Dad, the Spiritual Leader

How comfortable are you with your role as the spiritual leader of your home? Is this something you willingly own as your responsibility? How do you view it compared to your calling to provide for the physical needs of your family?

We can be wonderful providers for our families and yet, after a full life, have each of our children end up in hell or as worldly, lukewarm Christians. That seems to put the issues into perspective, doesn’t it? Have we spiritually reproduced death and carnality, or vibrant offspring of the Lord Jesus?

I remember at one point in my life smugly thinking, “I’m doing what I should as the spiritual leader of my home.” We were homeschooling, the children were in Sunday School, and I was having bedtime devotions (a pretty shallow one, but it counted, didn’t it?) with the children. What else was there?

Think about Moses for a minute, and God’s calling him to lead His people. Moses kept telling the Lord he was not equipped to properly lead the Israelites. Even after God said He would enable Moses for this job, Moses still back-peddled. Finally, in Exodus 4:14-16, “And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses,” and God agreed to use Aaron. “And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.”

I’m grieved by how few fathers really take the role of being the spiritual leader of their homes seriously. There are either excuses about capabilities and gifts or no real effort beyond going through the basics. God equips those He calls. We must believe that God will equip us to do the job He has given us. He gave Moses signs of his authority, and said Moses was to “be to him instead of God.” Isn’t that an incredible statement? Moses’ actions were to be a picture of God in the flesh.

Is it any wonder so many have poor concepts of God when their fathers were terrible examples? What an awesome responsibility we have as fathers. God intended that we dads help form the God image in the minds of our children. That is one reason the Lord’s Prayer begins, “Our Father which art in heaven. . . .”

We have no greater responsibility than, as far as we are enabled by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to demonstrate Christ to our families. Christ said if you have seen Me you have seen the Father. His purpose in coming to earth was to reveal the Father. Are we able to fully grasp the seriousness of this calling? Our desire needs to be to live as Christ in full view of our families. We must be crying out to the Lord on behalf of our families, dying to self daily, and if necessary, giving our life for them.

Moses was a wonderful picture of that as he cried out to the Lord for the Israelites. I was greatly challenged by Moses’ response to the Israelites making the golden calf while he was on the mountain. God was ready to kill them all and make Moses into a mighty nation. Yet what did Moses say? In Exodus 32:32 he said, “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.”

I believe that is referring to the Book of Life where the names of the saved are recorded. I think Moses was demonstrating his willingness to go to hell if it meant the rest of the Israelites might live. Here we have the picture of Christ’s atonement for our sin made as an offering to the Lord. When that sank in, I was challenged to the depth of my heart. Moses was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for those he was called to serve.

May we bring our families before the Lord constantly as Moses did in the Tent of Meeting. May our families see us going to the Lord in prayer as the Israelites saw Moses. May we take our calling as a serious matter of life and death.