Leading Our Family God’s Way
Joshua makes a bold statement in Joshua 24. He says, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” He’s giving Israel a choice—they can serve God or other gods, but for Joshua and his family, there is no question, they are choosing to serve the LORD. Joshua’s boldness clearly shows us that he’s not only making the right choice, but he’s actively leading his family to make the right choice.
How do we best lead our families?
To answer this question, I think it’s important for us understand how God leads His family. There is no higher standard; there is no greater person to imitate than God Himself.
- God leads with unity. This is an often overlooked, but important fact. There is incredible unity within the Godhead—the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. One example is found in John 5:19–20—Jesus doesn’t do anything apart from what the Father is doing. There is unity and submission. Jesus says I’m not moving out on my own. We are going to lead the family of God with one voice and with one purpose. Psalm 133:1–3 shows us the value of unity—it creates goodness, pleasantness and a blessing of God.God’s Word is clear, lead with courage and lead with unity. Make sure your home isn’t divided. Speak to your kids with one voice. Take time to agree on what’s important to you as a family. Commit to quench any divisions or strife that cause disunity.
- God leads with love. There are so many ways in which God leads us with love. You can check out the notes from Sunday’s (June 24, 2012) messageas I gave ten ways in which God leads with love. Here’s what we need to remember: Most of the ways on that list of ten are absolutely contrary to how we typically live and lead. If we lead like God, we love in an other-centered, sacrificial way. It takes courage to do that.Secondly, it takes courage because many of us didn’t experience it growing up. We need courage to break away from the past and let go of what we experienced. We need to reach out to God and His model and way to lead. We need to start pouring Him into our families, not our past experience.
- God leads with discipline. Some people think discipline is the opposite of love. It’s not. Hebrews 12:5–13 gives us a window on the importance of discipline. Clearly the Father disciplines His family out of love and a desire to see them grow and mature. His goal is for us to be transformed and conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Guess what? That needs to be our goal as well for our kids. Sure, discipline isn’t joyous in the moment, but it produces fruit of righteousness in the end. Discipline is something that we don’t need to hate and be afraid of; it’s something we need to embrace for the sake of our families. Yes, it takes courage.
- God leads by example. He doesn’t say, “Do as I say; not as I do.” God says, You do just like I do. You say just like I say.” This is why the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. He’s saying, “You just follow the example that has been given. When you see me doing what Jesus does, make sure you do that. When you see me doing what Jesus didn’t do, don’t do that; but you imitate me, we imitate one another in the family of God because we’re imitating Christ.” Courageous family leaders imitate Christ and follow His example.
Be courageous as Joshua was courageous. Place a stake in the ground and lead your families as God leads His family. Have courage and lead your family to say, “As for us, in our house, we will follow the LORD.”