Family leadership was God’s perfect plan from the moment he created man and made him a husband and father. In homes today, the leader of the family shoulders the responsibility to provide vision, direction, and comfort for present and future generations. Men are called by God into great leadership responsibility within their marriages and homes. They are called to make kingdom impact.
Understanding the responsibility and living it are two separate and specific steps men must act upon. In fact, God places a call on each man to be the patriarch of his family by providing, protecting (warrior), and loving his family well. Many men stumble their way through as family leaders because understanding the role of husband, father, and leader is learned behavior and must be taught by a father or mentor. Absent of intentional coaching or mentoring it is difficult for male leaders to fully understand how to live out their God-given role.
Stereotypically, we men often take on a king-like dominance striving to appear as if we are the best at all things while choosing to ignore any opinion or guidance another man might offer. In other words, communication is not a man’s strong suit as they learn to provide and protect for their spouse and family.
For me, my introduction into manhood was no different from most others as I learned from watching my father. He taught me the most important thing was to become a diligent worker. His value system and identity was tied to how much he could provide for his family. In the areas of protecting and extending love to our family, while I saw his actions periodically I never understood how and why they were important. With time, by studying God’s word and through mentoring relationships, I came to understand the importance of stepping into my role as leader of my family.
After talking with numerous men about the challenges of stepping into a leadership role within their families it is apparent becoming the man who is a conduit of love seems to be the most difficult. Below are five key steps men must take to become intentional leaders.
1. Realize one cannot give to others what they have not received from God. You must understand his grace and forgiveness for “you” before you can show it to your family.
2. Identify what you are passionate about; words, sports, hunting, or hobbies, and apply that same passion toward your family. They desperately need to feel first in your life and through being intentional in how you value them you will have God-honoring impact in their lives.
3. Recognize transparency is not a weakness but strength. YOU must become transparent with yourself, feelings, fears, and dreams. Continue with your spouse, children, and family as God gives you words to encourage, direct, and cast vision for your family.
4. Give the gift of spoken affirmation and blessing to your spouse, children, and family at a timely moment in their lives. This action can change everything for those in your family tree.
5. Understand to extend God’s love completely you must die to self-centeredness by reflecting the image of Christ. This begins by recognizing all your rights, goals, and identity were nailed to the cross. It’s a process but one which will pay huge dividends.
My encouragement to all men is to understand being God’s leader within your family is a journey not a destination. By choosing intentionality, transparency, self-forgiveness, spoken blessings, and dying to self-centeredness we become the clay God desires to mold.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived to my God, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” Philippians 3:12 NIV
Let’s accept the call God places on our life and commit to being the men our families, communities, and world desperately need us to be.
Guy Hatcher – known as The Legacy Guy – has spent his lifetime helping families plan their legacy. His new book, Your Future Reflection: How to Leave a Legacy Beyond Money, is now available at amazon.com. Follow him on twitter @guyhatcher or contact him at www.guyhatcher.com.