For some men, the kitchen is the room of the house that we fear. I attempt to cook but it never turns out well. At our house, the kitchen is my wife’s domain, not mine. My wife has a system for everything in the kitchen and I have yet to figure it out. Our kitchen is the place where food is prepared and it is also the place where we eat together. It is here in the kitchen that I want to give you two simple suggestions for leading your family.
Serve Your Wife
Because my wife has a system for everything, my natural inclination is to get out of the kitchen as fast as I can. I would rather watch the news than wash the dishes. I would rather be served in the kitchen than serve. If I am going to lead my family well, I must begin by serving my wife in the kitchen. For me this means helping get drinks for our daughters and cleaning up after the meal. I will be the first to tell you that this doesn’t happen all the time. I am still a work in progress but I am trying to lead by serving in the kitchen.
Praying at Meals
My daughters are watching me and emulating me. They catch more than I realize. When we sit down for dinner, we always pray before we eat. My daughters are hoping for speedy prayers as they have their forks in their hands ready to go. This is a perfect time to model praying with my daughters. Am I thinking about what I am saying or robotically talking to God? I have always wondered what God thinks when we robotically utter our dinner prayers. Recently our family has been reading the Lord’s Prayer together before dinner. Read more about that here.
These are two simple steps for leading your wife and children at home. Start small and you will begin to see a difference in how your wife and children relate to you. Experts say sex begins in the kitchen which leads us to our topic for tomorrow, “The Bedroom.”
This week I am taking some time to give dads some tools for leading their families spiritually. I will use rooms of a house to describe the different ways that we need to lead. Today is “The Garage.”
For some men the garage is the place that we call home. It is our escape, our man cave. We go to recharge and get some alone time. We need time to be alone with our tools and hobbies but we also need alone time with the Lord. As men we need to start “manning up” in our own spiritual development. We cannot lead our families until we are walking with the Lord personally. But how do we do this? Here are some simple starting places in walking closer with the Lord. They are simple yet it is the simple things we have a hard time doing.
Schedule Time with God
If you are anything like me, if you don’t schedule it, then it won’t happen. Find a time in your day when you can stop everything and find a quiet place to be alone with God. It might be in the morning before the rush of the day or during lunch when you can get out of the office. Start small by scheduling 15 minutes to be alone with God.
Talk to God
Move away from trying to sound religious or use the “right words” and just talk to God. Throughout the Psalms David is brutally honest with God and uses some pretty colorful language. God just wants to hear what is on our minds not flowery religious language.
Spend Time Reading God’s Word
YouVersion.com has some great Bible reading plans for every stage of spiritual development. If you like technology, download the YouVersion app for your cell phone or iDevice. It is a great app for reading multiple versions of the Bible. Before you jump into reading, ask God to show you what he wants you to learn. As you read look for ways that the principles might be applied to your daily life. How does what I am reading change how I should live my life today?
Most likely, you have heard this advice before, but are you following it? These are the first steps but if we follow them, we will experience God in new ways. This will give us the energy and insight we need to begin to be spiritual leaders in our home.
Check back tomorrow for the next room in the house, “The Kitchen.” I think I might even cover “The Bedroom” in the next few days. Men always want to get to that room.
One of my favorite commercials this football season has been Miller Light’s “Man Up” campaign. It makes fun of the feminized manhood or metrosexual style of man purses and skinny jeans. I believe we as dads need to hear this message of “Man Up.” Too many dads are content to let their wives lead the family spiritually. We come up with many excuses for running from this responsibility and meanwhile our wives and children are looking to us to lead them.
I am not the biggest fan of contemporary Christian music but Sanctus Real’s song “Lead Me” is my theme song for the year. Below is the story behind the song. The next couple of days I will take time to explain some practical ways that dads can man up and be the leader that our wives and children need.