Are you leading or ruling?

A man who is fulfilling his God-given roles as a husband and father is not so much a ruler as he is a servant, steward, and shepherd.

August 18

He sent letters to all parts of the empire, to each province in its own script and language, proclaiming that every man should be the ruler of his home.

Esther 1:22

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Are you leading or ruling?

King Xerxes was the most powerful man in the world at this time.  The Persian Empire stretched across much of the known world.  King Xerxes had little to concern himself with and so threw a huge party that lasted six months.  After that party was over, the king threw a feast for all the servants and officials of the palace.  While half-drunk he decided to parade his beautiful wife before everyone to show off.  She refused to come, and Xerxes flew into a rage.  Xerxes’ counselors told him that if he didn’t do something, all the wives in the kingdom would soon rebel because of her actions.  The beautiful Queen Vashti was forever banished from the king’s presence and Xerxes sent a decree throughout his kingdom.

This decree, as our verse for the day tells us, was that every man should be ruler in his home.  This meant that husbands were given the power to treat their wives as Xerxes had just treated his.  Husbands now had ultimate, unquestionable authority over their wives.  It is not hard to imagine the abuse that was spawned by this sinful decree.  This may also be the source of the idea that ‘a man is the king of his castle’.

Xerxes’ mistake is the same mistake that men have been making for thousands of years; believing that they are superior to women.  There is no question that God made men different than women.  Generally speaking men are stronger physically than women.  They also respond differently in certain situations causing men to attribute superiority over women.  What these men fail to recognize is that women excel in areas that men are weak.  These same men don’t recognize this because they perceive those areas to be unimportant.

God’s view of men and women is as equals.  Neither is superior over the other.  Both are uniquely designed to complement one another to accomplish something miraculous; living together in marriage and raising children.  Unhealthy views about our roles in marriage and family is the source of many of our society’s woes and struggles.  If more men stood up to be who God created them to be, our world would be radically different than it is today.

God didn’t create men to be the rulers of their homes; He created them to lead their homes.  The distinction might appear to be small but is, in fact, enormous.  A ruler has absolute authority.  No one has permission to question or challenge his authority or rule.  A leader uses influence to guide people toward a desired objective.  A man who is fulfilling his God-given roles as a husband and father is not so much a ruler as he is a servant, steward, and shepherd.  That kind of a man will enjoy blessings beyond his imaginings as God rearranges heaven and earth to pour out his grace upon him.  Jesus, help men to be real men, not as the world says but as You say.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Daily Bible Reading: Esther 1:1-3:15; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; Psalm 35:17-28; Proverbs 21:19-20

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