Five weeks ago, if you had asked me to describe the specific role God had given me as head of my household, I probably would have stammered through a very nonspecific response, something along the lines of…
- “Well… as the husband and father, I should be the spiritual leader of my family…”
- “I’m supposed to love Dianna as Christ loved the Church…”
- “I need to train up my children in the way they should go…”
- “And… discipleship begins in the home. So there!”
These statements would be correct, but they do very little in the way of offering practical application. These are big picture statements, not how-to statements. They are sound-bites to summarize a life of Godly home-leading, not a road-map for daily implementation.
Four weeks ago, however, everything changed.
While I have always felt a vague sense of responsibility to be the spiritual leader for my home, that concept took on an all new meaning for me during a two-week educational trip apart from my family last month. During that time, I distinctly felt God calling me to return home and become the pastor of my family.
“I want you to pastor your family – to shepherd and disciple them – on a daily basis,” was the consistent message I felt from the Lord during my time away.
Having it phrased this way was profoundly impactful to me! I came back to my family changed, determined, and full of hope! I was also quite intimidated… but also excited for what this would mean for our home!
One of the assignments our class had during this trip was to create a highly-specific Action Plan for leading our home and discipling our children. (The blog post entitled Cash Family “Age 18 List” for Our Kids is the result of that assignment.) This exercise of delineating a strategic and specific plan to aid Dianna and I in the parenting of our kids has been absolutely life-changing!
The past four weeks in our family have been markedly different from the previous ten-and-a-half years: the five of us are praying together, studying Scripture together, worshipping God together – all on a daily basis! We have always done all of those things before, but only sporadically – haphazardly – without any specific plan or goal or hope in my other than a vague sense of “I need to be the spiritual leader of our home” and we need to “train up the kids in the way they should go”. And we certainly were not doing those things together on a daily basis, or with any other discernible regularity.
You gun enthusiasts may enjoy this analogy: up until four weeks ago, my spiritual leadership might have amounted to shooting a shotgun up in the air – just sending a spray of spiritual pellets up in every direction – and hoping that some of them might hit the intended mark… Now, I feel armed with a sniper rifle and a laser-guided scope!
My chances of actually helping my family reach our desired destination together have greatly increased, now that we are following a clearly defined road-map together!
In the next post, I’ll share exactly what it is that our family has been doing together on a daily basis over the past four weeks, in the hopes that it may spark an idea in your heart that may further refine your family’s Discipleship Action Plan!