Porthos sat at the window, gaze straight, and body shaking. Crossing the yard was a family of turkeys. The father strutted in front, leading his family dutifully toward the woods across the road. The mother lagged behind with her turklets (baby turkeys), making a gobble that sounded much like, “hurry up, your father doesn’t want to stop for a bathroom break.” The babies, as would be expected, didn’t listen and pecked at one another. Mom turns around and snaps at the major perpetrator, threatening to turn the trip around, and everyone fell in line; father totally unaway of the whole affair.
Porthos went from room to room, not wanting to miss any opportunity to slip out and make a morsel out one of the slower fowl. To his shagrin the family of Turkey’s made their way across the road and out of sight. With nothing else to capture his limited imagination Porthos laid in the corner, surely dreaming of a very large drumstick.
Porthos wasn’t the only one watching these family antics. A table of six watched with delight as they passed by. We were amazed at God’s creation, the order, the beauty, and the commonality of behavior between higher and lower species. In no way are these fowl on par with humans, for we are created in the image of God. Yet, their behavior was, what I call, soulish. Predisposed toward human behavior, yet not having the brain capacity to understand what is happening.
The family structure, however, has parallels, and too often the father is ahead but not leading. One of the major complaints of wives is that their husbands don’t lead spiritually. They wish we would pray more with them, have daily devotions, and initiate spiritual conversations. I know because it has been that way in our house as well. Our culture has taught us that spirituality is for the weak. This thinking creeps in to the Christian family, and without intention, husbands and fathers fall into a pattern devoid of spiritual leadership. To the Corinthian men, Paul said,
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13,14.
It is the responsibility of men to take spiritual leadership by being watchful, standing firm in the faith and being strong. This is an act of manhood, and the strength is proven in our capacity to love. I have the privilege of being in a church family where a lot of men take spiritual leadership in their home. But there is an increasingly disproportionate group of male leadership coming up through the next generation. Let us who are mature disciple those who need to grow, that they too will be strong, godly men, who long to see their families grow in Christ. I’m just saying…