Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Be THE Man, Part Two

The basic idea of the “Model Model” is simply this: As fathers (or other role models) we all need to live, learn and be a model in all seasons of life. As promised, I want to look at a few verses on the “Model Model.”

Psalm 127: 4-5 says:

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate

Children are a blessing; a gift. Let’s remember this “gift” when we get too busy with life, with work, with the church. If we get too busy for our kids; then someone is going to find time for them. It may be the next door neighbor; it may be the Marxist teacher at his/her school; it may be a judge. When fathers give up their parental responsibilities, there will be a price to pay. The child will suffer; the family will suffer; society, in general, will suffer.

Proverbs 31:11 teaches us that "Her husband has full confidence in her (a wife of noble character) and lacks nothing of value." Having full confidence in our wives gives us not only a partner it also gives our sons and daughters a model to emulate. A radio commercial which was running in my area some time ago advised (sarcastically) a young man who was interested in how to treat women that he should watch bad movies and irresponsible older boys. Exactly! They will watch someone older. If we interact well with out spouses – and have full confidence in them, our children will learn that this is the appropriate manner in which to interact with the opposite sex.

So how do we teach and model leadership qualities. Here are a couple of scripture verses which speak directly to that need:

"A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well." (1 Timothy 3:12).

"An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient." (Titus 1:6).

The emphasis of these verses is on leadership in the home. This is God’s training ground for good leaders. These qualities are to be developed BEFORE one should be considered for leadership in the church, on a mission field, or in a Christian organization.

We need to be intentional in the way we approach even the most mundane aspects of discipleship of our own children, youth in the church and other younger people who may view us as “spiritual fathers.” Here are a couple of examples of this intentionality:

Submission. The only commandment given to children in Scripture is that they obey their parents (Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-2). How do we teach this? How do we pass on to the next generation the concept of submission, in a God-honoring manner? Through books? Through browbeating? No, we do it the way Jesus did it! He taught submission by example. He used the Model Model. Ask yourself these questions: How do you relate to civil authority? How do you relate to ecclesiastical authority?

Remember who’s watching; Everybody, but especially your own children.

Godly Headship. Men who are husbands and/or fathers have special responsibilities – even if they never hold another position of leadership outside the home. You ARE a leader. You cannot escape that role. You can be a good leader – or you can be a lousy leader. Part of leadership is training the next generation. How do we teach leadership? By going back to school for an MBA? By sending people to a Boot Camp? No, the answer is Modeling! Wanna teach leadership? Lead!

Leadership means making decisions, sometimes hard ones. It means accepting input and treating people as valuable. Discipleship implies much more than teaching or imparting information. Jesus example with the disciples is that He walked alongside them and communicated with them.

Communicate with the kids. Make yourself vulnerable, but also help them learn about wisdom. Do you lead a family devotion time? How about family Bible reading and prayer time?

Thus ends my entries about Being the Man. Communicate with me. If you found it valuable, let me know. If you’ve found flaws, tell me.