Thursday, June 27, 2013

Leadership, it's important.

       As I journey through the muddy waters of having to live the life of a single parent ( I'll refrain from the "single mom" cliche because I realize that being a single parent is not limited to only a mother) and relying on the generous yet stressful world of public assistance, I have been compelled to speak out about what I feel is a vital issue in today's families. The structures that have been laid waste by men who have failed to step up, step out and step through the smoke and obstacles that will quickly blind, maim and destroy a family.  

       I am not going to bash men or say that they are incapable of stepping up and out, I am actually going to paint the issue as it stands. God cursed the man in the garden to work his butt off ( Genesis 3:17-19) and no you're not going to get away with saying that was the woman's curse because he gave us a separate one and trust me as a mother of children born naturally, it was a very sufficient curse ;) (Genesis 3:16) and let us not forget the whole desire for the husband and his whole ruling over us bit......

Oh yes ladies I went there..... it's biblical so suck it up and get over it and  guys you will need to buckle up because I said I am NOT going to bash men, but I am going to bash bad leadership! Wouldn't you? 

I hear many people today talking about the horrid leadership we have in America today! I hear so many say, "If I could just get him face to face I'd tell that president what I think about how he's doing and how I think he should do it differently or just GET OUT OF OFFICE." So take this as a real eye opener and if applicable listen to your wife she may just be telling you something you should be listening to and chances are she's saying it in about as nice a tone as you'd address the current leaders of the country! 

    Every good leader has core values that make them a good leader! One of my former husbands biggest complaints was that I simply was not willing to be lead, but my equally frustrated response was that I simply was not going to be led to slaughter, like a defenseless animal. It is no secret that there are many strong willed independent women who have a head on their shoulders and it is highly presumptuous of a man to think that they will follow them blindly to slaughter.

        There are certain things that a leader of the family must be willing to accept about their position.  I will list them as I see them.

A leader of a family must be capable of

1. Leading an army ( the whole unit, not just the willing ones or the ones that are solid in conviction but the WHOLE UNIT)
2. Leading with integrity 
3. Leading with humility
4. Answer to a higher authority

        George Washington was by far a man that we have all learned accomplished great things when it came to leading his men in battle. Among those men were the 1st Virginia Regiment who upon learning of his plans to resign wrote a letter asking him to either reconsider or appoint a man of equal character. In the letter they stated 
         "Your steady adherence to impartial Justice, your quick Discernment and invariable Regard to Merit, wisely intended to inculcate those genuine Sentiments, of true Honor and Passion for Glory, from which the great military Achievements have been derived, first heighten'd our natural Emulation, and our Desire to excel."

         Two things jump out at me in this sentence, first, the men list qualities that they seem to feel are important, impartial justice, quick discernment, regard for merit, honor and passion for glory. Secondly, these things, these characteristics are attributed for awakening their natural passion and desire to excel!!!

        Many times I have heard a man say that a women has to want to be led, or that she must be willing, in the right spirit or even broken before she can be led but I would argue that if a woman saw in her leader such characteristics as impartial justice, quick discernment and a regard for merit, her natural desire to excel under leadership as well as her commitment to her leader might be awakened in a way that would set a fire to the God given desires for her spouse! And much like the military men, she would not want or even look forward to any resignation of her leader!

         Ahhh Integrity, where exactly have you gone and honestly ( no pun intended) why do you matter? 

Samuel Johnson is quoted saying 
“There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.”

and Thomas Jefferson says "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." 

         Both men were wise in their ideas and it stands to reason that a leader who lacks integrity will lack in respect. Since men are appointed leaders over the woman it would seem imperative that they embody integrity in such a way that they might be accused of being too honest, or too morally sound. A woman is a delicate creature, longing for a strong arm to hold her, a supportive ear to hear her and a steadfast presentation to ensure her safety. None of these things is possible if her leader lacks integrity for she will feel that the strength is just a "show of force", the ear is simply to pacify her momentarily and that the steadfast presentation is nothing but a hollow shell sure to crumble under pressure. You cannot build confidence on lies, manipulations or even a tiny ounce of deceitfulness. A true leader must embrace integrity.

On ward and forward we march towards the need for humility. 

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less” -C. S. Lewis

         I absolutely love this quote from Lewis, it makes the definition of humility look like a thing that is easy to accomplish! But oh how difficult it is to remember that the thoughts you have should be focused not on yourself but on others. A follower is more likely to want to follow if they know that the person who is leading them is worthy of praise but willfully sets aside such things to make note of someone else's accomplishments. A humble leader is more likely to put his followers first, to provide when there is a need, to go beyond expectations and to understand that others are vital even if they don't have the same roles or responsibilities as them.

         Lastly, a true leader must answer to a higher authority. When a leader does not answer to a higher authority, they are a dictator. A man who answers to God is a man who lives under rules and regulations made to ensure his success. A man who refuses to answer to God becomes a slave to his own devices and quickly destroys his own reputation with those who would otherwise have grown to admire him.

"The blame for the broken homes, the untrained and undisciplined children, the immodestly dressed and fashion-mad wives, and the whole train of evils which curse our American civilization, must be placed upon degenerate, weakling men, slackers and shirkers and quitters, not willing to take the place of manhood and bear the burdens which God lays on men as heads of families." John R. Rice

Mr. Rice brings about a very interesting yet sad reality that the failure of the success of families falls upon the shoulders of the unwilling men, those who simply did not embrace the job of leadership God bestows upon all me who volunteer themselves for the position.

         So, after all this I must revisit my earlier idea that a man, when in a relationship with a woman is supposed to be a leader and as such he should possess the very qualities he might expect in a leader. As you consider what you want out of the President, Congress, Governor and even your local leadership in politics and church you must ask yourself, "Do I have the qualities of a leader? Am I one who should be followed? Am I even leading? Have I taken on the idea that my family is a unit who needs a leader?". All these questions most likely will be answered with a half yes or a hell no but either way there will be an answer.

 Once you have your answer then take those questions to your spouse and see what the answers are!!! 

Will she have the same opinions as the soldiers in Washington's unit? 

Will she beg you not to resign? 

         If you find yourself with the reality that you haven't been leading, START NOW! But don't expect a family that was formerly under your dictatorship to suddenly trust your guidance! You must demonstrate your leadership, repeatedly to cancel out the doubt, mistrust and poor performance you provided in your first term! 

You wouldn't expect anything less from the leader of this country!!!

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