Dear men, we need you
This is addressed to those of you who love Jesus. I want to thank those of you who fight an often unrecognized battle. I know this is not an easy world to live in as a man – far from it. I know that if you are following Jesus, you are constantly fighting spiritual attack and temptation. On top of that, you daily face a society that tries to define you by the very things you want to resist and sends mixed signals about what it means to be a real man. Merely choosing to fight through all of that is about as manly as you can get.
In light of that battle, I want to remind you of who God made you to be. God created you in his image (Genesis 1:27). And because you are created in His image, you are a leader.
God created you with the ability to lead.
It is there, ingrained in your very being regardless of whether or not you want it to be, regardless of whether or not you feel like it is. You do not have to fight the battle of creating the potential characteristic in yourself, your fight is stepping into it. That duel begins with the decision to do so and the faith to back it up.
You don’t have to deserve the potential to lead.
The ability to lead was never yours to earn or even ask for in the first place. You do have to earn the right to lead specific people, groups or initiatives and you do have to be prepared to surrender control to the Lord (John 30:30) but being worthy of His desire to work in you is not a burden you have to carry.
You may be unqualified, but you have been called and justified (Romans 8:30).
You might not feel like you have what it takes to really lead. Maybe you’ve tried and failed to lead your wife toward Jesus. Maybe you can’t even lead yourself toward Jesus. Maybe you are a leader at work, but not at Bible study. You’re the go-to guy for a good time but not for people who have questions about salvation. Maybe you’ve never led a single thing in your life and you don’t even want to. You’re good at other things, just not that.
No one has the right to tell you you can or can’t do what God has called you to.
If anyone has ever said, suggested or decided you are not a leader, remember: No one has the right to tell you you can or can’t do what God has called you to. Not a colleague. Not your boss. Not your dad. Not your girlfriend.
God wouldn’t have created you with leadership potential if He didn’t intend to use it. That would be like making a Bugatti without an engine. Total waste. He specializes in activating world changers who wouldn’t exactly be considered prime candidates by anyone else. We see it over and over in the Bible.
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13)
Peter and John were just average fishermen. Peter was rough around the edges, outspoken and often wrong, yet one of the most influential men in the Bible. John was a hot-head (or “son of thunder” as Jesus called him) with a quick temper. He became one of the few who were closest to Jesus and those weaknesses turned out to be powerful forces against the enemy.
And how about Paul? He was one scary dude before he met Jesus. Theologian Philip Schaff describes him as “[for a while] the most dangerous enemy of Christianity, but after his conversion its most useful promoter. The weapons of destruction were turned into weapons of construction. The engine was reversed, and the direction changed; but it remained the same engine, and its power was increased under the new inspiration.”
The same God who made those guys made you. That makes you a huge threat to the enemy, and he would love nothing more than to see you walk away in discouragement. But Satan’s only chance for victory is convincing you to give up. Fight him off by stepping into who you are, who you were so carefully made to be.
When you know who you are, the world loses its right to enforce labels on you.
People no longer have influence over you when you make decisions. When you step into who God made you to be and use the gifts He has given you, you find yourself suddenly walking in purpose instead of chasing things that never last.
Finally, on behalf of women, we need you. We need the qualities that God gave you, because they lead us closer to Him like they were designed to. God gave men and women characteristics designed to benefit each other. He gave you unique characteristics that, when used under His influence, are direly needed by women.
So my challenge is this: Keep fighting. Please. You are needed, you are called, and you are capable because God is and because God says so.
This is written by and from someone who has experienced a lot of pain at the hands of men. I say that only to express how genuine my plea is. This is a sincere request from me, but more so an invitation from the Lord. I would not be able to confidently claim this as truth if it were not His truth or I did not know Him. But it is, and I do.
A woman who believes in Jesus and in you