While I find talking about spiritual leadership fascinating, I find providing it in the home challenging
I really appreciate what Joyce had to say about how you must start by leading yourself. If I don't have a vital, intimate, connection with, and commitment to, God - then how I can I spiritually lead my family? I adored what David said about knowing the dreams of those you're leading, and having an investment in seeing them fulfill their dreams. Constantly seeking how God can use you to help them accomplish their dreams. Good stuff.
If you would have asked me about this topic three years ago I would have had a whole lot to say. That was when my oldest son was finishing up his first year at West Point (the college he'd dreamed of attending), my youngest son was exceptionally interested in spiritual matters, and both my youngest and middle sons were getting top grades, excelling in sports, and consistent in their personal times in the Word and church attendance. Yes, in those days I would have thought I knew how to make things happen.
Since that time I've continued to do that which I knew to do: have a vital & growing personal relationship with God that included reaching out to others on an ongoing basis, have family dinners together, have prayer and praise be as natural to our home as breathing oxygen, encourage my children in their areas of giftedness, fervently pray on a regular basis with my husband for our children. But, now things are different.
My two younger sons aren't thinking I'm too great; in fact, they're thinking I'm rather terrible. Some of this is due to my allowing them to experience the natural consequences of some poor choices on their parts. Because a big part of my goals in parenting is to develop independent, competent in daily life, Christ centered, adults - I can't cushion their blows. Sometimes they've got to learn the hard way, from life consequences, why I've always told them to do, or refrain from, certain things. Some of this may also simply be part of the whole "teenage angst" thing - they don't feel so great and don't really know why, so it must be mom's fault. Some of this may do to that whole individuation process - them become separate, independent, adults. Some of this may be due to my own mistakes, sins, and poor choices. Whatever the cause, I question how I can be much of a leader to two young men who don't think much of me, who certainly wouldn't follow me anywhere that they didn't have to.
So - what's God teaching me about leadership in the home?
I guess that can be summarized by saying that I'm learning how live dependent on Him when I'm doing all I know to do, but am not right at this moment seeing the results that I think I should.
The Holy Spirit has encouraged my heart countless times with the words from Galatians 6:8-10 (MSG):
7-8 Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
9-10 So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.I'm grateful that when it's all said and done, what is expected of me is obedience to what I know to do and then to trust God with the results.
What about you, what's God been teaching you about spiritual leadership in the home?