For the past few years, I’ve read a ton of books each year. They’ve been (mostly) the helpful, funny, fascinating, growing kind that you’re glad you invested your time in. However, quantity isn’t always quality, so I’m shifting my focus in 2019 to read fewer books; better books; books which grow me; and also intentionally reading much more of my Bible. So this year, I plan to re-read a small pile of books that have been particularly transformative for me. The Books Worth a Look series will be a monthly post sharing highlights from my deep dive into these books that I think are super helpful.
Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur
Launching 2019 with a focus on how to be a better father (and husband) seemed like a great way to begin my reading year (hey, I need all the help I can get). Here are the most challenging, most encouraging, most life-shaping quotes from this highly re-readable resource from MacArthur.
No duty in my life is more important or more sacred than my role as a husband and Father. That is where my true character is most accurately seen, and it is the best single gauge of my overall success or failure as a leader and role model.Page 7
Furthermore, because home is where a person’s true temperament is most clearly on display, no one knows the real character of a man better than his own children.
The Bible says a man is responsible to lead in his home, care for his wife, and provide instruction for his children. Those responsibilities are clearly spelled out in Scripture. When they’re neglected, the family will fall apart.Page 15
For that reason, one of the best ways you as a husband can show love to your wife is by leading her to ever-increasing virtue. Encourage her toward holiness in the same way Christ seeks to sanctify the church so that “He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing” (Ephesians 5:27).Page 24
If you want your marriage to be blessed, you need to take care of your wife. When you know she has a need, you should seek to meet it. When you know she has a longing in her heart and it’s a reasonable one that will add to her virtue and well-being, you ought to do what you can to fulfill it. Your wife is a God-given treasure to be cared for, nourished, and protected. That’s exactly how Christ takes care of his church.Page 26
Yet in light of the fact that you as a father are vested with the role of leadership in the home, ultimately the manner in which you and your wife agree to raise your children starts with you. You are also the one who will answer to God for leadership in your family. While job commitments may mean that your wife does more of the day-to-day nurture and admonition of your children, by virtue of your role as leader of your home, you bear the responsibility of making decisions about how you and your wife discipline and instruct your children.Page 46
You cannot be passive in the parenting process.
Don’t indulge your children when it comes to their self-will. Teach them that they are called to obey God, yet cannot do so without his grace at work in their hearts. Show them their sin, and explain that only God can change their hearts through faith in Jesus Christ. At every opportunity, encourage your children towards a personal relationship with the Lord. At all times, your goal is not merely to modify your children’s behaviour, but to lead them to Christ so that God can change their hearts.Page 74
Fulfilling your role as the spiritual leader of your family starts by admitting your inadequacy and your full dependence on God for help. It’s when you yield yourself fully to God that he can work through you and enable you to fulfill your divine duties as a dad.Page 141
In 2 Timothy 3:17, Paul talks about the “man of God” who is “adequate, equipped for every good work.” What is it that equips such a man? You’ll find the answer back in verse 16: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” If you are wondering what you should be doing as a father, the Bible will tell you. Study it, and you’ll be equipped to lead your family.Page 141
Being a dad is an enormous responsibility. I’m grateful for men like John MacArthur who burn a clear path through the dense (sometimes dangerous) overgrowth of what society thinks, clearly articulating everything that God would have us know about being a dad who leads.