As men, we are commissioned by God to be the spiritual leaders of our homes. This is both a critical responsibility and a wonderful privilege. There are two primary aspects to spiritual leadership in the home. Today’s post will be about the first: initiative.
Reject Passivity. Initiative is a fundamental leadership characteristic. When applied at home, initiative means that we as men (husbands / dads) are to reject the temptations toward apathy, inaction, and passivity. Our charge is to be the spiritual leaders of our families, and this requires action on our part.
Inherent in the idea of leading is the responsibility to be the initiator. If you read the story of the Fall in Genesis 3, you might think Adam is not around when the serpent deceives Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. We discover towards the end of the story, however, that Adam was standing right there, silent, all along!
He did nothing to stop what was happening, nothing to protect his wife, nothing to rebuke the serpent, nothing. In a way, Adam was absent – he was physically there, but his initiative was absent. He passively and apathetically watched his wife be deceived into sin – he did nothing – he took no action to stop it
We often read the story of the conversation between Eve and the serpent, and it seems like she faced his cunning temptation alone… like maybe the serpent waited until Adam was off picking berries or something and that Adam arrived late on the scene. But read closer, and you will find this is not so – Adam was right there, and he is silent. He does nothing. He remained passive, impotent, and let his wife be deceived into breaking the command of God.
I think this can be the tendency of all men in marriage in the line of Adam: to be passive, to let the wife lead, to not own our responsibility to lead our family and home spiritually. It is something I have to fight off all the time myself. It is easier to be passive, to sit and wait for my wife to respond first to situations that arise, to not try first, to not intervene first, to be passive instead of proactive. But as leaders, we are to reject this tendency towards passivity. Leading requires initiating, that we be the starters, that we be proactive in the spiritual direction and defense of our wives and kids.
In the next post, we will look at the second crucial aspect to spiritual leadership in the home: attentiveness.