Family Function and Leadership
by Larry Lilly
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Larry Lilly's Letter Wednesday October 3, 2007
The family is recognized as the basic unit in Western Society. This is based on the biblical teachings concerning the family unit. God puts such a high premium on the family that He uses a person's ability to properly function with the framework of the family as the main criteria for leadership in the church.
Successful companies are realizing the importance of healthy families. John Beckett Chief Executive Officer of the Beckett Corporation gives mothers a generous financial maternity leave and up to three years off while she bonds with the new baby. WOW.
The father, commonly recognized as the CEO of the family is failing and that miserably when he fails to notice and provide for the needs of his family. This failure is glaring when after years of negligence the family breaks up and then he has to be forced by the legal system to support the children. This is extreme to be sure among professing Christians you might say. Are you in for a surprise. I have been researching this among professional Christian workers and the findings are dynamite. I think I have 60 Minutes interested in this. Yet, many who do not fall into this category are seriously deficient in the daily nurturing of the family. I watched yesterday and this morning as the legal eagles are commenting on Brit Spears losing the custody of her children to her ex-husband. The man is a paragon of virtue. Sure. Brit totally abdicated her claim to motherhood by constantly putting the kids in harm's way. Being old fashioned I have trouble with awarding custody to a "man" who lives off the largess of his debauched ex, but then I already said I'm a little old fashioned.
I asked a struggling mother, then the father and on to a few older children just what they thought the major problem was in their Christian though dysfunctional family. Each gave an opinion and it was interesting. It was only when I asked each, "What do you think is your primary role in the family according to the Bible?" Blank stares. The father did offer, "Well, pastor, I bring home the bacon." End of story. I wonder how you would answer the question? What is your primary biblical role in contributing the overall health of the family to which you belong? Do you know?
One ingredient often overlooked in family speeches is the utter necessity of respecting the position of the family member in spite of his or her failings. Just as there are no perfect individuals, there are no perfect parents or children. Yet each must be taught by the Lord to respect the other. One of the strangest behaviors I have observed over long year of fathering and pastoring is the tendency of imperfect people to demand perfection from others. I must strive for perfection, yet as a husband, father and grandfather recognize weakness in the rest of the clan and as a leader, by example and precept lead the family along the rocky path set out for us in the world. Easy to write.
The truth in today's letter will drive many to their knees, if this happens you will find me there already.
Larry Lilly Copyright © 2007 Use with credit.
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Dear Bro. Lilly, Thank you for your honesty and for the direct approach here. I do believe the real problem is a lack of education. The belief that the main role of a father is to 'bring home the bacon' is where most of this problem stems from. The church and the wider society needs to educate on this matter. The respect element as you suggested needs to be of high importance. Communication is a vital key to this process; allowing the wife to be a help-mate as she was designed to be. Caring for the financial needs of the fammily - 'bringing home the bacon' is very important. However, caring for the spiritual, physical, emotional and social needs of the family is all part of the whole. I hope many who read your article will be convicted to seek out the truth and strive to be an exemplary leader in their home and wherever they are placed in a leading position. Thanks for sharing. Vince and I read your article together and this is our joint response. God bless!