to the Lord Jesus to step up to the demands of integrous marriages.
Our mantle of headship involves godly 'husband-ing' and fathering. “Husband-ing” involves a selfless outpouring of our being in service of our spouses, and in pursuit of bringing out the best in them and for them. Fathering refers to our ability to nurture and safeguard the purposes of God entrusted to us, in the form of our children. None of these is a walk in the park. Yet our submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, as our Head, makes it all possible, and even fulfilling. God has entrusted men with the great responsibility and privilege of leading their households into His purposes. This call is markedly seen through the example of Abraham:
"For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."
Genesis 18:19 KJV
We need grace and commitment to God’s word to mirror godly patterns of leadership in our marriages, in order that we don’t deny our responsibilities and fail the next generation of husbands and fathers. Though there are many more, here are some essentials to consider, as men, in our pursuit of exemplary marriages:
1. Willing obedience to God's Word: our spouses have not written any word in the Bible on how to treat them. All instructions are God-inspired. Let's not make our spouses, and children, excuses for disobeying the Lord. The Lordship of His Word is indeed the measure of his Lordship in our lives, even regarding our relationships with our spouses. It is righteous to consider the Lord’s expectation of us even before considering our wives’ preferences. To honour the Lord by honouring our covenant with our spouses is commendable before God.
2. Self-leadership: mature in your character, role and responsibilities. Let's invest more time in being best in our roles instead of being experts in what our spouses should do. We also need to grow in grace that sustain longevity and health in marriage like forgiveness, unconditional love, sacrifice, patience, gentleness, truthfulness, transparency and so on. Basically, we must discipline ourselves towards all that conforms us to the likeness of Christ in relation to His Bride, the Church.
3. Honour your wife: As a husband, I have often battled to give the due honour to my wife as God's own princess, and in my selfish nature continue to struggle. Yet when I recognize her as God's daughter and a co-heir of grace, I find my calloused heart softened.
“Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant.” (Malachi 2:14 NKJV)
This is a charge from the Father’s heart, which we will be wise to heed.
4. Be a Watchman over your family:
Jesus stepped up on behalf of the disciples, despite knowing they would run away and deny him. He, therefore, expects us to lay down our lives for our spouses and households in a similar way, regardless of the fact that, in the process, we may be disappointed and hurt by the very same people.
"Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” (John 18:8 NIV)
Yet other men still chose to sacrifice women and children in their lives for self-preservation.
- Lot volunteered his daughters to be raped by city men (Genesis 19:8). Strangers were safe under his roof, but his daughters were not.
- A Levite, a supposedly godly man, surrendered his concubine to brutal and fatal rape to protect himself. Even his host had offered his daughter for abuse by city men. (Judges 19:1- 29)
Often, women leave their hopes and dreams in the leadership of the men they get married to, only for those hopes to be shattered. We are called to operate differently, with Christ's heart for His bride.
5. Love your wife for Christ's sake: No pun intended. Our wives are part of the body of Christ, and we do well to love them as fellow believers. We love Christ by loving His body, which includes our spouses and children, where applicable.
Eventually, we will not account to our wives about how we treated them, but to their Heavenly Father - to the one who entrusted His daughters to us, part of His very own bride and body.
6. Recognize your children as God's purposes unfolding before your eyes: godly homes provide security and stability. More importantly, godly headship gives children the right reference point for God's heart. It confirms the Father-heart of God and affirms His goodness. Boys raised by godly men generally have proper, stable masculinity and manhood. They, in large percentage, turn out to be good fathers and good husbands. Their godly fathers serve as living models of how to treat women and children. They are also a display of the possibility of a healthy marriage amidst contrasting statistics, negativity and Satan's onslaught against marriage. What we pass on to them gives them something godly to pass on to their children too.
- Hezekiah short-changed the future of generations to enjoy the worldly glory of the pride of life. (2 Kings 20:13-19)
Will the price of a godly marriage and godly legacy of manhood, husband-hood and fatherhood prove too high for us to pay too?
7. Consider the prize of the price: Jesus will reward all we did on earth, in this body, most of which will be in our marriages. Whatever the cost you pay for godliness, great is the reward. The tendency to quit when the going gets tough in marriage is hovering deep in our hearts, but we are people of covenant. So before we hit the termination button, we must pause and consider others who use our lives as a lighthouse and navigation tool. We are imperfect in every way, yet in God’s hand and through His grace we can be a blessing and a testimony of good marriages, and hopefully serve as a reliable lighthouse for marriages that are on the course of shipwreck.