Lifestyle And Spiritual Leadership

Steve Arterburn

I recently read three pearls of wisdom from a Christian educator that I want to share with you. They pertain to God’s command to parents to provide spiritual leadership for their children.

 

First, try not to go anywhere by yourself. Whenever you can, take one of your children with you. Errands, trips, sporting events’wherever a father goes with his children, opportunities arise to communicate spiritual truth and wisdom. You have to be in your children’s presence in order to influence them.

 

Second, don’t buy the lie that ‘quality’ makes up for ‘quantity’ when it comes to time spent with your children. Quantity of time is equally important. When a man becomes a parent he can write off the majority of the next twenty years of ‘free time.’ The majority of that time needs to be spent with his children.

 

Third, the best way a father can love his children spiritually and emotionally is by loving their mother spiritually and emotionally.

 

In other words, a father’s spiritual leadership is more about lifestyle than specific, scheduled events. It requires bringing a deep love for God to your everyday life: meals, walks after supper, bike rides, games, earning and saving money, serving those less fortunate, and so on. All these things’and every aspect of life’can be skillfully ‘exploited’ for the benefit of spiritual development if only dads will learn to see and seize their opportunities.

Students Of God’s Word

Steve Arterburn

When looking for ways to serve our wives, many of us would rather lay tile, or fertilize the lawn, than lead her spiritually. Why is that? Simple. We like to function within areas where we’re competent and comfortable. Unfortunately, providing spiritual leadership often isn’t one of those areas. Yet the fact remains: providing spiritual leadership is a vital aspect of our calling as husbands.

 

So where do you begin? How about developing a deeper understanding of God’s word. Men, as you become committed and competent students of Scripture, it’ll help establish two important things in your wife’s heart’both of which are crucial for your effective leadership.

 

First, your knowledge of Scripture will create a sense of security in your wife’s heart. She’ll be able to live in peace knowing you have the ability to bring the light of Scripture to bear upon those areas of life that are confusing, difficult, and scary.

 

Second, your understanding God’s word will raise your wife’s level of respect for you. As you wrestle with scripture, and demonstrate your commitment to bring God’s truth to bear upon the life of your family, your wife will have reason to respect and rest in your leadership. She’ll know she can trust you to do the best possible thing for her and your children.

 

Men, resources abound to help in this endeavor. Your pastor and local Christian bookstore will get you started, and Bible study groups can help you persevere.

Characteristics Of Biblical Servanthood

Steve Arterburn

Biblical servant-leadership: that’s what we, as Christian husbands, must give our wives. So today, I want to provide some guidelines for understanding a biblical picture of faithful servanthood within the community of Israel.

 

  1. The faithful servants of Israel cared about those they served, and constantly sought new and better ways to serve them.

 

  1. Faithful servants developed new skills to better serve.
  1. Faithful servants did all they could to build the esteem and prestige of those they served; and this prestige, in turn, brought the servant prestige as well. He took great pride and honor in his role as a bondservant. And he, though perhaps wise in his own right, treated the thoughts and opinions of those he served as being as valuable as his own.
  1. Faithful servants preformed menial, thankless jobs in order to make room for those they served to exercise their gifts. The servant made allowances for the weaknesses of those he served as if they were his own. And in that way, he actively protected them from shame.
  1. A faithful servant didn’t dawdle in seeking forgiveness and reconciliation when his own sin caused any damage or shame to those he served.

Not a bad life, actually. Of course, to American men, this senario may seem a bit strange. You might ask, ‘Who’d ever surrender his freedoms to enter such a relationship?’ But, in fact, guys, you did’or at least you should have on the day you got married.