“Every father needs to learn how to be both Lion and lamb with his children, like Jesus is with us”.

Pastor Mark Driscoll

My youngest daughter last week made a comment that struck me.  She looked at my hands and she said “daddy your hands are so big but yet so soft.” It immediately made me emotional because it reminded me of something that God had revealed to me about a year ago. I always remembered how my fathers hands looked when I was young.   About a year ago God told me very clearly that I needed to change and to be both mother and father for my children while they were with me. The thought of that scared the life out of me. I know that women have done it for decades in the absence of good fathers, but for me that came from a situation of having a good mother in their life, it’s not something that came naturally. I knew that it was going to be a work in progress.

The Difference Between Lion & Lamb

When I was growing up, we were taught that if you were going to be a man, you need to be stern and strong and tough and not have emotions. In the last year and a half I have learned that that’s not the model that Jesus set out for us at all. When Jesus was driving up to seven demons from Mary, was He a lion or did he treat her with love and tenderness like a lamb (Luke 8:2)? How about the man in the cemetery that had “legion” of demons cast out of him (Mark 5:1-20).  Jesus was the opposite of a lion in that scenario because He asked the demons. “What would you like me to do for you”? And then He did exactly what they asked before driving them out of the man. If Jesus can be compassionate and loving to demons in demon possessed people, it tells me that in the worst of circumstances and  in the most serious situations, it requires you often times being peaceful and loving and caring, even if you don’t feel like it. This is super hard as the alpha male but I am grateful that God in His infinite wisdom knew how to drive me into humility so that I would learn what He always wanted for me.   But it still begs the question, is there a time to be a lion as a father. I would say, of course, and so would Jesus.  Again, if you follow Jesus’ example, think about the time with the moneychangers where he overturned the tables in the temple courts (Mark 11:15-18). Jesus was so mad that his followers were being deceived and that evil was being introduced to them in a place of worship that he made his own whip and started driving out the evil doers!. You have to be pretty upset to make your own whip and then start driving people out! I envision this is how a father should be and I already am when someone attacks or comes after my children or those that I love. God says that it better to have a millstone tied around your neck and thrown into the sea than to allow your children to stumble or be deceived (Luke 17:2).  That’s the time to be a lion; when it’s time to defend your family, your values, and your beliefs and willing to defend them with your life and your actions.


I now understand that being a lion is ok but most of the time, especially with small children and females in my life, I need to be a lamb!  As a man, God has called us to be the head of the family, and what that means is very clearly defined in the Bible:

A Man Protects

One of the most basic roles of a man and father is to protect those that he loves.  Nehemiah 4:9 says this-“But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.”

(1 Peter 3:7)- The bible says that those that you love must actually be safe AND also have to feel safe.  they cant do this if you are a lion 100% of the time!

I decided that I want my kids to see me and my hands as a tool for safety and protection instead of fear.

A Man Provides

As a man your must provide for your family, children and even to leave a legacy for your children’s children.  Some of that is about money and much of it is about leaving healthy traditions and reversing generational curses in our families.

Genesis 2:15- “God put the man in the Garden of Eden to work at and to make it prosper.”

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 says that you must be willing to work hard to provide for your family and if you don’t do so you shouldn’t eat.

1 Timothy 5:8 says that any man that doesn’t provide for his family and relatives isn’t worth his salt cording to the Lord

A Man Pastors His Family 

Ephesians 6:1-4– according to the Bible and God, it is the fathers responsibility to raise the children, and bring them up with the fear of the Lord, and to follow his laws and decrees. To me that means be the first to go first (often times to go painfully first). To lead them to church and God,  to continue to foster a relationship through bible study so that you can pass on what you learn and to Have a heart of discipleship to train your kids up the way Jesus led the 12.

There is no question that the man is the head of the house. if the man doesn’t go to church with his kids, they have only a 2 % chance or being regular attenders themselves.  Their are tons of statistics about what happens to kids without fathers and some of them are awful.  Here are just a few:

83% of youth suicides
90% of all homeless and runaway children
85% of all children who show behavioral disorders
71% of all high school dropouts
75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers
85% of youths in prison
81% of pregnant teenagers
The question is not is the father the head, but rather are you a good head or a bad head. To be a good head of the household, I believe you need to be both lion and lamb!  Which father do you choose to be?