Sunday, June 17, 2012

Man Up: Lead By Following

It's not easy being a man. Well, I imagine it's not easy being a man. From my 100% female vantage point, men have increased odds stacked against them. Society belittles them. Corporate American expects much from them. Hollywood confuses them. Families underappreciate them.

And in light of all this, God demands much of them. But before any of this was a problem for men, God established his plan, his framework, and his demands for men. 
God told men to lead their families in love, in service, and in sacrifice. This tall order promises tremendous blessing for obedience and guarantees heartbreaking consequence when ignored.

A Christian man cannot lead others if he's not first following God. Leading by following? Strange but true.
I'm thankful that My Man demonstrates Christian leadership in our home. I remember soon after we were married, he looked me in the eye and matter-of-factly said, "Divorce isn't an option. And since it's not an option, it doesn't exist in our vocabulary. We don't say it. We don't joke about it."

My kids see My Man touch me tenderly and speak to me kindly. They watch him serve us with joy and correct us with gentleness. I have never feared a harsh hand or a loud word from him, and I'm thankful my kids will never know what that looks like.
I'm grateful My Man demonstrates rock-solid commitment to corporate worship and service in the Church. He understands that the Church doesn't exist to serve us but, instead, that it's our privilege to serve it.

My kids know that church is so much more than showing up on Sunday morning and clanking coins in the offering plate. They know that giving to and serving in the Church is priority regardless of circumstances. They know this because they see Our Man actively engaged in teaching, administering, and participating in the Church. They know it because they can attach action to his words.
I'm humbled My Man demonstrates Christian leadership in his occupation. He demonstrates integrity and efficiency in team projects, mindful of the goal for the greater good rather than personal gain. He remains resolute in his convictions about drinking and networking and travel. He understands opportunity costs and refuses personal advancement if it demands extravagant sacrifice from his family and ministry.

My kids know that Our Man works hard and is diligent about earning, saving, and investing the resources God gives him. They know that he says no to what money can buy more often than he says yes to it. They know that he generously gives back to God what is already His. They know he is delighted to meet someone's need and enjoys being creative to go out of his way to do so.
When I look at much of My Man's past, there is a disconnect between where he was then and where he is now. His growing-up years did not set him up to be a successful husband, dad, servant, and businessman. But yet, he is. Wonderfully so.

I'm overwhelmed with God's goodness and grace in the life of My Man. And that's precisely my point: any success he enjoys with our family, in God's church, and in his career are because he chooses to obey God's directive.

A Christian man cannot lead others if he's not first following God.


  1. Can I tell you again how much I love how highly you speak of your husband?

  2. The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
    She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
    Proverbs 31:11-12
    I agree with Jenny, what a blessing & joy to know a friend who always speaks highly of her husband! What a beautiful post of love, devotion & encouragement! Happy Father's Day to Grady!

  3. So blessed by this post. By your example and leadership. And the testimony your marriage is to so many. Love you guys!

  4. Sarah Lynn, I have taught my staff for years that to be an effective leader you must be an excellent follower. Not a popular comment both in and out of the church. My parents did not teach me how to lead, they taught me how to follow. Christ did not say 'come lead with me'. It was a simple command of come and follow. You are blessed to have a husband who is humble enough to listen to Truth and be willing to follow in a world that listend to the lie of pride that says 'not ahead of me'. Take care