I’m going to let the text speak in a moment, because God’s words are always more important than mine, and so when I’m on a touchy or emotionally flammable topic, it’s usually far better (in my opinion) to let the Bible speak in its perfect way as quickly as possible after me in my stumbling.
But if you are a father and husband, like me, I am maintaining that the piece of God’s heart and will He shows us in Numbers 30 has something very good and very countercultural to tell you:
You have a unique authority over your wife and over the young daughters living in your home that He wants you to use for their good.
You have it whether you want or not. You have it whether they want you to have it or not. You have it whether the world wants you to have it or not. And if you abdicate by not leading them to Him, use that authority for your good rather than theirs, or bully and demean them, you are sinning against God, sinning against them, and screwing up your life.
I’ve had to repent of sins against my family almost weekly since my honeymoon, but by God’s grace I believe I’m becoming a better husband and dad for their good. And chapters like Numbers 30 remind me of how weighty my calling (and yours) is.
Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the people of Israel, saying, ‘This is what the Lord has commanded. If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. If a woman vows a vow to the Lord and binds herself by a pledge, while within her father’s house in her youth, and her father hears of her vow and of her pledge by which she has bound herself and says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father opposes her on the day that he hears of it, no vow of hers, no pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. And the Lord will forgive her, because her father opposed her. If she marries a husband, while under her vows or any thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she has bound herself, and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her pledges by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if, on the day that her husband comes to hear of it, he opposes her, then he makes void her vow that was on her, and the thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she bound herself. And the Lord will forgive her. But any vow of a widow or of a divorced woman, anything by which she has bound herself, shall stand against her. And if she vowed in her husband’s house or bound herself by a pledge with an oath, and her husband heard of it and said nothing to her and did not oppose her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she bound herself shall stand. But if her husband makes them null and void on the day that he hears them, then whatever proceeds out of her lips concerning her vows or concerning her pledge of herself shall not stand. Her husband has made them void, and the Lord will forgive her. Any vow and any binding oath to afflict herself, her husband may establish, or her husband may make void. But if her husband says nothing to her from day to day, then he establishes all her vows or all her pledges that are upon her. He has established them, because he said nothing to her on the day that he heard of them. But if he makes them null and void after he has heard of them, then he shall bear her iniquity.’ These are the statutes that the Lord commanded Moses about a man and his wife and about a father and his daughter while she is in her youth within her father’s house.
Christian fathers, do what you are called to do by being who you are called to be. And do it all knowing it’s for their good and His glory.