Sitting with the Shepherd
But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12 NKJV)
Humility and servanthood are two of the reoccurring themes of scripture. In this passage Jesus is instructing His disciples not to aspire to greatness or to rule over others. And while the concept of servant ministry is an imperative mindset in ministry, there is another aspect of life where it is extremely applicable. That is our homes.
As we grow older we may envision ourselves as empty nesters enjoying the serene atmosphere of dwellings as life becomes increasingly uneventful. Experience may prove radically different. We may encounter increasing opportunities day by day to practice the godly virtues of humility and servanthood.
We may begin with the way we interact with our spouses in times when we are alone and no one is watching. Before coming to the Lord I was verbally abusive, controlling and in the throes of alcohol addiction. The Holy Spirit brought me to a place where I was convicted to the point of utter brokenness. Unfortunately I could not go back and relive the past so I vowed to make every day of my wife's life as good as I could make it by loving her as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. When we do allow Christ to love and serve our spouse through us there are great rewards even in this lifetime. These blessings include pleasant companionship, increased fruitfulness in our spiritual walk and a deeper more fulfilling intimacy with Christ and our spouse.
But we can also practice the godly art of humanity and servant leadership with our children and grandchildren. There may be times in the context of a larger family where one must lay down the law (in a loving manner), there are far more occasions to deny self and allow the love of Christ to manifest itself in our actions. I praise God for the times when we can put self aside and allow Christ to love others through us. When this happens we are able to know God more intimately and receive His great love ourselves. That brothers and sisters is the greatest gift of all!
"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death," (Philippians 3:8-10 ESV)
Questions for Personal Reflection or Discussion
1. How did Jesus' instruct His disciples concerning the matters of greatness and leadership?
2. What blessings/rewards can we enjoy when we practice servant leadership in our marriage?
3. How do we need to exercise humility in dealing with our children?
My Father in heaven, my God blessed be Your Holy Name. All I have received, I have received from You. Any gifts, talents and abilities that I have are from You as well and I cannot boast in any of them. Grant me the courage and grace to exercise humility and servant leadership in my home with my wife, my children and my grandchildren remembering that these are all Your children first and foremost. Help me to love them and give myself for them as You gave Yourself for me. Amen