Leadership is very important in every sphere of life; no organization ever rises above its level of leadership, this is true of corporate bodies and true of the home. What the human brain is to the rest of the body is the closest analogy of what a father’s role is to the family. When a tiny clot of blood lodges in the brain, it results in stroke or cerebro-vascular accident in medical parlance. The physical manifestation of stroke may be paralysis of a whole side of the body and malfunctions of some internal organs such as the bladder and anal sphincters. The damage caused by a small blood clot in a blood vessel in the brain is more widespread than if the same clot is lodged in a blood vessel of a limb or internal organ.
When a father is absent or abdicates his responsibilities, the family is affected in diverse ways unless there are persons who will step in the gap to mitigate the effects of a father’s absence.
The task of providing leadership in the home is one of the responsibilities of a father who is the head of the home; he shares this role with his wife depending on his willingness to delegate responsibilities to his wife. In a Christian home, he provides leadership by serving the family in the following areas:
1. Being an example in all that is good. A father must be above board in matters of morals and character. The best way to show your family which way to follow is to walk on that path. In common parlance, you have to walk the talk.
2. Loving and respecting your wife and making the rest of the family follow suit. Your wife deputizes for you in your absence; when you love and respect her, the rest of the family takes her seriously. Loving and respecting your wife empower her to take up the slack in your leadership responsibilities. A wife that is not appreciated may be a passive observer in a home that desperately needs her input. Let your children know that an insult hurled at their mother is an insult hurled at you and this would not be tolerated.
3. Managing the resources of the family. Very few families have all the resources they need for daily survival; the rest must walk the tight rope of balancing income against expenditure. A husband must ensure the family lives within its means; the family that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing as the time-worn adage says.
4. Leading the family in daily devotions which entails praying and reading the Bible. The husband is the priest in the Christian home; he presents the family to God in prayers while through sharing from the Bible, he brings God’s instructions to the family. Children from such a family have a godly heritage that they will pass on to the next generation.
5. Providing discipline for erring members of the family. Discipline is what makes children learn very early in life that actions have consequences and so they must mind what they do and the company they keep. Defiant children may grow up to be law breakers and under achievers because they cannot pay the prize for success.
6. Making sure the home environment is safe. A father is the chief security officer of the home; he has a responsibility of ensuring that the family lives in a safe neighborhood. He must also ensure that his children are protected from sexual molestation.
7. Settling family quarrels and disputes. Disputes and misunderstanding are part of family life; the father must ensure there are no festering disagreements that can disrupt normal family life. Parents must be examples of keeping short accounts of offenses committed against them. Banish sibling rivalry by making sure every child is celebrated. Talent hunt in the family enables the family discover the gifts and talents of family members.
8. Meeting the needs of the family. The father must work hard, ably supported by the wife in providing for the material needs of the family. Inability to provide for one’s family undermines a father’s authority in the home.
9. Supervising your children’s studies. Children rise up to the academic expectation of their parents. When a father is overtly interested in his children’s academic performance, they get the message that education is valuable. Learning takes up the energy in children which otherwise might be channeled into antisocial activities.
10. Instilling moral values in to your children through moral instructions. A father should help his children develop principles by which they would live responsible, purpose-driven lives.
11. Helping your children acquire skills such as decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, conflict-resolution skills. These skills will make your children stand out among their peers. These skills are highly sought after by employers of labor.
12. Skills at domestic chores. Boys and girls should have their share of domestic duties; it introduces them to work early in life. It also infuses in to them, a sense of responsibility.