Being a Dad Who Leads
John MacArthur, pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and president of The Master’s College & Seminary, has written a dynamic book on the biblical call to fatherhood. He is also the featured teacher for the “Grace to You” radio broadcasts, which impacts millions worldwide. As a married father of four adult children and grandfather to 15 grandchildren, MacArthur lives the message he writes about in this book. As a professional man who has folks pulling at him, constantly demanding his time, energy and expertise, he truly understands the challenges of being a man (a husband, a father and a grandfather) in times such as these. Which is why readers will find his work of such value to today’s time-scarce man.
"MacArthur shines a bright light of challenge, encouragement and instruction that will guide every dad toward fulfilling his most meaningful work on the planet: that of being a dad."
Given the title of this important book, MacArthur may surprise some readers by starting out with a foundational chapter about focusing on God’s primary call to married men: being the leader of his home by laying down his life for his wife every single day. He shares portions of Scripture where God instructs men to love their wives sacrificially in the same manner that Christ laid down His life for His followers. “Biblically speaking, your responsibilities as a husband and father come before everything else. That’s how it was designed by God, who created the marriage union and the family unit as the earliest and most foundational elements of all human society. When the family breaks down, society breaks down as well. A strong family --- and a healthy society --- starts with the husband’s leadership in the home.”
Following this basis for a strong family unit study, MacArthur continues his call to biblical fatherhood by specifically targeting the essential elements of raising children in the Lord (parts one and two); leading your children to grow in wisdom; a father’s love for a rebellious child; and a call for strong and courageous dads. He shares with men that they will face two great pressures that will come against their efforts to raise children in households where God is honored above all.
First, there is the external pressure from the culture. It used to be that adults were around to offer protection to their children from outside forces, but now much of the societal danger comes directly into every home via the media. No longer can it be assumed that once kids are inside the home, they are safe. With the onset of constant media and technological influences invading every part of a person’s life, parents have to be vigilant to keep their kids away from harmful outside influences. Second, parents face the internal pressure of the fallen human nature. As MacArthur reminds fathers, our kids are born with a sinful nature, and parents need to help teach them, guide them and lead them to a saving faith in Christ.
Fathers have a tough job in front of them these days when most of the media disparages the parental role of fatherhood. And yet, MacArthur shines a bright light of challenge, encouragement and instruction that will guide every dad toward fulfilling his most meaningful work on the planet: that of being a dad.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on May 25, 2014