Hey man, I love your blog and you post great stuff. I know you’ve talked about being engaged soon and my girlfriend and I have discussed this too. However, I don’t feel that I am a great leader and I’ve never really been shown how to either. What is some advice on how I can be the leader God wants me to be for her? Thanks J!
Hey my friend, thank you so much for the encouragement.
This will sound overly simplistic, but being a great leader is about following a great leader.
It means loving God with every fiber of your being to the best of your God-given capacity. If you’re under the authority of Christ as best you can, you’ll no doubt be the kind of person who is fit to lead. If I wasn’t following God, I’d be following myself, and that has led to some atrocious places where I deceived girls, used them up, and basically made myself a target for any father’s shotgun.
I know most people will mock this idea. But I’ve never met a great leader who wasn’t under the leadership of a smarter better leader. That means, of course, you’d do well to be under good mentors, a good pastor, and good older people. But it ultimately means you are daily humbling yourself before the Word and Will of God. The only alternative is you’d be following your own advice or some lesser person, and then you’d just have to punch yourself in the face all the time.
I’m imagining my future daughter dating a dude. Who is that dude following? What authority is he under? Who does he answer to? If it’s not God, then get out of my house and stay away from my daughter. I know I sound extremely old-fashioned when I put it that way, and it lacks my usual care for nuance and the gray-area — but dude, it’s my daughter. I don’t want her to date some guy who is following himself. Would you?
If you’re not sure what this looks like in practice, then 1) be the hands and feet of Jesus, so get involved with charity and justice, 2) be part of a church you can trust, 3) consider your future children in most anything you do, because Jesus loved children and so must we, 4) read your Bible and pray, which sounds obvious but is hardly done regularly by Christian boys, 5) make a living, 6) be a leader who serves, and 7) view women as sacred dignified human beings and not “objects” or “goals.”
Please don’t hear me saying that you need to be perfect. You’ll make mistakes. When you date and get married, you’ll find tons about yourself that you never knew, especially ugly things, because being so close to someone will expose the selfish monster we’ve been hiding inside. I’m only just learning this: but instead of being so hard on myself, I’m finding how to manage what happens after I’m exposed. Leadership then is about managing today just as much as managing the mess-ups, so have some grace for yourself as you go along.
A last thing. Don’t primarily pursue the woman. Pursue Christ first, and you will find a godly woman running alongside you.