Head Servant or Servant Leadership?

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I have a problem with servant leadership or maybe just the way it is taught. I am taught to be a servant leader at church and at the corporation I work for. In the corporate world this concept works quite well the way it is taught. But the majority of what I hear from the pulpits, preached online and taught in christian books doesn’t work. The difference I see is the over emphasis on serving when teaching christian men. In the corporate setting the hierarchy is clear. You know your boss and generally speaking you know you will be held accountable if you are not doing your job. Your boss serves you by removing obstacles that would prevent you from doing your job or providing training to help you navigate those challenges your self. A good boss wants to see you grow and flourish in your role. Part of the way the do this is by reviewing your performance, rewarding the positives as well as coming up with a plan to address weaknesses and shortcomings.

I have had good bosses, self proclaiming christian men even that do this at work but at home they call her the boss, they do what she says and rarely hold her accountable. This is not right. We are called to be the head servant to our family.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. I Corinthians 11:1-3

 

It is expected that a head servant be a faithful and wise manager holding those in subjection to him accountable even as he is accountable to his master.

 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.  Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.  But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk,  the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful.  
And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating.  But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. Luke 12:42-48
To me, thinking of myself as the head servant works far better to aligning my thoughts to be a godly husband and father than the idea of being a servant leader.

Insulting God’s image

“My better half” I have heard this phrase so many times over five decades usually during introductions but also frequently from the pulpit. I know it is just self deprecating humor, but is it? Don’t even “jokes” influence a persons thinking? Will our children hearing this repeated as they grow up be left uninfluenced?

I think that this type of talk is damaging because it insults God’s image which is man.

For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. I Corinthians 11:7 

So if I introduce my wife as my “better half”, essential the message I am conveying is that what God made for my glory is better than what God made for His glory. To me that is  like saying to God, “Well God, at least you did better the second time around”. That is not the message I want my children internalizing. I want my sons internalizing that they are made in God’s image and desiring to live up to that glorious ideal through the power of God working in them. I want my daughter to respect men and be a helper suitable for her husband so that they will together glorify God.

Just my opinion.

 

Christ’s example to husbands

I have read so many articles and books about marriage and being a godly husband where scriptures are just sprinkled in but the majority of the writing expresses the authors opinions and deviates from the Word. So I want to try the opposite here.

Take care of her spiritual, physical and emotional needs like you care for yourself.

Ephesians 5 23 – 30 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.

Expect obedience and model obedience.

John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love ; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

Teach her to serve with humility.

 John 13: 12 – 16 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 
You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him

 

Pray for her, pray for oneness.

John 17: 9-11 “I ask on their behalf ; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine ; and I have been glorified in them. I am no longer in the world ; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.”

 

Use your God given authority.
Be the family law giver.

John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
I Thessalonians 4:2 For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

Don’t tolerate dishonesty.

Acts 5:4-5 “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control ? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart ? You have not lied to men but to God.” And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last ; and great fear came over all who heard of it.

Call out her blind spots. 

I Cor 11:31-32 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.
But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

Correct and discipline her, it leads to reward.

Rev 3:19-22 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline ; therefore be zealous and repent. ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock ; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ “

 

Men on a mission

My family watched the Peanut Butter Falcon last night while eating Thanksgiving leftovers. Despite the moral issues of one of the leading men, I felt it was a positive portrayal of masculinity. It was in part a quest to live freely and work for a better life. It was male bonding through adversity which took strength, toughness and kindness. I loved how the men working together to further each others goals helped them both grow stronger and better. One of the challenges one man faced was being born with Down’s syndrome, a condition my son has so I could really relate. He is just as much a masculine man as any of my other sons. As a side note the inter sexual dynamics were refreshing.

Love Discipline

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Discipline in many ways is as complicated to define as love. Looking at the varied definitions of the word, I think of it as the process of bringing order to one or more people. In the case of a group of people their has to be a leader with authority in order for the process to work. Discipline is neither good or evil because it can be used for either. A disciplined group of bank robbers is far more likely to be successful in a heist than an undisciplined one. A disciplined man can rule his family like a mafia boss or as a righteous ruler.

To lead well begins with a love of discipline. Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.[Proverb 12:1] If you are looking for a wife, look for a woman who demonstrates an understanding of this principal. If you have children teach them the importance of it.

Discipline is a blessing.

Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. [Job 5:17]

Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD, and whom you teach out of your law,[Psalm 94:12]

Discipline is needed for growth.

For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, [Proverb 6:23]

Lack of discipline is dangerous

He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.[Proverb 5:23]

Discipline begins with you.

I see discipline as a mix of instruction, training and correction. Instruction sets expectations and boundaries. Training helps cement instructions. And correction is correcting a deviation from what is expected.

But my experience has taught me that it is best to lead by example. It is difficult to respect a leader who doesn’t try to live up to their own expectations. As a leader we need to be cognizant of our own areas of negligence. If you are a glutton don’t be surprised if you have an overweight family. Begin working on your area(s) of negligence  then you can confidently lead your family in working on their area(s).

When it comes to disciplining your wife the apostle Paul describes it as washing her with the word . If you want a more in depth discussion or  practical advice check out the article from BiblicalGenderRoles.

NOTE: All biblical references are from the ESV

On the front lines

 

I can’t help but admire a man who will publicly proclaim the truth. There is even more admiration for one who will speak out using his own name which could open him up to harassment and very real consequences. But this man is young, putting himself on the front lines, charging into battle with determination. Check out his latest post Manhood’s Consensual Homicide

Beautiful Submission

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At the age of eighteen I joined the US Army and entered basic training. We arrived at Fort Dix each of us so very differently dressed and with different lengths of hair. Some were loud, some quiet. There were slobs, neat freaks and everything in between. We piled off the bus looking like a bag of civilian laundry dumped in the middle of a military museum.

Eight weeks later those young men look like a unit marching with precision, it is masculine beauty to see a unified force.

Hupotasso is the Greek word translated as submission and was a military term though not always used in that context. It simply means to order under.

Though obedience is important for submission, it is insufficient. Trust is a needed ingredient and it is that combination of trust and obedience that makes it beautiful. It is the trust and obey that that brings unity. When I started basic training the company that I was assigned to had a temporary drill sergeant. though we didn’t know that at the time, and we had the reputation of being the worst company in the battalion. Moral was low and there was lots of in fighting so it was a struggle to work together. Then our drill sergeant returned from training that he had been attending and began to set things in order. He was a tall, quiet Jamaican man that didn’t get up in your face like some of the others,  instead he pushed as as a group. He encouraged us to help each other succeed. We were encouraged to push ourselves and he taught us and made us sing as we marched. In time moral improved, we pushed ourselves and each other and in the end he and we, had the unity that makes a great team. We trusted him and were quick to obey. With trust, respect becomes more natural and so he was the most respected drill sergeant in the battalion and certainly the one I respected the most.

Now on to marriage. Submission has become a dirty word and to me that is sad. Respectful submission has the power to bring unity. It can melt a cold heart, encourage responsibility and invoke empathy. I Peter: 1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. I have used this principal to survive egotistical authorities in the army and in the civilian workplace and with men and women I did not trust. I put my trust in God and prayed for them, so all the ingredients were in place to work towards unity. Don’t get me wrong it is not a magical formula, there have been times when I was asked to go against God’s commands and I had to make a respectful appeal and even that did not always work out and I had to except the consequences.

The end goal of love, respect and submission as taught about in Ephesians 5 is a one flesh unity that is a beautiful thing to all who witness it. When a couple dances together of one heart and mind each playing their part it is truly a beautiful thing. I really love the trapeze duos  as a picture of this dynamic.