Influence or Control – Part 2

A Lamplighter Moment from Mark Hamby

Most men are able to identify with the difficulty of maintaining balance in their responsibilities to protect, connect, communicate, and love. I find it interesting that there is more said in the Bible about a man loving than about protecting. Men who overreact in the area of protection may really be protecting themselves. Men who are jealous because of insecurity will become overprotective, overbearing, and display a distrusting attitude toward their wives. Men who are insecure will also try to dominate their children. Again, this tendency for control is the result of insecurity that is overcompensated by thoughtless authority.

Being a man, I know that there is an innate awareness and “calling” to protect my wife and children. No one had to teach me this. However, if I love myself more than I love my wife or children, my motives will lead to actions that are controlling, accusatory, and demanding. When a man’s control is greater than his influence, you can be sure that he loves himself more than others.

We do not follow our Lord Jesus because of His control but because of His sacrifice and love. That is why He washed the disciples’ feet just prior to His crucifixion. He was teaching about true leadership–servanthood and sacrifice, not authority and control.

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it . . . In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church . . .” (Ephesians 5: 25, 28-29).

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