Monday, April 5, 2010

Biblical Leadership in the Home: Patience for a Change

This post is short, but it took me over two years to learn it.

There is a book for small business owners called Ready, Fire, Aim! I have not personally read the book, but reviews have informed me that it encourages small businesses to emphasize action. Do something! it screams. If it works, great. Keep doing it. If not, well, fire again and then we'll adjust our aim.

Unintentionally, I tried to apply this principle to my family, to my small group, to my church. I wanted to encourage my wife to read her bible more, so I started leaving little encouraging "assignments." Read 1 Peter 1 it would say, and then we would talk about it later. My wonderful wife would read the passage and be more than happy to talk to me about it, but if the assignments stopped there was a good chance she would not keep methodically going through 1 Peter.

My initial thought was, "Well, that didn't take." I would then search the internet and try something else. Maybe it would be family devotions after dinner. No, that was kind of awkward. Study guide? Nah.

Of course, this could be about something completely different. Maybe your family is struggling with sticking to the budget or watching too much TV (is there such a thing?!). As I try to lead at home I just hope and pray that whatever change I need to lead through will just happen. I want change/leadership to be convenient.

This is why the Ready, Fire, Aim! approach is so natural. If I fire and it doesn't work, I must need to re-aim. This equates effective leadership with instant results.

I have since learned that consistency is far more important than instant results. Your wife is not a marketplace. Your home cannot be trended by market-analysis. Biblical Leadership does not mind being slightly awkward because it is not trying to be comfortable. Instead it is trying to be faithful. Sure, family devotions may be a little bit strange the first few times, and the kids may even roll their eyes, but you are responsible to love them and shepherd them like Christ loves and leads the church. Do not undermine your leadership by consistently changing your approach as you seek quick feedback. Your faithfulness and consistency will pay off, because what is important to you will become important for your family.

Biblical leadership in the home recognizes that it is God that causes change (Eph 3:16-17), not your methods or techniques. Prayerfully determine what is necessary and then be faithful in your application. Stick to it. Sanctification is never easy and does not happen over night.

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