God's word in today's world

Follow and lead – neither is easy

Ephesians 5:21-33

Angus Buchan focuses on men. He holds big events for thousands of men and the message is the same: Men must take up the leadership in the home again. I don’t know where it went wrong, but it seems to me as if men no longer lead when it comes to the spiritual life of the family. Year after year the Crossroad statistics tell the same message: More than two thirds of readers are women.

In Paul’s summarized marriage enrichment course he suggests that women should accept men’s leadership: 22Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. But the question is how can we expect women to follow a leader who doesn’t lead?

We all like to follow a good leader. And the opposite is also true. If the country doesn’t have a good leader, no one follows him or her. Soon the country doesn’t look good and everybody is unhappy. Churches empty when leaders mess up. Marriages fall apart if the leader doesn’t lead.

Different from Paul I want to start with men – I want to start with myself. We must be such that others can look up to us. We must lead from the front. We must be the example that our wives and children can follow. Our words and actions must be in line with the Word of God. Society out there doesn’t look good and with a shock I realize it’s because of men not leading. We’ve forgotten that life is not about work and more work and another step up the ladder. Yes, there is nothing wrong about dreaming and aspiring and working to get to the top, but not at the cost of our leadership position.

We cannot lead if we are absent. We cannot come flying in now and then like a seagull, screech a couple of instructions and fly away again. We have to realize that each of us is called to be decent leaders in our relationships, at home and at work: 23The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church … When men lead like this, by following Jesus’ example, others want to follow. Yes, then you deserve your leadership position and the followers enjoy following you.

Then it is easy for wives to follow. Then they want to follow and it become visible in their actions. Then the wives love doing special things for their spouses. Then a whole lot of positive energy breaks loose, taking the leader ever higher.

Leadership is so easily turned into a power struggle, where one or both of the parties want to take the lead at the cost of the other one. Because the leaders get special perks. Unfortunately, this is a skew picture painted by the world that brings more destruction than construction.

Jesus did not live for Himself. He was not on the lookout for everything that He could get for Himself. On the contrary! He did everything for others at the cost of Himself. That is the example of a good leader.

Let’s grab the challenge with both hands. Let’s become a leader others want to follow. Let’s become like Jesus and serve, because then we deserve serving together …


Do others want to follow you?

Do you serve?

Do you follow?


Father, You came to show us how to live life right. We struggle. We struggle to lead and we struggle to follow. And that is not a nice picture. Only your Spirit can help us. Please help us, Father. Please help us! Amen

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