Joshua 24:15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
How many of us spend our lives saying one thing and doing something completely different? We want to lead our family in spiritual things, but the day-to-day choices we make don’t often reflect that intention. Previously, we talked about how leading spiritually is a matter of influence. It’s not about making anyone do anything, it’s about leading from a position of doing what’s right so that others will want to follow.
One area where I believe a lot of fathers fall short is integrity. We say with our lips that we believe this or that, we even teach our children to do as we say, but in reality we wouldn’t want them following in the footsteps of what we do. This doesn’t have to mean we have secret sins like addictions, it can just mean we tell our kids to stay strong and put their faith in God while we worry ourselves sick instead of trusting Him ourselves. That’s a lack of integrity and a lot of us are guilty of that one.
No doubt Joshua was a man to look to as an example. He remained faithful to God and led his people into the Promised Land and to victory. We should take his words seriously. In today’s reading he urges the people he leads to cast off the idols of their ancestors and to make the choice to follow God. He doesn’t try to make anyone do it, he lays it out and then says “I know what I’m doing. I’m choosing God.” We can do that too. It doesn’t matter what your coworkers think about it or whether or not your family is initially interested in following. You choose to follow God for your sake and lead by your example and they’ll either choose to come along or not. You don’t get to decide for them, but you get to decide for you. What will you choose to do?