From the start of Promise Keepers, major Christian leaders have told men they must reposition themselves to become servant leaders of their families. This new attitude of service for a man should first begin with his wife and then spread to his children, and then throughout every area of his life.
Men from every walk of life fill Promise Keepers' events. They receive instruction designed to help them in their view ofGod as Father as well as how they should be as a father. The excitement of these events can sometimes cause the man whois not accustomed to these views to begin taking deep introspection. The standard is lifted very high, and when some menhear they should be servant leaders in their homes it's received with mixed feelings. There are men who have never reallyserved anyone but themselves who are now faced with the concept of placing everyone in front of themselves in order tolead. Many of these men have never had a true example of this level of servanthood in their lives. Therefore, it's a verydifferent, and sometimes difficult, pill to swallow. I'm aware of how these men feel, because there were no servant examplesin my life either. However, Almighty God sent godly men who understood what it meant to lead from a servant's positioninto my life.
Many men return home and attempt to put into practice what they heard over the weekend. It doesn't take long for them tofind out how difficult this lifestyle really is. Some move away from the servant leader's position to become just the leader.Though the servant leader's position appears difficult, it's possible for every man to become one and succeed.
Promise Keepers' theme for a recent conference season comes from the 24th chapter of the book of Joshua: "Choose you thisday whom ye shall serve!" The sub-topic was, "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Over the years, manyspeakers and spiritual leaders have used this scripture as a subject. To understand Joshua's statement better, it should beapproached in sections.
Joshua said, "As for me!" As a man of God, if you develop an "as for me" mentality, then you will always be in theposition of a servant leader. When you read or make this statement for the first time, it may appear as though it is a command. However, in truth, it is a proclamation of what Joshua would do. He was not telling his family to do something he was not willing to do. Instead he was indicating the position he would take, and his family would follow. Men who would be servant leaders must allow the same words to come from their hearts, "As for me!"
Servant leaders are the ones who set the standard for everyone else to follow. Remember, Joshua did not say, "As for my wife, children, or neighbors." Rather, he would be the one who set the standard. Is this to say women and children do not have or cannot have responsibility? No! However, it does mean we will--as men of God--take a frontline position and say before God, "Look at me first for everything and everybody in my immediate family." Spiritual matters will not be handled by our wives while we watch or supervise.
Joshua continued by saying, "And my house," which shows not only ownership but responsibility. I love to tell men whatthis statement means for a servant leader. He must take responsibility for the dirty dishes, the vacuuming, the bills, the trashcan, the bathrooms, and every other area of responsibility. His wife is the one who helps to meet these areas ofresponsibility, not to own them. In Genesis 2:18, God calls the woman a helpmeet. God had already placed the weight ofthe responsibility on the man through the order of creation. The man could not take the attitude that once the woman wascreated, he could sit back and watch her work. Many times, men want their wives to own the household responsibilities sothat they can focus on their careers and/or expensive hobbies. Yet Joshua, a true servant leader, said, "My house!"
Look at the next part of Joshua's statement. He said, "We will serve." This is the first time he's included his family in thepicture. Joshua's example before his family will cause them to do exactly what he has done and is doing. The importantpoint about this level of service is in who they are serving, which brings me to the conclusion of Joshua's statement. Theyare serving "The LORD" together.
Now it becomes clear why Joshua is serving his wife and family and taking total responsibility for his house. He is leadingthem to the Lord! Joshua had already seen what happens to good men when they leave the Lord to serve other gods. Hewas not about to let this happen to his family.