As a parent (especially for fathers, here), have you given thought to your leadership within the family?
Are you feeling like you just ain’t gett’in no respect? Feeling like a failure? Missing key leadership features in directing the family?
Are the children only responding to you if you yell at them? Does Mr. T from the A-Team come to mind in how you are responding to those around you?
Do you feel your wife is on-board but on another plane going another direction?
Do you want to change this trajectory? Do you want to gain (or, regain) godly family leadership within the home?
Here are three key features to consider for a father’s leadership in the home:
Let’s just deal with integrity in this post.
Dr. Phillip Kayser has some great teaching on leadership principles, especially related to the family. I have gleaned much from his teaching/coaching for fathers in the home that I now share here.
Integrity can be defined this way: being honest with moral principles; moral uprightness.
Moral principles. Hmm…
This is a big subject. It’s also a big deal because, of course, God requires this of us.
It’s a big deal for this reason as well: everyone in the family notices it. Everyone also notices its absence. It’s the proverbial gorilla in the room.
It’s hard for the father to lead the family in faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13) if he is full of doubt, criticism and hate.
Being full of irritation (“I pity the fool!” says Mr. T.) and angry words don’t build much capital to encourage the children “to be kind.” At least, it never has for me!
Jesus words fit well here from Matthew 7:12. “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (ESV).
Integrity is also defined as being the state of being whole and undivided.
Whole and undivided? In other words, what we say, we do. We are a person of our word. The character of President George Washington, for example, comes to mind.
We don’t speak the truth and then live the lie.
We don’t lead in family worship but then follow the links for porn and other things that are shameful, not to mention embarrassing, as our children and wife might be looking over our shoulders.
Being whole and undivided is turning away from what God has saved us: being dead in trespasses and sins, following Satan as sons of disobedience and living in the passions of our flesh (Ephesians 2:1-3).
This kind of integrity is also what God has saved us unto: making us alive together in Christ, living by grace and being prepared for good works (Ephesians 2:5-10).
So, how do we regain family leadership if we have blown it?
I remember an adult Sunday school lesson a very long time ago in which the teacher said something that made a profound influence.
The Christian life includes these two things: confession and repentance.
And this certainly is no less true in the family.
To regain integrity, a key feature for family leadership, confession and repentance may be the first order of business tonight!
In fact, family worship provides this very venue. Everyone is around the Word. You might read some Scripture on confession and repentance (Psalm 32).
And then, you might say something like this which I know can be difficult.
“Family, this is something that God has shown to me in my thick head. I don’t think I have led the family very well in [a certain area of life] and I have asked God to forgive me. I am asking you all to forgive me for this, as well.”
“Would you forgive me for this (be specific)?”
You can finish in prayer by asking the Lord to bless the family and live in a way that honors him (a.k.a., a life of integrity).
So, how does your leadership in the family need some remodeling?
How have you not been a person of integrity with your wife? With your children?
How about confessing to the Lord right now the sin that keeps you from being a person of integrity?
What are your biggest challenges in leadership within the home?