One of the things I love about my husband is the fact that he lets me be myself. In the many years we’ve been together, he has never required me to submit to him. How do you suppose we’ve made it through all those years without him enforcing his headship?
We’ve had our share of disagreements, but the way we have worked through things is with communication and mutual submission. The bottom line is that my husband doesn’t have to require my submission. I give it to him freely because I trust him.
In navigating life decisions along the way, we have shared leadership. The reason this works is because we really respect each other. We are very different, and we each bring areas of strength to the table. Recognizing this allows us to take advantage of those strengths rather than competing with one another.
The freedom I have in our marriage relationship is one reason I found it difficult to work within a hierarchial structure of church leadership. There was lip service given to teamwork, yet the actual functioning was entirely dependent on rank. It is difficult to function under something false when you have already experienced real shared leadership.
In my opinion, the best leaders aren’t intimidated by the strengths of others. In fact, they make space for those around them to express their talents and gifts. Those are the kind of leaders I want to work with, and the kind of leader I want to be.