She walked into her living room and plopped onto the couch, anxious to put up her feet and find a few moments of peace. It had been a long day of negotiating conflict at work, but she had navigated with skill and grace. Her children, happy to see mommy, climbed on her lap and pelted her with questions. Not exactly what she had hoped for. Her impatience mounted and she snapped, storming into her bedroom.
He had gladly agreed to watch the kids for the weekend so his wife could attend the women’s retreat. Had he known he would be caring for sick, feverish, whining children he may have made a different choice. He loved his family dearly and was committed to do whatever it took to provide for them. Sometimes, though, it seemed easier to succeed on the job. There he was able to rise to the challenges and was well respected by his staff. However, at home he was often mystified by his family’s needs.
Do either of these scenarios seem familiar to you? You may need to switch the genders to better relate. Why do outstanding leaders on the job sometimes struggle leading at home?
As servant leaders we invest so much of ourselves on the job, but do we let our guard down at home? After putting in a full day at work, do we feel justified in “letting it all hang out” in the comfort of our house?
Servant leadership is motivated first and foremost by love. When examining our leadership at home, it’s important to assess how well we love.
- Do I demonstrate the compassion of Jesus?
- Do I genuinely care about their welfare?
- Do I model kindness, respect, and honesty?
- Is my heart to serve?
- Do I take an active interest in what’s going on in their lives?
- Am I able to discern when they feel down without being told?
- Do I put their best interests above my own?
- Am I a safe person to bring personal problems to?
Servant leaders are always “on the clock,” especially at home. Our most important responsibility is to love and lead our families well.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NIV).
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of family. Help me to make home my greatest priority. I ask for Your wisdom to love and lead them well. By Your power, may I serve with grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.