This other day I was chatting with a friend and we ended up discussing false teachers and prophets that are rampant nowadays. My friend then remarked: “Especially, women and youth, they are easily taken away by these false teachers and prophets. Whenever a person rises up and claims to be a ‘man or woman of God,’ you will see many women and youth flocking to him or her.”
Without giving it much thought, I agreed with my friend but later on as I reflected on this conversation, I realized I was wrong. In as much as we can blame women and youth and say that they are easily taken away by false teachers and prophets, men, especially husbands and fathers, are equally to blame. My point is: most of these women and youth that my friend described as ‘easily taken away’ are wives and children. Now, what do the husbands and fathers of these women and youth do when they see these things?
I asked myself this question because to some degree, I think that some of us men, especially, husbands and fathers, are not providing the spiritual leadership we are supposed to give in our homes and churches. Scripture is clear that God has entrusted spiritual leadership both in the home and church to men (husbands and fathers) (1 Timothy 3:1-13).
Failure to provide this leadership both in the church and home will lead to scenarios like the one I have cited above where women and children will fall into the trap of false teachers and prophets. Believe you me, when men fail or chicken out from providing spiritual leadership in their homes, the homes will crumble, churches will crumble and nations too.
Consider the fall. When we read Genesis 3, we notice that Adam failed to provide spiritual leadership when his wife, Eve, was being tempted by the serpent. Scripture tells us that Adam was with his wife when the serpent was tempting her. We read in Genesis 3:6: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her” (ESV, italics added).
Adam was with Eve yet the Scripture does not record any word or any action from him. He probably just kept quiet and watched his wife being misled by the devil. So, we see that Adam’s passiveness when his wife was being tempted led to the entry of sin into the home, church and nation. Can’t the same be said of us, Christian husbands and fathers, when we let our wives and children to be led astray by false teachers while we are there watching or we have busied ourselves with other things less important than the spiritual lives of our wives and children?
Furthermore, when Christian men fail to take up their leadership roles in the church, women end up being forced to provide the leadership which is not Scriptural. For instance, in my denomination, there is currently a great and hot debate regarding women taking leadership roles in the church as elders and deacons. Some, basing on the testimony of Scripture are opposing it while others are for it. Yet what surprises me most is that more women than men in my church attend services of worship on Sundays and mid-week prayers. Where are the men? I don’t know.
Now, when the time to nominate leaders for the church comes, even though some women will accept and understand that church leadership is for Christian men, they are somehow forced to nominate women because few men are available to take leadership roles in the church.
Please get me right here. I don’t intend to justify disobedience to God’s Word. The end never justifies the means. However, this is the reality that Christian men should ponder on. I still believe that some of us men are running away from our God-given responsibilities and roles and we are letting women down.
It is also not my intention to put the whole blame on men in regard to the spread of deception nowadays but still I feel compelled to say that we men need to do soul-searching on these matters and see if we are really providing the needed spiritual leadership in our homes and churches. The question that ought to linger in our minds is: “Where are Christian husbands and fathers when wives and children are falling prey to the deception orchestrated by false teachers and prophets today?”
Christian men, please rise and stand up and be counted. Of course, the battle is not physical but rather spiritual. It should, therefore, be our prayer that God will grant us the grace and strength to help us in providing leadership in our homes and churches. Really, this is not about us but Christ. His grace is always sufficient for us, so let’s lean on him as we rise to take up our God-given leadership roles and responsibilities. Can I get an “Amen” on that, please?