spiritual leadership

Posted: October 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

This was my Monday post. Since I still don’t have internet working at home, I reckon you will see my today post, tomorrow!

I was having a bad dream.  A really NASTY bad dream – the kind that seeps into the following day, casting a pall over everything and sucking my joy away, no matter how often I tell myself it was only a dream.  Do you have those kinds of dreams?  I don’t have them all the time, but when they hit…WHAMMO I am down for the count.  It usually seems like no amount of talking logic to myself or concentrating on releasing it to God can rescue me from a period of yuck after one of those dreams. 

But then, something different happened:  right there in the middle of the dream, I FELT my husband praying for me.  I didn’t hear it with my ears.  I just suddenly knew.  And I could feel the darkness pulling back, losing its grip on me.  I came partly awake then, just enough to feel his arms around me…and faded back down into restful sleep. 

“You rescued me!”  Those were my first words to him when I woke up a little while and rolled over to greet him. 

He was unsurprised – yes, something had prompted him to wake up and pray for me, and yes, he had done so, though he had no idea why – but being G, he didn’t take any credit.  “GOD rescued you.” 

Okay, well, yes.  Of course.  But God used my husband in the midst, didn’t He? 

Spiritual leadership – that’s a tough topic.  I know lots of women who long for their husbands to step up and be the spiritual leader.  Women can get downright cantankerous when they feel like their men are refusing to lead – I think it’s almost an abandonment issue for a lot of women. 

But what does it mean to be the spiritual leader?

Is the spiritual leader the “big boss” of the house?  Do all decisions ultimately fall to his shoulders?  Does he automatically win all debates?  Does he “take authority” over all situations?  In other words, is spiritual leadership all about domination?  I’m not going to try to construct a biblical argument here.  Many of you could do that better than I could. 

All those long years while I was asking God for my very own “Mr. Right,” willingness and ability to be spiritual leader was very much on my radar and spelled out on my wish list.  I didn’t have it really very fleshed out, the idea of what that might look like with skin on.  I just knew that I’d been a reluctant household leader by necessity for a very long time.  I knew I didn’t want to be the leader – I was very tired of being that.  And I knew that I’d done enough time as leader (and come from a long enough line of strong women) that whoever Mr. Right was, he was going to face a challenge, when it came to leading me. 

My G is very much the spiritual leader in our marriage.  He is an answered prayer.  Here is what that looks like FOR US (and I do not presume to say it is the “right pattern for everyone” or “the only real answer” or “thus saith the Lord, okay?)…

My G leads on his knees.  My G leads by serving.

Yes, he wakes up when I’m having a terrible dream and knows to pray for me, without any other cue than whatever God does.  He also wakes up when I’m in the midst of back spasms that have me in tears, and stays awake praying with his hands on me until it passes.  He pretty much never lets any complaint of mine pass without pausing right there in the moment to ask Jesus for relief on my behalf.

When we were engaged and waiting to see who God was moving where and I was getting weary and a little sad at my worry that we might be years away from resolution, it was G who finally spent a couple of days on his face in prayer and got the answer for us. 

He listens to me when I’m losing it and doesn’t “correct” me or even “direct” me – he just loves me and prays more.  This is true even when I lean toward the mouthy side with him, in my uglier moments (he has yet to have shown me any mouthy or otherwise ugly side, and no, I’m not interested in speculating about whether that’s a newlywed phenomenon or just the way he rolls…time will tell and I wouldn’t be any smarter or better off for such speculation.) 

While I’m looking for ways to serve him, he’s pretty much always finding ways to out-serve me. 

He basically ALWAYS is ahead of me when it comes to obedience to God – I cannot imagine ever “catching up” with him in that department.  And he’s never smug or condescending about that – it looks like he doesn’t even notice this is the case, though I notice it almost daily. 

We start our days in prayer.  When his work schedule pushes back to extra-early, there is never even any discussion:  of COURSE we will get up at 2:15 so we have that prayer time before he goes.  It is a given, not a thing I have to beg and plead and coax and guilt him into doing. 

My G does hard, physical labor every day – the work of a “common” man.  I work in a nice office, serving the big kahuna of the organization.  My G never shows any insecurity about that – he only says he is proud of his wife.  And really, why would he be insecure?  HE IS the leader.  I DO look to him, every single day, for spiritual leadership.  I DO place myself under his covering gladly, listening to the blessings he prays over me every morning.  I DO seek his counsel and wisdom.  I DO tell him pretty much daily that the safest and best place in the entire world for me is in his arms. 

Thus far, this has never looked nor felt to me like I am some kind of second-class citizen.  He leads, but he doesn’t “look down” as he does so.  Yes, he counsels me…I also counsel him.  Each yields to the other as seems best in the moment and in the situation.  He WANTS my opinions and feedback.  He wants my prayers for him as much as I want his prayers for me.  He never does or says anything that seems designed to “put me in my place.” 

My son-in-law was surprised after his first time of meeting G.  “I thought he’d be like, a bouncer or something,” he said – and I understood that.  G certainly LOOKS like a tough guy in his pictures.  “But,” he continued, “he’s so gentle, I think he could hold a butterfly.”

Yeah.  That’s my G.  He leads on his knees.  He leads by serving.  He leads with uninterrupted gentleness, kindness and patience. 

But yes, he leads. 

That does it for me! 

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Comments
  1. Me says:

    Oh my goodness…what a true love story.

    Sent from my Motorola Smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

  2. Sean Hayek says:

    Yes i would say Wow. That is inspiring for me.

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