The most powerful thing a husband can do for his family is to get alone with God every day. Notice I didn’t say the most powerful thing a husband can do for his family is to serve them, encourage them, or even to pray for themin particular. What matters is being “a man after God’s own heart” like David was. Let me explain…
Personally, I recommend that every man (every believer, in fact) ought to seek to rise before dawn to spend time with God. I’m not making this a legalistic rule. I realize some work second shift, third shift, or have other obligations that make early morning prayer and Bible time impossible. Barring any of those kinds of reasons, I can’t stress the value of this practice enough.
Waking up and being alone with God before sun up is to rise when our chaotic day to day world is still at rest. Distractions are at a minimum. This naturally helps us to prioritize a “God first” mindset. It may be hard at first, but I believe anyone who commits to this will soon after begin to taste spiritual fruit from it.
How early should we wake up? Whenever is reasonable for your schedule. For me, I naturally enjoy the quiet hours of the early mornings. I’d rather go to bed by 9:30 or 10pm and wake up at 4:30 or 5am to have an hour or more to myself. If you’re not sure when a good time would be, simply ask the Lord to wake you up when He thinks would be a good time. It may take some tinkering, but eventually you’ll figure it out.
For a man to rise before his family is to be the spiritual sentry of his home. He rises early first because he knows the importance to his own spiritual vitality of meeting with his Master and submitting to being transformed by Him daily. He “walks the talk,” proving he really does value the Word of God, meditating on it, and prayer. In His earthly ministry, our Lord rose early to be alone with His Father before the busyness of each day’s ministry to others. If Perfect Jesus sought to be alone with the Father, how much ought we?
As God works in our own hearts, those times with Him are blessed and multiplied in their effectiveness. God changes us and makes us ever more fit for the Master’s use. This plays out in our relationship with our wife: We become more loving, more patient, more of a model, mentor, and leader to her in the things of God.
I know a man who, more than once in his marriage, his wife has commented on the powerful impression it leaves on her when she wakes up in the morning and comes to their living room or into his office and sees him already up and reading my Bible. Let’s be blunt here: If more wives woke up and “caught” their husbands reading their Bibles, less of them would catch them viewing pornography. How wise of the Lord to use everything–even your simple daily Bible reading time–to demonstrate to our wives the single-greatest importance of being submitted to God each new day.
Let’s be blunt here: If more wives woke up and “caught” their husbands reading their Bibles, less of them would catch them viewing pornography.
From there, the concentric circles of influence keep extending outward. If you have children in the home, God will use it in their lives and in your relationships with them. God will use it with your coworkers–they will begin to smell the fragrance of Christ lingering more heavily on you, either as sweet or repulsive, but either way, He will be publicly glorified through your new private routine.
Jesus exalted! In your own life, in your wife’s, in your children, and in the world around you. What a wonderful reason to get out of bed a little earlier tomorrow!