So we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
1 Thessalonians 2:8-12
According to this scripture, fathers have an incredibly important role. We are supposed to encourage, comfort and urge our families to live lives worthy of God. I think one of the greatest privileges in life is to be entrusted by God to lead our marriage and family. However, with that privilege comes an incredible need for faith and strength because as many of us know leading is not easy. We will inevitably face difficult situations that we don’t know how to navigate.
I personally see a need to learn from God how to love and lead my family to turn to God through all of life’s experiences. This Bible study will give us 3 ways to lead our families to be closer to God.
1. Be determined
We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NLT
When I’m faced with a difficult situation at home, I can quickly lean on human reasoning instead of God’s weapons of prayer and the Bible. For me, human reasoning is based on my limited experience. Because my experience is limited, relying on it doesn’t produce a lot of confidence in my decision making. Without confidence I will procrastinate. To justify procrastination I live in denial that I am dealing with a difficult situation. This is a vicious cycle that results in feeling defeated.
When faced with a difficult situation, be determined to pray and look for answers in God’s Word. Prayer takes our focus off of our difficult situation and helps us focus on God. There is no situation too difficult for God and his power. God can also give us the answers and insights into what actions we need to take.
Similarly, the Bible will give us insights into our heart condition and the areas we need to change in order to lead our family.
The Bible says that prayer and obedience to the Bible are very powerful. What “strongholds” do you see in your family? Do you use the Bible and prayer to overcome these or do you tend to use your own human wisdom? Find a scripture that helps you with an area you have been struggling to lead your family and you’ll begin to see God’s power change your family in ways you can’t.
Be an example
Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the LORD your God be a faithful witness against us if we refuse to obey whatever he tells us to do! 6 Whether we like it or not, we will obey the LORD our God to whom we are sending you with our plea. For if we obey him, everything will turn out well for us.”
This scripture promises that God will make everything turn out well as we lead through obedience to the Bible. The Bible says to do this whether we like it or not. This means to we need to resist following our feelings or opinions. You might not always feel like following the Bible, but do you do it anyway?
I think one of the greatest threats to our family is allowing emotions to dominate our home. Emotions change all the time, and following them will lead to exhaustion for us as dads and confusion for our family. Every family needs to learn to submit emotions to the Bible. As dads, our example will inspire our families to trust God’s Word themselves. God can work with a family that trusts and obeys his Word.
One simple decision to make if you want to lead by your example is to read the Bible every day. It is vital to read the Word of God daily in order to obey it. Otherwise, how will you know what to obey?
Is your family inspired by your example of obedience? If not what decisions can you make to change? What are some specific areas you think God wants you to become more obedient to the Bible?
But you know all about my teaching. You know how I live and what I live for. You know about my faith and love. You know how patient I am. You know I haven’t given up.
2 Timothy 3:10 NIRV
It is easy to just push through our days to get work done, finish tasks and take care of needs without talking about what we are feeling. We can even pray, build faith from reading Scriptures, and depend on God to complete what we need to do in a given day. But we miss out on a great opportunity to help our wives and children learn to rely on God if we never vulnerably share about what we are going through and our day-to-day struggles. Take time each day to talk with your family about the good and bad times, the temptations to give up, but the decisions to turn to God. Share how God helped you and answered prayers. They will be inspired to turn to God to do the same.
God wants to help us lead. Make a decision to be an example, be vulnerable, and be determined and begin to lead your family to be closer to God.