As For Me And My House

Posted by on Nov 7, 2011

As For Me And My House

“As For Me And My House”

Scripture Text:  Joshua 24:15

Audio Version: As For Me And My House MP3

By Pastor Mike Withem
First Baptist Church
Ranson, West Virginia

Introduction:

A. As we continue our theme of “Fighting For The Family,” I want to once again focus our attention on the HUSBANDS and the DADS who are here this morning.
1. And I want to begin with this simple statement.
2. If we are going to be successful in this struggle, if we are going to win this battle, it is absolutely essential that we step up to the plate and assume our God given role as LEADERS of our families.
3. One of the problems that I see in many families today is that the husband has abdicated his role as leader, either leaving the family leaderless or forcing his poor wife to assume this role.
4. There are two things, fellows, that you need to understand.
5. First of all, you need to understand that God has given this role to YOU, not to your wife.
6. This is why the Bible admonishes wives to submit to the authority of their husbands.
7. For example, the Bible says in Eph. 5:22, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
8. The second thing you need to understand is that your wife is NOT SUITED to lead your family (not just your wife, but NO wife is suited for this role).
9. This is why God said in 1 Tim. 2:12, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”
10. When you abdicate your authority as husband and force your wife to assume your role as leader of the family, you force her to do something for which she is not suited, and this is a great INJUSTICE to her!
11. (Illus.- I don’t know how many wives I have counseled over the years who were both weary and frustrated because they were having to fulfill not only their roles as a wife and a mother, but also their husband’s role as leader of the family. Some were on the verge of a spiritual “meltdown.”)
12. And so, guys, let me say it again, if we are going to win this battle for our families, it is absolutely essential that we step up to the plate and assume our God given role as LEADERS.

B. Joshua is a good example of this.
1. How do we know that Joshua was the leader of his family?
2. We know because when he spoke in Vrs. 15 of our text, he spoke not only for himself, but for his ENTIRE family.
3. Notice again what he said, “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
4. He didn’t say, “As for me, I will serve the LORD,” but rather, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
5. Joshua was definitely the leader of his family.

C. Another example of leadership is Abraham. Notice something that God said about Abraham in Gen. 18:19, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment;”
1. Now to be sure, there were times in Abraham’s life when he clearly dropped the ball as a leader. (The fiasco with Hagar is just one example.)
2. However, for the most part, Abraham led well.
3. But someone asks, “If we men (husbands and fathers) are to be the leaders of our families, HOW are we to do it? Exactly how are we to lead?”
4. May I say, first of all, that we are to lead…

I. Confidently.

A. Not only was Joshua the leader of his family, but he led confidently.
1. How do I know that?
2. I know because of one word that we find, again in Vrs. 15 of our text, Joshua said, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
3. Notice that he did not say, “…we might serve the LORD,” or “..perhaps we will serve the LORD,” or “..if I can get the wife and kids to agree, we will serve the LORD,” but rather “…we will serve the LORD.”
4. Listen, that’s STRONG, CONFIDENT leadership!
5. That’s the way that we, as husbands and fathers today, should lead our families!

B. Now this raises a question, “How could Joshua be so confident? This kind of confidence is not easy to come by, especially now days. How could Joshua be so confident?”
1. Well, let me say, first of all, Joshua’s confidence did NOT originate with him, but rather with GOD.
2. You see, many years earlier in Joshua’s life, when he took the reins of leadership from Moses, God made three promises to Joshua.
3. First of all, He promised TO BE WITH HIM.
4. Notice what God said to Joshua in Josh. 1:5, “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
5. Not only did God promise to be with Joshua, He also promised to MAKE HIM BOTH STRONG AND COURAGEOUS.
6. Notice what God told him in Josh. 1:6, “Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.”
7. Last of all, God promised TO GIVE HIM DIRECTION.
8. Notice Josh. 1:7, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.”
9. In other words, God said, “Joshua, don’t be afraid, because not only am I going to be with you, and not only am I going to make you strong and courageous, but I have given you a ‘playbook.’ If you just follow my ‘playbook,’ you will prosper and have great success.”

C. And so, Joshua’s confidence came from God, and was  based on three promises,…
-the promise of God’s PRESENCE,
-the promise of God’s STRENGTH,
-the promise of God’s DIRECTION.

D. But someone says, “Wait a minute, pastor. That was then, not now. That was Joshua, and I am certainly NO Joshua!”
1. Well, guess what, I am no Joshua either.
2. But I tell you what, both you and I have EVERY ADVANTAGE that Joshua had.
3. For example, we too have the promise of God’s PRESENCE. Do you remember what Jesus told His church just before He ascended back to His Father in heaven? He said, “…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:20)
4. We also have the promise of God’s STRENGTH. In Eph. 6:10, Paul admonished the Ephesian believers to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
5. We also have the promise of God’s DIRECTION. In 2 Tim. 3:16, we read,  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
6. And so, we may not be another Joshua, but we have EVERY ADVANTAGE that he had, and we can have just as much confidence as God gave to him.

E. Not only should we lead confidently, we should also lead…

II. Lovingly.

A. Fellows, listen to me very carefully for just a moment.
1. While it is vitally important that we be strong leaders of our families, if we do not lead LOVINGLY (in other words, if we do not exhibit love toward our wives and our children), our strong leadership will come across as being HARSH.
2. Yes, we need to be strong, but we also need to be loving.
3. Yes, we need to be firm, but we also need to be loving.
4. Yes, we need to be unyielding (at least, at times), but we also need to be loving.

B. The apostle Paul made this very clear in his letters to the Ephesian and Colossian believers.
1. For example, in Eph. 5:25, Paul wrote, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”
2. Then again in Eph. 5:28, “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”
3. Col. 3:19, “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
4. And so, the Bible commands husbands to love their wives.

C. However, let me remind you that loving your wife means far MORE than just telling her every now and then that you love her.
1. Words are important, especially to our wives, but ACTIONS are far more important than words.
2. It’s not enough for us husbands to simply SAY to our wives, “Honey, I love you.”
3. We must also demonstrate our love by giving of ourselves, by giving of our TIME, our ENERGIES, and our AFFECTIONS.
4. In other words, we must demonstrate our love for our wives the way that God demonstrated His love for us.
5. What does the Bible say in John 3:16? It says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,”

D. Now why is it important that we husbands lead lovingly?
1. It is important because if we don’t love our wives (demonstrate our love to them every day by giving of ourselves to them), they are going to RESENT our leadership. (And I can’t say that I would blame them!)
2. (Illus.- Several years ago I was counseling with a lady who’s marriage was on the verge of collapse. While there were many problems in their marriage, I will never forget one thing that she said to me. She said, “Pastor, I know that God wants me to submit to my husband, but it is SO hard for me to do that!” When I asked her why it was hard, here is what she told me. She said, “My husband treats me like dirt!”)
3. (Illus.- Over the years, I have had many husbands say to me, “Pastor, I don’t know what’s wrong, but my wife absolutely refuses to submit to me. She knows the Bible, she knows she is supposed to submit, but she just won’t do it. Will you talk to her and see if you can get her to listen to me?” My answer has always been the same. I said to them, “Brother, I may talk to your wife, later, but BEFORE I do, let me ask YOU a question. How do you treat your wife???”)
4. Hey, fellows, do you know what I have discovered over the years? I have discovered that most of the time, when a wife has trouble submitting to her husband, it is because they feel unloved.
5. But someone says, “Pastor, I love my wife, but she still won’t submit to my authority!”
6. Okay, let me ask you a question, “What have you DONE in the last week to SHOW your wife that you love her? Other than going to work and bringing home a paycheck at the end of the week, what SACRIFICE have you made in the past week to demonstrate your love to your wife?”
7. Listen guys, I would venture to say that if you will love your wife as you should, not just TELLING her that you love her, but SHOWING her that you love her, she most likely will submit to your authority without any hesitation whatsoever.

E. And so, not only should we lead confidently, we should also lead lovingly. May I say, finally, that our leadership should also be…

III. Exemplary.

A. In other words, we should lead, first and foremost, by our EXAMPLE!
1. Again, Joshua is a good illustration of this.
2. What did he say? He said, “You can follow or not follow, that’s up to you (I am paraphrasing now), but here’s what my family and I are going to do, we are going to serve the Lord!” (In other words, we are going to set the example!)

B. I am reminded of something that Paul wrote to his son in the ministry, Timothy, in  1 Tim. 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
1. In like manner, Peter admonished pastors to lead their flocks, “…not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples,” (1 Pet. 5:2-3)
2. The word “ensamples” here means “examples.”
3. And so, both young preachers and pastors should be an example to those to whom they minister.
4. The same thing is true of husbands and fathers, they TOO should lead, first and foremost, by their EXAMPLE.

C. JESUS, of course, is undoubtedly the best illustration of leading by example.
1. Do you remember when He washed His disciples’ feet?
2. Do you remember what He said to them once He had finished? He said, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:13-15)
3. In other words, Jesus didn’t just lecture them on the subject of humility, He provided them a living example.
4. This is why Peter wrote in 1 Pet. 2:21, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:”

D. Men, the best way to lead your family is by your own example, and this is especially true when it comes to your children.
1. (Illus.- Let me illustrate. A study was done a while back, revealing that when both Mom and Dad attend church on a regular basis, there is a 72% chance that their children will remain faithful in church once they leave home. When only Dad attends, the percentage drops to 55%. When only Mom attends [Dad stays home], the percentage drops to 15%.)
2. Listen Dad, you ought to be the first one out of bed on Sunday morning. (You ought to be the first one out the front door!)
3. Your leadership should be exemplary.

Conclusion:

A. Now let me go back to the first statement that I made this morning, “If we are going to be successful in the struggle for our families, if we are going to win this battle, it is absolutely essential that we step up to the plate and assume our God given role as LEADERS.
1. How are we to lead?
2. We are to lead CONFIDENTLY.
3. We are to lead LOVINGLY.
4. Our leadership is to be EXEMPLARY.
5. How about it men?
6. Have YOU stepped up to the plate and assumed your God given role as leader of your family?
7. Are you leading confidently?
8. Are you leading lovingly?
9. Is your leadership exemplary?

B. Do you know for sure that if you died right now, you would go to heaven? If not, let me tell you how you can know.
1. First of all, you must realize that YOU ARE A SINNER. (Rom. 3:23)
2. You must also realize that because you are a sinner, YOU DON’T DESERVE TO GO TO HEAVEN. (Rom. 6:23a)
3. In fact, there is nothing that you can do to earn the right to go heaven.
4. That’s the bad news, now let me tell you the good news.
5. The good news is that even though you are a sinner, and even though you don’t deserve to go to heaven, GOD STILL LOVES YOU.
6. In fact, He loves you so much that He sent his only Son, Jesus, into this world so that He could DIE ON THE CROSS FOR YOUR SINS. (Rom. 5:8)
7. When the Bible says that “Christ died for us,” it simply means that He PAID THE PENALTY for our sins in full, and in doing so, purchased for us THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE. (Rom. 6:23b)
8. How does one receive this gift?
9. By simply BELIEVING IN JESUS (putting all of your faith and trust in Him and His sacrifice on the cross to get you to heaven). (John 3:16)

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