Monthly Archives: October 2014

Husband as Spiritual Head of Family

A few weeks ago at our organization’s semesterly retreat, I had the privilege of talking to the married couples about the topic of the husband as the spiritual leader of the family.
I’ve attached my notes below:
Practical Ways for Husband to be Spiritual Leader of Family
Spiritual Leadership:
1) Family Devotional [i.e. we use ‘Read-Pray-Sing’ model] – shoot for 4-5 days per week, maybe just 10 mins each time – could also include Scripture or catechism learning with kids if you want – husband should lead family devotional, maybe even by reading the Word aloud to the kids each time
2) separate Bble study and/or extended P time [10-15 mins] with your spouse – also shoot for 4-5 times a week – maybe late night or early morning when kids are sleeping
Other Ways for Husband to Spiritually Lead Family:
1) weekly Family Days or Family Mornings – drop everything – don’t Skype, surf online, or make/answer phone calls during this time – just be mentally engaged during this time in your wife & kids – try to do weekly if possible
2) daily from dinner to kids’ bedtime<– be active & mentally engaged with wife & kids — again, not working or checking email or sports scores, etc.
3) with the one above, nightly husband & wife put kids to bed together – maybe trade off who reads story to them & prys over them
4) daily serve around the home (i.e. changing poopy diapers, doing chores, etc.)
5) physical intimacy with wife<– should be characterized by mutual spouse-serving attitude, rather than self-serving attitude
6) weekly talk/date night with wife — Date Nights aren’t commanded in the Word – good alternative is to take a night each week to sit & talk with your wife & get caught up with her – after kids are asleep – don’t be emailing or doing other things during this time
7) maybe babysit kids to allow wife to regularly do outreach to locals or to connect with other foreign ladies in the city
8) seek to daily set good example for humility around the home & regularly repenting to one another & forgiving one another in a biblical manner
One reminder:
These things are all challenging to do — whether you work 40 hrs/wk or 10 hrs/wk, all of these things are entirely possible to implement — because of our fleshly nature, there is much daily that is fighting against us to stand up & lead our families. A verse I have to repeat to myself often as the man of the house is to imagine that my wife & daughter are saying to me these words: “Rise up! This matter is in your hands. We will support you, so stand up & do it!” (Ezra 10:4)

Fasting

This morning as I was having a day of prayer & fasting, I came across a quote by Jonathan Edwards that was about David Brainerd:

“Among all the many days [Brainerd] spent in fasting & prayer, and that he gives account of in his diary, there is scarce an instance of one, but what was either attended or soon followed with apparent success and a remarkable blessing in special incomes and consolations of God’s Spirit. And very often before the day was ended.”

Since January, I’ve been having a monthly 24-hour day of prayer & fasting. I also have had a specific theme or focus for each of those days, something to pray & fast specifically for. I’ve kept track of what those topics have been each month. Like Brainerd’s quote above, it’s been amazing to see how the Lord has answered each of those prayers significantly over the following 2-3 months after I pray & fast specifically for that, whether it be for my wife & daughter, for my extended family, for ministry, or for peace, hope & joy in the Lord each day. It’s incredibly encouraging to see how the Lord answers these petitions to Him.

New Job at Waffle House

This morning was my first day at work at my new job – cleaning tables & cleaning plates at a local Chinese breakfast place. I call the place ‘Waffle House’. Certainly they don’t serve waffles.

I’ve been itching to be around Chinese people more & to make more relationships & to practice Chinese more. Since I already eat breakfast at this place about every day, my wife suggested I may as well just start working there.

So a couple days ago I asked the boss if I could do it. I said I’d work about ten hours per week & wouldn’t need any pay. He was up for the challenge. So my first day of work at Waffle House was today. It was incredibly enjoyable & the workers there seemed very excited to have me.

The purpose in doing this is: to help my Chinese language; to actually help the store; and most importantly, to make deeper relationships with locals & in the future hopefully have many opportunities to share the Good News with Chinese through this job.

This restaurant serves the following: tofu custard [personal favorite]; hard-boiled egg; hot soy milk; funnel cake; funnel cake with filling; black rice porridge; small rice porridge [personal favorite].

I did do something like this before during my first year in China in December ’05. I started volunteering at a Chinese restaurant in my old city across from my former school. I ended up working about 15 hrs/wk for a little over a year. It was a sweet way to meet folks, though I couldn’t communicate with them much at that time. Glad to get back into the Chinese restaurant industry!