This post is part of a three part series. See parts one and two.
Of all the duties of fatherhood, it is the munus regendi —the duty to shepherd, based on Christ’s role as King—that is most likely to offend modern sensibilities. The father has authority? The father is a king? Come on! That’s outdated chauvinistic patriarchy. We’ve moved beyond that. This is the 21st century, after all.
The reason for this all too common reaction is that we inevitably associate kingship and authority with abuse and oppression. The modern mind, steeped in democratic individualism, is trained to believe that all kings must be bad kings, and the only noble thing to in the face of authority is rebel.
And yet the fact remains that Christ is repeatedly described as a king, and his Church is constantly referred to as a kingdom. Seek first the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is among you. Christ is a true king, and his Church, ruled by his vicar, is indeed a kingdom.
The father, too, possesses authority as the head of the family, participating in and picturing the headship of Christ (see Ephesians 5:23). But as we will see, this authority is not a weapon to be wielded, but rather a mandate to serve. Let’s take a look at exactly what Christ-like kingship is.
I am among you as one who serves
There are many examples of Christ’s kingship in Scripture, but one passage is preeminent in illustrating exactly what Christ-like authority looks like. Here it is:
And now, rising from supper, he laid his garments aside, took a towel, and put it about him; and then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the feet of his disciples, wiping them with the towel that girded him. 
In another Gospel, we find out that right before this, the disciples were once again quarrelling about who was