The song Lead Me by Sanctus Real is the story of a father seeking guidance and strength from God in order to successfully lead his family.
He imagines the inner pleas of his outwardly happy and independent wife and children:
Lead me with strong handsKnowing only God can make him able to fulfill his family's needs, he closes the song with the following prayer:
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?
Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone
So Father, give me the strengthThis beautiful song reminds me of a talk from the Priesthood Session of the April 2012 General Conference: Families Under Covenant, by President Henry B. Eyring. In this talk, President Eyring suggests four things Priesthood fathers can do to lead their families:
To be everything I'm called to be
Oh Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't You lead me?
To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love
Chasing things that I could give up
I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me 'cause I can't do this alone
Father, lead me 'cause I can't do this alone
First, gain and keep a sure witness that the keys of the priesthood are with us and held by the President of the Church. Pray for that every day. The answer will come with an increase in determination to lead your family, in your feelings of hope, and with greater happiness in your service. You will be more cheerful and optimistic, a great blessing for your wife and family.
The second imperative is to love your wife [or husband]. It will take faith and humility to put her interests above your own in the struggles of life. You have the responsibility to provide for and to nurture the family with her while serving others. That can at times consume all the energy and strength you have. Age and illness may increase your wife’s needs. If you choose even then to put her happiness above your own, I promise you that your love for her will increase.
Third, enlist the entire family to love each other. President Ezra Taft Benson taught: “In an eternal sense, salvation is a family affair. … Above all else, children need to know and feel they are loved, wanted, and appreciated. They need to be assured of that often. Obviously, this is a role parents should fill, and most often the mother can do it best.” But another crucial source for that feeling of being loved is love from other children in the family. Consistent care of brothers and sisters for each other will come only with persistent effort by parents and the help of God. ... One way for you to reproduce the successes of Father Lehi is by the way you lead family prayers and family time, such as family home evenings. Give children opportunities to pray, when they can pray, for each other in the circle who need blessings. Discern quickly the beginnings of discord and recognize acts of unselfish service, especially to each other. When they pray for each other and serve each other, hearts will be softened and turned to each other and to their parents.
Leading our families in the way God intends requires His help! Fathers (and mothers) can find success in these roles by seeking direction from the Lord.