You are aware that the chiefs of the nations are lording it over them, and the great are coercing them. Not thus is it to be among you. But whosoever may be wanting to become great among you, let him be your servant, and whoever may be wanting to be foremost among you, let him be your slave, even as the Son of Mankind came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give His soul a ransom for many (Matthew 20:25-28).

If anyone is wanting to be first, he will be last of all, and servant of all (Mark 9:35).

In these passages Christ laid before His apostles the divine principle of spiritual leadership, concerning which A.E. Knoch (1874-1965) wrote,

While the Son of God was in sad contemplation of the deep humiliation of the cross, His disciples were puffed up with pride, arguing about their own greatness. They could hardly have been further removed from Him in spirit. He Who had been above all was now sinking beneath all. Higher than the archangels was His primeval position; lower than the lowest of sinners is the appalling place to which His path is winding. Higher! is the selfish shout of man, intent on his own exaltation, though he tread his fellows under foot to reach his proud pinnacle. Lower! was the cry of Christ, intent on the weal of others, though He be trodden in the mire to serve them. True greatness can never be attained by striving for self. It lies only in service for others.” (Concordant Commentary on the New Testament, Mark 9).

Likewise the servant role of husbands is about a man living for his wife and family. The husband is the foremost servant of his family. In the home, as in the Body of Christ, service starts at the top and works its way down: Christ Himself being the premiere example of self-sacrificing service.

Self-serving men will pursue creative ways to circumvent the servant-nature of leadership while attempting to hold on to its “position.” In no place is this more prevalent than in the home. Such actions bring shame, disgrace and mockery to the benevolent role of headship. Little wonder that patriarchy has become such a despised word in our society.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

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