What are your goals for your family? Have you written them down? Are they your goals or the Lord’s goals? Without a rudder and compass, not many boats would ever reach the harbor. I think a reasonable analogy would be that our compass should be the Lord’s direction. A good example of this is found with Noah.
In Genesis 6:22, “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” Now look at Genesis 7:5, “And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.” First, we see that Noah had to have a relationship with God to receive instruction from Him. Do you know the Lord Jesus as your Lord and Savior? The initial step is having Jesus as Savior and, unfortunately, many men never go beyond this point. The second step is for Christ to be our Lord. He must be our boss and commander. His precious blood has bought us, and we are His. That means we do what He tells us to. He will instruct us in how to lead our family.
God gave instruction prior to the flood on how Noah could save his family. God did not tell Noah’s family, but He told Noah what to do. Think about the absurdity of what God said to Noah, and then Noah had to tell his family. They were going to build a boat, and it was going to rain and drown everyone. Does your family love and respect you enough to follow your leadership even when they don’t understand? Noah had many years to prove himself to his family prior to this unique direction from the Lord. Dads, are we leading our family in ways of righteousness, as God would have us? “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8). We can’t walk in the ways of the world and expect our family to follow us when, all of the sudden, we interject an occasional righteous direction.
In Genesis 8:13-14, we see that Noah waited for almost sixty days, from the time he saw dry ground, before he left the ark. They had been in the ark roughly ten months when they first saw the ground was dry, and it is incredible that he waited another two months. WHY?
It is the secret of Noah’s success, and it shall be the key to ours as well. Such a simple thing, really, and our success as parents depends on it. It isn’t a matter of how much money we have or how smart we are. The key is revealed in verses 15 and 16, “And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark. . . .”
After being cooped up, under less than optimum circumstances, Noah was waiting on God to tell him when to leave. I expect Noah’s family might have had many suggestions as to when the proper time was to leave! However, he waited on the Lord. Dads, that is exactly what we must do! We should get a word from the Lord for every aspect of raising our children. Dads are the rudders. There will be much pressure, from within and without the family, for the father to change course. The father must know what the heading is and stay true, or there are great possibilities for shipwreck.
Dads must be sure that what the family does is consistent with his goals for them, goals given by the Lord. If God has given you the goal of:
Serving–Do your children know what it is like to serve others? How are you demonstrating serving and training them to serve?
Working–Are they learning how to enjoy working, or do they only know how to be entertained? Must everything be fun, or are they learning some real skills? Are sports, friends, and activities the focus? If so, isn’t that teaching them that life must always be fun, and can’t we expect a generation of couch potatoes and thrill seekers? Was Jesus a “Man of Sorrows” because there was nothing fun to do, or because there were more important things to do?
Worship–Do they know how to worship, or must our children be sent away to Children’s Church? Often Children’s Church is just entertainment with a few Bible stories thrown in. Children aren’t expected to sit still and listen to God’s Word being preached. At what special age does preaching automatically become interesting?
We need to examine where God has called us to go and weed out those things that are distractions from the course. There is great joy in working, ministering, and serving together, and our family will be prepared to face life as God has intended.