I was tempted to hold off blogging on this topic until after the Christmas holidays, but with kids’ home from college and families gathered, I decided differently. As spiritual leaders in our families, we ought to be the thought leaders, pro-actively engaging our children in this conversation.
Anyone who spends any time with younger Christians will tell you, most are ready to accept same-sex attraction and marriage as a fact of life. And, if Christians don’t, then we’re unloving. Most haven’t thought much about the distinction between practicing homosexuals and celibate ones. But, we have the opportunity to guide that discussion thoughtfully and biblically.
So, for the last year, I’ve been meeting with two Christian gay men. Both are committed to Christ and to celibacy. I’ve met with them to try to better understand the gay experience, the pain, the loneliness and the frustration. In particular, I wanted to explore with them ideas to help homosexual Christians, committed to celibacy, live life in all its fullness, in every way the Bible allows, both in and out of the church.
Here’s my position on this issue; I do not believe it’s a sin to be gay or lesbian any more than it is a sin to be a “straight” who is tempted by lust. We are all tainted by the fall and sin has corrupted God’s original intent for human sexuality. That’s not the way he made us. It’s what we’ve become. All sex outside of marriage is sin and I do not believe the Bible allows same-sex marriage.
I’m happy to call my brother and sister in Christ, any straight, gay or lesbian who has surrendered their life to Christ and is committed to a celibate lifestyle. So, the ideas I’m about to put forward are for this group of Christian homosexuals only.
(For an expanded understanding of my views on homosexuality and “gay marriage” see my blog of; Dear Michael, a Parent’s Letter to a Gay Son, dated 9/23/13.) http://bit.ly/1bBkTJu
In my discussions with these men, there are certain issues that most discourage homosexuals who are sincerely trying to live a holy life. They are; (more…)
A few weeks ago I was teaching a group of young fathers and was asked this question, “How do I build confidence with my children for me as a godly father?”
I doubt if there’s ever been a true Christian and a parent, who has not asked that question. It’s the Holy Grail of both Christian parenting and Christian leadership, in general. So my answers will address all Christians who aspire to be men and women of integrity, on the job or in the home.
My answer to that father’s question was this; “Either live up to your children’s expectation for a true follower of Jesus, and/or manage their expectations.” The group understood the first half of my answer, but didn’t understand my “manage their expectations” advice. It sounded to them like a copout – an excuse for under-performing. I disagreed.
Here’s why I believe both observations are so important to build confidence in those you lead. (more…)
A leader should always have an agenda, but it should never be hidden.
I’ve been shocked over the years to discover the distrust people have of their leaders, even those in ministry. We know that’s true in general, but it rarely dawns on an individual leader that their people, or even their own families don’t always trust them. Most leaders believe we’re men or women of integrity and therefore, we don’t have to be concerned about that problem. We do! So, why is it that we often distrust leaders?
1. Almost everyone has had someone in authority over them, who has hurt, embarrassed or betrayed them.
My father had a good friend – a very successful Christian businessman, who I discovered was gossiping about my father behind his back. I once had a teacher who everyone knew gave good grades to his pet students and lesser grades to students who challenged his ideas.
Perhaps you had a controlling parent, a critical spouse, or coach who humiliated you in front of others. So, have the people who work for you. They will often unconsciously project their experience on to you. I’ve repeated this maxim often: No one was raised in a Petrie dish – we all have emotional baggage. We’ve all experienced hurt by others because of sin and as a result, we’ve become wary of the motives and agendas of others.
2. Most of us know that we, ourselves have been deceitful in the past and therefore, we are wary of that sin in others. (more…)
I’m occasionally asked if there are any fairly simple leadership principles that always work. “Work for whom?” is the question I often respond with. Here’s what I mean by that.
The common misconception of leaders is that their task is to get others to do what they, the leader, wants. The goal of the true Christian leader, if at all possible, is to inspire others to creatively work toward a solution that they, the group, believes is best.
It’s my experience that once a group truly believes in an idea; they will work in harmony to pull it off. But, if they don’t, some will give it only a half-hearted effort, and a few will actually hope it fails. This is true of a family as well as a ministry, a committee or corporation.
So, the following are a few of the best practices of good leaders I’ve observed to inspire others to think outside the box. (more…)