For those you that frequent this blog you get a lot of information from my wife about daily adventures and things we are doing as a family (this last month withstanding as she is fasting from this stuff). So usually when I write something it tends to be a bit different and focuses more on what God is teaching me or things that I am working through in relationship with Him. And this post is no different.
Beckie and I have recently read through the Real Marriage book by Mark & Grace Driscoll, as well as watching the subsequent sermon series from Mars Hill Church based on the book. The things that always strikes me of course is what it means to lead my family. In absolute confession I would have to say I have been lousy at this. Though I know the importance of it and I know what my role should be within the home to shepherd my family and be the example of Christ I have not done a consistently good job at this.
Now there are some that may wonder what it is I mean by leading my family or leading my home. By this I mean that I am the one who takes on the responsibility for the spiritual and physical needs of my family and taking appropriate steps to make sure that these needs are met. That means that I am the example to my kids to demonstrate what it means to be tough and tender so that they understand mercy and discipline in a way that exemplifies the way their heavenly Father is towards them so they may see Him the perfect example and trust Him where I fail. This also means that I take responsibility for my wife and see that she is developing her relationship with God well and that she has love, security and service from me, so that once again I can be an earthly example of the one who loves her and serves her perfectly. My goal and purpose is to love her the way Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her. For a better picture than I can paint with my own words see Ephesians 5: 22-33.
The reality is that my kids do not regularly see me open the Bible in their presence and therefore they do not see me as having high regard for the word of God. This also means that they do not have me as their Father regularly pray over them and bring them before God’s throne of Grace.
Now I want to be clear that I am not in a funk or looking for reassurance of how I have been doing I am simply making observation that by God’s grace I need to do better, and admittedly I am incapable of doing so by myself. The reality I believe is that as a culture we as Christians do not take seriously, in large part, the importance of discipling in our homes. We tend to have a mentality that says that role should be filled by the church and if they don’t do it then they have failed but it isn’t our fault. I believe we need to remember that we have a significant frontline purposeful role as husbands and fathers that says I will be the one who takes the responsibility for these things and that if we are inadequate we need to avail ourselves of others around us to help us grow in the truth of God’s word and bring that into our homes for the edification, support, encouragement and building of our families. I believe it is time for us to stop pushing off responsibility and believe the lie of a culture that says men are dumb and incapable of figuring out their lives on their own and realize that we are strong and we fight for what is right and believe we have a God ordained role and responsibility in our homes to demonstrate and exemplify Christ.
I really appreciate that this issue has been at the forefront lately due to the movie Courageous coming out this last year, so for those that are familiar with that film you will understand what I am talking about. I have also appreciated the comment that says “the question isn’t whether or not men should be the head of their homes, they are the head of their homes. The question is how are they doing?”.
I don’t pretend to be an expert but as I stood this very morning and held my kids and prayed over them, and then held my wife and prayed over her that my spirit wept because this would not be the norm, it is the exception. That is not acceptable. By God’s Grace may the exception become the norm and may I exemplify Christ for His Glory and my good and the discipleship, encouragement, and edification of my family.