Spiritual leadership 

Being spiritual leaders can be very difficult. What does it look like? Consist of? How do we do it? What are some fundamental principles that constitute good biblical leadership?

The basic idea of discipling anyone, in the biblical model, is to explain and model proper behavior and then allow the student to attempt to imitate it, giving correction as needed.

If you were teaching your child how to throw a baseball, you would show them how to hold the ball and rotate the arm. Then you would have them demonstrate the proper technique. Once they tried it, you would praise proper throwing while instructing them in the details that need correction. Think about how you learned to drive. Learned to dance. Learn to read. It was always instruction, modeling and imitation followed by correction.

Spiritual leadership is the same. Let your wife and children see you reading the scriptures. Let them see you quoting it and discussing it. Let them see you praying. Let them see you giving thanks, singing, confessing, etc. Under duress let them see joy. Let them see virtue. Let them hear you speaking well of your wife, your masters and authorities. Let them hear you explain your fears. Let them hear you discussing the sermon from Sunday with your wife and asking your wife questions about what she is reading or listening to. When you watch a movie, let them hear you judge it.

Then have them imitate you. Have them read the bible aloud and say the family prayers. Let them repent and praise. Correct as they go. Let them comment on movies. Let them explain their fears, ask questions and judge.

Its ok to give a child feedback on their prayers – when is it OK to pray about the Seahawks and Christmas presents? Don’t teach them not to pray about the things that they are really concerned about, instead instruct them in how to do it properly in a Godly way.

Over spiritualizing our spiritual life leads to hypocrisy. God is concerned with the care of sparrows, how much more the free safety on the Seahawks D? And if that is what your son is concerned with, how should they pray about it? How might God be using a pulled hamstring? or the Second string guy? Don’t tell your children not to pray about the things that matter to them, even if those things don’t seem very spiritual – teach them how!!  If your daughter is concerned about what she is dreaming about, then let that be on the agenda. What causes bad dreams? What does praying for the protection of her imagination sound like?

Never turn your kids down when they request you to pray. Never. When you hear a siren, pray for the first responders and person who summoned the sirens – God knows the details even if you don’t – this encourages your children in their trust over His overwhelming sovereignty. When you see a policeman, pray for him. Let your children hear you giving thanks to God for them in prayer.

In homes where male leadership is emphasized, the overreaction is that the man does everything, or sons do everything. And sometimes we fail to lead because it’s a lot to do all by ourselves.  But how will your wife know how to lead the children in prayer when you’re not there? How do you know she is doing it right? Or how will your daughter lead her children, if she doesn’t start to see how a mommy or even Christians, for that matter, pray regularly?

If your children are not participating in their own faith at 8, they won’t at 18. Leading is not micromanaging. Continue reading “Spiritual leadership “

A Love Story

One of the central truths about the Christian life is that it consists of people who are of the Word, the book; the story. This requires us, then, to be people of words, books and stories. Stories shape our affections. This is why worldviews are always narratives. Darwin tells a tale of a “nobody,” pile of goo becoming, through resilience and self-will, something nearly divine. Marx tells a story of a garden of Eden lost to the greed and lies of the bourgeoise who must be brutally overthrown by the hapless proletariat to return the world to equitable safety and comfort.  C.S. Lewis said, “story always wins.”

This is why the stories we consume are so important. The stories we read, shape us. They inform our imagination, our intellect and our affections. In our hearts and minds; story always wins.

1 Thessalonians 1:6“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit.”

You became an imitator of the Apostles and the Lord when you were converted. What were you imitators of before that?

Ephesians 2:1–3And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following thecourseof this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Sons of disobedience imitate the prince of the power of the air and the spirit of the age. As sons of obedience you are called to imitate Christ; to be Holy as He is Holy; to love as He loved.

To aid in this endeavor, Jesus provided His life to imitate, as well as, apostles and church officers to imitate. Paul says, “Be imitators of me…” 1 Cor. 4:16, “Be imitators of God, as beloved children,” Ephesians 5:1.  Paul says to “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7.

But to the point, the Apostle John says in 3 John 11“Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good.”

Taking all this together, we need to place before our eyes stories and biographies full of goodness, worthy of imitation. Good stories are soul food. And for our lack of appetites and for our gluttony for junk food, we need to do a lot of repenting. Continue reading “A Love Story”

Husbands are Honored guests

As much as we discuss the idea of biblical headship, do we really understand it? We hear or read that we are the head of the home and fill in the details of this doctrine from all kinds of places. From our time in the army, or the shift manager at our high school job, or the from the leadership techniques we learned from one of those ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries. We think that the head of the wife is the boss of the wife, end of the discussion, where is my beer? Or coitus, as the case may be.

What we do not understand is the organic nature of our authority in the home. The Biblical doctrine is complicated, limber and dynamic. The two errors are dangers on either side of the road which we franticly drive our marriages into, side-to-side, like a pinball. On one side is egalitarian feminism; a wooden fence, which has no way for accounting for what men and women actually are. Masculinist domineering is the solid hedge on the other side. Egalitarian feminism is a pure democracy – a flat horizontal line. Masculinist domineering is like a divine-right-of-kings monarchy – a straight vertical line. Continue reading “Husbands are Honored guests”

Wives are Glorious Despots

1 Timothy 5:14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. 

The Greek word translated “manage their households” is Oikodespotein; to rule as a despot. The wife is the despot of the home. What are we to make of this given biblical gender roles and headship?

This is not contradictory. The husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. Husbands have the responsibility and authority to lead their household. But good leadership does not micro-manage. It is not overbearing, rude or controlling. Husbands do not have the prerogative to make every decision in the household. Spheres of authority were created by God for good reason. The fact that a woman gets pregnant does deny that the husband is ultimately responsible for the child, unlike the modern view.

When it comes to choosing which prenatal vitamen, or OB or researching the right body pillow, no man is threatened enough to wonder where his headship went. But ultimately, if it’s a home birth or hospital birth fall well within his prerogative.

Men, what do you think of bosses who are control freaks and cannot let anyone else have authority, give input or take ownership of customers or products? What do you call such a boss?

A good leader in business is one who finds or cultivates competent men to whom he can delegate. A man ought to choose a woman who brings value to his life. Some of that value is the fact that you can trust her. She is competent and knows her business.

Proverbs 31:10–11An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  Continue reading “Wives are Glorious Despots”

The Crown of Wife

In Genesis God states that it was not good that man was alone. Adam, upon meeting his wife spoke the first recorded words of man, and in Hebrew, it is a poem.

Adam said, “This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” Essentially, this woman is me. 

It’s better that you are married. But we have to understand that marriage is not the reward for responsible men – marriage is the means that God uses to make responsible men. Without your wife you were incomplete. And your response to her should be poetic praise. 

That completeness isn’t like icing on the cake. It’s not about having a cook or a housecleaner or extra income or something pretty clinging to your arm as you go about impressing everyone. 

Your wife completes you because she brings into your life all of the glorious qualities that make men higher beings than the animals. She softens you into creatures that are images of Christ. 

Marriage is a long obedience in the same direction and God uses it to shape men into little Christs. 

Gentleness, Patience, kindness, self-control – all the things you need to handle the weaker vessel. And the weaker vessel is the weaker vessel like gold is the softer metal. Gold is soft so that it is malleable –able to be shaped, molded and altered by the forces applied to into adorning objects of Beauty.  

You are that force.  Continue reading “The Crown of Wife”

Your Wife and Lady Wisdom

…husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way…(1 Peter 3:7)

Many of us do not understand our women because we do not understand wisdom. We do not understand wisdom because we do not treat her like a woman. Throughout the book of Proverbs – a book teaching wisdom to young men – wisdom appears as a woman. Wisdom is personified as a noble lady whom one should pursue: 1:20–33; 3:13–20; 8:1–36; 9:1–18.

Lady Wisdom is contrasted with Lady folly and the whole book leads to a description of wisdom ultimately as a wife (Proverbs 31). Not all the aspects of Lady Wisdom are applicable directly to a man’s wife, but many are.

For example, Lady wisdom is an instructor, a schoolmarm ready to rap our knuckles (Prov. 1:20-25) reproaching us for tracking mud in the house, for our foul language and course manners. Lady wisdom instructs boys in how to be men; how take the initiative and bear responsibility. The man who pursues wisdom should learn to sit up straight and use his inside voice. Wisdom is pursued in humility.

Furthermore, Lady Wisdom is a wealthy patroness who invites us to a feast. Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table (Proverbs 9:1–2). A man who pursues wisdom ought to act like he was invited to a banquet at the palace of a fine lady. He should respond to the invitation properly, not eat like he was raised in a barn, but rejoice in what is served while rejoicing in the wisdom that comes alongside bread and wine. Wisdom is pursued with gladness and joy; wisdom is gained with a fork and knife.

The remaining features of feminine wisdom are more directly relevant to the man who wants to pursue wisdom as a means of learning how to live with his wife in an understanding way.

Lady Wisdom is a sexually attractive woman (Prov. 7:4) and should be sought as any sensible suitor would court a beautiful and intelligent woman. The name sister in this context should be taken the same way it is taken in the S.O.S. (Song 5:1).

The man who eagerly pursues wisdom is protected in the next verse from the “strange woman,” who flatters with her words. When wisdom is pursued and courted, seduction ceases to allure us. When Lady Wisdom is courted a man is protected from very real tramps, seductresses and harlots. The appeal for easy women is driven from us when we diligently court Lady Wisdom. When we come to see how beautiful Lady Wisdom is and we seek to win her hand, we are protected from sexual sin.

A man is instructed by Solomon to pursue and marry this woman and is instructed to be faithful to her. She is a precious treasure, never to be forsaken. “Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you” (Proverbs 4:5–6). is a description of marriage.

The man who fails to honor his wife shows that he has no honor for Lady Wisdom and is therefore, a fool.

Furthermore, we read that Lady Wisdom is a mother, “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it” (Proverbs 8:32–33). But viewing wisdom as a mother enables a man to see his wife as a mother also, recognizing her high and holy calling.

This attitude toward wisdom – treating her as a woman – collides sharply with the approach of our age which sees wisdom as a pile of matter to be sorted, counted and organized into smaller piles by color, size and weight. The world teaches us that wisdom is a matter of brute facts as cold and unfeeling as an Allen wrench factory.

The bible says wisdom is a woman to be approached with a rose, a sonnet or both. If we want to obey Peter and live with our wives with understanding, we have to think biblically. Modern men have a false conception of wisdom that leads to little understanding about the world in which we live. No wonder we don’t understand our wives.

*This post was a men’s group message which is a rewritten paraphrase of Ch. 1 “Wisdom of women,” from How to Exasperate your wife by D. Wilson. DW gets all the props.