If you are married or have a family, you likely have very little time to sit down and read. The fact that you’ve even found a moment to be reading this right now is a “win” in itself! I know your time is valuable, and the last thing I want to do is waste it. In fact, I’d rather you spend less time reading how to be a better parent and more time practicing. As men, we are constantly being told to step up and lead our family. Sometimes this message comes through subtle looks or statements given to us by our wife. Other times it is given to us through shouting in the heat of an argument. But the message is clear: our family wants and needs us to lead them.
We love the idea of stepping up to spiritually lead our family, but the truth is, we have no idea what we’re doing. The goal of this and the follow-up article is to give you some practical ways that you can immediately start using to lead your family toward Jesus.
We love the idea of stepping up to spiritually lead our family, but the truth is, we have no idea what we’re doing.
Let’s dive in.
I know what you’re thinking, “Come on, Jerrad, I thought this was supposed to be practical, and now you’re asking me to pray?” Yep. I am. Because if you manage to succeed in everything these two articles have to offer and yet fail to pray, you will not have succeeded at all. You will have, instead, simply changed your behavior.
Your wife, your kids, and your Heavenly Father are not wanting you to just change your behavior; they are wanting your heart to passionately chase after God. And the reality is, you can’t fake that. If your heart isn’t changed, you are going to wear yourself out; Behavior modification is exhausting.
Brothers, the best way to lead your family is to quietly get away and ask Jesus to change your heart. Ask him to draw you closer to himself. Ask him to give you the strength, wisdom, patience, and grace to lead your family by his Spirit. To not pray is to silently declare that you have more control over your situation than Jesus does. Dude, I assure you that is not the case.
To not pray is to silently declare that you have more control over your situation than Jesus does.
I don’t care how great of a leader you are – if you want to lead your family toward Jesus, you will need to rely on his Spirit to do it.
Find a Mentor
Whether it’s asking for directions or figuring out how to beat an addiction, we don’t like seeking others for help. Most men label themselves as “fixers” or “problem solvers,” so to ask someone else to speak into your life and potentially call you out on any blindspots is a bit out of our comfort zone.
A few years back, I had a guy from the church ask me if I would be interested in meeting with him on a weekly basis as a sort of mentorship for me. I have a hard time saying no, so I begrudgingly agreed.
If I’m honest, the first few meetings were excruciating! In the process, I learned something new about myself. I am great at first impressions and have no problem keeping relationships at a surface level. But after weeks of having someone dig deeper and really try to get to know me, I get incredibly squeamish.
Despite my massive discomfort and insecurity, I continued to meet with this man for several years. He has now become like a father to me. He knows how to challenge me as a disciple, husband, father, friend, pastor, and man. And for someone who didn’t grow up with a father around, he has taught me one of the most valuable lessons I could ever learn: I can be both fully known and fully loved at the same time. He is a gift from God.
The truth is, I had blindspots – areas of my life that needed attention that I was completely oblivious to. When I was 20, I would look back and think about how dumb I was as a 15-year-old. Now, as a nearly 30-year-old man, I am doing the same toward my 25-year-old self. We always have room to learn and grow, despite how much we think we know about life.
If you are a young husband or dad, you need someone who has gone before you and experienced things you have yet to experience. To lead your family means finding someone who will pour their life into yours. Someone who will cheer you on as you battle through manhood, and someone who will challenge your flesh when you gravitate toward selfishness.
To lead your family means finding someone who will pour their life into yours.
Seek out a man you respect and have the courage and humility to ask them to speak into your life.
From Fully Engaged: 10 Practical Ways To Lead Your Family Toward Jesus by Jerrad Lopes. Used by permission of Dad Tired dadtired.com
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