This article is part of a series. If you missed last week, follow this link to read How Does a Husband Lead His Wife and Family? – Part II.
6. Leading morally. Moral leadership naturally flows from the depth of your spiritual life. Without being fully committed to Christ, you will have few unchangeable moral standards. Why? Unless your heart is anchored in the truth of God’s Word, you will be led by your feelings, emotions, or the opinions of others. The Word of God must be the foundation for every moral decision that will be made in your life and home.
This is the only way you can ever expect the blessings God has promised to be yours. Jesus expected that each of us would determine what is right and do it. He challenged the multitudes one day: “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right” (Luke 12:57)? He wanted them to make moral decisions regarding right and wrong and then to live that way.
Consequently, are your moral decisions based upon your own selfish desires, or are they based upon God’s truth? Is your life an example of moral compromise or of the godly standards that you declare to your wife and children? Do you speak the truth in love, or do you shade the truth when it suits you? The answer to these questions will determine the moral leadership in your home.
7. Leading in reconciliation. Taking the lead in reconciliation after you have had a conflict with your wife or children is an essential aspect of moral and spiritual leadership in your home. Remember that Jesus took the lead to initiate reconciliation with you. He came to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). To follow His example you must do the same. This is true leadership.
However, are you the one who walks away and slams the door behind you when a conflict arises? Do you go off to pout when your wife doesn’t agree with you? Do you harden your heart or manipulate the emotions of your wife or children by your angry explosions or deadly silence? If you do, this is a sign of spiritual immaturity and childish behavior. You need to grow up and take the lead by humbling yourself to seek a solution.
Take the first step by seeking reconciliation with anyone in your family when there has been a conflict. Jesus said, “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:5). In other words, according to Jesus it is hypocritical for anyone to look at another person’s fault before we examine our own. Jesus also said, “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matt. 5:23-24). See also Matthew 18:15.
Is this the way you deal with the conflicts with your wife and children? Are you the one who takes the lead and steps forward first? Do you admit your fault and seek resolution or turn and walk away? Aren’t you glad Jesus took the leadership in your life to come and seek reconciliation with you? Begin to take the leadership in this area of your home. You will be glad you did.
8. Leading by your service. Another very important aspect of leadership is being the servant in your home. Now you may be thinking to yourself, Why should I have to be a servant if I’m the head of my home? Look again to Jesus, your primary example! He demonstrated over and over again that He wasn’t afraid to get His hands dirty and to serve others. After all, He washed the disciple’s feet and they must have been quite dirty after walking through the Judean landscape!
Notice what Jesus said after He washed their feet: “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him” (John 13:14-16). Therefore, if your Lord and Master washed the disciples’ feet then it is not below you or your position as the head of your home to do menial tasks around your house.
However, I hear husbands say to me, “I don’t do diapers.” “I don’t do laundry.” “I don’t do dishes.” I usually say to these men, “That is like Jesus saying, ‘I don’t do feet.’ ” Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, these tasks are not your primary job, but when your wife is stressed at the end of her day and you sit in the living room and read the newspaper or play video games and refuse to help because you have “worked all day,” you have failed as a leader. A leader will follow the example of his Lord and get up and serve.
This article has been republished with permission by COVENANT KEEPERS © 1997