Leading *is* serving.

In my last post I pointed out the pattern of complementarians defining headship as service in practice, and leadership in theory.  Dr Raymond Force puts this into numbers as 99% service and 1% leadership, but the message is that leadership is to be minimized to the greatest extent possible without outright denying leadership.

But there is another problem, and this is the very framing that asserts that leadership and service are at odds, and that any time a husband leads/decides he is by definition not serving.  The reality is that leadership is a form of service, and is a heavy weight the husband bears.  That wives are being taught both by feminists and by complementarians that a husband exercising leadership is claiming (male) privilege at best, and in practice is really a form of abuse, only makes this burden heavier for the husband and makes submission harder for the wife.

This entry was posted in Armchair Husbands, Attacking headship, Complementarian, Disrespecting Respectability, Dr. Raymond Force, Frame, Headship, Servant Leader, Submission. Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Leading *is* serving.

  1. Phaethon says:

    “For they who care for the rest rule — the husband the wife, the parents the children, the masters the servants; and they who are cared for obey — the women their husbands, the children their parents, the servants their masters. But in the family of the just man who lives by faith and is as yet a pilgrim journeying on to the celestial city, even those who rule serve those whom they seem to command; for they rule not from a love of power, but from a sense of the duty they owe to others — not because they are proud of authority, but because they love mercy.”

    St. Augustine – City of God – Book 19, Chapter 14

  2. Pingback: Leading *is* serving. | @the_arv

  3. DrTorch says:

    The reality is that leadership is a form of service,

    Succinct and elegant. This is what needs to be at the top of all of the “servant leader” materials.

  4. Swanny River says:

    Dr Torch,
    You have more faith than I. I think even if that phrase was in a header, it wouldn’t help because the fear of women is so institutionalized, besides being natural. My expectation is that the church leaders would see it and triumphantly say, see that is what we’ve been saying. Because in their minds, 1% of leadership equals being a leader.

  5. squid_hunt says:

    Once again, apply the pastorally defined application of leadership to pastors themselves. See how they like that. This is about control. It’s about knocking all the pillars out of the house so everyone is dependent on them. That’s the reward for these men to subvert the scripture.

  6. earlthomas786 says:

    The reality is that leadership is a form of service, and is a heavy weight the husband bears.

    Those who don’t know about the heavy weight it brings seem to think leadership is only privileges.

  7. Anonymous Reader says:

    In case of a house fire, a father will lead his family through the flames to safety. Because it is his duty. It is also a service. How could this act of leading not also be a service?

    Question: Where is the privilege being exercised in this case?

  8. Lost Patrol says:

    “The reality is that leadership is a form of service, and is a heavy weight the husband bears.”

    How is it that pastors don’t get this, but Dalrock does, despite having stated he is not a pastor?

    Jesus collected disciples and formed them into a unit, a little family really, teaching them the difference between what matters and what does not. He loved them, protected them, made provision for them, took them to places they would not have gone except for His guidance and initiative. He set the example for His followers on how to behave, answered their questions, taught them boldness, gave them confidence, the list goes on. And ultimately He laid down His life for them and everyone. This is the actual meaning of servant leader.

    There is no indication that He did their chores for them nor constantly queried them about where to go and what to do. He did sometimes drop what He was doing at that moment to help people in particular or specific ways, not unlike a husband doing some chores around the house, because leaders also help those that follow them when they need it. If I’m not mistaken He cooked the fish down by the beach one day for breakfast.

    “Oh, oh, I know this one says the pastor, He washed their feet!” “See? Servant Leader!”

    Yes He did. Once. At the final training venue by way of making a point they needed to understand.

    The guys that need to MAN UP are the ones telling us to man up.

  9. Caspar Reyes says:

    Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. But there was no question who was the Master and who were the disciples.

  10. Paul says:

    What a fantastic quote from Augustine, I will use that!

  11. BillyS says:

    And Jesus washed their feet once, not throughout His time on the earth!

  12. DR Smith says:

    …and this is why I, nor my wife or daughter, go to church. Was all signed up, ready to go to the local RCC.
    Then we went to my daughter’s Brownie cross-over ceremony (was held at local RCC, as the troop is part of my daughter’s Catholic school) where the priet was doing one of the prayers and he let it slip in (all legally sanctioned marriages). My wife and I both looked at each other – wait, what? That was never in that prayer before..then it hit us, he was taking about gay marriage, being that he was a catholic priest and had a wedding band on his left hand.
    Of course, then we have all this stuff other church are propagating, which is nothing more than the cultural marxists/socialists/communist view of global kumbhya that is being pushed all over the place in most popular media. Talk about convergence….

  13. Cane Caldo says:

    I recommend not quibbling with complementarians or egalitarians over how many times Jesus washed feet. That is a trapdoor into a room with no exit where you are not even Jesus and who knows how many washings is too many for a sinner like you?

    Keep the focus on the truth that leading well IS serving. Make them defend the idea that Jesus didn’t serve God and His people while He was leading them.

    [D: Agreed.]

  14. BillyS says:

    Yes and no Cane.

    More than once indicates a pattern. Once indicates a unique event. We should model our lives after patterns, not one time events.

    I suppose that more fits with an “argue based on the Scriptures” approach that would not fit with some churches.

  15. Lost Patrol says:

    “Keep the focus on the truth that leading well IS serving.”

    Good advice, though in my experience at least it is virtually guaranteed that foot washing will be the rejoinder.

  16. Cane Caldo says:


    If you’ve had great success with your way then keep it up.


    Sure, but you just direct them right back.

  17. BillyS says:


    I always argue the truth. I don’t waste my time on a lot of people however, as I have come to realize most do not want to know the truth, however it is presented.

    I doubt arguing with the audience that would not accept that Jesus only washed feet once will be productive no matter how you word your case. They have a mindset they are sold out to, so any argument is a waste, not just one noting the number of times.

    I will always focus on presenting the truth. It may not be received, but that is not my problem and those who are opposed to the truth will be opposed to it no matter how it is presented.

  18. PokeSalad says:

    Those who don’t know about the heavy weight it brings seem to think leadership is only privileges.

    Perhaps because they can only interpret ‘leadership’ in its current secular meaning, in that the only reason anyone would seek to be a ‘leader’ is to gain power over others.

  19. glosoli says:

    ‘She should stand up for herself and if she needs to leave then leave. God is not glorified by the wife being disrespected and abused. Stand up with your God given authority and say No!’

    These women are so utterly deluded.


  20. bdash 77 says:

    I love it when Dalrock NAILS the fake evangelicals!!

    They need men to submit to their wives and fool them by calling it servant leadership.

    Most Godly men will call out bullshit if they see it but generally only as they age
    by nabbing men when they are young husbands and getting them to submit to their wives
    they can easily control the masses as women are easily led

    also getting men to submit weakens them
    like this lady who believes God called her to work instead of care for her child even though she was blessed with a baby.
    Her husband is forced to slow down is career and submit to he choice to show servant love
    this weakens his position long term ( 20’s-30s is when u need to invest your career) AND cements her position as the head provider and protector of the household
    They thus try to break the historic tendency for men to invest more in their financial independence and personal independence after marriage and babes by calling it sinful

    aka her job will dictate where they go what they do and which church they worship ( even if they claim it wont- servant leadership effectively makes the wife the boss)

    This way the pastor ( in this case matt chandler) has to only fool the women and guilt the men for not submitting to them.

    What I find really ironic is that these elders/pastors never servant submit to their congregation
    never tell employers to servant submit to their bosses
    or tell women to servant submit to their children.

    The very effectively only target the man because they know that an strong man confident in God will not let them pursue their nonsense and will hold the church leadership accountable.
    thus effectively most christian marriages are this

    Why are there not more men like Dalrock?
    are there any churches where the men are Godly?
    What kind of Church does Dalrock attend?

  21. Scott says:

    Cane is right about the feet washing thing.

    There is a circular reasoning that you will get into with that. Even the most articulate, orator might come up with something like:

    “If Jesus was indeed trying to teach leaders a lesson about servant-leadership, what was the lesson? If the lesson was that leadership does not have an authoritative component to it, then what is the point of having a leader? If the point was that all leaders should cook, clean, pick up after, and wash the feet of the people they are leading, (all the time) then what lesson is He trying to teach about decision making? (Because after everyone’s feet are washed, decisions still have to be made.)”

    The problem is that the feet-washing stuff is a shell game move. Authority and service are not related in the way people who use that text assume them to be.

    The leadership IS service is the component that really matters.

  22. Scott says:

    In other words, according to the rubric, “leader” means “person who washes feet.”

  23. These two posts were excellent. Thank you.

    This 99-1 metaphor seems to be directed at the married men in the pews, i.e. “You guys not only shouldn’t assert headship in marriage. You just can’t. First, she should not let you, and second, God never wanted you to. It’s abusive.”

    But how does a pastor like Force think this message is received by Christian bachelors?
    Even the most feminized, 50-50, egalitarian bachelors are going to be scratching their heads at something like 99-1, surely. Maybe not.

    It’s rather obvious by now that when it comes to any modern day convincing argument for the merits of modern day marriage, Christian men and women, both married and unmarried, have all of their persuasive work still ahead of them.

    The shear level of attitude and ingratitude among legions of divorced and post-carousel, “I’m born again!”, neovirginity THOTs now pervading the pews of the American Christian Church is a reality even Force cannot deny or pray away. It’s toxic and repellent to those bachelors with awareness.
    And it is sobering and depressing for the husbands living with it.

    But I do think something else is at play here.
    I believe Christian women today know that there is absolutely no shortage of betas willing to submit to a 99-1 arrangement. In fact, most churches across the US are chock full of such men. And while a woman would eventually grow to resent and despise such a man, the hour is so late that she is often in no position to reject that option. Doing so aligns with the fempowerment story pastors are telling her.

    The other reality is this: No amount of male ministry, Wednesday night fathers groups, or “men’s prayer group” breakfasts is going to change the service-authority dynamic in most marriages At best we are talking about temporary oscillations of maritial power to 95-5 or even 80-20 and then an eventual return to the mean.

  24. Oscar says:

    RE: feet washing

    It’s not complicated. Who obeyed whom? Did Peter obey Jesus, or did Jesus obey Peter?

    Submission is obedience. Plain and simple. People overcomplicate it because they wish to disobey, and they want theological cover for their disobedience.

  25. Splashman says:

    Thanks for this post, Dalrock. I think it best for everyone if you posted more like this — not just pointing out when people get it wrong on an issue, but also Biblical (God’s) perspective on that issue, clearly stated.

  26. anonymous_ng says:

    I find it ever so humorous to read, and hear people pontificating about leadership while having never exercised it.

    These pastors are like virgins waxing poetic about sex.

  27. Spike says:

    When men work for a living, do they not “serve” their families?
    Men work harder, are given greater challenges, shorter deadlines, riskier jobs (high-voltage electrician, anyone?) are the first to be laid off and made redundant, and die sooner.
    Married men will frequently adopt the above challenges in order to make more take-home pay for their families.
    If we then apply property law to this, then it follows that his some and what is in it is his.. He should have the say in what happens there and how his money is spent.
    It is therefore, a racket of theft that the modern Progressive-Feminist system has laid upon men, to basically rob them, not just of money but of respect and well being.

  28. One consistent thing among all of these supposed Christians: they’ve clearly never led anything that’s been successful. At all. If they have, they would have to be pathological liars to spew the nonsense that they do.

  29. Authority, rights and power must be commensurate with responsibility and accountability.
    With this, you succeed only in harvesting dysfunction and derision.

    Traditional Christians and pastors continue to delude themselves that the modern day husband and father still commands any semblance of legal and financial authority or power in marriage. He doesn’t. Not anymore. And worse, the pastor are denying the only authority husbands and fathers had, namely those stated by God. With his authority removed and now openly mocked, how is he to lead and sustain that leadership?

    The husband and father IS bestowed with ultimate legal and financial responsibility and accountability however. So his service role is taken for granted and assumed. He’s supposed to.

    And where, may one ask, is her accountability and responsibility under the marriage?
    Interesting how that question always seems to evaporate before it ever hits the Christian pulpit.

  30. bdash 77 says:

    @spike no
    men only serve if they do Titus 2 or proverbs 31 homemaking
    as Chandler’s sermons say
    men are only serving if they let their wives hang with their friends while they take care of babies

    Men working?
    a man coming home after a hard days work and tuning out for 20 min ?!! OMG what a selfish husband you have!

    I dialogued with one of the Pastors at The Village and he said men who work more than 60 hours a week is sinning as it means he is forcing his wife to focus on the home and NOT letting her flourish!!!

  31. Jeff Strand says:

    Dalrock nails it here. The husband IS serving by assuming the burden and responsibility of leadership, which relives the wife of this burden.

    It’s like I tell my wife, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” She may not be a huge student of Shakespeare, but she gets it. Would that these churchian chucks would also get it.

    BTW, as something of a history buff, I often will call to mind a quote from a speech that Hitler gave to the Reichstag, which went something like this: “I never wanted war, for as a simple soldier for four years in the trenches of The Great War I know better than most the dreadful cost of war. But if war had to come, I am glad it came during my reign as Leader – I would never want to slough off the responsibility for it onto my successor. Rather, I will bear the responsibility for it….just as I have always born the responsibility for everything.”

    Many times in my life I have recalled that quote, and it has comforted me in trying times. That’s what it means to be a man. No whining, no grumbling, no complaining. Just the steeley self-control and self-discipline to say “I will bear the responsibility, just as I have always born the responsibility for everything.”

    And my experience in marriage has been, that this is something that my wife finds very attractive in me, as her husband. And makes it very easy for her to submit to me totally.

  32. Don says:

    Leadership is in fact service, but too many wives are confused. A husband’s job is serving God, while leading her. Not serving her.

  33. Those who don’t know about the heavy weight it brings seem to think leadership is only privileges.

    Well, for many leaders today, it is pretty much just power and privilege, but especially so for women “leaders”. When was the last time a woman leader was held responsible? Is Killary in jail? Did Elizabeth Warren get recalled after all the Faucahontas b.s.? Merkel going to be chained to one of her “legos” in the public square?

    Re: “the memo”. Who thinks anyone who held real power will serve time in prison? Obama, Killary, Lerner, Comey? Any of those going to be wearing orange jumpsuits in the next year or two?

  34. Will S. says:

    Reblogged this on Patriactionary and commented:

  35. Mychael says:

    So timely reading this. Since the baby came, I have been totally pinned down by her, to the point of barely being able to take care of my own basic needs. Scott came up to me a few minutes ago with a bottle of lotion and rubbed my feet with it, because he see they were getting dried out.

    At no point during that exchange did he stop being in charge of me.

  36. Matt says:

    “I recommend not quibbling with complementarians or egalitarians over how many times Jesus washed feet. That is a trapdoor into a room with no exit where you are not even Jesus and who knows how many washings is too many for a sinner like you?”

    You’re overthinking it. If a woman tells you washing feet is leadership, just ask her to wash your feet.

  37. Pingback: Self inflicted reframe. | Dalrock

  38. Gaza says:

    Agreed. Leadership to the progs and other leftists variants is all about power. Which is a function of the oppressor-oppressed, which defaults to man-woman.

    The equalist/egalitarian delusion is their patch-kit but it also conveniently never actually fixes the perceived power imbalance (abuse), which is the point; so it demands a never ending supply of legal and social interventions and handicapping. Cue family courts.

    To them power has nothing to do with the natural authority that accrues as a result of competency, skill, and effort. So the hierarchy that forms as a result of this competency is ignored in favor of the marxist idea that power is stolen through mere identity.

    Whenever this notion is challenged they just fall back on the apex fallacy. All those male ceo’s. All those men who get to go have three martini lunches at work while their wives suffer at home.

    They fail to recognize that leadership is a vessel for responsibility and responsibility is an act of service.

    Partly because the prog does not ultimately believe in responsibility but rather in unjust power imbalances and partly because women are apparently beyond reproach when it comes to responsibility.

    IOW responsibility is uniquely male. Which actually supports the notion of male headship as natural. But missing the irony of their absurd assertions is par for the course.

    The progs ignore and diminish the service aspect of (male) leadership because they dont see leadership as natural or earned, just as a condition of unjust power.

    Their feminized solipsistic perspective casts leadership as a self-serving function of power accumulation and preservation; they are blind to the responsibility that accompanies such power.

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  42. Minesweeper says:

    @Jeff Strand – u mad bro ? hitler was clearly a lunatic of civilisation ending demonic proportions. He sure bore the responsibility of war when he plunged an entire world into it from the safety of the Kehlsteinhaus.

    I would choose a better “inspiration” for life than that or see a shrink.

    I would guess you are a troll otherwise.

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