A large part of being the head of the home is being the spiritual leader of the family. A real man sets the spiritual climate in his home. He takes responsibility for his children’s faith, “training them up in the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6).
In Ephesians 6:4, God puts the onus on the man, the father, to make sure his children are raised on the teachings of God and in a Godly environment. Many of us have grown accustomed to seeing the woman as the strongest spiritual force in the household, while the man grudgingly attends church, if he attends at all. But this is not Biblical. Men, not women, are the ones who are to make sure the family attends church. Men are to make sure the family has devotionals and Bible studies. Men are to pray with their wives and children. A real man doesn’t leave it to his wife to set the tone spiritually. Most importantly, he models Christlike behavior for his family to emulate.
We can learn a great deal about how to lead our families spiritually by studying Christ's leadership of the church. We see that Jesus Christ leads the church by engaging in an intimate personal relationship with each individual believer. In emulating Christ then, we, as the heads of our homes, should have vibrant personal relationships with each member of our household. This type of relationship will lead our family members to focus on how much we love them, not just on what we tell them to do and not to do.
We are not to be emotionally distant fathers who provide for the material needs of our wives and children but neglect to meet their emotional needs. Just as God's eye is on the sparrow and he has "every hair of our head numbered'' (Luke 12:7), we should be aware of and involved in the critical issues, feelings and experiences of our family members. This involves talking, listening, hugging and spending time with our wives and children.
Also, while Christ certainly gives the church boundaries it should not cross, he mainly leads by guiding us and empowering us to be all we were created to be. Likewise, in addition to setting Godly rules and standards of right and wrong in our home, let us share with our family members the knowledge, wisdom and understanding necessary to make proper choices on their own.
It is a powerful and redeeming thing when the man of the house is a strong disciple of Christ. In his book "Raising Black Boys,'' Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu states that when the mother is saved, 17 percent of the family gives their lives to Christ, but when the father is saved, the number jumps to 90 percent!
I. The Bible says the man, the father, is supposed to set the spiritual climate in his home
A. Through family church attendance
B. Through family Bible study
C. Through family prayer
D. Through example
II. Like Christ, we should have vibrant relationships with our family members
A. This puts the focus on love, not lordship
B. This keeps us from being emotionally distant
1) we must talk, listen, hug and spend time with our family members
III. Christ sets boundaries in our relationship but he also guides and empowers us
A. We should set rules and standards of right and wrong
B. Yet, we must share with our family members the Biblical teachings they need to make proper choices on their own
IV. Godly men lead to Godly families
A. 90 percent of family members give their lives to Christ when the father is saved
B. Only 17 percent of the family members do so when the mother is saved
POSSIBLE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS/TOPICS
I. Why is it such a powerful witness when the father of a household is saved?
II. What are some ways we can impart our spiritual values into our family?
III. How do we create the right spiritual atmosphere in our household?
IV. How should we handle music, television, relationships and other things that can potentially be harmful to our children's spirituality?
V. Why do women take the spiritual lead in most of our families? Why do more women seem to respond to the gospel than men?
VI. How do we avoid becoming emotionally detached from our wife and kids?
A. How do we maintain vibrant personal relationships with our wife and kids?
B. Why is it difficult for many men to be emotional with their wife and kids?