I find it interesting how many people do not consider the home to be a place where leadership exists. For many, leadership seems too organizational or formal or political to make sense within the confines of home sweet home. If I am completely honest, leadership at work or church is must simpler than at home. The power of genetics and the many connected emotions make home leadership much more tricky to navigate during a typical day. However, this does not relieve me of the mandate to lead my home well. 1 Timothy 3:4-5 says that a potential church leader must “manage his own household well…for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”
1 Samuel shares a heartbreaking story about the high priest, Eli. While he was faithfully leading the nation of Israel, the Bible states that “the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord.” What a brutal revelation of poor leadership within the home. I would hate for this to ever be said of my children. Because of this, I need to lead in such a way that my children know God, that they see me pursue God and that when they are adults, they could never say that they were not exposed to life with God.
Leadership in my home must start with my marriage. This is not some dominating control issue. Rather, I am responsible for setting the tone of my household and it begins with how I treat my wife. Do I love her well? Do I truly cherish and honor and provide for and protect her? Do I look for practical ways to serve her daily or am I about my needs and agenda? Your best way to determine this would be to ask her. My hope and prayer is that she feels cared for and loved better by me than by anybody else in her life. If not, then my leadership is sorely lacking. Epheisans tells me to “love my wife as Christ loved the church.” This is a tall order since Christ sacrificed and gave His life for the church. It’s quite a standard to aim for, but by the grace of God I am hopefully getting closer to leading her well.
As my children are able to see how I treat my wife, it extends my leadership influence to parenting. My girls should see in me the ideal way they want to be treated by men, both now with friends and someday in the future (many many many years in the future lol) in marriage. My boys should have a role model for how to provide for, how to protect and how to lead their future homes in a godly manner. While there is a certain amount of pressure here, it is more of a privilege that God has blessed me with to shape the future through the lives of my children. Do they see their dad pursuing Christ and running hard after God? How do I speak of and treat others? Complete transparency will tell you that I have a ways to go with my own humanity to provide a great role model, but I hope that they are able to see progress in my life.
Another aspect of leadership , specifically with my children, is to work hard to not think for them, but rather to challenge them with the idea of “what would be better?” They must decide that pursuing Christ is important to them and then must figure out how to best do that in their individual lives. I can teach and train and model, but ultimately they have to take the ball and make a run for it. If I make all of their decisions and tell them exactly how to do things, then where does their ownership happen? A far more effective manner, and one that I am still figuring out, is to let them pursue Christ and live out their faith on their own and then be there to answer questions and redirect when needed.
The spiritual, emotional and relational health of my home is ultimately on my shoulders to establish. I can accomplish this through a bunch of rules and regulations, or I can pursue Christ on my own and then allow His Spirit to guide me in how to best lead my home. I want my home to be filled with the presence of God. I want for there to be joy and laughter and peace and good memories. I am accountable to lead according to the end in mind and must ensure my actions line up with my values.
How about you? What does leadership look like in your home? What role do you have in shaping the atmosphere of your home and how are you allowing God to lead you in this way? I would love to get some comments here as I have a lot of learning to do in this area.