Families and households exist to picture the church to the world. The household you have is meant by God to picture the household of God.
When Timothy recommended the qualities of a church leader and the office of bishop of the church, he spoke of his role as a husband and father. Timothy pointed out that if a man couldn’t rule his own home how can he care for a church of God. The Bible says if God can’t trust you with little things how can He trust you with big things. A man’s leadership begins in his own home.
The Bible has many passages about shepherds and sheep. Ultimately, Jesus came at the Good Shepherd. Then God provides churches under shepherd or pastors. The word pastor means shepherd.
1 Timothy 3:1-5
This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, [c]not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)
In the Old Testament, an example was given of unfaithful shepherds. God said He had turned against the shepherds of Israel who were serving themselves and not caring for the flock. Their lives were not marked by self-sacrificing but by self-protecting. Shepherds must be in the hard and dirty work of caring for his flock. Jesus said, “If you love Me, feed my sheep.”
And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and [a]cruelty you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.”
7 ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”— 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! 10 Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”
Puritan William Perkins said the family and the Christian household is a little church. Likewise, the church is called the house of God. Family imagery is used throughout the Bible to talk about the church.
There is an enemy of our families. Fathers are placed in a position to fight for their families. God has called fathers to shepherd or pastor their family. This isn’t a choice. It is a command from God and you will be held accountable for it.
We tend to think that the church exists for the family. Families and households exist to picture the church to the world. The household you have is meant by God to picture the household of God. Are you the prophet at your house? A prophet is the one thought whom the Word flows. Are you the priest in your home? Priests go to God for his family. Are you the king of your home? A king rules well as the one who chooses that his house will serve the Lord.