Sometimes it’s not being blinded to moral responsibility, but struggling with our own beliefs on sensitive topics. Concerning gender roles in the workplace, many of us wrestle with issues ranging from who can serve to how we interact and respect one another in God-honoring ways. We Christians can all agree on some central biblical truths. God created us male and female (Genesis 1:27; Matthew 19:4), with equal value, but not the same. Our strengths, weaknesses and psychological needs differ (Titus 2).
When we won’t acknowledge these differences, we fail to paint an accurate picture of God. We also miss opportunities to affirm the value of those we lead, address personal crises (often rooted in poor spiritual health), diffuse tension in the workplace, and build the best team possible for our nation’s defense. By not settling for the politically correct culture of androgyny, we bring glory to God when we have the courage to honor His created order.
Since we are unlikely to reverse law, policy or service culture, we must find effective ways to work within established laws and policies, including those on gender and faith. Whether we agree or disagree with policies on who serves in the military or who fills combat positions, as military officers we must accept the team our nation gives us. Neglecting a soul we are charged to lead is unproductive.
I developed and use eight points (shown below) to navigate the leadership minefields I face: identify the truth or moral responsibility, accept the situation, know the battlefield, remain alert, anticipate the battles, choose a course of action, act, and accept personal responsibility.
Our leadership choices and actions may have career or life-changing implications. As with all aspects of servant-leadership, though, it’s not about us! It’s about focusing on those we lead and their needs. Take heart if you’re struggling with courage while facing your particular leadership minefields. The Bible says that wrestling is part of our walk with God (Romans 7:15-20); the Holy Spirit is working to keep our eyes open to opportunities for God’s glory.
Only by trusting God and His plan for our lives can we lead courageously in our duty as both officers and Christians. It’s time to build a strategy that calculates the risks of leadership minefields and faces them with a moral courage that matches the bravery of those we lead on the battlefield.