Good morning, Five Minute Families. Thank you for joining me this morning. We are doing our devotional spot a little different this week – and the next couple as well. This morning I want to discuss how to lead your family from a biblical perspective. I will be focusing on the role of the husband and father, briefly. Because this role requires a lot of time and energy, in the theme of the Five Minute Family, realize that this should be a primer, something to get you thinking and expand on these five minutes each day to create a lifestyle of God-honoring family leadership. Thus, remember, this is not an exhaustive list.
So, the question today is, how should a husband or father lead his family well?
Let’s start with Ephesians 5:25-26, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.”
The foundation of a family is a biblical marriage. Men, being like Christ can be an overwhelming thought, but loving like Christ is completely doable. He gave himself for the church; you can give yourself for your wife. That means thinking about her needs before your own. Not being a door mat but an encouragement. Christ cleansed the church through the word; we also can cleanse our spouse through His word. Coupling these two together allows us to bring Christ front and center in our families, encouraging grace as an everyday occurrence.
Next, how to lead the children. Colossians 3:21 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they won’t become discouraged.”
Unfortunately, exasperate is in the Bible because God knows it happens. We can become an irritation and frustration to our children if we focus on the wrong things. Are we trying to make them like us? Are we more performance-based than love-based? We have the ability to set the tone of our homes by how we put down or build up our children. That does not mean giving into every desire they may have but balancing loving discipline with heartfelt encouragement.
I could have started with this next one, but I think we all need it more as a reminder then a starting place. Joshua 1:9 says, “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
We can try to coast through family life, not taking risks, not putting ourselves out there, but God wants us to engage, to be more than we think we can be and to excel to bring Him glory. No matter where you are in the timeline of your leading your family, remember this, there will be times of fear and discouragement, but God is with us. There will be opportunities to start leading and there will be times when we return to our responsibility to lead. God is with us in both of those scenarios and strengthens those who seek His face.
A saying I heard several times in life when attending leadership training classes was “praise in public, criticize in private.” The biblical equivalent can be found in Matthew 18:15-20, “First confront your brother and then if need be, bring in others.”
How many times have you seen parents, spouses, family members do a lot more criticizing in public than praising? It sure seems that people air their frustrations out on others rather than work it out with their family member. Reference back to the exasperate section. Discussing problems can be frustrating if the goal is to simply embarrass or shame someone. It may motivate them to simply not do something to avoid the shame but that will not be encouraging for true life change or transformation. As the biblical passage says, confront one-on-one, and if there is no resolve, then bring in others, trusted friends and mentors that share the goal of love and encouragement.
Speaking of encouragement, Romans 15:5 wraps us up by saying, “Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, according to Christ Jesus.”
Are you focused on the Lord and seeking His strength, His endurance, His encouragement, His harmony, in those relationships He has blessed you with? And to repeat those points in a different way, the verse says, according to Christ Jesus. Our being, our doing, our lives should depend on Christ Jesus because He is the author and perfecter of our faith. And we should filter our families through our faith. Faith that goes beyond the common. Faith that endures the tough times. Faith that leads.
Thank you for joining me this morning. I pray that the eyes of your heart have been enlightened to see your leadership in a new and different way with Christ as the focus and that your cup runs over with His goodness. Be blessed!