Fathers’ Decisions

Surely every one of us dads desire to make good decisions that are best for our family. We are called to be leaders. To be a good leader, we must make good decisions. I expect we have all made some choices we wish we hadn’t made, but what is one of the more important aspects of any decision?

Let’s take a look at Hezekiah, King of Judah. Now here is a man! He became king at age twenty-five, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did” (2 Kings 18:3). It continues in verse 4, “He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made. . . .” It says God blessed everything Hezekiah set his hand to do. He was making some very good decisions.

God waited fourteen years before He brought a significant test into Hezekiah’s life. Ten years after Hezekiah rebelled from the control of Assyria, the king of Assyria mobilized his army against the towns of Judah. King Hezekiah sent word to the king of Assyria and confessed his error for rebelling. He said he would pay any sum the king of Assyria demanded. Hezekiah then had to give all the silver from his treasuries and from the temple of the Lord. Plus, he stripped the gold off of the temple doors to satisfy the Assyrian request.

To many, this would seem like a great decision on Hezekiah’s part. The towns of Judah had already been conquered, and it would have seemed like a horrible disaster was about to take place had he resisted the Assyrian king. He averted a terrible situation and kept the peace. What a guy!

But wait! Next we read that the King of Assyria marches against Jerusalem. He tells them his intention is to deport them all to a very nice land with plenty of food. No talk of forced labor, but the evil one never highlights the truth. This time, however, we are told Hezekiah cries out to the Lord. God says He will take care of the situation. Overnight the Angel of the Lord proceeds to completely destroy the Assyrian army without Hezekiah doing anything.

Hezekiah has now made one good and one horrible decision. The first decision was trusting in himself. I’m sure it made good sense to him. Unfortunately, God’s glory on earth was diminished by the treasures being taken and by the gold scraped off the doors. As they entered the temple, the marred surfaces would be a reminder to those worshipping the Lord of the consequences of not seeking God’s will. Man’s solutions are never permanent, as demonstrated by the king of Assyria’s return. The second crisis resulted in God’s glory and praise. As Hezekiah called on the Lord, Judah was delivered, and 185,000 Assyrians were slaughtered.

I think back to decisions I’ve made over the years; there have been some good ones and some bad ones. I don’t recall ever feeling I made a bad decision after carefully seeking God’s will. However, I can give you many examples of bad decisions I made when I did not seek the Lord’s direction. May we put our will aside and seek God’s will for our families. May we avoid the marred doors that remind us of trying to raise godly children in our own strength. May we be the leaders God would have us to be.

Posted in: Dad's Corner

A Wife’s Submission

As I have shared with you in other Mom’s Corners, the Lord has been working in my life in relation to my husband’s leadership in our home. I have a real-life example of this to share with you.

Recently, my husband announced that he wanted to make some changes in our evening schedule. This would involve all of the children joining the little boys and him for their evening time in the Word. Wouldn’t you think that would delight a mother whose greatest desire is to have godly children? Delight was not my first reaction! Not at all! I immediately thought of many reasons why Steve’s plan would not work; my face told what was going on inside. When Steve questioned me, I began telling him my excuses. Before I had the last one out of my mouth, each of the older children had joined my rebellion with their own reasons.

The Lord convicted me of my lack of submission and wrong attitudes. Still, my heart was not following what I knew was right. I was selfishly hanging on to fears of what a change might mean for me. I asked Steve’s forgiveness for my not having a positive response to his plan and for sharing my negative reactions. I still had a “thought” battle to wage to bring my heart to follow what I knew God wanted from me. I desired to not just grit my teeth and plaster a smile on my face. I needed to be truly willing to be a helpmeet to my husband.

Daily the Lord is giving me opportunities to be tested, tried, and refined in this area of submission. I have been trying an experiment in faith. When I want to remind Steve of something, I write it down in a prayer journal and pray about it. God can work in Steve’s heart to deal with an issue when the time is right rather than me bringing it up. To be honest, even in this experiment I fail regularly. The other day I went to bed praying about, and determined not to bring up, my desire to have the Christmas decorations taken down. The very next morning, though, I mentioned it. Steve’s response was, “Would you believe just this morning as I was praying I was thinking about that?” I saw God working but was robbed of joy. I had gone ahead and brought it up rather than waiting on the Lord.

When I think of submission to my husband, one of the things the Lord continues to show me is that I have to let my husband be the leader. I am quick to question, remind, suggest, offer opinions, and give input. As I have evaluated this behavior of mine, I have come to see that it is trying to control my husband. If I can set my pride aside long enough, I can even objectively view it as treating him like a child rather than my mature husband. If you were to ask me if I were a submissive wife through these married years, I would have said determinedly, “Yes!” However, I was living “the letter of the law” of submission. The “spirit of the law” of submission would be willingly following, without always having a better way, another idea, or a reminder.

The end of the story on evening Bible time with the little boys is that God gave me great joy. I began to lay down, before Jesus, the sacrifices that I felt might be involved for the older ones and me. I asked God to help me to creatively figure out where to fit in the things I had been doing during that time. I asked Him to give me a heart to happily support my husband–to be a helpmeet rather than a hindrance. He has! Now I get Jesse and Mary ready for bed a little bit earlier, read to Anna before teeth brushing, and brush Sarah’s hair during the Bible time with Daddy. That time has become something I look forward to; it brings us all together for the most important focus we could have as a family before going to bed. Daddy is teaching us that we are men and women of God. Daddy is interested in our spiritual growth!

May we encourage one another to be wives and mothers with meek and quiet spirits, in whom our husbands can fully trust.