22: To The Dads
I am adding the following note to Dad at the beginning of the new revised Christian Home and Family Worship. I hope it will encourage and edify each of you.
“Let me congratulate you for beginning to read this book. God has worked in your heart or you wouldn’t be reading about having family worship in your home. I hope you won’t make the same mistakes I made over 20 years ago. I was seeking to be the spiritual leader of my home, but didn’t have the right attitude. It took me some time to learn what it means to be a servant leader like our Savior. I am still learning how to wash my family’s feet. There is a way to lead your family as a humble co-learner and not teach in a condescending tone as an expert.”
Here are a few scriptures that I hope will be a help to you as you seek to lead your family as Christ leads His children, the church.
- Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8 ASV
- God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5 ASV
- To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:2 ASV
- But Jesus called them to him and said, €œYou know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave. Matthew 20:25-27 ASV
- For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down. 2 Corinthians 13:10 ASV
Fathers have been authorized to build up their families and not be lords over them. Humility is not a characteristic of the flesh, rather it is a fruit of the Spirit. Only the Spirit of God working in our hearts can produce this fruit, and only God can turn our hearts towards home.
- And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers. Malachi 4:6 ASV
May I encourage you to ask God for a servant heart? I know that He will grant your request, because this is according to His will.
- And this is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us: and if we know that he hears us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15 ASV
And when the heart is right, the mouth will follow.
- For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34 ASV