Many of you know that a lot of my out-of-town speaking-teaching-training engagements focus on ministry to men. Retreats, conferences, keynotes, books – everything possible in the way of encouragement and accountability.
One question that often comes up is this, “Aren’t men supposed to be the authority in the family?”
I usually respond by pointing out that the scriptures tend to focus on God as head of household. I especially appreciate the way Joshua explained things when he challenged some folk who wanted to follow cultural norms rather than God.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
Like I said, I’m in the business of offering encouragement. Consequently, one of my favorite things to say to guys who try to make the Bible support their preference for male chauvinism is this: If you really want to be the leader in your home, then be this kind of a leader:
- A leader in terms of demonstrating Christ-like love,
- a leader in practicing kindness,
- a leader in building up,
- a leader in generosity,
- and a leader in what it means to serve.
If you insist on being the leader of your home, then be a servant leader first and you’ll find that your wife will pretty much follow you anywhere.
We need to constantly remind ourselves that kindness, generosity, patience, encouragement, gentleness, faithfulness and peace are the elements of Christ-like love we are called to model as Christian men.
In my experience, men who become more faithful and committed followers of Jesus move – quite naturally – away from a posture that demands respect, and into a dynamic pattern of living faith where they earn it.
Peace, promise and grace – DEREK