Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- December 3, 2011
“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” Ephesians 5:23
Spiritual leadership in the home means that the husband serves. He serves his wife and he serves his children. This is not an option. This is who he is and what he does. Servanthood is at the heart of spiritual leadership. It is at the heart because this is how Jesus related to the church. He gave Himself up for the church. He sacrificed and served the church. It was not always easy and, ultimately, it led to the giving of His life. If a husband ever doubted his role, he need not look any further than Jesus. He is our role model of unselfish service.
So, your posture as spiritual leader in the home is not a power play. It is not a platform from which you whip everyone into shape. Rather it is an altar to God on which you offer your ego and pride. There is no room for those twins of self-centeredness. Spiritual leadership replaces pride and ego with grace and humility. A spiritual leader is energized and empowered by the Holy Spirit. It is not about who wins or who is right. It is all about dying to self and serving your wife and children. Your service to them earns you the respect to lead them. If you default to barking out orders from your high horse, they may comply for a season; but you can count on them rebelling if there is no relational investment on your part.
Rules void of relationship do facilitate rebellion, or they may cause the family to shrink back into their corner of compliance, nursing a wounded heart. Indeed, most husbands do not feel qualified to be the spiritual leader. God knows that, and this is why He placed you in this role of responsibility—so that you can depend on Him. Pray to God and ask Him for His wisdom and grace to carry out your calling as spiritual leader. Seek out a mentor who can come along side you and give encouragement and coaching.
The easy way out is to ignore your responsibility by placing it on the petite shoulders of your wife. She may be more spiritually mature and qualified for spiritual leadership, but this is not her role. She is to follow your leadership. The wise wife will celebrate this and let her husband lead. This is how you both grow. Submission and servant leadership are excellent lessons of maturity in Christ. Let your husband fail. Love him enough to respect his spiritual leadership. Respect is treating people at the point of their potential.
A wife has the opportunity to see her husband for what he can become, not for where he is currently. Pray for him to pray with you and the children. Pray for him to read the Bible at the dinner table. Pray for him to be honest and wise about finances, both personally and professionally. Pray for him to be authentic about his struggles. Pray for him to know God. Pray for him to take the family to church. Pray for him to discover his spiritual gifts and to serve out of his giftedness. Spiritual leadership takes a ton of prayer from the wife and the husband. A home led by a man who is a submitted servant leader is a home with a spiritual leader. Lead out of your weakness, and everyone becomes strong in Christ!
Taken from Dose #77 in the 90-day devotional book, Infusion.
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