Strong husbands are desperately needed in marriages today. The stronger the husband the better chance a marriage has of surviving and thriving. At the same time, the weaker the husband the more challenging it is to have a great marriage. When I say strong, I am not talking about physical strength.
A few years ago I began a study with a group of men at my church. The study was based upon a program called Men’s Fraternity by Robert Lewis. During the study, many manhood issues were discussed. One that stood out to me was a session called “The Four Faces of Manhood“, in which we learned and discussed the many “faces” which characterize who we are as men and how we make decisions. These same four faces also characterize husbands, and show why the strongest husbands (and marriages) need a man with all four faces.
Each face represents a different type of energy, or role, that husbands bring to marriage. The Leader, The Fighter, The Lover, and The Friend. All four are important, and must be present to provide balance in the marriage. When a husband leans too heavily on any one of them then problems can arise.
1. The Leader Face. This is the face that seeks to live right and assumes the leadership role in marriage. When a husband makes choices based on their values and morals, even in the face of pressure, you see this face at it’s best.
2. The Fighter Face. Protection, providing, persevering, and of course, fighting is what represents this face. When you see a husband show initiative and tackle challenges head on, or when you see a husband that just won’t quit no matter how tough it gets, you are seeing the fighter face.
3. The Lover Face. Our wives love this face. It brings out the tender side. The romantic. The affectionate side of a husband. Some great examples of this are opening doors, wrapping a blanket around her when she is cold, or giving a massage without regard to sex.
4. The Friend Face. This face brings trust, dependability, and fun to the marriage. Think back to the days when you were dating, and hanging out was so much fun. Think of the days when you first felt you could share deep thoughts and concerns. This represents the friend face best.
As you look at each face, all four are great! Every husband should want all four faces, and every wife should want a husband with all four faces. The issues come when one or more of the faces are leaned on too much, or if one of the faces is missing altogether. This can happen intentionally or unintentionally.
What happens when a husband doesn’t have the Leader Face? The fighter in him may run wild without a moral compass to bring him under control.
When the Leader Face is present without the Lover Face, you have the potential of an abuse of authority as the head of marriage and household.
There are many men who have been raised by single mothers, and in the process may not have seen the fighter face. This sometimes leads to being soft, weak, or unable to make definitive decisions.
A husband who gives up his role as leader in the family, and marriage, may be the result of the Lover Face present without the Leader Face.
The first step in making positive change in any situation is to realize that there are differences, and how to recognize them. The next step is to begin making changes when needed.
Before I went through this class the fours faces never even occurred to me, let alone did I have a good perspective on them. Now, with knowledge and understanding of them it puts some of my actions and some of the things in our marriage in perspective. I can now recognize when my leader face is way overboard or missing completely. I can look at my wife and see that she needs the fighter in me to raise up, or the connection of her friend (me).
I won’t say that I am perfect in recognizing and making changes, but I see the benefits and I’m actively trying to do better. As all of us should, and our wives should help as they can.
I encourage husbands to share this with your wives and maybe even one other married brother you trust. Discuss each face and how it is or can be represented in your marriage. Wives share this with your husband and begin to discuss what you both notice, and how you can help achieve the balance that is needed to make your husband even stronger in your marriage. And ultimately make your marriage stronger as well.
Men/Husbands, which of the four faces can you identify with most, and why?
Ladies/Wives, which of the four faces do you appreciate most in your husband, and why?