As I think about Father’s Day approaching, I can easily think of areas in my parenting that I need refocus in. Voddie Baucham Jr. helped me put my fatherhood in perspective this morning:
The role of men in their families is so important that God honored it by conferring upon us his own title, Father. We’re the governors and guides of our families, and the way we lead has far-reaching implications…I’ve watched families crumble under the weight of paternal neglect…I’ve watched households transform quickly as fathers take the helm and begin to lead and disciple their wives and children. I’ve seen marriages healed as husbands begin to take seriously their duty to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25) and to raise their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).
The role of fathers in the family can hardly be overstated. However, the supremacy of Christ is our fuel, our goal, and our comfort in this great duty. Because of the power of the gospel and the past and present work of Christ, we can have strength to lead our families today, the vision for where we need to be leading our families, and the reality of forgiveness and help for where we have failed and when we will fail. I need Jesus. My family needs Jesus. Baucham continues:
…The family is not the gospel; nor is the family as important as the gospel. The family is a delivery mechanism for the gospel.
In Ephesians 5 and 6 the role of fathers loving their wives and discipling their children, the responsibility of wives to submit to their husbands, and the duties of parents to their children are all couched in terms that are unmistakable in their gospel-centeredness. This is all about “Christ and the church” (5:32)…
…In the end, I want you to see Jesus. I want you to see him in a way that drives you to pursue him personally and to keep him before your wife and children in a way that causes them to seek him as well. In short, I want you to shepherd your family in the direction of the Good Shepherd.
(From Family Shepherds, pp. 11-14)