The father/husband is first and foremost, the pastor (shepherd) of the family, through example, and through teaching. The neglect of this role is the cause of many ‘deficient’ Christians who have no comprehension for the need to be discipled and to be ‘fed’. Instead, what it creates is a generation of ‘Christians’ who do not want to be ‘taught’ but one who wants to learn through ‘sharing’. There should not be any ‘leadership’, because of their aversion to the Roman Catholic position on popery. And you do not look at history to teach, because no one is perfect (not knowing that contemporary grasp of the original language of Greek and Hebrew is always declining as time passes from one generation to another). This is but the crust of the problem of neglecting the true call of Scripture for pastoral oversight that fundamentally begins in the family unit (and later in the church unit).
What good is there for a man who thinks he is able to plummet into the depths of the bible but fails to teach and help grow his children and wife in spiritual matters? What good is there if the wife and children only sees the father as a ‘teacher’ of God’s Word in church and over the dining table, but not in the things that matter; in family life? What hypocrisy is there if a father only talks and proclaim much about this doctrine or that, but is unable to teach his own family these things in a manner that is comprehendible by the members?
Such neglect is surely a tell tale sign of the condition of a church. A church that ‘does many acts of visible good’ but fails to do any ‘acts of spiritual good in the family’ is but a resounding gong that will expose the unrealism of spiritual life that they seek to espouse.
A very challenging topic for our generation that puffs up in ‘knowledge’ but is so lacking in the main things that matter.
One of the best literature on this is www.hnrc.org/files/FamilyWorship.pdf by Joel Beeke.
This applies also to families that do not have children as much as to couples with children. The family unit is not exempted by God’s demand for righteousness that is geared to eternity!