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.
If children see their father pray, they will learn to become praying people. If children see their father study his Bible, they, too, will understand the importance of the Word of God. If children see their father serving others with Christ’s love, they will also learn to serve others.
The Bible exhorts parents to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Prov 22:6). A large part of spiritually training children is in setting a godly example for them to imitate.
A husband is exhorted to model Christ-like behavior in all of his actions and relationships (Eph 5:1-7). If he will draw upon God’s grace, power and wisdom, he can truly grow in his ability to be a Christ-like example to his family.
LEADING THROUGH PRACTICAL INSTRUCTION
We have learned that a husband is to set the overall priorities and direction for his family. One of the top priorities is to lead the family spiritually through very practical means.
Deuteronomy 6:6, 7 gives some insight as to how this can be accomplished: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”