As a father and grandfather, one of the greatest joys of my life is being with my family. At the beginning of this year, my wife, Phyllis, decided to have a special birthday celebration for each of our family members. We plan their favorite meal and dessert, give them gifts, and play games. However, the most special part of the celebration is when we all we sit around the family room, and each person will speak blessings over that particular family member.
I was particularly blessed most recently when my oldest grandson decided he did not want to celebrate his birthday unless I was there (I was scheduled to be out of town on his actual birthday). Everyone agreed to make some schedule adjustments so I could be there.
In thinking about how special this was to me and in light of Father’s Day, I was reminded of how vital the role of a father is in the family. Think about it, what would life be like without our heavenly Father? I am so thankful to know Him, and have a deep, personal relationship with Him. He is so good to His children, and He is ALWAYS faithful to do what He said. He truly sets the greatest example before us of what a GREAT father is.
In Revelation 1, we are told that we have been made kings and priests unto God. Every Christian, whether man or woman, stands before God as a priest. However, just as God has placed levels of authority in the church, He has also placed levels of authority in the home. Regardless of what popular opinion is today, God has placed the husband as head of the wife, which makes him the high priest in the home.
Ephesians 5:22-23, Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the savior of the body.
One of the responsibilities that belonged to the priesthood of the Old Testament was that of offering sacrifices. Today, of course, we no longer are required to shed animal blood to atone for sins because Jesus’ blood settled that once and for all. Today, our relationship in the family of God is secure. Many times, however, our fellowship is strained or broken because of sin. The responsibility of keeping our families in step with the will and purpose of God rests on the husband and father, and we accomplish this through prayer. The Word instructs us to pray and intercede for ALL men. How much more is this true for our wives and children?
As the high priest, the husband and father stands in a tremendous position of authority. We can take our wives and children before the Father and right any wrongs that may exist. Of course, any Christian can do this for another but there is something special about it when the head of the family is involved.
In addition to offering sacrifices, the priests were to offer the first fruits and supervise tithing. If you read the entire 26th chapter of Leviticus, you will see there were certain confessions which were made over the tithe as well. Many people today have equated tithing to writing a check and putting it in the offering plate. However, tithing is a holy thing to Jesus. The tithe represents a portion of your life that you are giving for the work of the Gospel, and as the head of the family, men should take an active role in the tithe. Speak words of blessing and abundance over that portion of your life as you do over other things in your life. As you do, you’re enabling the Lord to get involved in your finances in a greater way.
Finally, the priests were to speak blessings to the children of Israel. Words are important to God, and this is why throughout the Word, we see over and over again an emphasis on words. Your family needs to be encouraged and uplifted. When my grandson requested that we change the date of his birthday celebration to a time when I could be there, it was because he wanted to hear the words I had for him. Words do matter in the lives of our family. You may be reading this thinking that it’s too late. Listen, it’s never too late! See your words as tools to help steer your loved ones right back into the plan of God for their lives.
There were many responsibilities that the priests in the Old Testament had, but these three mentioned here will do wonders for your families. Remember this, your children and grandchildren are watching you, and this has never been more important than in these perilous times. Regardless of what it may feel like today, you are setting an example for your family to follow.