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Loving Leadership (5 of 5)

Mike Connell

It just doesn't happen. You can pray all you like, but you've got to do other things as well. You've got to guard that intimacy, so you've got to guard that no one else gets in your heart, and so one of the things today that's broken a lot of relationships, interesting things that's dragged a lot of women into adultery, is chat rooms on the internet, because they get talking, and the man on the internet says things that the husband ought to say, but he's too busy, or doesn't give her attention. It's like watering a plant, you water it with words, and if you don't water your wife's soul, then she dies, and then you have a problem. So we want to build bonding, okay, we've gone far enough. It's already getting too tense. Let's just go to the next principle. [Laughter] Let's go to Genesis 2, we'll see if we can do better at the next one - so we don't flip the cards up, and give 1/10, or 2/10 or whatever. Just nod your head. The wives all knew this was true, the men are just finding it out, and the men will encourage one another to do all these things.

Genesis 2:18, The Lord God said: it's not good for man to be alone. I will make him a help meet (suitable) for him. It's not good to be alone, so here it is, the principle of partnership. It's not good for you to be on your own. God wants you to have someone to be with, to work with, walk with, those kinds of things. Now this is a relationship where the man and the woman begin to fit together, and flow together, with mutual giftings. Now it didn't mean that the woman just did her thing, and he did his thing; it's actually a partnership in life. In 1 Peter 3:7 it says: heirs together, of the grace of life. You are partners in life, and partners carry something into it, which is different. Now of course the things that are in my wife, that I was attracted to, were the differences - but afterwards they become the irritations. [Laughter] Until you realise, that she's got her strengths and weaknesses, and I've got my strengths and weaknesses, and when we put them together, they just seem to fit just like that. It works wonderfully, if we just flow together. She's great at some things, and I submit to her in those things.

The Bible says - it's an interesting thing - there's only two passages that tell us about the headship of a man, and I know the men all gloated and rejoiced when I told them those passages; but I hope you read the Bible, and read what else was in there, in which case you'd find in both passages, either just before or just after, it tells us: submit to one another. In other words, that there is a mutual receiving of one another's giftings and strengths in the relationship. So these are some practical ways of putting this principle of partnership into practice. There's some simple things to it - you've got to flow as a team, biggest thing is team. The first thing is, quite very simple: accept your wife's differences, or your partner's differences, and celebrate them. Don't get down on them, and try and change them. You don't want a clone of you, you want someone different; so accept the differences and the strengths, and rejoice in them. What my wife is good, at I'm not; so I celebrate she's very good at it, and I draw from her strength in that area. It helps me to grow in that area.

The second thing is, share responsibilities in the home, according to the giftings. Now that's a new one, because a lot of people have got rigid ideas how the home is run. Now when I was raised up in an Irish family, and the man's role was outside the home; so he did the garden, the garage, the car, and the work. When he came home, that was it, it was over, he was home, sat down. Now in the home, the woman was king; and so she ran everything in the home, that's how it worked - two separate worlds. But that's all changed now, and that's cultural, and it happened to be for that era, but there's nothing biblical about it. It just happened to be the way they did things in that time. The common sense thing with any team is, find out what each one is gifted to, and drawn to, and deploy them in that area, so that means you can share what you do. Now for example, some people think: well a man's got to run all the finances. Now in some homes, that would be a disaster! [Laughter] He can't even balance the cheque book, but the wife's great at it - so let her do it, and don't feel bad about it. But if she takes control of it, ooh that's another thing. There's a difference between managing, something under a leadership; and taking control of it, and usurping leadership.