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Home The Light Articles from 2005 Leadership In The Home

Leadership In The Home

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Leadership In The Home
by George Bentch

In 1 Corinthians 16:13 Paul wrote, '"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." William's translation words it this way. "Be always on your guard; stand firm in your faith; keep on acting like men; continue to grow in strength." How are men supposed to act? 1 Peter 5:8 admonishes, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." We grow in strength by exercise. Hebrews 5:14 says, "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Hebrews 10:23 says, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)." Our physical body is strengthened by exercising with weights. The spiritual man is exercised and strengthened by the study of God's Word. 2 Peter 3:18 tells us, "...grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour..."

In the Garden

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. He made the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, and the fish of the sea. Then, as the final triumph of creation, He made man in his own image. Man was then given dominion over the rest of His creation. When dominion is given, along with it comes responsibility. Man's first assignment was to give names to all the living creatures. Genesis 2:19 says, "whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof."

Although Adam was placed in the beautiful garden of Eden, there was something lacking. Genesis 2:18 tells us "the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet (fit) for him." There was not among the animals a fit companion for Adam. Genesis 2:22 tells how God made woman and brought her to man. Adam called her woman and named her Eve.

When God brought Adam and Eve together He established the institution of marriage, the first divine institution on earth. He made man the head or ruler of that institution. Again, dominion brought responsibility. Man was to look after both the physical and the spiritual needs of the family. He was not left in doubt as to how to conduct himself. God spoke directly to the heads of the families, directing them both in service and sacrifice. As the Creator, He had the right both to reward the obedient and punish the rebellious. In Genesis 18:19, God speaking of Abraham said, "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment..." So Abraham was blessed and taken care of. Then in Genesis 38:7 we are told, "Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him." God never has and never will tolerate disobedience. We do not know whether Judah failed to properly instruct his son or did not demand obedience. We only know the price of his wickedness and hear the warning, "God is not mocked!"

Responsibility In the Home

When the nation of Israel was brought out of Egypt, God gave them the law by Moses. Under that law, the head of the household was held responsible. Moses told the men of Israel, "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up" (Deut. 6:6-7). In this manner, the children were to be taught the law of God daily. If a man was found in transgression, his family died with him. In Numbers 16 we are told of the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Verse 27 says, their wives, and their sons, and their little children stood in the doors of their tents. Verse 33 says, "They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation."

If a man sets an example of rebellion before his family, he is likely to lead them to eternal torment. Moses said, in verse 30 that the Lord "would make a new thing, for the earth to open her mouth and swallow them up. Then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord." The wrath of God is to be feared!

We men as husbands and fathers, heads of homes, still affect those of our families by our decisions and our actions. Someone will say, "My wife and children are free moral agents and will do as they please." That may be true, but let me ask this. Are not we, as heads of homes responsible for providing our families food? Can they not eat or refuse to eat as they see fit? Now consider this. That which is not provided, cannot be eaten. So, it is spiritually. If we promote a Christian atmosphere in our homes, by prayers, Bible study and answering their questions, we can influence them for good. If we leave them on their own, the devil will teach them! Religion is like food in this respect—you can't cram it down anyone's throat and make them like it. They must see in us an example of devotion to God, and respectful obedience to His Word. All the good teaching we may do is to no avail if we don't practice what we teach. This is especially true of those of our own families who know us so well. We might fool each other, but those who live with us know us for what we are. A hypocrite is not likely to lead his family to be Christians.

The responsibility for the well-being of the family was given to man by God from the beginning. Now there is the added responsibility of caring for the church, the family of God. Brethren, I fear if we looked after our families the way we look after the church, our family might go to bed hungry! In Acts 20:28 Paul told the elders of Ephesus, "Feed the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood." God ordained two divine institutions on earth-the family and the church. In one we find physical happiness and fulfillment. In the other we find spiritual well being and hope of eternal life. He truly has provided for us all things that pertain to life and godliness. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us!" His intent is for our good, both physically and spiritually.

Responsibility in Teaching

In 1 Corinthians 14:20 Paul wrote, "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men." All too often we get it backwards, being children in understanding and men in malice. The only children we act like are the spoiled ones. When someone interferes with our attempt to have our own way, we attack in fury, trying to hurt or discredit them. We forget the words of our Lord: "As ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them." My way is not what matters, your way doesn't make the difference. It is Christ's way that matters! We cannot afford to promote our opinions, lest we add to or take from God's Word. Furthermore, my ideas or opinions may cause trouble. Solomon warns, "the Lord hates those who sow discord among brethren." Standing for right and teaching the truth is not sowing discord!

Paul instructed Timothy, "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). He knew there would be opposition. He knew the dangers of stubbornness and strife. In 2 Timothy 2:24-25 he counseled them; "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that ay oppose themselves..." Ridicule and sarcasm are the weapons of those who do not stand on the scriptures. Be sure you have chapter and verse for what you teach, preach or practice. Sometimes "be gentle to all men" is a hard order to follow. All who teach must first learn themselves. Both truth and wisdom are needed in teaching. Always remember James 3:1 as the Revised Standard Version words it, "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strict-ness. The Amplified New Testament adds this, "...thus, we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation."

These words are not to discourage the teaching of God's Word, but to insure that we teach only what is written. As feeders of the flock, we must try to see that the flock gets a balanced diet. Paul said in Acts 20:26-27, "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." May all who stand in the pulpit follow that example. —105 W.Jefferson, Richland, MO 65556



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