Welcome to Day 2 of our Journey through “31 Days to Bless Your Family”!
Today’s theme is Family Leadership. It doesn’t take long if you study the topic of leadership to get a sense that leadership is not just authority or position over others. We learn right away from some of the best subject matter experts on leadership that good leaders are defined by selfless service, and by an intentional and consistent growing and developing of others to be their best. Good leaders are accountable, have great character traits, and are always growing and learning so they can serve and grow others more. Good leaders are always fostering trust and a positive vision for the future, and they help those in their care to find their way to becoming the best they were meant to be.
As you reflect on Family Leadership in your home, would it be characterized like that? Every home has room to grow because we all have room to grow and become better. John Maxwell says in his book “21 Laws of Leadership” that leadership is a process, it doesn’t happen in a day. And that’s why we are here, isn’t it? We are walking through a process together to intentionally Bless Your Family over time. Just like we covered in yesterday’s Day 1 post “Getting Started“, you have made thedecision to Bless Your Family and that is the start of many starts and beginnings in this process.
Family Leadership always says:
yes, I accept ownership
yes, I believe we can be better
yes, I will make a positive difference
yes, there is a higher authority than myself
yes, I commit my life to a process of growth and blessing
What my Wife and Son Say Is Going Well
This topic was the first on my wife’s list when we talked about this series, and she lovingly joked about me being the “Alpha“. That reference isn’t always good depending on context and practice, and you’d have to witness our family dynamic to know that I am not the “boss”. In fact, my wife is more “the boss” when it comes to the day to day, getting things done, and making sure the home and the family don’t fall apart (see Wisdom, Day 31). She also jokes that she doesn’t know what I’d do without her. As much as I could “survive” without her, I could not truly feel “alive” or “thrive” without her.
My wife shared with me what Alpha, or Leadership looked like in our home, and what it meant to her. Some of the characteristics are in our future day’s topics. Despite my own imperfections and humanity, she said that my leadership was demonstrated by faithfulness, sacrifice, direction, and virtues or values. To her, I help prioritize faith in our family, and I help to set the course by reinforcing consistent and healthy boundaries and guidelines. My priority for my family is growing in faith, being unified and fostering togetherness, safety, trust and open communication. I was surprised she mentioned patience because I don’t think that’s a glowing area for me, but she said I modeled trying to be patient and making the efforts to be better, and to help us all create more margin in our lives. While there is strength in the things I lead us toward, it is not my strong will that gets us there or keeps us together, but only when I am humble, supportive, and understanding can I actually show my wife and son that I love them, believe in them, and want to Bless them – to build them up.
To my son, he shared that what was important and notable to him in our home was trust, teamwork, family fun time, a safe and clean and peaceful home, with good food stocked up (he is a teenager), and no presence of drama or gossip. He shared that there was love in our home, and prayer and inviting God in to be more a part of our lives (though I think I fall way short in what I could do in this area). I was also pleasantly surprised he valued that responsibility was taught as a priority value. I am proud of and love my son more than he may ever know.
What if it’s not going well?
I have experience here also from my first marriage (yes, I am divorced and remarried). I did not have the opportunity I had hoped so that I might apply my heart the way I wanted in creating the family of my dreams, and I had my own failures to learn and grow from as well. I cannot unpack here what I went through in any detail, but I can say that as much as I was able I tried to take the high road, and I was always faithful. I had to look honestly at the “man in the mirror” and take ownership of my entire self and then be accountable to become the man I wanted to be. This took years of maturing, growth, development, and allowing God to work in me and change me from the inside out. It hurt and was not easy, and it is not over. Remember it’s a process – for all of us.
Perhaps you are in a bad situation, or the worst you ever imagined. That is why I encourage you to find local prayer and counseling resources to help you where you are at. There are groups and communities to support most anything you are needing to work through, and your entire family’s safety and health are worth getting help for. Remember always, you are never alone, and remember to have faith – believe that things can “work together for good” and get better.
There are marketplace examples we can apply to the family in a bad situation and in need of good leadership. Michael Hyatt tells of his early career taking on a failing division, turning it around and becoming CEO of the entire company. Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, talks about making sure you have the right people on the bus and that it’s headed in the right direction. Maybe you and your spouse need to make sure you are both being the right people for the relationship, and then agree on the right direction to begin healing and blessing your family. Turn arounds are not easy for companies, and they are not impossible for families – even the worst of them. It will take courage, new leadership skills, and so much more, but…
You will be surprised what God can do with a person, and especially with two spouses in agreement together, when they yield their selves and their situation to God and diligently follow His design for their family’s Blessing.
[shareable cite=”Eric D. Jackson”]Marriage isn’t choosing the right spouse, it is choosing to actually be the right spouse for the relationship. Each person must choose to partner with the other in order to lead and bless their family in oneness.[/shareable]
Today’s “Dares and Prayers” shared in the video:
Love Dare – “Kind“
Love Dare For Parents – “Patient“
Power of a Praying Husband, Pray for – “Her Spirit“
Resolution – “We Need Men of Resolution“
31 Days of Building Your Family Values, Bible App Devotions – “Flexibility“
Daily Resources and References
Please review the Welcome to 31 Days to Bless Your Family post if you missed it. There are some starting resources and recommendations there. Your best resource will be a local Bible teaching church to plug into with your family, and be surrounded by a thriving and supportive community.