Leadership in the Family—Introducing Its Two Indispensable Pillars

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In the postwar WWII years of the 50’s and 60’s the world was recovering from the emergency measures that war demands—women making up a majority of the workforce. That necessity had temporarily trashed the centuries-old custom of women being full time homemakers, and now, postwar, they were free again to return to that biblical family custom.

Some (but not all) did that very thing. I was in high school and college during those years, and the majority of female students at Oklahoma University looked forward to careers in the home, with a huge percentage of them majoring in Home Economics. 

Others, just in case it was ever necessary at some point to support themselves, majored in the service or “helping” professions of nursing or teaching, but they hoped to never have to use that back-up degree. Their overarching desire was to be wives and mothers as their life’s work, just as the Bible teaches: “…that older women teach the younger ones “to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:5). Very few deliberately planned careers outside the home in more traditionally male professions, such as engineer, lawyer, doctor, etc.

Yes, “You’ve come a long way, Baby!” The traditional scene I have pictured, which the Bible portrays as God’s way in the family, is long gone in our current society, as the church has failed to keep the biblical picture before their people. Postmodernism has carried the day, as we have strayed more and more from the firm anchor of the Bible as our basis for all truth.

So, the goal of a godly, biblical patriarchy, that we saw last week is God’s revealed will for us, becomes further and further out of our reach. With each seemingly insignificant, small, surrender of God’s truth to satanic, secular society’s encroachment, today’s young women see homemaking as unchallenging, bondage, and demeaning, designed only for women who can’t do anything else. 

When the church sacrifices its “bully pulpit” and fails to proclaim the fallacy of such lies and ignores teaching what the Bible says about the fulfilling and challenging activities open to women (i.e, .Proverbs 31, which we will explore later), we sink to where we are today in our country, unlike 150 years ago—with little to no progress in our mandate to rule over the earth.

Men, are your families beginning to get the vision of why they are alive? Our job, as the ones God has made the heads of our families (Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 Timothy 3:4), is to be the “keeper of the vision.” We keep it ever before them, for “ Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Do our wives have the vision to be the hub of Part Three of the vision in Genesis 1:26-28:  “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (vs. 28)? Are they experiencing the meaning, purpose and fulfillment that vision will bring (“salvation” – 1 Timothy 2:15)?

Do you realize that it is our job to lead them into that vision? How do we do so? Two ideas are crucial. Those of us who are having difficulty in this ruling task, know for sure that the difficulty is always that at least one of the following two pillars is weak, and it is absolutely essential that both are strong:

  1. Loving those for whom we are responsible with unconditional love
  2. Leading those for whom we are responsible with strong, firm decision-making.

Loving and leading—for us men, this is the whole ball game in the kingdom. There will be no kingdom rule without both. Leading without loving is heavy handed and dictatorial; loving without leading is weak and pusillanimous. 

Most of us are stronger in one aspect of rule than the other, and our self-protection shields us from being able to honestly and clearly see our own personal situation. In the coming weeks we will look at what each pillar means in detail. Hopefully, our self-awareness will be sharpened!

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  1. Jerry Buccola says:

    Robert, such a good reminder about the two pillars for the husband, loving & leading! Accomplishing both, equally, has been a careful balancing act for me in the past couple of years. Why? Because I have been strongly pulled by Jesus to worship in the Christian Orthodox tradition, leaving the Evangelical tradition, while my wife remains in the later. Thank you for highlighting the two pillars for me.

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