Over the last couple months, I’ve had several young dads ask me how they should go about being the spiritual leaders of their homes. Since we find ourselves in the midst of what many consider to be a fatherless generation, I felt like this was a topic that was begging to be addressed. Many men today are selfishly shucking their roles as husbands and fathers in favor of pursuing a prolonged adolescence and immaturity. Which leads us to the church–as a place of spiritual growth, the church needs to provide answers to questions such as this one in order to help men become the godly leaders that they are called to be.
Understanding Our Roles
I believe that there are seven pillars that make up a godly home. I’ll be discussing each one in detail in the days to come, but first I’d like to talk about what it means to spiritually lead a home. In a world filled with domineering men and feminist women, the Christian belief and biblical perspective can easily be taken out of context and distorted if it isn’t explained correctly.
To understand the roles we are meant to play as godly men (and the women as well!), we have to first grasp that God never intended the genders to be a “better than” comparison. No where in the Bible do we see that God considers men to be better than women or vice versa. What we do find in the scriptures is that each is meant to play exactly what I stated at the beginning of this paragraph…roles. God has given a specific role to the men He created and one for the women as well. In these roles, women are not considered less important and their role is not less valuable than that of the men.
Playing On A Team
I liken it to playing on a team. On a team, each player is given a specific role that they must fill in order for the team to thrive as a whole. Each player must trust their teammates to do their individual roles just as they must prove trustworthy in doing what they are trained to do. If they can’t establish trust, then the group cannot function successfully. The ultimate result is failure. In a marriage, this means that we must trust each other to be the wife or husband that we’re called to be in order for our home to be spiritually on par. The man and woman work as a team and, while the husband is called to lead, only a foolish man refuses to take the advice or assistance of his wife.
As men, the first thing we MUST realize in order for this “team” model to work is found in Hebrews 13:17 where Paul clues us in to a very important detail:
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
You might say “Wait! That passage is for pastors!” And you’re correct. But, as the God-ordained pastor of your home, this verse is speaking to you. And what does it say? That you will be held accountable before God for the souls of those under your care. You are responsible. Feeling the weight of that? I hope that you are.
How Men Should Lead
So how do we lead?
We lead like Jesus–He’s our model of perfection, right? In Matthew 20:25-28 Jesus says this about leading:
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many”
In this passage, we see that it’s imperative for those of us who are husbands and fathers to understand that we are to lead by serving our families. This is the starting point that I want myself and all other men out there to grasp. We must first lead by serving those we love. We must be men who are willing to give up our preferences and desires in order to place our families first. We must be men who will defend that which we hold most dear–our Creator, our wives, and our children–by keeping them as our first priorities.
The 7 things it takes to lead your family spiritually are as follows:
It’s starts with you. You can’t lead where you’ve never been.
Loving like Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5)
Making time for your wife. Praying for her and with her every night. Reading and sharing scripture daily.
Making time for your children. Reading scripture and praying daily with them.
Showing how to find the beauty in all things. Showing how to see Christ in our day to day lives.
Leading your family to serve those outside the home.
Modeling that Christ is our hope.
Men, the world needs us to lead spiritually. More importantly, our churches and our families need us to be the godly leaders that we were created to be.
Let’s answer that call.