In addition, here are a few simple examples of practical ways to spiritually lead in your home.
LEADING THROUGH INTERCESSION
The most powerful and important thing a husband can do for his wife and children is to pray for them. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (Jas 5:16). Much is accomplished through a husband’s daily work of prayer for his family.
As a husband seeks the Lord, his heart will become more aligned with the will of God for his family. He will know better how to set priorities and determine what direction his family needs to go. He will be able to lead with joy and confidence, because he will know what God wants him to do.
Jesus is continually making intercession to God on behalf of His Bride, the Church (Heb 7:25). Jesus is praying according to the will of God for us. Romans 8:26, 27 assures us of that, and promises that the Holy Spirit will lead us even when “we do not know what we should pray for as we ought” as we pray for our family.
Jesus prays continually for us. A husband will follow Christ’s example when he prays regularly for his wife and children. Though a husband may have many other ministry needs to pray for, the prayer needs and concerns of his wife and children should come first. Remember, God’s order requires that the family be of higher priority to a husband (or wife) than the ministry.
As a husband prays for his family, God will move to bring about His highest good for their lives. A husband’s prayers, and God’s work in hearts because of them, will make a great difference in ensuring a fulfilling marriage and children who walk in God’s ways.
LEADING THROUGH EXAMPLE
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). There is tremendous power in leading by example. Christ taught His disciples in this way (John 13:15;1 Pet 2:21). The saints and leaders of the Bible also set examples we can follow (1 Cor 10:11; Heb 6:12; 13:7).
We are told in Scripture that we are to imitate good. “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 11).
It is far too easy to tell our family what they should do, but fail to show them how to do it by our example. Yes, a husband needs to teach, instruct and encourage from God’s Word. But he must not just “preach”; he must also live the truth by example to his family.
It is especially harmful to children when a parent says one thing, but does something quite different. The Bible calls this “hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1; 1 Pet 2:1). Children become confused about what is expected of them. Should they do what they hear their parents say, or what they see their parents do? A husband’s contradictory behavior will certainly not build trust or respect from his wife or children.