As the dad goes, the family goes. Where are you going dad? Good dads often go the way of working hard, paying the bills and trying to “do dad” better than their dad. The kids may catch an excellent work-ethic but they may also catch a secular worldview. Spiritual leadership is needed to equip the family in the Way, under a biblical worldview.
In his book, Live Not by Lies, Rod Dreher interviews Christian dissidents that survived communist takeover of their country. It was a time when people were forced to conform to an atheistic worldview or face prison time, or worse. He found that families grounded in faith proved to be effective resistance cells. The author issues a warning to the American family, “In the coming soft totalitarianism, Christians will have to regard family life in a much more focused, serious way. … Christian parents must be intentionally countercultural in their approach to family dynamics.”
Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; … But if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served, … or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. – Joshua 24:14-15. The Israelites had choices. Joshua, as always, led with boldness and courage to convey his decision. In the time of the Bolsheviks and Nazi occupation in Eastern Europe, the choice to worship the Lord was not an option in the public square. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2. Freedom of religion is often taken for granted in America. Secularism is a religion that has flourished in this age of consumerism. Perceived new freedoms have moved heretofore conventional boundaries on societal norms and a generation is being impacted. In Rod Dreher’s words, “The days of living like everybody else and hoping our children turn out for the best are over.” But it is important that you understand this about headship: the Christ is the head of every man, the husband is the head of his wife, and God is the head of the Christ. – 1Corinthians 11:3. Paul puts the responsibility to lead spiritually square on men/dads’ shoulders. The charge is to submit to Christ as He submitted to His Father. Only then can a dad lead in the Way, selflessly and sacrificially as Christ led.
Tips to Lead Family in the Way:
- Initiate a personal discipline to read Scripture and pray daily;
- Complete the Nehemiah Initiative study on your own or with a couple of battle buddies. The booklet and video teaching are accessible by clicking on ‘For Dads’;
- Introduce a biblical perspective into a family discussion around secular issues;
- Eat dinner together as a family and discuss the day’s happenings;
- Involve the family in service project opportunities in your church or community.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for the examples of Joshua and Paul. I confess that I lead the way to church on Sundays but lead in the way of the world Monday through Saturday. Forgive me. Grant me the boldness and courage of Joshua to lead my family in the Way. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father spiritually leads his family in the Way.