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The Resolving Father


Resilient Leadership:


Joshua 24:14-15 says, “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”


Joshua’s proclamation was of great significance during the time of the ancient Israelites. After Moses died, Joshua assumed command of the Israelites. He was a great leader, ultimately guiding the Israelites to its conquest of the Promised Land. But above all, Joshua was obedient and faithful to God. He also desired for God’s people to do the same. Before he died, Joshua gathered the Israelites together to celebrate the faithful deeds of their covenant God once more.


Joshua's Resolve:


Afterwards, Joshua exhorts the Israelites to make the all-important decision on whom they will serve—it is either the false gods or the one true God. At this very moment, Joshua further exemplifies his leadership to God’s people by making the following resolve: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” As the head of his household, Joshua resolves that he and his family will only serve the one true God. The resolve also meant that Joshua, who was the father, husband, and shepherd-leader, was not going to allow for idol worship within his family—none, whatsoever![1]


The Father/Husband's Resolve:


Fathers/husbands and future fathers/husbands, may you have the same resolve as that of Joshua. Surely, a father/husband can be great at anything in life if he chooses so. Joshua was a wonderful leader to the Israelites but even then, his greatest responsibility was to his family. As the shepherd-leader over your own family, may you have the resolve to choose God.


Thus, father/husband, resolve your family to serve the Lord always. In Joshua’s proclamation, there are three ways in which the family can serve the Lord. The first is to fear the Lord. Deuteronomy 10:12 says, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” The fear of the Lord is the standard for the life of the family. In this standard is wisdom (Proverbs 9:10) and knowledge (Proverbs 1:7) to walk in God’s ways, to truly love God, and to serve God with all our affections.


Secondly, we need to be sincere. The family must completely surrender its lives to God (Matthew 16:24-25). This wholehearted commitment also yields our lives to the filling of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to signal the liberty for Him to occupy every aspect of our lives, leading us to do God’s will. Lastly, we are to be faithful. The family is to be exclusively loyal and devoted to the one true, living God. The command is explicit, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:36). Anything else is sinful. RESOLVE TO PUT AWAY IDOLATRY


Furthermore, as father/husband, may you resolve your family to put away today’s idolatries. Nowadays, idol worship entails the love of money and consumerism, materialism, entertainment, comfort, the search for one’s identity, sexual immorality, and so forth. These things can easily capture the attention of our hearts, but as the head of the home, may you have the strength and understanding from our Lord to guard your family. Timothy Z. Witmer writes, “There are things you as a shepherd are called to do to protect your family. The dangers not only are ‘out there,’ but can come from our own heart.”[2] Fathers/husbands, protect your wife and children from idolatry. Teach, train, lead, and discipline the family through the Word (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 5:25-27; 6:4; 1 Timothy 5:8) and usher them towards daily repentance and holiness.


The Reason:


There is no doubt that God established the father/husband as the leader over his wife and children. The proof is plentiful throughout Scripture (Ephesians 5:23, 6:4; 1 Timothy 3:4-5; 1 Peter 3:7). At the same time, it is said that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.”[3] Thus, father/husband, may you resolve for the entire family to ascribe the due glory to God alone and may you all enjoy the many blessings that come from our Lord.


As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

 

***footnotes***


[1] See Donald S. Whitney, Family Worship (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016), 19-20 and 65-66.


[2] Timothy Z. Witmer, The Shepherd Leader at Home (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 122.


[3] Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. 1.

 

Phillip Her (BS, Simpson University) is a husband of Paulina and a father to Peyton. He also has been serving as the Children's Ministry Pastor at Denver Hmong Alliance Church since August of 2016.

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