Men have been given, by God, the unique, glorious and weighty task of leading their families. This starts with spiritually leading and caring for your wife and children. Mark Driscoll used to quite helpfully say that when you start a family you have your own church and the husband/ father is the pastor.

The last few times that I have done marriage prep with one of the soon to be married couples at Resolved and we talk about the idea of spiritually leading your family the guy invariably falls into one of two categories. The first is shock/confused/scared. You see very few men have grown up in a household where the father led let alone led spiritually, so when I talk about leading the home spiritually they look at me with this “Is it too late to back out of this deal?” look. The second mistake is that the guy aims to high. He thinks his family is going to be the most spiritually healthy family since Jesus walked the streets of Galilee and so him and his wife are going to read the Bible and pray everyday and talk about how they are doing with Jesus all the time!!! Very few of these couples live up to this high ideal and if they do for an extended period of time they lose heart. Their spirituality becomes a chore when it was meant to be a joy. It is a bore and not glorious. Usually this well meaning husband ends up burning himself and his wife out.
The question is “How do you lead your family spiritually in a joyful and yet sustainable way?” As someone who didn’t get this right and still has to work hard on it and yet has found a rhythm that works for my family I thought I would write a few blogs on this topic. My aim is that men everywhere feel less daunted and start leading and caring for their families spiritually.
But some of you who are reading this are thinking “Hans, I’m exhausted from work and life and I don’t even feel like caring for my family spiritually when I get home. All I’m thinking about is getting home, getting the kids to bed and maybe having some time with my wife.” If that is you, you have company with most men. In fact I was in your situation.  What’s the main problem here? Well there is no easy way of saying this but if you don’t feel like leading your family spiritually the problem is your heart. Your heart has fallen into the selfish trap of wanting life to be easy but leading your family is not easy, that is why very few men do it well. Your heart has drifted from your first love because if your heart was on fire for Jesus you would want to lead your family spiritually. The thing that you need to do is get your life back on track with Jesus and start living like the way you would want to to live. Start again reading your bible and praying (no listening to podcasts isn’t the same thing) talk to your pastor about where your relationship is at with Jesus and see if he can help you get back on track. The second thing is to start living like you know you should live. If you want faith start living like you have it and faith will follow. If you want to be a leader of your home start being one and you will find you will be. What does that look like? Well come check out the next blog where I will cover what this looks like for me.
Leadership, especially spiritual leadership is never easy. The only way to start is to cultivate a heart of joy the loves God and wants to lead your family. That is the first step in leading your family.
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