Follow the link to read How Does a Husband Lead His Wife and Family? Part I
3. Leading by example. Love will also cause you to lead by your example. Jesus believed that His example was critical and acknowledged this fact. He told the disciples: “I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). Paul followed Christ’s lead and also exhorted his followers to do the same when he said: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). Can you say these words to your wife and children?
Being an example is especially important if you desire your wife and children to have a sincere respect for you as the leader of your home. Do you want your wife and children to simply respect you because you are the head of your home, or because they see your godly behavior, loving actions, and walk of faith?
Consider then, are you leading by example in your home? Are you an example of godliness in your speech, patience, purity, faith, your pursuit of God, personal discipline, and your commitment to moral principles? Can you say to your wife and children, “I want you to follow Christ just like I follow Him?” And when you fail to be the example, are you an example of honest humble acknowledgement of your failure? Anyone can respect a personal and honest admission of failure. It is only when failure occurs and there is a cover-up that your family will lose respect.
4. Leading in management. Do you realize that as a husband you are to be the manager of your entire family? This doesn’t mean that you do everything in your family but you make sure it all gets done. Paul explained this truth of leadership when he instructed Timothy concerning the qualifications required for men to take a leadership role in the church. He taught, “If a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?” (1 Tim. 3:5). The word rule is translated in the New American Standard Version of the Bible as manage. This is probably the best translation for this word.
You are the manager of your household just like someone who oversees and manages a business or company. To manage well, you need to have full knowledge of all that goes on in your home. This means you must be asking about the spiritual life of each person in your home, watch over the finances, oversee the discipline of your children, and make sure the practical things of the home are accomplished. Yes, this is a lot to take care of, but this is the responsibility of the head of the home. So, let’s look at some of these responsibilities in more detail.
5. Leading spiritually. How can and should you spiritually lead your wife and children? To accomplish this task you first must be a spiritually committed man. It is obvious that you cannot lead anyone anywhere if you have not been there first. This is what Jesus meant when He reproved the Pharisees saying: “They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matt. 15:14). Jesus was using an obvious metaphor to illustrate that these religious leaders had spiritual blindness and could not fulfill their responsibilities of leadership.
Do you have the spiritual eyesight necessary to lead your wife and children into the kingdom? Without knowing what the truth is, how can you lead them into the truth (Ps. 25:5)? To be this kind of leader you must do as Jesus commanded: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). Unless you take the lead to seek first the kingdom, none of the other aspects of your leadership will have any effect upon your wife or children. Why? Because they will see the contradiction between what you tell them to do versus what you are doing by your example.
Is Christ really first in your life? Is He your first love (Rev. 2:4-5)? Are you a man who has given himself to the Word of God and prayer on a daily basis so you can lead your family into the truth? Are you a man who practices what he preaches? This is where true leadership begins and is sustained.
The simplest and easiest way I have found to minister to my wife and family on a regular basis is to follow a principle given by Moses. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deut. 6:5-7). When you sit at the dinner table, or drive in your car, or at bed time, share what God has taught you from your devotional time in the Scriptures that day. If God has planted His Words in your heart, share them with your wife and children. In doing so you are washing your wife and children with the water of Word of God (Eph. 5:26-27). This is how you can nourish them with the truth of God (Eph. 5:29; Eph. 6:4). When you sit, walk, and lie down are the times when you are together with your wife and children. Therefore, take these opportunities that you have when you are together.
This article has been republished with permission by COVENANT KEEPERS © 1997