This list comes from Family Life, titled “25 Ways to Spiritually Lead Your Family”. Many, not all (stay faithful….of course) , of the things listed are problematic on their own. When taken all together, and in the context of church marriage and family teaching, you can be sure to create jumping hoops for years to come. The hoops will be passed down through generations where girls raised under this will perpetuate it in their marriages and boys raised under it will step right into jumping hoops their new wife doesn’t even know about….but she will like it. A lot.
Have a look:
1. Pray daily with your wife.
2. Write a love letter that she’d like to receive.
3. Discover her top three needs and over the next 12 months go all out to meet them.
4. Buy her a rose. Take her in your arms. Hold her face gently. Look into her eyes and say “I’d marry you all over again!”
5. Take her on a weekend getaway.
6. Read the Scriptures to her.
7. Replace the “D” word with the “C” word! (D: divorce – C: commitment)
8. Court her.
9. Remain faithful to her.
10. Fulfill your marriage covenant.
11. Have a family time at least one night a week.
12. Use circumstances to teach your children to trust God.
13. Protect your family from evil.
14. Restrain your teenager’s passion.
15. Set spiritual goals for your children.
16. Take one or two of your children on mission trips.
17. Catch your kids doing something right–and let them know you caught them.
18. Date your daughters.
19. Inspect what you expect.
20. Do a Proverbs breakfast Bible study with your teens (15 and older).
21. Hug and kiss your sons and daughters.
22. Ask your children for forgiveness when you fail them.
23. Pray with them.
24. Call them to a spiritual mission to do what God wants to do with their life.
25. Persevere and don’t quit.
Ive been accused (correctly) of being a list maker. The lists I make are very different than this. My lists are specific tasks. This list reads as if it wants to be specific tasks, and therein is the trouble.
Under the guise of male leadership teaching, we would see lists like this aimed at making the men step up and assume the role of spiritual leader. The Daytimer-ization of Christianity started before Outlook, hence my choice of nomenclature. Some of the lists truly are task oriented. This one is more than that. It is an all over the place tell her what she wants to hear. One comment following the list said that it appeared to have been written by a frustrated Christian wife. Ding ding ding, except it was written FOR a frustrated Christian wife.
This list was not written for men. It was written for women. From the restatement of the painfully obvious (remain faithful) to the painfully banal (read scripture to her) this list is tailor made to get women to log-on, so to speak, to Family Life. Sadly though the end result is that if the man cannot, in his attempts to adhere to the list, achieve the same feelings that she experienced while reading the list, she will log-off from HER family life.
The irony. “Here are the things to do” becomes a swirling volatile ill defined mixture of emotional needs that the only way he could ever meet is to start a ministry platform from which he could write lists. The wife’s real need that results from things like this is the need to read things like this.
Print it off and leave it laying around. You will get partial credit.