Learning from Nehemiah as fathers and husbands

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Saturday was our Men’s Breakfast, which happens to be one of my favorite ministry activities. We have them on the first Saturday of every month (with the next being February 1st), but they seem to be so well received I’m considering having them monthly. We’ve been going through Nehemiah to see what we can learn from this great man to help us as husbands and fathers. With chapter 1 finished I wanted to share a few of the lessons we discussed…

  • 1:2 says Nehemiah “asked concerning the Jews who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.” He was a concerned man, and husbands should be concerned about their wives “loving them as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28).
  • 1:4 says when Nehemiah “heard how the Jews were doing, he sat down and wept, and mourned for many days.” He was a sensitive man, sympathetic to the difficulties and struggles of others. Wives appreciate having husbands that are concerned about them and seek to “dwell with them in understanding” (1 Pet 3:7).
  • 1:5-7 discuss him “fasting and praying before the God of heaven,” Whom he considered to be “great and awesome.” He was a deeply spiritual man with a very high view of God. Men need to pray with and for their wives and children, and exalt God to them.
  • 1:7 quotes Nehemiah saying, “We have acted very corruptly, and have not kept Your commandments, statutes or ordinances.” Even though it wasn’t Nehemiah’s fault the Jews had been taken into exile, and we can be sure he was more righteous than them, he still included himself as one of the transgressors. This sets a great example for men who should confess their sins, and not make excuses, but seek forgiveness.
  • 1:8 continues his prayer where he quotes Leviticus 26:33 and Deuteronomy 30:2-5 showing he was a man who knew God’s Word and relied on His covenants. Men need to regularly be in God’s Word and lean on the promises He’s made in it.
  • 1:11 he prayed, “Please grant me mercy in the sight of the king” regarding his request to return to Jerusalem. He recognized if he would be allowed to return it would be because that’s what God granted. He sets a wonderful example for fathers and husbands to completely depend on God.
  • The chapter closes with the words, “I was the king’s cupbearer.” He was a very trusted and loyal man to have this position, showing the loyalty men should have to their wives and children and the trust that should be able to be put in them as a result.

4 Responses

  1. Almost every movie or TV show brands fathers as idiots, so that would be ridicule. Resistance takes many forms, and rumors are always a threat. Someone wrote, “A lie can be halfway around the world before the truth can even get it’s shoes on.” It takes a lot of courage to rise above opposition and negativity, rather than doing the weak thing and letting it defeat you. Really all that comes from #1, relying on God, which we have to continually do, so we are ready to mount up with wings when the opposition comes.

  2. I love Nehemiah and Ezra. I also love my John Maxwell study Bible. Here is what Maxwell says about Neh. 4:
    “One of the great tests of leadership is how you handle opposition. Nehemiah faced the usual tactics of the opposition: ridicule (4:1-3), resistance (4: 7-8), and rumor (4:11-12). Nehemiah modeled the right six responses to these three challenges. (1) He relied on God (4:4-5), (2) he respected the opposition (4: 9), (3) he reinforced his weak points (4:13), (4) he reassured his people (4:14) (5) he refused to quit, and (6) he renewed the peoples’ strength continually (4:16-23).” All six of these are essential to leadership in organizations and in the home. Praying to be the kind of leader who leads and responds in a godly manner like Nehemiah did, not on impulse or “from the gut,” which is usually wrong.

    1. Well said Joe, thanks. I think I remember reading in your info that Ezra and/or Nehemiah were one/both of your favorite books to teach.

      There is so much we can learn from him as fathers, husbands and leaders.

      Think I’m going to copy down those notes and add them to my Nehemiah notes.

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