What expectations do you have of leaders today, be they political, corporate or church leaders? What expectations do you have of yourself as you lead in your home?
The third tenant of Faithful Fathering’s charge to dads, after prioritizing physical presence, and being engaged emotionally, is to lead spiritually by example. What does that look like? I like to look to my favorite king in the Old Testament of Scripture, Josiah, as a great example:
“The king read in their hearing all the words of the book, … he stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant. Then the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest … to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal, for Asherah, … Moreover, Josiah removed the mediums and the spiritists and the teraphim and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might confirm the words of the Law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. … there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to the Law of Moses.” – 2Kings 23:1-4, 24-25. Neither before nor after was there a king that turned to the Lord as Josiah had! Wow! Today, this would be akin to the president of the United States, the leader of the free world, stepping into Johathan Cahn’s shoes to lead the nation to repentance and to Return to the Lord. That is probably not going to happen. How about the respective states’ governors? Is there one that will lead their state in repentance and return to the Lord? How about you dad? Will you lead your family in repentance and return to the Lord? The charge is to: accept Jesus the Christ as your Savior and learn to serve Him as Lord; read His book, the Bible; make a covenant to live under the authority of Scripture; rebuke the idols and other little ‘g’ gods you have worshipped; educate your family in a Biblical worldview; lead your family to church; have spiritual discussions around current events between Sundays; and, love your wife as Christ loves the Church.
The challenge is on for dads to lead spiritually by example because kids catch what dad has. It is up to dad to make sure what he has is what he wants the kids to catch! Here are some tips:
- Start a daily discipline to read the Bible. I suggest beginning with Paul’s letter to the Romans. A chapter or two a day is great. It is not a race;
- Rebuke any idols, little ‘g’ gods, that have vied for attention over God and family;
- Lead the family to church every Sunday and get involved with fathering ministry;
- Lead family discussion around current culture with a Biblical worldview;
- Reflect your relationship with Jesus the Christ in the home daily by learning to love your wife as Christ loves the Church.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for the example of Josiah as a leader of the ages. I confess that I have followed the culture and worshipped the almighty dollar with a “provide for my family and survive another day” worldview as a dad. Forgive me. Thank You for opening Your book to me. It has been a blessing to get to know You, to embrace a personal relationship with Jesus the Christ and engage with You through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Grant me strength to stand as Josiah did against the culture of his day, in a way that glorifies You and points my family to You. That is the dad You call me to be and that is the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father leads his family spiritually by example.