Servant Leadership

Jesus modelled servant leadership. He washed the disciples’ feet, which back then was the lowest of the low tasks for the least of the servants in the house. We’re talking cleaning the toilet, without a brush, here.

Jesus also told us to be the same kind of servant. He also told us:

You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” [Matthew 20:25b-28]

Servant Leadership

That general commandment for those who lead must be applied to marriage headship because there is no exception to be found. We are not to “Lord it over” our wives. We are called to serve them, not expect them to serve us. 

The idea of servant leadership has been growing among business leaders for a number of decades. It’s not the norm overall, but it’s pretty common in some companies that are doing very well. I ran across this quote several times as I was looking into this:

Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy. Traditional leadership generally involves the exercise of power by one at the ‘top of the pyramid.’ By comparison, the servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.” ~ Robert K. Greenleaf ?*

That’s not the Bible, but I think it’s a very accurate portrayal of what Jesus said and lived. So I ask myself, am I sharing power with my wife? Do I put her needs ahead of my needs? Am I all about her developing and becoming the best she can be? In a world where women are sometimes treated like second-class citizens, my wife needs my help to be who God called her to be. It should not be that way, but it is.

As I see it, being the kind of husband God called us to be is a difficult task. It means putting her needs, wants, and desires ahead of mine. It means sometimes doing what she wants just because she wants to do it. It means sacrificing more than I expect her to sacrifice. If we do it right she has a sweet deal. The whole “It’s good to be king” thing is nowhere to be seen for a man who is loving and leading his wife the way God tells us to do it.

* I can’t find an attribution for this quote, but I am fairly sure it was inspired by if not said by Robert K. Greenleaf

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Great tweet of the week:

RT @FierceMarriage: 3 things to tell your spouse daily: 1: I love you. 2: I appreciate you. 3: I won’t give up on you. @FierceMarriage

Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:


Featured Post – A must read article I saw this week:
Blessed Are the Pure of Heart posted Andrew’s Victory ◄ There is deep truth here.

Assume Love

3 Things a Husband Should Know About His Wife ◄ Three very important things!
Finding God in the Midst of Sex ◄ Sexuality and Spirituality have a lot in common!

Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart

Don’t Stop ◄ The secret to dealing with cancer.

The Curmudgeonly Librarian

Aphorisms For Marriage, part 1 ◄ Thoughts on apologies, repentance, and restoration.

Gary Thomas

The Evil in Marriage We Rarely Mention ◄ Are you living this one?
The Ebb and Flow of Physical Attraction in Marriage ◄ And what to do about it.
Sympathy or Empathy? A Key to Sexual Satisfaction in Marriage ◄ “It’s a lack of empathy that leads to so much sexual frustration in marriage.”

The Generous Wife

Hot Buttons ◄ And why you should avoid them!
Check Your Bucket ◄ Got some fun goals?
Zzzzzz ◄ Getting enough sleep is a really big deal!
The Little Things ◄ Doing little things for her can be huge!

Heaven Made Marriage

Great Sex is Not Natural ◄ “Having a great sex life won’t come naturally.”

Hot, Holy and Humorous

How Should Christians Respond to Past Sexual Misconduct? ◄ Whole lot of wisdom here!

Intimacy in Marriage

Cleanliness is Oral Sex Friendliness ◄ This is why some women won’t do oral!
Sex Isn’t Everything in Marriage. BUT… ◄ But it’s not unimportant!

Kevin A Thompson

Do We Really Need to Vent? ◄ Wisdom on a common issue.
Does Your Spouse Have the Right to Say No? ◄ If you, or she, can’t say no, something is wrong in your marriage.

Pearl’s OysterBed

The Back Door (my take on anal sex) ◄ I think this is spot on!


Men: Here’s the Phrase that Will Make Your Wife Amazingly Happy ◄ Yup, she wants to hear this often!

6 Comments on “Servant Leadership

      • So how do doormats like me use “servant leadership” as a way to restore the balance? Or is the servant leadership advice only for the “lording over” types.

  1. The most common versions of servant-leadership in the corporate world still fall dreadfully off-track of what Jesus taught and practiced. Most business-focused (and also church practiced in many cases) variants of servant leadership is looking to improve performance through empowerment. That’s a great goal, but what Jesus did was not really servant leadership… it was servanthood. Philippians 2 paints a beautiful picture of this. Jesus didn’t wash the disciples feet so they would go out and be better disciples (because if so, it didn’t seem to work out too well). He did it because he loved them enough already, and to show them what serving looked like – and if they learned a valuable lesson in the process, then all the better.

    As husbands, we shouldn’t serve our wives so that they will have sex more often, or let us watch more sporting events – thought that might be a positive side effect. We should serve our wives because we love them enough to do so.

    I love the ending of this article. While christ-like servanthood may illicit a favorable response, that shouldn’t be the point. It should be about giving more than we get. And in a truly healthy marriage, each spouse should try to out give and out serve the other – true joy is found in that special place, but it is seriously hard work.

      • If I have been doing things for my wife just to get sex then I am definitely going about it the wrong way. I’ll settle for just not being in trouble all the time.

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