Growing up in the church has its benefits, it is why my wife and I have dedicated ourselves to ensuring our children have the same experience. We want to ensure that our children have the foundation in Christ that will serve them throughout their lives. My wife and I see it as our duty to ensure they are in fact educated in the ways of God. By all accounts and by seeing how are children respond to questions and hearing the questions they come up with, tells my wife and I that we are in fact on the right path. There is an innate danger in this though and that is allowing spiritual disciplines to end at the church driveway and not carrying those through to our home.
Over the past couple of months I have been struggling to discover what spiritual leadership looks like in the home. My father was a great man and loved my mother very much. He also loved his three boys and ensured they had a foundation built upon Christ. I remember him always having an answer for any question I could come up with and reassuring me in my faith when things became difficult for me to understand. He was also the one who baptized me on May 10, 1992 (Mother’s Day). On top of all of this, he was a respected member of our church, he served as a deacon and on the worship team. Even with all of his instruction, there was one thought that I never asked him, and never will be able to now, “What does being the spiritual leader of a household look like?”
Knowing my dad, he would have given me a very practical approach to answer this question. I honestly think that my dad chose to display this as best he could, without ever approaching the topic specifically. Unfortunately, what this lead me to believe in the first 9 years of my marriage is that being the spiritual leader of my family meant having the answers and guiding my family by correcting them in their errors. What I didn’t realize was that it involved so much more.
Being the spiritual leader is not limited to knowing about God, it is about knowing Him. It comes down to recognizing that we will not be able to lead our family if we are not led by Him. God has placed men in a unique position to be the spiritual head of the household, the leader. In order to effectively lead, we must be willing to be led.
Men, are you aligned with God? What do I mean by that? It means are you in a place where God is able to work with you? Be real with yourself when addressing this. Where is your heart in comparison to God? When God asked Adam “Where are you at?” in Genesis 3, it was not because God was confused about where Adam was hiding. God wanted to confront Adam with where he was in relationship to Himself. If God is to work within us and work on us, then we must align ourselves with Him. This does not mean that we have to have everything in our lives together. It just means that we need to be real with ourselves and submit to the authority of God.
Once we recognize His authority, we are forced then to begin to look within ourselves and recognize our struggles. In my opinion, this is where men become the most discouraged in their pursuit of being the spiritual leader in their family. When we start looking at ourselves and looking into our sins, we suddenly feel very inadequate to take on the calling of the spiritual leader. Its as if we suddenly reveal to God that because of our imperfect nature, we are not fit to be the leader of our family. Our sinful nature is no secret to God. So why do we feel the need to hide our sins from Him? When we refuse our mantle of leadership on the basis of our sins, we negate and invalidate the redemptive work of the cross in our lives. Our standards suddenly become higher than God’s and we paralyze ourselves in fulfilling His calling in our lives because we feel we are not good enough. Understand how ridiculous this sounds. We tell God that His understanding of us is incomplete and we are not fit for the calling He has placed in our lives. If we are to ever overcome this thought trap, we must recognize that God has provided us with everything we need to fulfill this calling, in spite of our inadequacies. Once we get over ourselves and accept the fact that His grace is sufficient for us, then we can begin to lead our families in a way that fulfills the calling of God.
Remember when I said that leading a family is not just about knowing about God, but rather knowing God? This is where it comes into play. We cannot teach and lead our family in the ways of God, if we ourselves do not know Him. We can teach concepts and qualities of God, but never teach our family about how to have a relationship with Him. This is the crux of the process. We dont have to have all the answers (thankfully), but we can instill the knowledge within our family for how to find the answers. We wont always have the means to fulfill every need, but God does and we can teach our family to go to God in those times and if it is in His will, he will provide it to us. In many ways, we will not be all that our family needs, but if we teach our family to fall in love with the one who can fulfill all needs, we are doing our jobs as leaders. We teach our family how to do this, by displaying it ourselves. Let your children see you pray. Let them see you and your wife (if you’re married) pray together. Let them see you reading your Bible. There have been multiple occasions in which my children have come in to my room in the morning while I am reading my Bible. Do I kick them out and tell them I am more focused on God at the moment as opposed to whatever their need is? Im not going to lie, I am tempted to do so. Thankfully, I have my wife right beside me and will encourage me to read what I am reading to them. It becomes on of those teachable moments that we always hear about as young parents, only I get to lead my kids to the throne of God and learn from Him. There is no one that I would rather they learn from.
What I am trying to get at in all of this is to be deliberate in how we position our family to align themselves with God. God wants us, as men and leaders, to align ourselves with Him so that we may teach our families how to align themselves with Him.
This blog will serve as a start up for now. I don’t know where God is going to take this and how He is going to use this. What I do know is there are a lot of men in the Christian church that are broken. For whatever reasons, they are timid when it comes to their faith. This blog will address issues that men face (ranging from addressing sin to spiritual leadership) that cripple their ability to fulfill their role as a man of God, a member of God’s church, and a spiritual leader in their family. This blog will incorporate original posts as well as be augmented by an active Facebook profile that will be used to link articles or quick thoughts about issues that address needs as they arise, thus keeping the blog reserved for items that deserve the most amount of time or thoughts.