The family is such an amazing institution. Man loves woman, woman loves man, man and woman join in marriage, and babies come forth. This not only perpetuates the human race, it proves tremendously beneficial to all parties involved. The Lord obviously knew what He was doing by establishing this efficient paradigm. Intentionally manipulating or altering God's intended design, the model He provided from Genesis, won't really go over very well on judgment day. The creator gets to define His creation; it always works best that way, and He chose the family to bring children into this world.
The family effectively tames and matures men, it settles and directs women, and it gives children the basic foundation for learning literally everything. The family is the crucible that delivers responsible and reliable citizens to society. Although there is certainly no small share of sacrifice or even difficulty, all participants gain from this God-ordained arrangement.
The Lord's rules are pretty simple for the family. We all have assigned responsibilities. Children have to obey and honor their parents, wives have to submit to and respect their husbands, and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Fathers cannot provoke their children to wrath, but should train them up in the way of the Lord. Mother's are to love their families, keep their homes, and teach the younger women to do the same. Pretty simple, and straight from the Bible. In other words, none of this is optional, it is a command from the throne of God.
Men, the family is where our leadership training begins. This is where the lord teaches us as young men to use our strength and courage to serve and protect our mothers and sisters. It is where as husbands and fathers we use our strength and courage to serve and protect our wives and children. We get to be at the helm. It is a place of privilege but it is also one of great responsibility. The family looks to us for leadership.
The world has obviously abandoned this model long ago. The women's rights movement caught fire in the late 60s and men have been abdicating their responsibilities ever since. If men and women are really identical in calling and function, then why would a man do anything for a woman that she can do herself? She doesn't need any more protection, encouragement, or love than another man. So treat her like a dude. The social statistics clearly demonstrate the appalling mess this attitude (liberation) has concocted. Unfazed, the world marches on.
The problem is that this attitude is taking over evangelical Christianity as well. How many times have I watched men turn the power of leadership and ultimate responsibility over to their wives or children, only to have it explode years later. The wife eventually looks at the man as weak and unworthy her respect, and the kids see dad as nothing more than ATM machine. The family is leaderless and scattered, the wife is frustrated and vindictive, and the man retreats into the protective cocoon of his occupation and hobbies.
Men, we have to lead. We have to get our eyes off the culture and on to the word of God. The Lord commanded us to lead our families, He gave us the reigns, now shoulder the responsibility and lead! Look at yourself, your family, and the spiritual condition of your home. Where is it lacking? Where does it need to change? Seek the Lord, ask for His wisdom and power, and then make the change that a leader serving the spiritual interests of his home should make. One thing at a time. Just do it! Lead!