What is leadership within a family? To me, it’s one word, as described in this riddle:
“It can be bad and dangerous, right or wrong, good, popular, or positive. It can be given and expressed. You always have it, you will always provide it. It might escape from you or you might lose the right one. What is it?”
The answer is Love.
One of my sons struggles with a sour attitude. I have learned that when he is not accommodating, it’s because he needs more love, and he unknowingly spells that: T-I-M-E. That seems to help my son become more positive while interacting with his brothers and sister. Interesting that the time I spend with my son has nothing to do with interacting with his siblings, yet it helps! Sometimes I have to wrestle with him, or take him to the gas station for a soda. Other times it requires talking with him or reading with him.
The Power of Examples
Once I have acted so all of my children feel loved, then and only then can I be a leader to my family. What is that one word for leadership within my family? To me, that word is Example. An example is something good, bad, right, wrong, positive, popular and is always expressed. Whether we like it or not, we will always provide an example to others.
When I choose to set a good example for my kids, it can be really tough. When I tell my kids, “Hey, you need to turn off the TV”, I need to be ready to turn off my own program. When I tell them, “Don’t eat junk food before dinner.” I can’t scarf up a cookie myself. I have to be ready to check myself for the kind of example I am giving.
Another one of my sons feels loved through positive words. As stated in “How to Win Friends and Influence People” I shouldn’t criticize, condemn, or complain to my children, but rather accept, approve, and appreciate them.
How would my example in my home change if I could continuously say positive things to the kids, instead of only speaking to them when I have something to be corrected? My family will follow my good example when they feel loved. It is so critical in today’s day and age to be a solid leader within the walls of our own homes.
I am inspired by the movie Courageous. This movie is the story about a police officer who, after a traumatizing event in his life, strives to become a better father. Through his police work, he recognizes the enormous void in a young person’s life when there is a father (or mother) missing. The impact is dramatic. He decides with his co-workers to make a pact about the example they set to their children and within their community. His individual determination is very noteworthy.
The character, Adam Mitchell, provides a stirring example throughout the movie, including a talk he gives to his church at the conclusion of the movie. I’d like to share some of his words. Although Adam Mitchell speaks in terms of fatherhood, I’d like to encourage interchanging the word father for “mother” or “leader in the home”.
“In my home, the decision has already been made. You don’t have to ask who will guide my family, because by God’s grace, I will. You don’t have to ask who will teach my son to follow Christ, because I will. Who will accept the responsibility of providing and protecting my family? I will. Who will ask God to break the chain of destructive patterns in my family’s history? I will. Who will pray for and bless my children to boldly pursue whatever God calls them to do? I am their father. I will. I accept this responsibility, and it is my privilege to embrace it. I want the favor of God and his blessing on my home. Any good man does. So where are you, men of courage? Where are you, fathers who fear the Lord? It’s time to rise up and answer the call that God has given to you and to say, I will, I will, I will” (Kendrick, 2011).
It’s time to step up and love your family more. Spend a little more time with them. Speak a little kinder to them. Teach them about god, respect, and responsibility. Influence their lives a little bit more. Be a little bit better of an example for them. Others will follow what they see. It’s a win/win scenario for you and your family!
- Courageous movie poster (accessed 2022, February 1).
- Kendrick, A. (2011, September 30). Courageous [Drama].
- Saniskoro, D.H. (accessed 2022, February 1). People Doing Group Hand Cheer. Pexels.