A good strong example of a family leader would be Joshua
in the Bible. He was a true spiritual leader and a strong man
of God. He was not one to let the circumstances of the
outside world convince him of defeat. Because of his strong
leadership and convictions, everyone looked up to him as a
father figure. Everyone but him and a few others were cut
short and fell in the wilderness journey because they would
not obey and follow God's instructions. Even today we still
fall short of who we will serve. Idols have been and still are
a major downfall in our success and failures. That is why
Joshua told the people to choose whom they would serve. If
they chose to serve the idols that their father's served, then
they should be prepared for God's wrath. But, his advice
was, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
This was a strong stand that he took and stood by. If father's
today would make that kind of commitment our society
would not be in the mess that it's in today. Without a strong
head of household, everyone does just what they want and
ends up getting hurt.
A father's role is to lead. Joshua told the people (Josh.
24:14) to fear the Lord. There is a reason for that. It is the
foundation for a strong Christian household, and it is the
first thing children should learn. (Prov. 1:7) "The fear of the
Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise
wisdom and instruction." According this, I guess there are
alot of fools running around today because wisdom and
instruction are ignored. Children today aren't afraid of any
kind of authority. But for a home that is functional, the family
reveres God. We are taught to fear God in the Old
Testament, but the New Testament teaches faith in God. He
is afterall a loving Father. We need to recognize this. It's
important for parents to take time with their children to read
them the Bible and pray, if only for a few minutes a day.
Joshua also told the people to serve God and put aside all
other false gods. This teaches children to be different. In
today's society, we are so caught up in the secularism of
advertising and the world media that we consider ourselves
as individuals as long as we look like everyone else and
have the same things. Truth is, there is no indivuality,
everyone is too afraid to be unique. Our false idols are all
around us, it's whatever we put ahead of God. Children don't
realize that their uniqueness is what God created for them to
be, not to be like everyone else. But today it's all about
A father must demand to lead and make the decisions.
Again just like Joshua said, (Josh. 24:15) "As for me and my
house, we will serve the Lord." This was not an option. But if
it seems evil to serve God, then it's important for you to
make that decision on your own. Jesus said in Mt. 12:30 that
everyone will serve some kind of god. People have a hard
time making decisions because it holds them to a choice,
but the fact of the matter is, when you don't make a decision
either here nor there, that is a decision. But remember, no
one can serve 2 masters (Mt. 6:24) You must take a stand
on who you will serve. Joshua said, (24:15) that you must
choose for yourself, no one can do that for you.
It's the father's role to be held accountable for the spiritual
growth in his household. He must make the choice for the
family. Tomorrow may never come. A father's strong choice
of who his family will serve may determine everyone's
eternal destiny. If a father allows his children to make their
own decisions in this matter, they will of course choose the
secular world because it pleases the self, and admit it,
children are selfish at nature.
Look around you, most dysfunctional homes are because
there is no strong leadership of a father. It's not sending
your children to church, it's taking them yourself that will
build up the family in faith. A family life will never be able to
rise above the leadership of the father. If the father's
leadership is weak, that family will also be a weak link for
future generations. How else will our children learn
important family values unless they are instilled at an early
age from their fathers?
God wants fathers to model themselves after Him, not to be
a god unto themselves. God's attributes are ones of Love,
Patience, Understanding, Commitment, Strength, Kindness,
Humility, Humbleness, Forgiveness etc. This is what God
wants father's to be like. A man of God should have strong
shoulders to support his children who can admit they are
afraid. He can also admit that he is not in himself perfect,
but through Christ has been made perfect. A good father
doesn't demand perfection from his children because after
all, God doesn't expect us to be perfect either. All He wants
is our obedience.
Just as Joshua knew that he had to set the pace for future
generations and make the decision, so fathers today need
to take that very same action. It's wasn't up to the children to
follow God, it was up to Joshua to set that example for
them. Just as in Joshua's day, it must still hold true today
that children must learn to follow rules that are set before
them as long as they are living under your roof.
"One that rules well his own house, having his children in
subjection with all gravity; (For if a man knows not how to
rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of
God?)" 1 Tim. 3:4-5 (NKV)
If you are a dad or know of one, please take time to consider
this message in strengthening your own family. Take a firm
stand on the values you are setting for your children. What
kind of example are you showing them for their future? God
has put a valuable and important role on you in this life. How
well are you achieving it?
Next month we honor our dad's for Father's Day. What do
you consider to be honorable? Think how God sees you as
a role model for His children. Can you be trusted?
Vivian Gordon an inspired follower of Christ who loves to
bring the Word of God to light and make others understand
His love for them is real. We all have a choice to make in
this life for the one that is to follow. In writing these articles,
may they lead you to the right choice, which is eternal life.