By Ron Halbrook
1 . Man’s leadership in every aspect of home life depends first and foremost on his spiritual attitude, condition, and role.
2. If we succeed in other ways but fail in spiritual leadership, we fail in our most serious responsibility.
3. If we do not attain all the material, physical, and carnal goals we have in life, but succeed in the spiritual leadership of our family, we are a success rather than a failure in God’s sight.
I. God made man responsible to lead the family.
A. Genesis 2:24; 3:16. Whom did God make responsible from the beginning?
B. Genesis 18:19. Can God say this about me?
C. Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Who should lead in setting an example of love for God and in teaching God’s word?
D. Joshua 24:14-15. Do we have this determination? E. Psalms 78:4-7. Do we hide or teach God’s law?
F. Ephesians 5:22-6:4. Who is the perfect pattern of ideal leadership, and who is responsible to follow that pattern in leading the family?
II. Moral and spiritual leadership grows out of loving God and our fellow man (Matt. 22:34-40; Rom. 13:8-10).
A. Every specific application and exercise of true leadership is based on this principle.
B. Leadership based on mere tradition, emotion, human philosophy, and force is flawed.
C. We must develop, exercise, and increase spiritual leadership in various areas of life. Leadership is not automatic.
1. We must grow personally and individually.
2. We must grow in relationship to our wife.
3. We must grow in relationship to each of our children.
4. We must grow personally in relationship to the family as a whole or a unit.
III. What can we do to develop moral and spiritual leadership in home?
A. Personal and individual growth must come first.
1. Obey the gospel (right relationship with God is basis for every other right relationship). Must do what is right, if to lead others to do what is right (Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:14).
2. Private, personal Bible study (1 Pet. 2:1-3).
3. Private, personal prayer (Matt. 6:6; Phil. 4:6).
4. Attend public worship with interest and enthusiasm (Heb. 10:24-25).
5. Participate in worship according to ability (Acts 2:42; 1 Tim. 2:8,12).
6. Prepare Bible lesson for classes (Acts 17:11; 2 Tim. 2:15).
7. Be courteous, kind and considerate (Matt. 7:12; 22:39; 1 Pet. 3:7; Col. 3:19-21).
8. Be a good example in all things (includes attitude, word, and deed; avoid profanity, pornography, gambling, drinking, immodesty, etc.). Matthew 5:13-16.
9. Show respect for others by the way we speak to them and treat them (relatives, friends, neighbors, etc.). Matthew 7:12.
10. Provide for family’s physical needs to best of ability (1 Tim. 5:8).
11. Keep your word (do what you say and say what you mean). Matthew 7:12; Colossians 3:9.
12. Proper attitude toward others outside family (includes helping them in any way we can; avoid gossip, bitterness, etc.; control temper and tongue). Matthew 7:12; 22:39.
13. Be strong in the Lord and serve him willingly (Rom. 6:17; Eph. 6:10-11).
14. Right relationship to civil government (obey laws, pay taxes, etc.). Romans 13:1-7.
15. Right relationship to employer or employee (Eph. 6:5-9).
16. Right relationship to neighbors and community where we live (patient, compassionate, humble, honest, peaceable). Romans 12:14-18.
17. Talk to people about the gospel, invite them to church, and arrange private Bible studies with them when possible (Eph. 5:23; 6:4; Acts 8:3-4; Phil. 2:15-16).
18. Be honest, sincere, and above reproach in all dealings with everyone (including family, saints, and sinners; leave no room for doubt). 2 Corinthians 8:21; Romans 12:17.
19. Don’t be materialistic (be content with what you have and who you are). Matthew 6:24; Hebrews 13:5.
20. Show patience toward family and others (Matt. 7:12; Eph. 4:1-3,31-32).
B. How does a man grow in leading his wife?
1. Prayer with wife (Eph. 5:28-31).
2. Bible reading and study with wife (1 Pet. 2:1-3; Eph. 5:23).
3. Treat wife in godly manner (show respect, affection, gratitude). 1 Peter 3:7.
4. Communicate with wife (Eph. 5:28-31; 1 Pet. 3:7).
5. Sexual faithfulness and purity (Heb. 13:4).
6. Other qualities are considered below under the family heading.
C. How does a man grow in leading his children?
1. Prayer with each child (Eph. 6:4).
2. Bible reading and study with children (1 Pet. 2:1-3; Eph. 6:4).
3. Help children prepare lesson for Bible class (Acts 17:11; Eph. 6:4).
4. Treat children in godly manner (show respect, affection, gratitude). Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21.
5. Communicate with children (Eph. 6:4).
6. Sexual education of children with God in the picture (Eph. 6:4; Heb. 13:4).
7. Balanced and consistent discipline (Eph. 6:4; Heb. 12:6-11).
8. Teach children how to give as we prosper and cheerfully (Eph. 4:28; 6:4; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:7).
9. Other qualities are considered below under the family heading.
D. How does a man grow in leading the family as a unit?
1. Prayer with family gathered together (meal time; facing problem; decision making; other times). Philippians 4:6; Ephesians 5:23; 6:4.
2. Teach children “problem solving” with God in picture, and practice it with whole family (Matt. 7:12; 1 Pet. 3:10-12; 5:5-7).
3. Bible reading and study with family gathered together (Eph. 5:28-31; 6:4).
4. Spend good quality time with family (include some separate time with each one). Deuteronomy 6:7.
5. Make decisions for family after considering their needs, feelings, and input (Eph. 5:28-31; 6:4).
6. Be willing to visit and assist elderly and others, with help of wife and children (1 Tim. 5:16; Jas. 1:27).
7. Responsible use of money; work with wife; teach children (put the Lord first, then family necessities, and other things; share without grudging; balanced). 1 Corinthians 16:2; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy 6:6-10.
8. Guide family in careful use of television (avoid double standard of warning children against ungodly shows, and then watching them ourselves; don’t let television monopolize your time or the family’s time; use moderation). 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22; Ephesians 5:15-17.
9. Teach family difference between God’s law and civil law (Acts 5:29; Matt. 19:9; Rom. 1:27).
10. Keep recreation in proper limits (don’t compromise with sin or forsake assembly; consider interests of others in the family; don’t be extravagant with it; don’t let it crowd out other needed activities). James 1:27; 1 John 2:15-17.
11. Teach wife and children to teach others the gospel (encourage them to invite their friends to church, give out meeting announcements, etc.). Ephesians 6:4; 2 Timothy 2:2.
1. Next to saving his own soul, the most important responsibility a man has is to provide moral and spiritual leadership for his family. He cannot guarantee that they will always follow as they should, but he is still responsible to lead.
2. This outline suggests a theme we need to pray about and study, but does not exhaust the study. What suggestions can you add?
3. All of us can see areas where we need to improve and grow. With the help of God, our family, and other Christians, we can grow if we sincerely desire to!
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 11, pp. 330-331
June 6, 1991