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Born to Follow?

As a result, she emerges as a powerful influence in the lives of Naomi, Boaz, and the rest of the Bethlehem community. Her actions bless everyone in her path and ultimately change the world for, unbeknown to her, she is rescuing the royal line of Christ.

Ruth's example establishes a pattern that goes against common assumptions about what female leadership will do to men. When the first calling and greatest passion of a female leader is to follow Jesus, the men in her life won't suffer the fears we hear recited all the time: that they will be displaced, emasculated, or feminized. To the contrary, they become better men.

There is no male leadership vacuum in the Book of Ruth. Boaz is a true leader when he makes his entrance in the story - a man to be admired for all the right reasons. When he exits the story (after repeatedly following Ruth's lead), he has attained new and higher levels of godliness and is honored as the great-grandfather of King David and the worthy ancestor of Jesus.

Deborah's heart belongs to Yahweh, and so she calls and accompanies a reluctant Barak into battle. Barak makes the Bible's Hall of Fame (Hebrews 11:32) for great men and women of faith.

Esther overcomes her fears to answer God's call on her life. She confronts her husband (a man with the power to take her life if it suits his mood) and overthrows Haman, the second most powerful man in the world, and his genocidal plots against her people. Her ascendance to power makes King Xerxes a wiser ruler and exalts her noble cousin Mordecai to a position of great stature and world power.

In Priscilla's unbending commitment to the teachings of Jesus and Paul, she partners with her husband in setting Apollos straight in his teaching. Together they strengthen Apollos to proclaim the gospel to countless people.

I no longer believe leadership belongs exclusively to men. God calls all of his daughters to lead. But the leadership we offer to others will only be as good as our ability to follow - to follow the one who created us to lead.

So go ahead. I don't mind if you tell me I was born to follow.

December04, 2007 at 10:21 AM

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