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For Our Brothers

God Created You to Lead
by Carl E. Carey, Jr.

Several years ago, I sat in Church and heard a respected minister say that the reason that so many desirable women remain single is because a large percentage of men simply don't want the responsibility of marriage and raising children. I had never heard such a statement before, but I couldn't disagree with his assessment. At the time, I, myself, was a newlywed, but I knew a number of men in their late 20's and early 30's who were enjoying the variety and flexibility that comes with being single. Many of these men were in no rush to limit or inconvenience themselves by taking the plunge into what is supposed to be a life-long commitment. After hearing the minister speak, I could tell that he was disappointed in the unmarried men. He didn't feel like they had upheld their responsibility to women or to God. I can remember leaving Church that day committed to doing the right thing. I was going to try to successfully lead a family.

Now that I've been a family man for a little while, I must admit that I now realize that marriage and raising children is serious business. By nature, most of us men are wired to grit and bear the multitude of various challenges we face in the home without letting on that we are overwhelmed and frustrated with the responsibility that comes with leadership. I have watched a number of our brothers crumble under family pressures, in part, because they didn't feel like they could talk to anybody about what they were facing. The harsh reality of today is that intense pressures and demands have caused some households to become so volatile and unhappy that the men are either unwilling or unable to continue on. Many men simply pack up and leave their position of leadership without a real fight to save their family.

Let's face it—having the responsibility for a wife and children is tough. Marital stress, financial pressures and family problems are issues that most families will deal with at some point in time. However, we must remember that it is our God-given duty to lead in our homes—and we must lead in good times and in bad times—for better and for worse.

As men, we often talk about the authority that God has given us to lead in our marriages and in our homes. We must remember that we do have God-given authority, but with authority comes responsibility. In the book of Genesis, the Lord clearly outlines His expectations for man. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, it is Adam who He sought to interrogate. It is as if the Lord was saying, “Adam, the buck stops with you”.

While there is great responsibility in leadership, there can be great rewards too. In conversations with happily married men and fathers, it is clear that they wouldn't trade their family life for anything in the world. I have talked to a number of men who say that coming home to their family is the bright spot in their hectic day. Another reward that comes with successfully managing a family is the impact that I believe it has on our relationship with God. Throughout the Bible, it is evident that the Lord has a special place in His heart for men who rise to the occasion and fulfill the mission He has set before them. Christ spent His life leading and fulfilling His mission of spreading the Gospel and dying for our sins. As a result of pleasing God, He now sits at His right hand. We, too, have been given a mission. The Lord has called us to be men. He has called us to lead. When we allow God to lead us, then and only then can we effectively lead our family through the valley to the mountaintop. Our families need us to be the men that God created us to be. Our wives need our love and support. Our children need our care and guidance. God has equipped us with His Word. To be the man that God would have us to be, we must make our decisions as leaders according to His Word and His will.

When we successfully fulfill our duty to our family, God is pleased—and when God is pleased with us, we open our lives to His rewards.

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