Head of the Household
Hello, my name is Daniel and this is my first post on my wife's blog. I started my own but I just do not have enough to say to populate an entire blog, so my wife has been gracious enough to provide me with a corner on hers. This actually fits us well as we do everything else together, so why not blogging too?
I may meander a bit from time to time but I will try to come to the points I am making as efficiently as I can so please bear with me.
I want to talk a little today about what it means to be a man. Notice I didn't say "a man in today's world." No, a man. Plain and simple. You either are or you aren't. I see a LOT of people making excuses for failure by attaching that phrase to the discussion. You've all seen it or heard it in some form or another. My biggest peeve here is the whole "let's make God work in today's world" meme that so many mainstream Christian churches adhere to these days. Last I checked the Bible did not come with an expiration date. What is written is what is written and you either are with that or you're not. I am not trying to be abrasive, this is just how my mind works. I do not believe in complications.
All that said, what does it mean to be a man? Fast car? Pretty wife? Nice house? 401K? Physical strength? What about "head of the household?" What does that mean? I work in steel shops, and the men that work with me can sometimes be...special. But what I like about them is they don't generally sugar coat what they are trying to say which helps you learn quick, fast, and in a hurry what they are all about.
I worked next to a guy, five feet away or so, for five years. The dude never missed work. On time, early even, every single day. He didn't go to bars. He didn't get in fights. He went to work and went home every day. Good dude right? This guy would come up to me every so often and say off the wall things out of nowhere. He and his wife didn't have a great relationship and for whatever reason I was his go to sounding board. So I'd be fitting something or other up, and here comes my neighbor to say and I quote "Women are crazy holmes." And I'm paraphrasing here as my wife asked me to keep it clean. So I'd ask, "why?" "They're just twisted is all. They're the weaker sex." At which point I'd say things like "ok buddy" and back to work I'd go. A half hour later he'd be back, still twisted into knots, to "inform" me that he has this viewpoint because "the bible says so."
I have three options at this point. I can say nothing, I can agree to get him to stop talking, or I can relate my own experiences. I always chose the latter and I feel that's the best way to handle it. So I'd redirect the conversation. I'd talk about how I can't wait to get home because the wife told me on lunch that we're having ham and mashed taters tonight. I'd talk about whatever I could that was positive, mainly for selfish reasons. This guy is 54 years old. I'm 31. He is NOT looking for me to mentor him. You cannot teach to someone who does not wish to learn, that's impossible. At any rate, I'd steer the conversation towards something positive because I don't want to be around that kind of attitude all day long, every day, for 12 hours a day. So that would be that for a few days, until the next episode.
My point in bringing him up is that this man is a church fanatic. He's in church three times a week religiously (pardon the pun). How he has managed to study the bible so much for so long and learn nothing is beyond me. Maybe God hardened his heart like he did the Jews. I just don't know. That's between him and God. What I do know is that even though I am no psychologist I could see easily that this man had some complexes, and rather than deal with them he started twisting the wording in the bible to suit his viewpoints. If there are any men reading this I will tell you that this is why I recommend going to the SOURCE for your information. Do not trust others when it comes to the spiritual health and well being of your family. As head of the household this is YOUR responsibility, and it is yours alone. Don't get me wrong. Pastors, or in my case, priests, are great. So are study groups, ect. At the end of the day though it is up to you to put your nose in the book, the only book that matters, and get the information for yourself. Do not be led astray.
Now that I'm back off my high horse I will explain my reasoning for bringing up my coworker. His viewpoint is one I see manifest in countless different ways every single day in countless different men. I will not delve into what the bible means when it commands women to submit at this point in time, other than to say that yes, my wife was commanded to submit. I however, have never been commanded to dictate or to abuse.
So my coworker went like this for years until one day he stopped showing up at work. Turns out he and his wife got into an argument, she had had enough and decided to stand her ground, and he put his hands around her throat. She's ok, was never seriously injured. Him? Well he lost his wife, has issues seeing his kids, got laid off from his job, and thanks to the three strikes rule, when he does finally get sentenced he'll be in prison for a very, very long time.
The danger here was never his physical presence, that's just a symptom. The danger was his way of thinking. In his mind God gave him dominion over the earth and that was that. I guess he never stopped to consider that with dominion comes responsibility, or that what God has given he can certainly take away.
I know I asked a lot of questions at the beginning and didn't provide very many answers. This was intentional. I am not here to teach you. I am no wiser or smarter than you, as long as you are using the brain God gave you. I am simply here to share my own experiences and thoughts, and to, if possible, nudge you into questioning some of the ideals that are so common today. "Test the spirits" comes to mind. Being a man, to my mind means many things. We could talk about work ethic, financial stability, intelligence and strength even. All that is well and good but it is and has always been my belief that all a man need remember is this one saying; "Character is what you do in the dark when nobody is looking." If a man has strength of character and strength of conviction, the rest will come and in abundance. This is not to say you need be perfect, I know I'm not (which is why I don't presume to teach). There are some things that are mistakes, and others that are flaws. Know the difference.
At the end of the day, as long as my family has food on the table and a roof over their head and love in their hearts then I have done my job and the rest is as always, a work in progress likely never completed until I am called home.
In my next post I will go into all the different forms of stability in my household, why I believe it is my job to maintain that stability, and what I do to try to achieve that.
Thanks for playing along, I hope you've enjoyed.