Posted: September 25th, 2012 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Relationships, Truth | Tags: God's will, husband's role, leadership, marriage, women in leadership, Young Life | No Comments »
Judges 4:1-4 says:
After Ehud died, the Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the Lord. So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim. Because he had nine hundred iron chariots and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.
Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.
Doing evil in the eyes of the Lord and then being oppressed by another nation was a repeating pattern in the book of Judges. It happened over and over. Eventually, the people would cry out to God for help and He would raise up someone to deliver them from their oppressors. In this case, it’s Deborah.
Obviously, this is a strong woman. She’s a prophetess. She’s a gifted leader. And God uses her to deliver His people.
There’s someone in this account that I’ve never heard mentioned before, but it’s someone I think I would have liked. I think we’d have some things in common. His name is Lappidoth. And he’s Deborah’s husband.
Lappidoth is married to a strong woman and a highly capable leader. She’s someone who has recognizable public gifts.
I can relate to that. My wife, Robyn, is the most gifted leader I know. I’m amazed by what she does.
Let me talk to the men for a moment. Guys, can you relate to Lappidoth? Is your wife a leader? Has God gifted her with the ability to cast vision, build teams and develop strategies? Does she see opportunities and intuitively understand how to take advantage of them? Does she have the ability to multiply her effectiveness by building organizations? Can she set goals and help lead others to achieve them?
Then your wife is a leader. It’s how God has wired her. And part of your job description as her husband is to empower her to use her gifts, to fully develop into the woman God created her to be and to fulfill whatever God calls her to do.
I’m not talking about abdicating your responsibility to lead in the home. That’s still your role, but check out Ephesians 5:25-30:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body.
Jesus sacrificed Himself. He served. He loved. He called out the best in others. And as a husband, you are called to do that for your wife.
When our kids were younger, Robyn’s primary calling was to be a wife and mother. We believed it was important for her to mainly be at home. That may not be possible for every family, but it was the right call for us. But now that our kids are older, Robyn has had the freedom to fully develop her leadership gifts outside the home. And it’s been a privilege for me to serve and support her as she has done that. I see one of my primary responsibilities being to lighten her load and be a support to her.
We don’t know anything about Lappidoth other than he was Deborah’s husband. And I suspect he’d be okay with that. I have a feeling he understood who he was married to and did whatever he needed to do to support and encourage her.
How about you? Is your wife a leader? If she is, how are you going to encourage her?
Posted: April 6th, 2012 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: arkansas razorbacks, bobby petrino, character, forgiveness, Good Friday, grace, humility, leadership, marriage, motorcycle accident, sin | 1 Comment »
My two favorite college football teams have been rocked by scandals in the past seven months. First, it was Penn State. Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator, was accused of sexually assaulting young boys. University trustees felt head coach, Joe Paterno, didn’t do enough to stop Sandusky, so they fired him. Joe died of lung cancer a couple months later.
Then earlier this week, Arkansas head coach, Bobby Petrino, was involved in a motorcycle accident. He suffered four broken ribs, a cracked vertebrae and some cuts and bruises on his face. What wasn’t known until yesterday was that he’d also had a passenger with him, 25 year-old, Jessica Dorrell, a young woman he’d recently hired to work in the football program. Last night, Petrino admitted to an “inappropriate relationship” with her. Petrino is now on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of athletic director, Jeff Long’s, investigation.
I was saddened and disappointed by the Penn State situation and I feel the same way now. If there’s one lesson that comes from these two situations, it’s this: sin destroys.
Bobby Petrino, despite a 21-4 record over the past two seasons, could end up losing his job. He has brought shame and embarrassment on himself, his family and the University of Arkansas. And sadly, the woman with whom he had the “inappropriate relationship” was engaged to be married soon. The website that contained the details of her wedding has now been taken down.
Sin destroys. It destroys us and those around us. The consequences may not always be immediate or even noticeable, but that only means sin is doing it’s destructive work unnoticed, in secret. For now anyway.
Sin destroys. It’s a promise.
Before the nation of Israel crossed the Jordan River to occupy the land God had promised to them, Moses told them:
Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time. (Deuteronomy 4:39-40)
God’s commands aren’t meant to rob of us of a good time, they’re meant to provide for us and protect us. They teach us how to live so that “it may go well” with us. The Author of life knows best how it should be lived. He knows that when we stray from Him and go our own way, the result is destruction. We see that destruction all around us, everyday.
There is good news though.
Today is Good Friday. It’s the day Jesus was betrayed and unjustly put to death. It’s the day my sin was put on the One who knew no sin. Jesus was put to death for the sin I committed. He took the punishment I had earned. He took my punishment and in exchange gave me His right standing before His Father.
I deserved death, but was given life.
I was an enemy of God, but through the death of Jesus, I became His child and His friend. I have peace with God through Christ.
What sin destroys, God redeems.
Yes, sin is destructive and carries with it consequences, but God is greater than the destructive force of sin. And He can even take the terrible consequences of our sin and use them for our ultimate good…if only we will turn from going our own way and begin to walk according to His ways.
Should Bobby Petrino still be allowed to coach the Arkansas Razorbacks? Well, he doesn’t really deserve to, does he? How can he, with any credibility, tell his players to be men of character after he betrayed the trust of his wife, his supervisor and the people of Arkansas?
But you and I are also guilty of betrayal, aren’t we? We betrayed Jesus. And instead of the punishment we deserve, by grace we’ve received forgiveness.
I don’t know what should happen with Coach Petrino. I just know I’m not able to throw the first stone. I’m a man in need of grace myself.
My hope is that Coach Petrino would come to know the forgiveness of Christ, because I care far more about his soul and his marriage than about how many games he wins.
“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
Posted: September 25th, 2009 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Relationships | Tags: complaining, grumbling, leadership | 1 Comment »
If I wanted to destroy a church, a ministry, a family, a business, a non-profit organization or a group of any kind for that matter–I would try to get some of the members, preferably leaders, to grumble and complain. I would incite them to commit the sin of Korah.
Korah was one of the community leaders of Israel while they were in the desert. He gathered 250 other leaders and confronted Moses and Aaron whom God had appointed to lead the nation. Korah and the other rebels said, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”
If you’ll remember, Moses never wanted to be the guy to lead Israel. He tried to get out of it at the burning bush. He tried to convince God to send someone other than him to speak to Pharaoh, but God chose Moses. God didn’t choose Korah or any of the other 250 community leaders. Case closed.
Moses makes it clear that it’s not him they’re grumbling against, it’s God. “It is against the Lord that you and all your followers have banded together.”
Want to know what happens to Korah, his family and the other 250 rebels? Read about it here. It’s not pretty.
Are you guilty of Korah’s sin? Are you grumbling and complaining about someone over you in a leadership position? Know this–Satan is using you to accomplish his schemes.
Rather than complaining, try praying and encouraging. Ask God to give your leader wisdom, power and favor. Then say something encouraging.
As our mothers taught us, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. You’d hate to discover Satan had used you to discourage or demoralize someone doing their best to lead, wouldn’t you?
Believing God includes trusting that He has appointed your leaders. Don’t be guilty of banding together against God by criticizing, complaining and grumbling.