Introducing our July Man of the Month: Dion Green!

This month we are reflecting with Dion Green, husband and father of two, on the Ephesians 5 Man: Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church. Enjoy and be challenged by what he has to say.

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Q: What does being a Real Man mean to you?

A: I think a good picture of a real man is that of Adam before the fall.  Adam was created in the image of God, which means we must reflect God in all we do; he was given dominion, which is authority (protection) and purpose, which was to work the land such that it brought forth a yield (provision). He was also given the ability to make decisions, and with this came the responsibility to either obey or disobey God’s instruction. Finally, God said it was not good for man to be alone, he is made to live in community, accountable to others, not as a lone ranger.  Simply put: in reflecting God, a Real Man, through radical obedience and accountability, becomes a provider and protector of his community in every sense, spiritually, physically and emotionally.

Q: What does Christ’s call to love your wife as he loves the church mean to you personally?

A: It means matching Christ’s model. In obedience and absolute submission to God, Christ was able to give up all his rights for the church, therefore as a husband, in obedience and submission to God, I should be willing to give up my rights and comforts to serve my wife and family. This is hard when applying it to two imperfect people, however loving my wife this way is the most profound picture of Christ’s love for us, that I can model to my children and the world.

Q: Do you think the call to love your wives as Christ loved the church is burdensome?

A: When you first hear it, it can sound daunting and burdensome but when you get to know Christ you begin to realise that it is not Christ saying “you need to do this and you are on your own”, he is saying “I have done it and I want to show you how to do it”. Christ dies for the church. We can take it literally that if it came to that sacrifice, men are called to die for their wives. However, every man needs to remember Christ holds both a man and his wife in his hands and will protect them. We need to surrender ourselves and our families to him.

Q: How does a man support his wife in the matter of submission, as wives are called to submit to their husbands?

A: Straight after the wives are called to submit to their husbands, the husbands are instructed to love their wives.  Men can support their wives by loving them into submission, even when they are not particularly loveable! Love is a choice not a feeling, if it were a feeling, we would never be able to be consistent. In tough times I choose to love my wife, even if I do not like what she has just done. This helps to keep perspective that the person is always more important than what they may have just done. Christ wasn’t willing to tolerate our sin but he loved us in spite of it. The husband in the home has the final say but he needs to make sure his wife feels heard and his children see him taking her thoughts into account. A husband who loves his wife must be humble enough to go with her suggestion if she has the better viewpoint on the matter. Earning power should not decide who wears “the pants”, there is no role reversal. Even if a man earns less that his wife God still calls her to submit to him, and for him to love her.

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Q: How do you apply the Ephesian 5 call to your lives as a couple?

A: Over time my wife and I are discovering what we are each good at and how to support each other in these. God’s plan was for man and woman to complement each other, and this looks different for each couple. Men do need affirmation. If your wife understands that you have her and your family’s best interest at heart she will affirm you although she doesn’t get your decision yet. This is a journey my wife and I are still on. No couple gets this right from the get go.

Q: How can you teach your children the essence of what men and women are called to do.

A: By spending quality time with them and including them. There is a real blessing to be found in including your children in big decisions. Also by example. They need to see their mother and I working together. We have bible time as a family where they have the opportunity to lead as well. They need to know that they are loved and heard. They get to give and receive spiritually. I am very sensitive to what God says to children and through them, after all we are called to be like children.

Q: What advice would you give to a young man about to get married

A: Do it God’s way. You may not see the blessing in that at the start but as time goes on you will definitely see it. It is never too late to repent and do it God’s way. God will honour you. Radical obedience is what God requires of us all, you will not be able to figure out marriage on your own, so best figure out how to obey God now, so that when things do not make sense you can simply do what He tells you to do! Do not go into marriage with an exit plan, when you are joined before God, you are like two sheets of metal before the master welder, where the two become one, and a perfect weld cannot be broken, it will always break somewhere else, causing much hurt to one or both of you, this is why God hates divorce.