In further preparation for and meditation toward Father’s Day, I share this outline from a January 2009 men’s breakfast. It is a sobering, awe-inspiring, standard-raising thing for God to say to us: “Be holy like I am holy.” The following includes just some of the many meditations that we might biblically derive from the call to be God-imitators:
I. God is the ultimate leadership role model.
We ought to lead our families like God leads us:
1) In righteousness: “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).
– Away from, not into temptation: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13).
– Because there are enemies: “Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me” (Psalm 5:8).
2) In the truth (communicating objective truth in an understandable way): “Lead me in your truth and teach me…” (Psalm 25:5). Our families need to be taught, not just told; they need to be led, not just fed.
– Again, there are enemies: “Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies” (Psalm 27:11). Your family needs to know what you believe, and why.
3) With spiritual/emotional security: “From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2). Be a refuge yourself by leading your family/followers to the Refuge that is higher than you are.
– Stability, accountability, and intimacy are crucial: “If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:8-10). Your family needs to count on your being there for them. You can’t be omnipresent, but your God can! You can’t be omnipresent, but you can and must be present, active, involved, dependable, and stable for them.
4) With gentleness and awareness of weaknesses: “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11).
5) With spiritual and physical provision: “They shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them” (Isaiah 49:10).
-“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17). Can your leadership be described as feeding, healthful, and healing?
II. There is danger if we don’t lead well.
The stakes are high; we are not only ones affected! “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matthew 15:14).