One dad led his family to church every Sunday. For one to two hours, he prioritized church with his family. For the rest of the week, he prioritized work that involved long hours and extensive travel. While the intent initially was to provide well financially for his family, in fact he put his marriage and family in the back seat on his personal drive to be successful.
It is important to know that as dads lead, kids will follow. If a dad leads the way to church, is involved in Sunday school, reflects his relationship with Christ in marriage and tunes-in to God between Sundays, the kids will most likely follow his Christian faith. If the focus is on financial provision and success in this world – the next deal, the next promotion, the next raise, the kids will most likely follow his secular faith.
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1Timothy 5:8. “Provide.” – Men tend to reference this verse as vindication for working long hours to provide financially for the family. While financial provision is important, it is just one dimension of what Paul was speaking to with his admonishment to provide for family. Other dimensions include: Being a bearer of divine blessing as Jacob blessed his sons in Genesis 49 and our Heavenly Father blessed His Son in Matthew 3:17; Being the head of the family as exemplified by Joshua when he made the bold statement, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”- Joshua 24:15; Being the family priest as when men responded to Moses’ instructions for the first Passover in Egypt, “… each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household”- Exodus 3:12; and, Being the family teacher, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”- Deuteronomy 6:6-7. Dads are instructed throughout scripture to take the lead spiritually in family.
Tips to lead spiritually by example:
- Lead the family to church every Sunday;
- Learn to love your wife as Christ loves the Church;
- Eat dinner together as a family at least five times a week;
- Initiate spiritual discussion in the home between Sundays;
- Complete a dad-specific study with a couple of other dads before Father’s Day - Click HERE for resources;
- Read scripture (start with Romans) and pray over your family daily; and,
- Pray with your wife every evening.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and Your example as the perfect Father. I confess that I let myself get focused in on providing financially for my family, even to the point of looking to money as a god. Forgive me. Help me embrace the multiple dimensions of provision that Paul pointed to. Grant me the strength and boldness to take the lead spiritually in family as You expect me to. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father takes the lead spiritually in family.