by Mike McHugh
One of the key things that Christian home educators have in common is the desire to raise godly children who will be future leaders. In spite of this common goal, however, it is unlikely that most home school parents will invest much time trying to teach their children leadership principles. Teaching leadership principles from a biblical perspective is one of those activities that most parents think about from time-to-time (especially if they have sons) but seldom get around to doing in any deliberate manner.
The good news for any parent who is willing to make a more concerted effort to impart leadership principles to his children, is that a wealth of excellent study material is found in the Book of Nehemiah. In fact, this article could well have been entitled, "Everything I Needed to Know About Leadership I Learned From Nehemiah". As I have "mined" in this inspired Book over the years, the following principles or "gems" have come into view:
- Godly leaders must not be self-centered. True leaders will have a heart that can be touched by the suffering of those who are afflicted or oppressed. (Nehemiah 1:1-4,2:1-3)
- A wise leader will take his earthly problems or burdens to the Lord first, instead of last. Godly leaders have the Lord as their closest confidant or advisor. (Nehemiah 1:4-6 and Nehemiah 2:12)
- Godly leaders never make light of sin, nor do they pretend that their own sins are not part of the reason why the Lord is bringing judgement to a people. (Nehemiah 1:6-7)
- A faithful leader will not fail to trust in the mercy of the Lord, and will regularly pray and intercede for those who are under his charge. Nehemiah 1:8-11)
- A godly leader will make the effort to get as much solid first-hand intelligence regarding a situation as possible before proceeding to finalize his plans. (Nehemiah 2:11-17)
- A righteous leader will expect opposition or ridicule in the pursuit of his duty. As the old saying goes, "Power is guarded by problems". Only a very immature leader is shocked when opposition comes, even if it happens to come from within his own camp. (Nehemiah 2:9-19)
- Godly leaders are led by an inner strength of heart that flows out of a profound confidence in the Lord and in the special calling that is on their lives. (Nehemiah 2:18-20)
- God-fearing leaders will endeavor to solve the problems that confront their people in such a way that families will be strengthened and unified. In other words, when the righteous are in authority the importance of protecting and preserving the family will always remain a priority. (Nehemiah 3,4)
- Faithful leaders will encourage their people to walk softly, but also to carry a big stick for defensive purposes. (Nehemiah 4:14-18)
- Godly leaders must be willing and able to speak out on behalf of those who are unable to defend themselves from injustice. (Nehemiah 5)
The leadership principles listed above were all taken directly from the book of Nehemiah. In fact, these ten biblical principles were gleaned from just the first five chapters of this inspired book. What a treasure God’s people have in the Word of God!
Parents could spend many weeks gleaning additional leadership principles from the book of Nehemiah as well as from the book of Proverbs. These two books will provide parents with a wealth of practical information that will help them to train their children (especially their sons) in how to lead others in a Christ honoring manner.
Copyright 2006 Michael J. McHugh
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