The first week of the year and I had no posts running on the blog. I was sad that I couldn’t get those out. I’m slowing down on the frequency of posting, at least for a little bit. LeRoy and I are pushing hard to hammer out the final chapters of the book we’re working on and I’m pouring most of my writing time into that.
Will you pray for us? Some of you have let me know you’re interceding for this project and that has been so encouraging. We are much in need of God’s grace, and He is responding to your intercession!
What do you think would be helpful for husbands to hear? (Maybe ask your husband to respond to that question!)
Tomorrow, I’ll give you a quick peek into the book, but today I’ll include a short excerpt from the chapter on tender leadership.
Excerpt from an unedited, rough draft version of:
Men Who Love Fierce Women: The Power of Servant Leadership in Your Marriage
The snow was blinding and we counted more than forty vehicles in the ditch on our six-hour journey through the Ouachita Mountains. We’d traveled to Northwest Arkansas on Christmas Eve, and were planning to spend Christmas with LeRoy’s family, but by Christmas morning the news was forecasting an unprecedented winter storm.
The snow of the “2012 Christmas blizzard” piled up almost a foot, most of it falling within a three-hour period—the three-hour period in the middle of our six-hour journey through the mountain passes! We left Granny and Papaw’s house early on Christmas Day, to try to get ahead of the storm and make it home before dark, but about an hour into the drive we could tell the storm had caught up with us and was sticking with us all the way to the house!
I wasn’t afraid, though, I’ve been with LeRoy in worse storms and I have confidence in his abilities to navigate and lead us through any blizzard. But in the first years of our marriage, I didn’t do so well with accepting LeRoy’s leadership. I was a headstrong young woman and I was not a good follower. At least when it came to following LeRoy’s decisions.
I think some of it had to do with the fact that he was so different from my father (and from me). My father could assess a situation quickly, determine the right course of action, and go into execute mode with no hesitation. LeRoy’s process is slow, sure, and methodical. Also, my father had several years of life-experience under his belt and that put LeRoy in a rookie category.
In the early years, we had conflicts regularly. We saw things differently, and I felt like LeRoy wasn’t appreciating my input, wasn’t even open to it, and the more he distanced himself from me through the decision making process—the more I demanded to be involved and heard. I wasn’t intending to strip him of leadership, I just wanted him to value my contribution. I didn’t realize that my “input” was putting pressure on LeRoy to act before he was ready—when he was still in the early deliberation stages.
Typically, I took his slow process as indecisiveness and would jump in to “fix” the problem or find a solution—not even realizing that by doing that I was robbing him of the opportunity to lead. When that became a pattern, he eventually handed over leadership to me.
We claimed to be complementarians (theologically) but were functioning as egalitarians (practically).
Some men “lead” through harsh domination (which isn’t really leadership). They bull-doze their way through and set their agenda with no regard for anyone else. They don’t lead, they just function as a controlling bully. Woe to the man who tries that with a fierce woman. He is just asking for an explosion!
Thankfully, LeRoy took the tender route in leadership. He eventually realized the need to explain to me his philosophy and process for making decisions. LeRoy sat down with me one day to explain the difference in his leadership style. He told me why he was slow and careful in his deliberations, why “risk taking” was outside of his framework, and that helped me to understand that he didn’t intend to frustrate me with his slower pace, and that his quiet response didn’t mean that he was ignoring the problem.
When he took the initiative and really began leading me spiritually, that provided me with the security to allow him to lead me in other areas. As I released control and began to look to him for leadership, he eagerly invited me into the decision making process. We are a team. He values my input and I value his leadership. I am so grateful for the incredible changes we’ve seen in this area of our marriage, changes that God desires to do in your marriage as well.
That is just a little scribbling from the book. We’ve still got a long way to go, so please lift us up. God has placed an urgency on our hearts for getting this resource into men’s hands—for His glory.
We would love to get your feedback—is this a resource you believe would be helpful?
What areas do you think should be addressed in a book challenging men to step up to lead their wife and family?
Image courtesy of photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net