Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - and leadership in the home

Walking to the movies after dinner
esterday evening, Rebekah and I went out on the perfect date. Gourmet burgers at Square One, followed by The Dark Knight Rises at the theater.
One again (we did the same thing with Harry Potter before watching the final episode in that series), we prepared by screening Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) this weekend. Consequently, we got the entire story, seamlessly, over three days.
In a word, The Dark Knight Rises was awesome!
from the 60′s
1960′s: Back in the 1960′s, sitting in front of a grainy black-&-white 13-inch television that (kind of) pulled in BBC, ITV, and nothing else, my brother and I would watch the classic “BatMan and Robin” episodes. I’m sure some of you remember; they featured cartoon words like “BAM!” and “KAPOW!” when the characters were fighting, and each episode would always end with a cliffhanger such as BatMan or Robin hanging by a thread over a vat of acid.
Let’s just say that the genre has evolved somewhat over the past 50-years!
What I like about today’s version is how viscerally good and evil are illustrated, how small the distance is between them, how close to the surface both forces reside, how incredibly important leadership is in a broken world that can – so easily – lean either way, and how gravely responsible natural and elected leaders are to exercise their gift.
Flowers for Rebekah
MORE ON LEADERSHIP:Most of you know I do a lot of my out-of-town speaking-teaching-training work with men. Retreats, conferences, keynotes, books – everything possible in the way of encouragement and accountability.
One question that often comes up is this, “Aren’t men supposed to be the head of the family?” Well, the way I read the Bible it’s God who gets to be the head of household (Read – below – what Joshua said to those who wanted to place God well behind the cultural norms of their day).
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
LOVE-LEADERSHIP: Like I said, I’m in the business of offering encouragement, and so one of my favorite things to say to those who try so hard to make the Bible support their tendency to male chauvinism is this: If you really want to be the leader in your home, then be a leader:
  • A leader in terms of demonstrating Christlike love,
  • a leader in practicing kindness,
  • a leader in building up,
  • a leader in generosity,
  • and a leader in what it means to serve.
If you insist on being the leader of your home, then be a servant leader first and you’ll find that your wife will pretty much follow you anywhere.
Buying Rebekah flowers is one way to remind myself that kindness, generosity, patience, encouragement, gentleness, faithfulness and peace are the elements of Christ-like love I am called to model as a man.
And – interestingly, because I hadn’t anticipated a tie-in with the BatMan end of this post – those are the elements that turn out to hold the most potent power in our constant battle against evil. Because (and BatMan would agree), it’s the evil in ourselves we have to be the most vigilant against.

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