Wednesday, June 6, 2012
P4E.240 Autocracy - 2 of 4
The second obstacle that Pat Parelli identifies as an obstacle to the relationship between a human and a horse is autocracy. It means, self rule or one who rules by himself. It's an obvious problem when one sets oneself above another and rules by himself. Autocracy is every bit the same sort of obstacle to a husband in his relationship to his wife.
I admit that I, like many other Christians, have been very confused about the idea of a husband's leadership role in a marriage. And I, like many other Christian husbands, have handled my leadership role like an autocrat more often than not.
My wife, Gwen, had a good example of a leader in her life. It was her father, Ben. Gwen's recollection of her father is that he was something of a secret angel. When things would go wrong at neighbor's houses, they would call a person who would be calm, who was balanced, who would help solve the problem, not make the situation worse. They would call Ben. Gwen remembers her father as someone who was safe, who encouraged, nurtured and inspired. He did not make those around him feel threatened, overwhelmed or confused. He was not an autocrat.
I, on the other hand, do not have a track record of being calm in situations where things are going wrong. In my own home, I have made bad situations worse by getting angry, defensive, trying to place blame, and by my "woe is me" attitude. The double standard of my leadership, where I would have one set of rules for myself and another for the rest of my family would leave my poor wife feeling confused and overwhelmed.
The good husband leads by example. He takes his wife's opinions, values and recommendations into account. The good husband does not make ANY major decisions without being "as one" with his wife. The good leader seeks help in the form of wise counsel. His confidence is built up by knowledge, experience and solid decision-making. He's consistent in his temperament.
Jesus said, "Come unto me you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." The good husband is a strong, safe harbor who's there to support his wife when she has a problem.
I want to be that good husband. I like feeling good. I want my wife to feel good. I don't like feeling troubled and I don't want my wife to feel troubled by me. I don't want to be a threat to her spiritual well-being; instead, I want to be a reason for her spiritual wellness, an encourager, a champion, a defender, her hero.
The Scriptures say that the meek shall inherit the earth. This meekness can be defined as incredible strength held in check and harnessed so that it is feather-light and able to handle things most fragile without damaging them. The good husband is not an autocrat. He is meek and mild and kind. I want to be that good husband. God help me.