Summary: In order to earn the heartfelt respect of their families, fathers must love and lead them.
A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father if they could discuss his use of the family car.
His father took him into his study and said, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study the Bible a little, get your hair cut, and then we’ll talk about it.”
After about a month, the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car. They again went into the father’s study where the father said, “Son, I’ve been very proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied the Bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut.”
The young man replied, “You know, Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. As I have been studying the Bible, I noticed that Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair.”
“Yes,” his father said, “but did you also notice that everywhere they went, they walked.” (Peg Beukema, Nyack, New York; www.PreachingToday.com)
Now, that dad was pretty sharp, trying to stay one step ahead of his children so he could give them the appropriate guidance.
It takes skill to be an effective leader in the home. It takes skill to guide your family in such a way that they respect your guidance and want to follow from the heart. In fact, it’s a skill which is transferable to effective leadership in any realm – not only in the family, but also in the church, at work, and in the community.
The question is: How? How can I earn the respect of my family and others I want to influence for God and for good? How can I lead in such a way that people, especially my children and grandchildren, want to follow from their own hearts?
Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to 1 Timothy 3, 1 Timothy 3, where the Bible gives us a long list of the qualities of an effective leader, but right smack dab in the middle of that list, it makes it very clear that such qualities are best demonstrated in the home. In other words, if anyone wants to be a true and effective leader in the church or anywhere else…
1 Timothy 3:4-5 says, "He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) -NIV
A man’s leadership abilities are tested in the home. In other words, if you want to find out whether or not a man is a good leader, just ask his wife and his children. Do they respect him? Do they want to follow his lead? Or do they resent his attempts to control and influence them?
Men, you can earn the heartfelt respect of your family and others just by paying attention to two words in these verses. The first word (in verse 4) is “manage,” and the second word (in verse 5) is “care.”
First, if you want to earn the heartfelt respect of your family and others, then you must…
LEAD YOUR FAMILY.
You must manage your family well. Literally, you must stand before them to guide and direct them. That’s what the word “manage” means in the original language. It pictures someone who “stands before” a group of people. He is in charge, and that is demonstrated by the willing obedience of those under him.