“HOW SHOULD MEN LEAD
THEIR FAMILIES?” by Joel R. Beeke
Book Review by Peter Lindstrom
How Should Men Lead Their Families? is a good, short read that provides a framework for the husband/father to cultivate what it means to be an image-bearer of Christ.
“…And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator.” Col. 3:10 (ESV)
Pastor Beeke begins with the story of missionary John Paton in the context of his father’s spiritual direction. John’s father James was no pansy, pathetic, and passive father. Instead he leaned in to his family, and this was evident by his prayers to God and his passion for his family.
Essentially, James modeled what Pastor Beeke argues throughout this booklet: Be like Christ (Prophet, Priest and King) as one who is in union with Christ (cf. Heidelberg Catechism Q. 32). Jesus serves us in these offices (Prophet, Priest and King) in a perfect way. As Christians we are Christ’s image-bearers and should demonstrate this in our homes as well. And for the home, Pastor Beeke focuses on the husband/father.
As Prophet, not as a future-teller, but as a spokesman, we are to confess the faith and be sharers of the Word of God. Check out his six guidelines. One of them is to “Teach through Family Worship.”
“Daily family worship ought to be the foundation of your fatherly exercising of your prophetical office toward your children. ” 
As Priest, not sacrificing bloody animals, but as ones offering sacrifices of praise, we pray and intercede for others (1 Tim. 2:1; Heb. 13:15-16). Pastor Beeke addresses this in two needed ways: for his wife and children.
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“But will you pray daily for your children, one by one, that each may know his sin, each may be kept from sin, each may fly to the Savior, and each may live a life of holiness?” 
As King, not as a tyrant, but as one who rules well his own house, he is seeking to have his children in “subjection with all gravity” (1 Tim.3:4). As King, he provides and protects. Here Pastor Beeke lists two ways: “Defend your children” and “Discipline your children.” Get the ibook and leave it open on the computer and read often for a few weeks.
“Do not weaken and try to be a passive, popular dad.” 
Feeling discouraged as a husband/father? This short booklet is for you. Buy it, consume it, and get practicing it. It’s never too late to begin being more proactive in the home, leading in godliness. Here’s a good prayer to start instead of throwing in the towel:
“I am a sinful human being, but Lord, help me confess my sin, my inconsistent walk, my ignorance of the Bible, and my failure to evangelize my children. Let me be grieved by these failures, turn to Thee for grace to realize my covenantal responsibilities, and take refuge in Thee, leaning on Thy covenant promises and looking to Jesus Thy Son as my model, my guide, and my strength.”
We fight a spiritual battle. Satan and the forces of evil would like your children to be on their side. Don’t we know that the world’s system is not our friend? Don’t we know that Satan is not on our side? If we realize our spiritual battle and begin to serve our family rightly, we will be that “gentle warrior for your family.” .
Here’s a good warning for us all. By ourselves, we are helpless for the fight. Satan is much too clever for me (Haven’t we read the Screwtape Letters?) But, as we humble ourselves and trust in Christ, in our weakness we are strong.
“Your weakness can become the platform where His strength is displayed so that your family will learn by watching you pray, “Thy grace is sufficient for us.” [34-35]
What advice would you give to encourage the men in the home to live like Christ?
What are your struggles to lead in the home?