For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him - Genesis 18:19 NIV
I can remember learning to dress myself and the problems that I would have with buttoning my dress shirts. I would always rush when buttoning my shirts and when I thought that I was finished, it would be all wrong. I would try to button it again starting from the bottom, but of course that didn't work. No matter how many times I would try to start over and attempt to button it correctly, the buttons would not align correctly with the holes. Once I learned to start from the top in buttoning my shirt, everything fell into place with all of the buttons lining up in correct fashion with the proper holes. A family that functions in an orderly fashion is similar to the process that I used in buttoning my dress shirts the correct way. If everything from the top is properly taken care of (meaning the man), then the rest of the family will function as God ordains. Unfortunately, many of today's families are operating from the bottom up and are passing this operating rhythm on to future generations.
I found that when I am leading my family the way that God intended, our family operates at an optimum level. However, when I am out of sorts or have deviated from the path and not functioning in the way that God intended, then the state of my family reflects the dress shirts that I buttoned in my early years starting from the bottom. A family follows the direction of its leader, and the leader of the family is the man. It is so easy for us as men to be knocked off stride as we try to provide for our families and provide the proper direction and leave a legacy for others to follow.
The book of Genesis provides the blueprint for a father to lead his family in an effective, top down fashion. Abraham, the father of a nation, was a man of knowledge who was responsible for not only his family, but also his servants. He provided the proper direction based upon the instruction given to him by God. As a result, he was able to model the proper behavior and lead his household in the most effective manner. Like Abraham, we have be given parental authority to direct our children in addition to providing direction for our wives. Abraham took this responsibility seriously and taught his family and servants the proper way to follow and worship God. Abraham's attention to detail provided the foundation needed for future generations to walk in the way of the Lord and keep His commands. My brothers, let's get started with practicing effective top down leadership for our households today.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.