found time to occasionally play tag with the children in the yard and do things as a family. I kept faithful to my wife, hugged the kids, and took them all to church twice every Sunday. I honestly thought that I was a great husband and father. Looking back, the view is quite different. Although I did not see it myself at the time, the truth was simple and clear; I brought home the bread and maintained the house and yard, and Libby met my needs as well as hers and the children’s. I did nothing more and nothing less, and I believed the arrangement was fair, equitable, and proper. Little did I realize how much more God expects of me. In 1995, the Father began convicting me of my failure to provide headship for my household. I did not understand what it involved, but I began to budget more time with my wife and children. My heart was still in my career, but I was at least more conscious of my responsibilities at home. My heart’s desire was obedience to the Father, but changes in my life were evolutionary rather than revolutionary. I did not know what He expected of me as a father, and I was addicted to the pursuit of my career. On December 31, 1997, I surrendered my career, my pride, and my security to God. I asked Him to take my life and make it what He wanted me to be. God, in His infinite wisdom, led me to resign from my engineering management position in January of 1999. My career had defined my identity, my status, and my security. It was a difficult addiction to break. For eight months, I went “cold turkey.” I had no position, no income, and no job. I was a “nobody,” except a child of God and a husband and father to my family. This was the beginning of healing and restoration for my household. I learned that spending time with my family is not a good measure of success as a father. It is like a college student showing up every day for class; it is great that she is there, but that does not earn her an “A.” In the same way, I do need to spend time with my family, but a much larger responsibility rests upon my shoulders. The question Skip implicitly asked during our conversation that Friday evening was, “Why do I know that there are important things to do with my family, but I tend to busy myself with urgent but less important duties?” I often asked that question myself as I locked the doors and turned out the lights to tuck in another day. Perhaps you hear the call to assume a greater role as head of your household. You may sense distraction by the pursuit of career, sports, possessions, or hobbies. You may be struggling to balance the physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial demands of career and home. The urgent has you tight within its grip, while the important remains elusive. The goal of this book is to encourage you to embrace your calling, authority, and responsibility: to fulfill the roles of priest, prophet, and king in your household. We do not hear it often preached from the pulpits, and it certainly is not a part of our culture, but God has clearly charged husbands and fathers with serious responsibilities, and we will be held accountable. Many wives, single moms, and emotional widows will attest that they have indeed been left holding the bag while the men have squandered their responsibilities.
As I struggled to provide Biblical leadership within my household, I began to realize that the roles and responsibilities God ordained to fathers were unclear to me. The goal was clear; I wanted to care for and protect my wife and children. I wanted them to love God and intimately know Him. The hard part was consistently translating that goal into actions. Have you ever observed someone who clearly knew what they wished to accomplish but did not know how to do it? When my youngest son was perhaps four or five, he played soccer with a rather large group of fellow first-time players. Everyone (I think) knew that the object of the game was to keep the soccer ball out of his or her own net and kick it into the opponent’s goal. The objective was easy to understand, even for young, inexperienced, and untalented players. They played with great effort and enthusiasm, and it was fun to watch. No one played roles or positions; they swarmed around the ball five people deep as it followed the path of least resistance. Eventually, the swarm began to thin out, and kids started hanging back. Did they suddenly and intuitively find their positions on the field? No, they hung back because they just gave up, realizing that their attempt to participate was futile. It was at this point that the coach called them to the sideline and began to instruct them in the various positions and roles of a team. It was a modest start to be sure, but the game took on a new dimension when they returned to the field. I sometimes found myself standing at the sidelines of my family, not because I did not understand the goal or wish to participate. I simply needed more coaching to grasp my assigned position and the responsibilities that go with it. I needed a game plan. Uncertain of my position within my family, I busied myself with the urgent and failed to do the important. We discover a husband’s call to be priest, prophet, and king to his household in the Book of Ephesians. The Father compares the headship of a husband to the headship of Christ, “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior” (Ephesians 5:23, emphasis added). Right along side this verse, husbands are called to love their wives and give themselves up for her following the example of Christ to the Church, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25 emphasis added). Ephesians 5:23 states a fact, “the husband is the head of the wife.” Ephesians 5:25 is a command, “Husbands, love your wives,” directing husbands to a life of sacrificial service to them. As a husband, I must pay close attention to this comparison and command! Looking deeper, the Greek word for “as” (hos) in Ephesians 5:23 means “in the manner of.” The Greek word for “just as” (kathos) in Ephesians 5:25 has the sense of “in the amount and manner of.” Putting it all together, a husband is the head of the household in the manner that