In 1 Tim 3, Paul instructs Timothy on what qualifies, and disqualifies, a man for leadership. One thing that shows up – twice – in that passage is that a man be a good father and husband. I’d like to expand on that second part of that. Leadership of any kind is a privilege and an honour, but it is also a burden – or at least it is when it’s done correctly. Biblical leadership is servant based, not “I am your leader do what I say!” Servant-leadership costs, and the better a person is at being a servant-leader, the more it costs.
“So?” you say. If a couple has marriage problems, they need to be putting their time and energy into that. You don’t want people with significant marital issues leading for several reasons.
- They cannot have the time and energy to deal with their marriage issues and be proper servant-leaders; at best they will succeed at one task to the determent of the other, more likely still, they will end up failing at both.
- Leaders influence and teach, drawing on what they know and live. Who wants someone with marriage problems sharing that with others?
- It’s easy to feel fulfilled by leadership, and to focus on that “success” of leadership rather than the “failures” of marriage. This becomes like the man who works too much because it makes him feel better about his poor marriage.
- The spouse who needs to make changes in their marriage can play the I-was-chosen-as-a-leader card as “proof” that they are fine.
- The couple may both take leadership as a sign that they are really okay. It becomes a way of not dealing with something they don’t want to deal with – but need to deal with!
- Leadership often puts us in close relation with troubled people, and someone with marital problems does not need the added opportunity for lust and sexual sin.
Note I said “significant marital issues” above. None of us is perfect, and all leaders have issues that need attention. What matters are how big the issue is, how long it’s been there, and most importantly is it being working on it successfully. Personally, I’d rather have a leader with a C- but improving marriage than one with a B+ but not growing marriage. To me, moving in the right way is far more important than where one is at any moment. Standing still is bad (and rarely a long-term thing) while losing ground is a cause for deep concern.
- If you have any kind of leadership position, maintaining and improving your marriage is a vital part of being a good, and a qualified, leader.
- If you have oversight of leaders, you need to know that their marriages are strong and growing.
- If you want to be a leader, more work on things at home may be a necessary step.
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
Better Husbands and Fathers
Black and Married with Kids
“Harmless Flirting” Yeah Right!: This is a couple weeks old – I thought I had mentioned it, bur realised I had not when a friend suggested I should share it. Flirting is never harmless if you are married!
Is it Okay To Befriend The Opposite Sex?: Some good thoughts on how one handles opposite sex friends.
Pots in My Refrigerator: Managing Pet Peeves: An excellent reminder that some things are not as big as we make them.
Happily Married After
Marriage is a Book, Not A Chapter, Page, or Paragraph: Are you stuck on one page?
Intimacy in Marriage
An Important Follow Up on the Oral Sex Post: Julie replies to comments that I and anther made to her oral sex post, and the result is SPOT.ON. If your bride is not orally inclined, check this post.
How Dreams Help Us Overcome Loss, Benefits of Sharing Dreams with Spouse and Enhance the Resilience of Your Relationship: Two more good posts based on the book Healing Together.
One Flesh Marriage
The Guy’s Gift Guide to Rock Your Wife’s World : What it took me a week to do, Brad did in one post in which he suggests gifts based on her love language.
The Romantic Vineyard
5 Steps To A Genuine Apology: This is excellent! If your apologies fall flat, read and heed!