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 (Joshua 24:15).
The idea that a father might speak on behalf of his family is anathema in our culture. What right does a man have to speak for his wife, or to indoctrinate his children? Choice really is the word for our culture.
As a father, I find Joshua’s words incredibly powerful and inspiring. He speaks decisively—for his family, simply stating that he and his household will serve the Lord. And he appears to have no reservations in so doing, and makes no apologies.
Let’s look carefully at Joshua’s words. “As for me and my house….” First, he speaks of himself. He will be a follower of the Lord. There is no hypocrisy here—he will go where he expects his family to go. He will be the man his sons will emulate, in whom his wife trusts, and in whom his daughters find their refuge and strength. Secondly, “we will serve the Lord.” Serving the Lord is not something that he will do alone, or something he will require of his family apart from him, but rather something that he and his family will do together. Servants of the Lord—this is who they are. And so Joshua defines his family.
I came across a startlingly suggestive book title a few months back: Abortion: The Ultimate Exploitation of Women by Brian Fisher. As bold as the title is, the (sub) subtitle is what arrested my attention: Men Started It. Men Oppress with It. Men Can End It. To the extent that this can be true prior to Jesus’ return, the end of abortion will begin with men who, humbly and resolutely, will declare with Joshua, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” And thereby show the rest of the world what it would look like for men to be men, leading even as they walk alongside their families in serving the Lord.