Monday, March 19, 2018

Timothy, A Church Leader Must Know How to Manage His Own Family

"[An overseer] must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)"
(1 Timothy 3:4-5, NIV)

I recently watched Billy Graham's Funeral on Youtube and I was touched by many wonderful testimonies about the man of God. Though as I read his book Just As I Am, he was far from being a perfect father (he became an absent husband and father during his crusade rallies), his life both in the ministry and home is very encouraging. Franklin Graham, who delivered the main funeral message, said, "The Billy Graham that the world saw on television, the Billy Graham that the world saw in the big stadiums, was the same Billy Graham that we saw at home. There weren't two Billy Grahams. He loved his family. He stood by us. He comforted us." Anne Graham Lotz also testified, "My Father's legacy is one that encompasses the world… and engulfs my own life.  When I think of him, I don't think of Billy Graham, the public figure.  I think of my Daddy."

As Christian leader, no matter how busy he is, no matter how much ministry he needs to do, he "must manage his own family well." If he has children, he should take great care of them. Pastor's kids (PKs), for example, are faced with problems other children do not face and more. Though most PKs become rebellious due to the pressure and the expectation from others and self, their fathers have much to do with the kind of sons and daughters they will be. Do they see one man in the pulpit and another type of man at home? A leader must be led by God's authority and good examples that his children will want to know their father's Lord and Saviour. In this way, the "children [will] obey him with proper respect." Franklin Graham respects his father because he sees that: "There weren't two Billy Grahams."

Married Christian leader "must manage his own family well." His wife and children are to be in submission (Ephesians 5:22) and obedience (Ephesians 6:1) to him, not because he is "the boss," but because the Bible teaches God has placed him at the head of the home and holds him responsible for it. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church…" (Ephesians 5:25) and "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Simply put, Paul says if a leader has failed at home, he cannot possibly succeed in directing the church. So the question that he puts is both for self-examine and for qualification: If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?


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