Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — Family Headship

November 22nd, 2013 Post by

Family Headship

This week’s pick comes from the Iowa District East 2013 Pastors’ Conference. It is a presentation by Rev. John Preuss entitled ‘Family Headship: How a Pastor Can Encourage and Teach a Father to Lead.’ Pr. Preus challenges men to be the heads of their families, women to accept and support their roles, and pastors to teach this understanding to their congregations.

 

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  1. helen
    November 22nd, 2013 at 21:20 | #1

    Not exactly a comment, an inquiry: who is the Preus who puts two “s’s” at the end of his name?

  2. Brian Yamabe
    November 22nd, 2013 at 22:00 | #2

    @helen #1
    Misspelling corrected

  3. Poor Miserable Sinner
    November 23rd, 2013 at 13:27 | #3

    Great session on headship! Although I do have a thought since I’m a woman as to the approach suggested here on how to get the women to have their man step up. Preus suggests a woman to be DIRECT in telling him WHAT TO DO. I strongly disagree and here is why…

    My personal experience on directly telling my husband what to do?
    Failure. It has never worked well. And the conclusion I came up with? Men don’t like being told by women what to do (a man can tell another man to do something as they are natural competitors–women are not) and then they will resent being told what to do by a woman. Sure they might comply just to keep the peace, but it’s never on his own or “heartfelt” at this point. Telling your husband DIRECTLY what to do also makes his wife into his mother–as it seems as if she’s schooling him. It ruins the ordered family heirarchy and respect in the household when a wife tells a husband what to do.

    After many failed attempts in getting my husband to “step up” on religious matters– resulting in always digging his heels in opposition or at times reluctantly giving in, I’ve discovered a better approach after discovering how I’ve been really affected negatively by feminis: Use loving indirectness and encouragement of my husband with a large amount of patience and forgiveness injected. I started to drop hints at what I’d like in general (“Honey–I wish more good men would decide to be on the church counsel instead of all those controlling women” ha ha!) and encourage ANY spiritual behavior or interest that I see (“Thanks honey for leading us in prayer before dinner tonight”. It ends up building my husband up and he wants to do more. I went from a husband who was just a church goer to one who now studies theology in his spare time and doing family devotions. Because it ultimately ended up being HIS idea–not something he had to do because his wife demanded it. And it kept the peace in the family since I wasn’t the perpetual nag telling my husband what he should be doing.

    The tough thing for the wife: You have to be patient, quiet, diligent, not negative in any way–LET GO of control–and let the chips fall where they may, trusting your husband to eventually do the right thing on his own.

    Also, if a wife married a man who was weak in the faith or non-existent from the start: she has to accept it as that is what she bought into and not get angry when he doesn’t do what she wants. She can use the above indirect approach to continue to encourage and pray for her husband–he can see her wonderfully radiate the faith that dwells within her as she serves her family–as it is a blessing to him. Too many wives marry weak Christian men and then think they will magically change after marriage to later be disappointed. But I say, we know better than to think that!

    Also, a lot of women (I was one of them) will try to “fill in the gaps” when a men give up their God-given roles (in church/home etc.). The best thing a woman can do is STAY OUT OF IT–and then a man HAS to on his own accord step up as he sees the need. Men love to rescue and help out–it’s in their nature. I think due to feminism, us women step in way to quickly when men want to give up their leadership role. And then we women end up frustrated, overworked, and angry at the men.

    But haven’t these inclinations of men wanting to abandon their role and women taking control been going on since the beginning of time?

    Nothing new here. Feminism I think has just made it harder for us women to use our natural femininity to harmonize with the men in our lives as we are constantly told to get in our man’s face or that men are “idiots.” This slaps every man in the face with disrespect. Will he “step up” for a women who view men in this manner? No, it prompts a man to go into either “fight” or “flight” mode.

    What do you men think of this approach? Would you like it if you were encouraged by your wife instead of directly told/nagged? And she left it ultimately up to you? Would this work in helping to harmonize the home and restore the natural order that God intended?

    A great topic would be to address: What a wife is to do if her husband gives up his headship role. So many women are plagued by this in today’s society. I see many women handle it in ways that really don’t work: 1. They take over their husband’s role making things worse.or 2. Try to complain, mother, or demand him into complying with her wishes. 3. Get angry at them which drives a wedge in the relationship. I believe the best thing to do is for a wife to keep her role in tact of continually encouraging and supporting and rewarding he husband for all he DOES do and sacrifices for her–not giving up HER role in the home–modeling forgiveness.
    And sure, she may have to suffer when there are gaps–it’s part of the cross we continually bear on this earth.

    Wow, that was a rant. It’s been a struggle I’ve had for 20 years now–restoring the family order. I’m interested in what other men/women think here.

    P.S. When order is restored as God intended (even flawed as it is–and then we experience forgiveness) it’s both freeing and BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

  4. Drew
    November 23rd, 2013 at 14:21 | #4

    Poor Miserable Sinner-
    I mostly agree with your assertions; however, based on the title of the thread, wouldn’t the best possible way to teach a man how to be head of the household is to have his pastor to do so (who, in a true church, will be a man)?

  5. Poor Miserable Sinner
    November 23rd, 2013 at 20:55 | #5

    @Drew #4
    Absolutely, Drew! I agree completely! I would have loved to have this–as I know plenty of other wives would like to have had their pastor serve families in this way–and call husbands to accountability DIRECTLY!

    The portion I responded to in my last post was at about minute 33, Pr. Preuss gives the pastors advice to the way to deal with the women whose husband’s aren’t stepping up–he said to tell the wives to “stick it to their husbands” and call them “husbands of blood.” He’s suggesting that pastors tell women to get into their husband’s face a bit. And I’m just wondering how men respond to women “sticking to them” as mentioned.

    And yes, ultimately, it would be best coming from pastor to husband–as this pastor says he usually does. I wish there were more like him! However, my husband, I can honestly say–has never been encouraged to do anything in the church by any pastor or even other men (and he attends regularly). So I’m glad that these topics are being brought up as they have been lost in many of our churches today. I’m grateful that this presentation happened because us ladies need some help here!

  6. Brian Yamabe
    November 23rd, 2013 at 21:07 | #6

    @Poor Miserable Sinner #3

    Really enjoyed your comments!

  7. Brian Yamabe
    November 23rd, 2013 at 21:16 | #7

    @Drew #4
    It would really depend on what you mean by “teaching.” They should certainly proclaim the Law as to the Biblical expectations of a father (and mother), but anything beyond that would be outside his vocation. Besides, not all pastors will have wives or children, even in churches with only a male clergy.

  8. Stef
    November 24th, 2013 at 06:02 | #8

    “Also, if a wife married a man who was weak in the faith or non-existent from the start: she has to accept it as that is what she bought into and not get angry when he doesn’t do what she wants.”

    Well, therein starts the entire issue! Especially the woman who marries a man who is not of the faith to begin with!
    The woman goes outside of Scriptural parameters, marries an unbeliever or luke warm sort of Christian and then expects the man to get sorted out and wonders why it isn’t working!
    So what sort of Believer was she in the first place?

  9. R.D.
    November 25th, 2013 at 13:29 | #9

    @Stef #8
    “So what sort of Believer was she in the first place?”

    It happens…Paul talks about it and even gives sound advice.

    @Brian Yamabe #7
    “Besides, not all pastors will have wives or children,”

    Are you suggesting a pastor cannot speak to an issue if he does not have the experience? The Bible has a lot to say about children – it’s possible to teach even without children. Don’t get me wrong, having children has given me some new insights, but nothing so earth-shattering that I would not have been able to speak to it prior to having children.

    @Drew #4
    “wouldn’t the best possible way to teach a man how to be head of the household is to have his pastor to do so”

    Yes! But do not underestimate the power of what “Poor Miserable Sinner” is talking about. Paul has words for the woman of the unbelieving husband, and it’s good advice! I’ve seen it in person. The Word does it’s work, and the Christian wife having a good understanding of her vocation together does wonders.

    @Poor Miserable Sinner #3
    I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve disagreed with a Lutheran Preus and this is one of them if Pr. John Preus is saying what you said he said. Your hard-won insight is excellent and a model for other wives and mothers. I personally have seen just about everything you said play out just like you say it does.

    I can agree with Pr. Preus if he is saying a direct admonition from the wife is warranted in certain circumstances, that is, if she is not being his mother, and it will work…I don’t know…I’m talking myself out of it. Better to take “Poor Miserable Sinner’s” approach to Paul’s approach to the wife mirroring the Church.

  10. helen
    November 25th, 2013 at 14:32 | #10

    @Brian Yamabe #7
    Besides, not all pastors will have wives or children, even in churches with only a male clergy.
    A single Pastor usually has parents and can see how their interaction does/does not work. And his sibling’s spouses and children can be “educational”, too. (Don’t sell the single man short; he may be more observant/objective because the spouse/kids are not his own.)

    @Stef #8
    So what sort of Believer was she in the first place?

    Maybe one who believed men told the truth
    because that’s what her father did?

  11. Brian Yamabe
    November 25th, 2013 at 19:03 | #11

    @R.D. #9
    @helen #10

    I think you are both missing my point. The role of the pastor is not to “teach” his flock how to be parents. He can preach to me the Law and tell me what the Biblical expectation of a parent is and that I am falling well short of it whether he is single or not and I will listen with open ears, but if he tries to give me parenting advice I’ll take it as if any other sinner is giving me advice and if he is single and giving me parenting advice; I will take it as any other single person giving me parenting advice.

  12. helen
    November 25th, 2013 at 20:55 | #12

    @Brian Yamabe #11
    The role of the pastor is not to “teach” his flock how to be parents. He can preach to me the Law and tell me what the Biblical expectation of a parent is and that I am falling well short of it whether he is single or not and I will listen with open ears,…

    No, I think I got that.
    The Pastor’s job is to provide Word, Sacrament … and Absolution.
    If you asked for advice, in the midst of the last discussion, wouldn’t you listen? He just might, along the way, have learned something you could use.

    [But unless he is at least EMT certified and moonlighting at it, I'll take my heart attack (mentioned elsewhere) to the ER]

    I observe, on second reading, that you suggested the deficiency in “men without wives or children”, that we are attempting to tell you may not be there. The role description you write for Pastors can be filled whether they are married with children or not. That’s all I was saying.

  13. helen
    November 26th, 2013 at 11:59 | #13

    @Brian Yamabe #11
    if he is single and giving me parenting advice; I will take it as any other single person giving me parenting advice.

    My daughter has no children; therefore any twenty+, who has accomplished that, knows more about it, you’d say.
    You’d be wrong.
    My daughter has been a pharmacist for 25+ years.
    She looked at a six month old child recently and said, “Feed her oatmeal!” and was disregarded. A few days later that child was in hospital, diagnosis “failure to thrive” (plain English: underfed; I could be plainer). And in addition to emergency supplements, she was given…. baby oatmeal.

    Although the parents couldn’t comprehend it, [they were scrupulously following the latest fad of the pediatricians: "breast milk only for six months" (which is fine, if you've got enough!)] they were a hair’s breadth away from losing that child to “protective services” for neglect.
    [And CPS is neither protective nor service.]

    In addition to “married or single” I’d consider experience, if I were you.

    Of course, you can feel free to disregard me; I’m too old to know anything!!

  14. Katy
    November 26th, 2013 at 12:23 | #14

    Really enjoyed all of the lectures from the 2013 Iowa East LCMS pastors’ conference. Thanks to the district for posting them so others can hear them.

  15. November 29th, 2013 at 08:15 | #15

    Having been a child and having been reared by parents until I was an adult, I believe any person has a reasonable frame of reference for general and some specific, parenting principles and protocols, particularly if you were reared in a home that produced adults oriented to reality and responsibility.

    I don’t have to be a garbage man to know that trash goes in a trashcan.

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