This is the last post of a five part series. You can go back to part four here.
We’ve now come to the final row, or course, in this series on Five Doctrines of Christian Manhood. Hopefully, you can see by now how these principles begin with scripture and build upon each other to turn men from flesh-driven, uncontrolled, hot-shots to spiritual leaders.
Leadership is now the final installment because in order to lead in right things, one must first be doing right things. Once a man has learned Temperance, Humility, Protection, and Provision can he then adequately lead others. Notice I said, “adequately”. There are plenty of men who lead without those qualities. However, we’re talking about the leadership of the Biblicist man, who should be more than “adequate.”
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recognize that some of the doctrines of Christian manhood apply to woman also. What makes those doctrines specific to men, is this doctrine right here- Leadership. Men are supposed to do the hard thing first. What is the hard thing? Well, in the Christian life, it is the conquering of self by the power of God in sanctification. (See Romans 12:1-2)
The enemy of self…
A man’s number one enemy is the guy he looks at in the mirror every morning. The conquering of self by the power of God is what progressive sanctification (being set apart unto God) is entirely about. You lose credibility with your wife, your kids, and anyone else when you try to talk about virtues of any kind and yet can’t control yourself. The onus is on men to show how this is done. Only when a Christian man has placed himself under the authority of God is he competent and confident to lead his family and/or others. He may hold an office of authority, but he undermines it and created undo challenge for those under him when he has no self-control. Those under his purview are conflicted with a desire to respect his authority, but a a struggle to respect his character. Leaders must then do the hard thing first- conquer self. (see Proverbs 25:28 and Romans 7)
This kind of leadership is not heavy-handed or authoritarian. Rather, it compels others to follow you. It rallies the sensibilities of those within your sphere of influence to desire better sanctification for themselves and they will use you as a real-life prototype. This is leadership from the front, not pushing from behind. Such leaders are not capricious in their choices but deliberate, basing their habits of life in principles that can be affirmed in Scripture. And they can explain such when asked. Such leaders act as a catalyst between people and God rather than people and the leader himself. He is not the final authority, but represents the One who is as His agent and designee before others.
As a man, I must recognize that leadership is not the same thing as domination, patriarchy, tyranny, privilege, authoritarianism, or heavy-handedness. Instead, leadership 1) Does the hard thing first and thereby issues a call to “Follow”, not a demand to “Go!”, 2) Has reasoned answers for the example it gives instead of saying “Because I said so”, and is not capricious, and 3) Speaks from an authority higher than itself, specifically, the Word of God, and is thereby not the highest authority but simply a designee representing the Lord to others. (See John 13:12-15, 1 Timothy 4:12, Philippians 2:3, 2 Timothy 2:2, 1 Peter 5:3).
Send me your thoughts in the comments below!