Servant Headship


Ten inches of snow fell here on Monday, but by Friday, the sun came out, drawing  Dave outdoors. He decided to construct a stone pedestal for our heated birdbath. Since the birdbath’s arrival at Christmas, it had perched on cinder blocks,  and Dave knew I wanted something more aesthetically pleasing.

Hillary Clinton liked to say, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and some churches now exchange the word  family with community. Last week the government even thought about telling farmers who could and couldn’t enter their barns without some government sanctioned safety program. For the moment, the government has backed off that one.

But family stands as the first social unit God instituted — before the patriarchs and the establishment of Israel as a theocracy,  before the judges and kings, even before the Lord established the church in the first century AD.

Yet we read much today about serious problems within families. Sadly, for too long even the church’s exposition of the  Ephesians 5 passage about marriage holds the woman to unquestioned submission and makes little mention of the man’s call to love his wife as Christ loved the church and give himself up for her. The passage truly begins with verse 21, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,”  but most read the passage from Eph 5:22-33. When a husband and wife practice mutual submission, the family demonstrates a reverence that brings God glory, despite our human sinfulness. He will not ever do this perfectly, but we seek to make things right as we serve each other.

God has blessed me with a servant leader as my husband for almost 44 years. Dave has seen me suffer physically and emotionally, and as the youngest of three guys, he grew up few encounters involving female ups and downs. He may have wondered what in the world he was supposed to do to fix my problem, but he patiently learned to say, “Do you want a solution or do you just need to tell the story?”

In retirement for over three years now, we realize that the major daily ministry we have is to each other. We live in a secluded log cabin; some days we see no one else.

Adjustments? Absolutely! Quirks and foibles can morph into idols of the heart and sins all too quickly. That’s why “I’m really sorry for what I did or said,” becomes a frequent confession between us. And it’s why I thank the Lord for Dave, the servant leader of our family.

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