10 Practical Ways to Provide and Protect Spiritually
June 6th 2020
At lunch the other day I sat down with my family and specifically asked my wife, “What does it look like for a man to provide and protect spiritually?” She immediately responded with, "A man initiates". In her wisdom and experience a man takes the lead, starts out, and takes the risk in all areas but most importantly in all spiritual matters. A boy waits for his Dad or in most cases, his Mom to tell him what to do. In stark contrast a man leads his family in devotions, praise, prayer, attending church especially when they are resistant. But then the question arises how do I become a man who initiates? And how do I get my family to follow me?
First of all, we imitate Christ. And as the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ”. Next, we apply the first part of the verse where Paul says to imitate me, or copy me. I have been an airplane flight instructor for many years and the most effective way to teach someone how to fly is to show them exactly what you want them to do, and then have them immediately try to copy what you just did. We call this demo/do. And it is highly effective in the training of a new pilot. Therefore, my desire is to demo for you 10 ways to provide and protect spiritually.
As you read through these 10 specific ways you will see that this is basically a spiritual workout. Now, these actions do not make God love us more but rather they help us to actively and intentionally set our attention on Him and feed our spirit. And as we feed our spirits we naturally feed our wives and families because our initiation causes them to follow us.
Five Ways to Provide Spiritually
Praise and exalt the name of Jesus daily
Listen to and sing along with your favorite hymn or worship song (5-15 minutes) and express your love for God, and remember who He is and what He has done. This establishes a fear and respect for the Lord that is more important than ANYTHING else a boy can do to try to be a man.
Develop the habit of Thankfulness daily
Make a list of 30 things you are thankful for and verbally proclaim them along to God. “God I thank you for my job, God I thank you for the friends you have given me.” Go over this list every day for 30 days until thankfulness becomes a habit of your heart.
Memorize God’s word daily
Pick a passage of scripture you like (5-10 verses) and do WHATEVER it takes to memorize it. Satan will fight you on this but it is putting pure truth into your heart and mind. I make note cards (I am so a Gen X’er) and keep them in my car to memorize on my drive to and from work.
Develop the habit of reading the Bible daily
This is so vital. You can start by reading the Proverb of the day, 1 June, read Proverbs 1, 2 June, Proverbs 2, etc. Then look into reading through the Bible in the year App or the Chronological Bible which I personally enjoy. If you will dive into the word your wife will most likely follow suit.
Pray for your family daily (even if you do not have one yet!)
Spend time (5-15 minutes) everyday asking for the Holy Spirit to guide you and your family. An active prayer life is an active phone conversation or active text string with God. The Holy Spirit was sent by God to be our counselor.
Five Ways to Protect Spiritually
Practice personal obedience to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit daily
Ask God to show you any area you have not obeyed Him in. (Believe me this is a prayer He will answer in an instant!) Then repent and ask for the Holy Spirit to assist you in obeying today! We often step outside of God’s protection because we rebel from His loving commands. 1 John 5:2 states, “By this we know that we love the children of God; when we love God and keep His commandments”. God’s love language is obedience and naturally keeps us in right standing with Him.
Cover your family in prayer (yes I repeated this one!)
In your 5-15 minutes of prayer ask God to place His spiritual, emotional, and physical protection over your wife and children. In prayer we petition God to place a forcefield over our family. Recognize your own inability to really protect them and thank Him for His almighty power.
Resist sexual temptation
If you are married let your eyes, mind, and body be satisfied with the wife of your youth. If you are single, have a predetermined response when a woman walks by, you see something on your phone, or a thought comes to your mind that is your refuge to run to. When I was single during my college years I was blessed to be able to parachute jump routinely, and man was that exciting and pure. So my predetermined response to an impure thought was to immediately start thinking about my next jump, or my last jump. I worked to save my mind for my future wife.
Satan’s goal is to put men in the penalty box of shame that comes from sexual immorality. When we resist we put a fence up for our wives and our families.
Initiate wholehearted participation in a local Bible believing church
When you join a church you join a family. Now that family will have its own dysfunctions as any other family but it is God’s design and when you as a man lead your family to church your wife and children are brought into a place where God is honored. And a church is a great place to grow your family.
Initiate prayer, devotions, and worship with your wife and children
I lead the prayers at dinner. I lead prayer with my wife 1-2 times a week (10-30 minutes) where we pray for everyone God has put on our heart or we have promised we would pray for the previous week. This ties our hearts together spiritually and lets me know what is on her heart. I initiate a family devotion and worship time with my family every week where we study the Bible, have a fun activity, and worship God as a family.