Ephesians 5 exhorts husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. One of the fundamental lessons that Jesus gives us is prayer. Jesus is constantly disappearing early in the morning and late at night to pray.
But it’s pretty easy to tell a man to “pray about it,” and everybody’s eyes glaze over as though that was something unimportant. But men who talk to God about their families understand the grace that God gives through prayer.
One of the principle graces God gives through prayer is gracious stability. When a man has cast all his cares on God and entrusted Him with them, that man is in a position to carry a bigger load than otherwise. When a man is carrying around a pile of stress and worry and fatigue, and then his wife or a son or daughter walk in the room and toss a few more things on top, collapse is all but inevitable. But when a man is regularly giving his own concerns, his own cares, his own stresses to Jesus, His arms are free to carry more.
So much of being Jesus to your wife and family is being gracious stability. This isn’t apathy; this isn’t stoicism. Gracious stability is able to receive the worries, the fears, the tantrums, the sin, the weakness, the failures of others because you’re unloading them to Jesus as fast as you’re receiving them. A man takes responsibility not because he’s omnipotent, but because he trusts the goodness and omnipotence of God. When the storms come, when the sin comes, when there is uncertainty and fear, a man who trusts in Jesus sees all that can go wrong, sympathizes with others in their weakness, and yet calmly looks to Christ and is not undone.
And a woman is greatly blessed by a man who submits everything to Jesus, a man who is stable, unruffled, resting secure in his Savior. When she sees her man regularly praying, regularly seeking wisdom from God, from His word, from other faithful, godly friends, she’s protected, she’s loved, she can carry on. When he says, “everything’s going to be fine,” she knows he’s not making it up. She knows that he’s been talking to the One who actually takes care of everything.