2008-06-11 / Religion

'Fathers, Lead Your House Wisely'


(Pastor James Scarborough, Donalsonville Assembly of God)

That all important holiday is upon us again--Father's Day! I am glad to be included in this mass group upon which this honor is bestowed, with all the joys and adversities associated with it. (Don't tell my oldest daughter that I revealed this publicly, but I will be celebrating 29 years as a daddy this year!) For those who serve in this prestigious position, I do not have to remind you that being a dad is no easy assignment--and it's not getting any easier; there are obstacles to face today that past generations never had to contend with.

Perhaps one of the greatest roles (and challenges) that dads face is that of being a leader. While every person will make his or her own decisions and reap the consequences of those decisions, a father's leadership in the home can have a great deal to do with the choices that his children make later in life. Even though the thought of such a huge responsibility is enough to strike the toughest and most confidentman with fear, we can all breathe a little easier knowing that there is both instruction and help from God available to everyone who will receive it.

One of the great national leaders in Scripture was Joshua. He became the leader of Israel after the death of Moses, even as he continued to be a leader in his home. Yet, after years of serving in a national role, his concern for his family remained a priority for him. In Joshua 24:15, the Bible preserves these words of Joshua: "But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" (NIV).

I challenge every dad to lead his house wisely, by following the instruction and guidance that God has provided. Make it your purpose to have a determination like Joshua's for your family to serve God no matter what others may choose.

In order to lead their families wisely, every dad must hear from God. Joshua heard from God and followed His instructions. But what about us today? Should we really expect to hear from God in modern times? Absolutely! That does not mean that we will all hear from Him audibly, but we can all hear from Him by taking time reading, studying and meditating on His Word (deep reflection upon the Bible is not just for preachers in search of a sermon--it is important for all of us!) We can only effectively lead our families if we are being led by God, and we can only be led by God if we are taking time to hear what He has to say.

Another requirement for dads to serve as wise leaders in their homes is for them to love those they lead. When a leader stops loving those he is leading, he has ceased being their leader and has become their dictator. One of the professors that I studied under while in Bible college said that you can kill a flywith either a flyswat or a sledge hammer; both will kill the fly,but the sledge hammer will make a much bigger mess. It is true that fatherhood calls on dads to deal with some tough issues, and there are times when strong action is needed when dealing with children and family issues, but a sledge hammer should not be used when a flyswat will suffice.We are wise to exercise love in every situation.

I hope all you dads out there will have a great Father's Day. And I challenge you to lead your house wisely. You will if you will take time to hear from God and obey His instructions and never cease loving those that He has given you the responsibility of leading.

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