As a father, I am fearful for the wellbeing of my family. I see families falling apart all around me. What can I do as a husband and father to strengthen my own family?

I am reminded of a line from the popular football movie, Remember the Titans, where Julius, a star athlete who is frustrated with the lack of team continuity, expresses his intent to secure his own personal interest, rather than being a team player. He says in effect, “I’m going to get mine!” Bertier, the team captain, responds by chastising Julius for his “horrible attitude.” Julius then makes the profound statement that, “Attitude reflects leadership.”

Just as the breakdown of a team can often be attributed to the lack of leadership, so it is with the home. Our homes are being destroyed, in most instances, because the leadership is defunct. I commend fathers who are concerned enough about their family to look for help.

Far too many fathers are working on their own personal interests and have completely forgotten or ignored the leadership responsibility that they have to their family. In fact, Carl Brecheen and Paul Faulkner, in their book, What Every Family Needs, open with these words:

           “Selfishness is the greatest single enemy of a happy marriage (home JD). Selfishness is the root of all other sins. When I am at the center of my world, I am out of place and my world is out of balance. The tremors that follow will not stop until they have destroyed something—my marriage, my job, my sanity.”

As fathers, we have to make the decision to place our personal interests beneath the needs of our families. Interestingly, Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:4, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” This phrase has to do with nurturing and cherishing our children. Additionally, Paul’s statement in Ephesians 5:29 is very revealing. There, in comparing Christ’s love for the church to the husbands love for his wife, Paul says that the concern the man has for his own physical flesh should be the degree of concern he has for his wife (his entire family notwithstanding – JD). Therefore, the first step in helping your family is to assume the role of leadership that God has given you and then give your family the priority that they need and deserve. Following, though by no means an exhaustive list, are some areas of emphasis that will be helpful:

Firstmake sure that you are feeding them spiritually. We will not get very far if we have left God and His Word out of our plan. The father who leads will make sure that he is putting spiritual growth and development at the top of the priority chart. Yes, even above baseball and football (Matthew 6:33 in principle). Too, he will avail himself and his family of opportunities to feed spiritually, namely Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes, Vacation Bible Schools, Gospel Meetings, and other opportunities to spend time with spiritually minded people. Another matter that fits here is the need for the father to help the wife in getting the children ready to go. Too often, the father will not help get the family out the door and will blame the family’s tardiness on the wife. Wrong! Give her a helping hand. Additionally, religion and spirituality should be more than something that you go somewhere else to get (i.e. church building). Regular devotion in the home is a must. Consider Deuteronomy 6:6-7:

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Second, give your time to your wife and children. The “experts” will tell you that quantity of time is more important than “quality” of time. The cohesiveness of the family is directly connected with the amount of time that they spend together. Phrases such as “some other time,” “in a minute,” and “not right now,” are destructive and eventually, your children and your wife will stop asking for your attention. Colossians 3:21 warns fathers against causing their children to “lose heart.” The best way to dishearten your family is to fail to spend time with them.


Finally, never give place to the devil. He, as a roaring lion is seeking an opportunity to destroy (1 Peter 5:8). Husbands who develop an interest in social outings to the neglect of family time usually find themselves in compromising situations that lead to disinterest in their mates and eventually to unfaithfulness. The best defense is to stay at home with your family. The Psalmist drove this point home when he wrote, “Blessed is the man thatwalketh not in the counsel of the ungodlynor standeth in the way of sinnersnor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1). This passage demonstrates the progressive nature of sin. There is a casual interest, then close association, and finally full blown involvement in things that are destructive to home and family. Again, the best defense is that home is where our hearts should be.