Four Keys to Spiritual Leadership
in Your Home
New Life Ministries
Usually, your children’s faith is very dependent on the
examples they see at home. In other words, you set the pace of
spiritual leadership in your home. If you desire your children
to have vibrant spiritual lives, then they need to see an authentic
faith lived out in their family. No one expects you to be perfect,
but you shouldn’t expect them to follow a hypocrite either.
Consider the following questions. They will help you evaluate
your own spiritual disciplines.
1. How is your time with God?
How long has it been since you gave God a portion of undisturbed,
uninterrupted time and listened to His voice?
Apparently, Jesus made time with the Father an absolute priority.
He spent regular time praying and listening. Mark reveals to us,
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got
up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he
prayed (Mark 1:35). Luke tells us, Jesus often withdrew to lonely
places and prayed (Luke 5:16). Let me ask the obvious: If Jesus,
the Son of God, thought it worthwhile to clear His calendar to
pray, wouldn’t we be wise to do the same?
I asked one of the busiest women I know how she manages to get
so much done in the day. She smiled and showed me her schedule.
It read “6:00 A.M. – 6:45 A.M. Quiet Time.”
She had let me in on a secret. Her strength and her stamina came
from her time alone with God each morning. One of my hobbies is
reading biographies of great women and men of the Christian faith.
They come in all shapes, sizes, denominations and styles; but
the one thing they all have in common is a regular, daily time
2. Do you have a supportive, spiritual accountability
Life is difficult, and living out a vibrant, contagious faith
is not easy.
I am currently involved in a weekly support and accountability
group with three other men. When we first started the group, we
talked about politics and sports and only briefly mentioned our
faith and family issues. One day, one of the group members opened
up to tell us he was struggling with his marriage; and from that
day on, it has been a much more focused, supportive and deeper-sharing
Some support and accountability relationships use questions like
the ones below to make sure they’re staying on the right
* Have you been with a woman/man anywhere this past week that
might appear compromising?
* Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?
* Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material?
* Have you spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer?
* Have you given priority time to your family?
* Have you fulfilled the mandates of your calling?
* Have you just lied to me?
3. Do you have a person or a group of people with whom
you pray on a regular basis?
We have found that our involvement with a couples’ group
from our church has been a wonderful source of friendship, support
and sharing of parenting ideas. Our group is made up of five couples
who all have children about the same age. We’ve studied
parenting and marriage resources together, as well as other Bible
I remember a season in my life when I was extremely busy and
had little accountability. Cathy challenged me by reminding me
I had lots of acquaintances and very few friends. She suggested
that I get together with a man at my work named John. I told her
John was way too busy to spend any kind of regular time with me,
but she kept pressing me to speak with him. We ended up meeting
for lunch every Wednesday for over three years until he moved
away. Our Wednesday lunch was never structured. We talked, shared
our week’s experiences, perhaps discussed a problem or two
and then prayed together. I loved those times, and they made me
a better husband, father and focused Christian. Today, John and
I see each other every two months because of distance, and we
keep the relationship close through phones calls and periodic
visits. Over the years, those times together have become very
4. If you are married, do you and your spouse have a
regular time with God together?
Most couples I know struggle to spend quality spiritual time
together. It is easy to get so distracted with the pace of life
that we miss an essential ingredient to building a spiritual relationship
with our spouse. Cathy and I have tried almost every kind of devotional
time together, but most of our experiments have fizzled. However,
we’ve come across a method that may not sound spiritual
enough for some, but it works for us. First of all, we try to
pray daily for our kids and for ourselves. Prayer connects us
with God and with each other, and it focuses us on the right priority
of developing the spirituality of our children.
Second, each week we go through a meeting plan that is very conversational
and relational – and separate from our Bible study and individual
quiet times with God. We work through the list below, and we do
not need to prepare ahead of time. We’d rather have our
time together in a peaceful setting, but we’ve been known
to hold this weekly meeting while driving, watching one of the
children’s games or even – when I am traveling –
on the phone. We both look forward to our weekly spiritual and
Jim and Cathy – Weekly Meeting
* Devotional times for the week
* Greatest joy of the week
* Greatest struggle of the week
* An affirmation
* A wish or a hope
* Physical goals
Taken from the book The
10 Building Blocks for a Happy Family by Jim Burns. Used
by permission of New Life Ministries. New Life Ministries has a
variety of resources on men, women and relationships. Call 1-800-NEW-LIFE
or visit www.newlife.com.
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