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Loving Leadership (5 of 5)

Mike Connell

I had a group of men, and I told them to read Ephesians 5, and they all came back with the same verse: wives submit to your husbands. I mean, what a crazy verse that is, why would you want to read that verse? See what the first word is: wives. It doesn't apply to you. So the men, you can just cover that one up and leave it, because it's actually not directed to you at all. It's none of your business. Just forget that verse, because it says at the front, 'wives' and we've kept away from that one, because I know all the men are wired to that one. I've kept away from it as long as I can. We'll get to it now, but we've got to get the men's thinking right on this one, because that's the only verse they hear in the Bible: wives submit to your husbands. I had a whole group of about seven or eight guys, and out of that, all but one, the only verse they could see in Ephesians 5 was: wives, submit to your husbands. See, it's the only one that does not apply to you. I said: I can tell now, all of you guys have got problems - but here's the one that applies to you: Husbands - husbands! Is that you, a husband? Or are you a wife? You know, I had to tell the guy, you check. You've got to check. [Laughter] Is this a men's group or what? We've got some women in here, then we've just got to sort this one out right now - but no, I said: no, men, husbands love your wives; so we had to get that kind of clear.

So God wants us - that which is attractive in a man, is loving kindness. You become very attractive if you're a kind person. Now Jesus, so anything that's harsh, severe, authoritarian, legal, demanding, all of that is ugly. Men, say it: ugly. [Ugly.] It's ugly. Angry men, harshness - it's ugly, very ugly. We don't need it. We want to have a gentleness. David said: thy gentleness to me has lifted me up and made me great. That's how it really works, gentleness. A servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle to all men; see, because that's the character of God, is to treat us gently. Wow, takes it all away doesn't it? Makes headship now understandable. Now you have a look at how Jesus influenced people. He did not influence them by saying: I'm the Son of God, and I've got power boys! You get in my way, I'll fire you! [Laughter] Now His disciples thought that way though. They'd go into a village, and they'd say: we don't want You Jesus, get out of here. The disciples said: ooh just give us the word Lord, and like Elijah, we'll just call fire, fire burn, smoke them up! [Laughter] That's the spirit of many men, and that's not God - He says: you know not what spirit you're of.

He said: I've not come to destroy life, but to give life; just the wrong spirit, wrong attitude, wrong approach altogether. However they were Jesus' chosen disciples, so Jesus' chosen disciples had this thing of calling fire down, and judging everything. We've got to learn to get the heart of God, loving kindness you know? So when Jesus met lepers, He touched them. He didn't have to touch them. He touched them because of kindness. When He met women, He lifted them up and forgave them, He lifted them up and brought them. He entrusted the gospel to them. The first person to get the word to preach was a woman - the first person! Have a look at Jesus' ministry, forever He was lifting up women, and actually establishing that God values them; but everywhere else in the world, from the fall of Eve until now, every other place in the world, you find every other religion, every other nation, there's this oppression and a putting down and a hatred of the devil against women. We're going to get into that in another session - and men get infected with that, for a variety of reasons, and they carry that spirit of darkness, and oppress and hurt. We have a nation full of abused, hurting, suffering women, because they've never seen men who know how to be loving and kind, and take the lead.

What the church needs, and the nation needs in this hour, is men who learn how to be godly men, and stand up and make a difference in the church and in the community, by having a whole different approach. You don't get that in the world. You won't get it off TV, you won't get it off videos, you'll only get it in the word of God. We have a generation that have risen, that have no fathers, so there's such a desperate need for men to learn how to put these principles into practice, and then to raise up another generation that doesn't repeat all the same mistakes - and we can do it. We want to do it. That's what God wants to happen too, so when I start speaking in about men, women don't get nervous. It's because, if we get this one right, everything else starts to come right. It's not the only thing we talk about, but we do need to push on it, because it's such a problem in our nation.