the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
Most Americans agree our nation is in poor shape. We agree our economy is hurting and that our elected officials are not representing the will of the people (a recent CNN poll reveals nearly 60% of Americans are opposed to the healthcare legislation recently enacted by the federal government). There is accord that the nuclear family is under attack and that much of the society is morally bankrupt.
And so we ask why: why is our national government hellbent on consolidating power in Washington, D.C.? Why is it that nearly 50% of Americans pay no income taxes? Why are there so many people on state and federal public assistance? Why are families falling apart in this country? Why do many of our young people reject the Christian faith and gravitate toward hedonistic pursuits dressed up as religion? The truth is, most of the problems in this nation can be traced back to one source: the failure of Christian men to lead.
Now, it may seem that I am overstating the case. Yet, each of the problems mentioned above could be solved if Christian men learned to lead in their families, the workplace and community.
A lack of male leadership is not a new problem. It began in the garden of Eden. God had created Adam to take the lead in fulfilling the dominion mandate. However, the man stumbled right out of the blocks. His failure to lead left Eve vulnerable to the seduction of the serpent and paradise was lost. Since that time leadership responsibility has remained with men but they often do no better than Adam. Thinking they can skate through life without the burden of leading others, Christian men frequently approach their responsibility with self-centered complacency. Thus, leading by example, they raise children who are disinterested in the self sacrifice and hard work required to bring their life and sphere of influence under Christ’s rule. In fact, many Christians never understand the need to bring all of life under the authority of Christ.
Christian men must begin by “leading” themselves. They must learn to walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6) and - in the strength of the Spirit - discipline themselves to live in obedience to God’s word. When Christian men do this, they can lead their family by word and deed. Without the accompanying Christlike behavior, words have little impact. Then, as the head of the house continues to lead by teaching and modeling a life under Jesus’ authority, his family will likewise grow in Christian maturity.
The family is the basic building block of society and if that foundation is not appropriately developed, then the structure built upon it will be unstable. Granted, there are many families in our country not headed by men who profess to be Christians - and there are many single parent households supervised by woman. Nevertheless, if every Christian husband and father did what he was supposed to do, this nation would undergo dramatic change within a generation.
Moreover, when Christian men model servant leadership in the workplace and community, they become men of influence in that part of their life as well. Again, if every Christian man did this, our country would be transformed.
How do I know this? The Bible tells me so. It says that if I live a life of obedience to God’s Word and lead my family properly, I and my community will be blessed (Deuteronomy 28:1-14 and many more). How do I know Christian men are not measuring up? From my own experience and that of other men I have counseled over the years. But as we will see in next week’s column, effective leadership is within the gasp of all who aspire to it.