Pastor / Man of the House...

Some men are called to pastor churches. But every man--by virtue of getting married and making babies--is called to be the Pastor of his home.

In Christian circles this idea is often referred to as the doctrine of male headship. At my church we put it like this: Men, you are the shepherds--the spiritual care-takers of your home. If you're married you're not just a husband, you're a Pastor-Husband. If you're a daddy you're not just a daddy you're a Pastor-Daddy. Your job, in both vocations, is to do in your home what other men called to do in churches: lovingly but firmly lead the flock to Jesus. It's an intimidating job. Most men rightly feel ill-equipped for the task. Why? Because they are. Most men grew up in homes and in churches where the men shirked their responsibility spiritual leadership and handed it off to the women around them. As a result the vast majority of men grew up believing that faith was for girls and having no positive example of heroic, pastoral love and leadership.{C}

But let's be clear. It's not her job. It's ours. Faith is best taught and best nurtured when it is not something encouraged by mom in spite of dad or merely propped up with the passive, "listen to your mother this is important" approval of dad. No, faith in Christ and righteousness of living are best nurtured when they are championed, modeled and taught by dad. Period. You're the pastor of the house whether you like it or not. It's simply how all of creation is wired. Therefore the question is not "if" you'll be the pastor of your home but what kind of pastor you'll be. Will you be the kind of preacher who sleeps in the pews to avoid work during the week and then downloads a sermon on Saturday evening to "preach" to his people the next morning? Or will be you be the kind of Pastor who is imperfect, but actively involved in the life of his people, studying, learning, and seeking to regularly speak truth that points to the cross into their lives?

It's at this point that most men start to look at their inadequacies and freak out. Take a breath. You'll be cool. But you will have to start getting serious about this. Here's how:

First, repent of your apathy towards all things Jesus.

Cry out to Him in prayer and say, "Forgive me for not being a faithful, fully engaged shepherd of my flock." Hear his word of forgiveness. Rise from your knees and know that Christ has not only killed your sin but called you into this role.

Second, find a good church.

If you're not a part of a church that embraces Biblical, male headship and has truly heroic, masculine men leading the congregation then find one. Fast. There you'll be encouraged in your Pastor-Dad calling, equipped to live it out, and have positive, male examples in front of you and your family every week.

Third, become a student.

You can't wing this. You're too sinful and too lazy to make this up as you go along. Get over the fact that you don't like to read or study. If you don't read you can't lead. Consume the scriptures every day--especially the Gospels and the book of Proverbs. And gather great outside resources aimed at helping you grow in your shepherding abilities. Note that I've listed some resources below. Buy them.

Fourth, ask your wife for help.

She is wired to be an incredible spiritual encourager and equipper. Ask her to hold you accountable. Ask her to read things with you. Ask her to study the Bible with you. Ask her regularly what the kids are struggling with, what the biggest issues in the family are, what the potential threats to the home might be. She is much more aware than you. You're called to shepherd like Jesus but she is called to be wisdom and strength like the Holy Spirit. Lean on it. Utilize it. Draw strength from it.

Only a few men are called to pastor churches. But all men are called to pastor their home. Make it happen. God will equip you. Your wife will help you. And best of all your family will thank you.

Resources:

Federal Husband by Douglas Wilson | Vocation of Biblical Husband/Father

Lutheranism 101 | Overview of solid, Christ-centered Reformation theology

Knowing the Bible 101 | Overview of Scripture

The Reason for God | Overview of the "tough" faith questions you must be ready to answer

Luther's Small Catechism | A tried and true guide for dads in teaching Christianity to their family

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