pdf of Issacharian Daughters – ID050 – click on link below for correct layout and photos
Monday, 6 August 2007
Dear Girls, The definition of a leader
Over the past couple of weeks I have asked you a question: How would you define a leader?
It has been so neat to know that you have been thinking about this question from the emails I have received from you sharing your thoughts on this subject. I have loved reading your answers to my question. They have all been well thought out and clearly articulated.
So what does make a leader a leader?
The answer is surprisingly simple.
Isn’t that the way it is with truth oftentimes? Look for the simple answer!
The answer to this question is not only simple, it is exciting! And it has a lot to do with us. Which makes the answer to this question a great focus for this newsletter.
So how do we know if a man is a leader?
If he has a follower.
And how would we define a leader?
A leader is someone who has a follower.
And what is it that makes a leader a leader?
Whether or not he has a follower.
No matter how you look at it, a leader is not a leader without a follower! How can he lead if there is no one following?
Simple, isn’t it?
Here is the exciting bit: I was asking this question in the context of fathers and husbands. So let us re-word our question slightly: How do we know if our fathers and husbands are leaders?
The answer: by whether we are following!
Are we going to be followers, girls? I want to tell you a couple of stories about two friends of mine who have clearly been learning to be followers:
Coral Johanna I have always admired Coral for her femininity and winsomeness. The last time I visited her, she looked so absolutely charming that I couldn’t help but ask her,??Why do you dress the way that you do? ?? Her answer thrilled me! This is what she said:??I try to dress in a way which Dad would like and which my future husband would like if he saw photos of me. Take this dress for example. [She lifted up the skirt of the dress she was wearing.] The fabric is precrinkled. Dad doesn’t like precreased material. He doesn’t mind it on this dress, but in general it is not to his liking. So I try to avoid wearing this sort of thing. It has been good to learn what Dad does and doesn’t like. ??
Issacharian Daughter Another friend shared with me that after she turned her heart to her father and determined to honour him that he began to say to her how glad she makes him and how proud of her he was because she was seeking his wisdom and was valuing his opinions.
How can we be followers? Here are some suggestions and some observations that have helped myself and others I know to learn to be followers:
Ask your father for his opinion regarding [you fill in the blank]. It could be regarding what he believes in a particular area, regarding something you are struggling with, regarding how he would like you to live, you name it.
2. Ask your father for his opinion regarding your friends, your mobile, your car, your activities, your music, your reading material, your clothes, boys, etc. Make sure you know what his opinion is of each of these things.
3. If your father gives advice or direction or makes a decision about any of those things, be sure to accept it.
4. Ask your father for advice.
5. Ask your father for direction.
6. Ask your father for a decision.
7. Listen to your father with interest and respect written on your face.
8. Ask your father how you can help.
9. When your father tells you he doesn’t like black boots or uneven hemlines (as an example) then don’t wear black boots or uneven hemlines! In other words, show by your life that you want to please him and that you value his opinion.
10. When your father tells you he thinks it would be wise not to spend so much time with a particular friend, then don’t spend so much time with that friend. In other words, show by your life that you really want his advice and are ready to be guided by it.
11. When your father tells you that he would like you to spend more time helping your sister learn the piano, then praise the Lord for the direction your father is giving you and make more time in your schedule to help your sister learn the piano.
12. When your father decides you can’t make that overseas trip, or it has to be half as long as you wanted, give him a kiss and say,??Ok Dad, I know you have made the best decision. ??
13. Thank your father for working hard to provide for your family.
14. Imitate your father’s virtues. Is he thoughtful? Be thoughtful too. Is he generous? Be generous too. Is he kind? Be kind too. Is he hospitable? Be hospitable too.
15. Be cheerful.
16. Be happy.
17. Encourage your father.
18. Support your father.
??My dad isn’t a leader. ?? I often hear girls complaining that their fathers aren’t leaders. There can be all sorts of things which can cause a girl to say this, but remember our question: What is a leader? And the answer: Someone who has a follower.
Girls, rather than concentrate on what those around us ought to be doing or on their failings, let us concentrate on what we ought to be doing. We might say,??My dad isn’t a leader. ?? But are we doing what we ought to be doing? Are we being followers? Let us all search our hearts and determine to be followers so that our fathers can be leaders.
Not long ago my parents made a suggestion to me. My initial impulse (which sinfully I acted upon) was to argue and to bring up reasons why their suggestion was no good. I watched in horror as my attitude killed their motivation, drained them of energy and made them lose enthusiasm for the project. In just seconds after I reacted negatively I could see clearly that their idea and suggestion was fine and that I had simply acted consistently with my fallen nature rather than submitting or following as I ought to have done. It also struck me quite strongly that the last thing I wanted to be for a future husband was someone who robbed him of motivation, energy and enthusiasm. I repented to my parents straight away and agreed to follow through with their suggestion.
I mention this to show that I’m not perfect in this area. I’m learning day by day too! More importantly, I mention this because it is so exciting to think that when we are being followers we can energise our fathers and husbands to be leaders. We can motivate them and give them enthusiasm for leadership.
Let us all seek with the help of the Holy Spirit to learn to be followers, and, as we are obedient to God in this area, may we all be a true source of energy, enthusiasm and motivation for our leaders!
For the Greater Glory of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
Notes: I am indebted to my suitor Pete de Deugd for the inspiration to write this newsletter. He asked me this question and was the one who gave me the simple answer. 2. I am indebted to the Botkin family and their speeches at an Evening for Young Women in Christchurch, New Zealand, for helping me to understand some of the areas in which a young woman should ask for or heed her father’s counsel.
3. I am indebted to Debi Pearl’s Created to be His Help Meet and Pam Forster’s As Unto the Lord for giving me a greater understanding into what it means to be a follower.
I have sent this email to girls who have embraced a vision of victorious daughterhood as well as those who may be thinking about doing so (and even to some girls who may just like some encouragement regarding different areas of home life). Some of the girls are in the USA, UK, Australia and other parts of the world. Most are in New Zealand. You are welcome to forward this email on to others so long as you do so in its entirety. If you do not want to receive these emails please just send a return email to me stating that fact. If you know of other girls who would be encouraged by receiving these emails, feel free to forward the email to them or send me their email address.