Monday, December 26, 2016

Ways Men Lead That Encourage Women, Part 2

In what ways do men show leadership that encourages you as women?” That was my question to a group of sisters I interviewed a number of weeks ago. This post picks up where the first one left off, enumerating and reflecting upon their responses. 3. Owning Up to the Consequences of Our Decisions

As important as it is for men to be decisive, it won’t mean a thing it we don’t own up to the consequences of our decisions. Even the best of us make mistakes, and when we do, our sisters will gladly stand behind us as long as they know we won’t run away or blame someone else. They’ll joyfully support a leader—as flawed as he may be—who’s willing to bear the cost of leadership.

4. Correcting When Needed

Another uncomfortable side to leadership that we need to take on (and that women appreciate us taking on) is the responsibility to correct, them when needed. Of course, this presupposes that we ourselves welcome correction.

One of the ladies I interviewed recounted a good example of this. A man in a group she was part of corrected one of the women. He was very firm yet gentle. He didn’t shoot accusations at her, but began by asking her questions. “I felt her defensiveness,” recalled the sister, “but he pointed her to God's Word.” The man’s demeanor and words also showed that he was motivated, not by pride, but by genuine concern for the woman.

5. Encouraging Lady-like Behavior

The sisters I interviewed also appreciate it when brothers encourage them to act like ladies. On one hand, that includes reminding them to be composed when they’re being noisy and unruly. On the other hand, it also involves showing our care for them by helping even with even menial tasks.

So men, help them with their bags. Open doors for them. Be concerned for their safety. If that sounds like servanthood, that’s because it is. None of that is beneath a true servant-leader (Php. 2:5-11).

6. Being Consistent

Biblical leadership doesn’t come naturally. Most men don’t even want to lead. When they do, it’s often short-lived.

But the sisters have words of reassurance for those of us who really are trying to grow into our God-given roles as men: the effort is appreciated. Even the small things we do are important to them. They’re not looking for perfection. What they are looking for is a pattern. The key is consistency. And the proof of consistency is when we keep leading even when leadership is least gratifying.
Men, let’s be reminded that without consistency, they have no reason to trust us (1 Tim. 3:6, 10; cf. 1 Ki. 20:11).

More in the third and final post in this mini-series...

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