One of the books that I read as I worked on my What He must be… sermon at Revolution Church was The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protection and Providing for Your Family (kindle version) by Timothy Witmer.
Here are a few things that jumped out to me:
- If you are married, in order to accomplish what God has called you to do, you must understand that each of you brings strengths and weakness to the relationship for the benefit of one another and for the marriage.
- Marriage is designed by God to be your primary human relationship.
- The Hebrew word for sexual intimacy is the word translated “know.” Knowing your wife in the comprehensive biblical sense includes a relational union that implies physical, spiritual, and emotional oneness.
- Wherever you find marital failure, you will find a breakdown in real communication. Wherever you find marital success, you will find a good communication system.
- The objective of leaders is to influence their followers to accomplish their respective missions.
- Marriage is a call to die to self, and a man who does not die for his wife does not come close to the love to which he is called.
- The bible has a very high view of women. This can be seen from the very beginning, where creation itself was not deemed complete until the woman was made.
- Those in leadership are always called upon to use that leadership for the benefit of those called to submit.
- For a wife, following her husband’s leadership is an important aspect of following Christ.
- When we submit to our spouses, we are once again agreeing with God that His beautiful ordered plan is worth obeying and the mystery worth preserving. By so doing we once again acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.
- Part of the wife’s discipleship to Christ is to respect the position of her husband in the home.
- Christ’s love is unconditional. There was nothing about you or me that deserved or required Christ’s love. Quite the contrary. Not only did we not love him, but also we were heading the opposite direction in our sin. It was the classic case of unrequited love. This is why our relationship with him is solely by his grace. Our love for our wives must be unconditional as well.
- Christ’s love was sacrificial. To what extent did Jesus love the church? he gave himself completely for her. His coming was to give himself in selfless service.
- The man who sanctifies his wife understands that this is his divinely ordained responsibility…Is my wife more like Christ because she is married to me? Or is she like Christ in spite of me? Has she shrunk from his likeness because of me? Do I sanctify her or hold her back? Is she a better woman because she is married to me?
- You will show your love for your wife as you support her maternal instinct to nurture your children.
- One sure way to fail is to fail to love her. Your number one responsibility, humanly speaking, is to love your wife to the extent that she has absolutely not doubts about it. Your expressions of love must be demonstrable and practical.
- Another way to have a frustrated wife is to fail to lead. Christian wives hope that their husbands will be godly leaders. They hope that you will take the initiative.
- The Lord created husbands with an innate sense of responsibility to provide materially for their families. Remember that work is part of the Lord’s original design for mankind. The newly created Adam was placed in the garden and charged with tending it (Genesis 2:15).
- The happiest and holiest children in the world are the children whose fathers succeed in winning both their tender affection and their reverential and loving fear. And they are children who will come to understand most easily the mystery of the fatherhood of God.
- The practice of participation with our children is an expression of the same principle. We get to know people by doing things with them.
- Use your words to build up, not to tear down. If there’s anyone from whom your children should expect a word of encouragement, it should be you.
- Communication is multi-faceted and richly textured. It must include encouragement, correction, rebuke, entreaty, instruction, warning, understanding, teaching, and prayer. All these must be part of your interaction with your children.
- Your relationship with your children now sets the trajectory of how they will relate to you for the rest of your life. If you are unapproachable when they are at home, don’t expect them to be eager to approach you as adults. If you are highly critical of them as children, don’t expect them to be coming to you later for advice. But if you are ready and willing to talk to them when they are young, they will seek you out when they need advice as adults. Remember that you are not sowing the seeds of what you will reap from your adult children for the rest of your lives.
- Whether you like it or not, you are the model for what they will be like when they become parents themselves. When you show your children that they are a priority, you are setting a good example for them when they have families of their own. If children are seen as hindrances by parents, this attitude is reproduced when they become parents.
- You as their earthly dad are laying the foundation for their relationship with their heavenly father. You are their first exposure to a relationship of authority in the world. How you develop that relationship and wield that authority will either help or harm their view of God. There are countless examples of people who have difficulty embracing a loving heavenly Father when they have had neglectful, absentee, or even abusive earthly dads.
- Your goal as you lead your children is to prepare them to follow the chief shepherd for the rest of their lives. Therefore, your leadership should point them to the One you are following.
- Will your children think it is really important to read the Bible if they never see you read yours? Will they consider it a priority to go to church and be involved with God’s people if you send them but don’t go yourself? Will your children speak respectfully of others when they hear the way you speak to your wife? Will they deem it necessary to be honest if they constantly hear you shad the truth or mislead others? Who are you kidding? In reality, what we often communicate to our children is that it is more important to get to football, soccer, or baseball practice regularly than to church. what are you really communicating to your children?
As a father and husband, this book was really convicting and at the same time, incredibly practical when it comes to thinking about living out being the shepherd leader of my home.