Ever hear this phrase? “The man may be the head of the house, but the woman is the neck and she can turn him any way she wants.”
Kinda funny, and in some homes, kinda true. I was reminded of this little phrase recently while walking my dog, Westen, of all things. This might seem crazy, but honestly, this precious, 80 pound, bundle of pure love has taught me more about God than probably any book, sermon, or teaching.
If you’ve followed me for a while, then you may remember another lesson God taught me while walking my dog. That teaching moment involved a dog walking collar called a Gentle Leader. This little device is most assuredly a gift straight from the throne room of God. It makes walking an 80 pound dog more like walking an 8 pound dog, and here’s why.
The gentle leader puts the human in control of directing the dog’s head as opposed to attaching a leash to the collar around the neck. This is important, because you have more control when directing the dog’s head than you do directing it’s neck. A collar around the neck allows a big dog to put all his weight into pulling the human.
Within the last year, we stopped using the Gentle Leader, because, eventually, we would like to have Westen certified as a therapy dog. A dog cannot use a Gentle Leader while taking the certification test, so we made the switch to start practicing with a regular collar. After much frustration and many failed attempts we tried a new tactic: we hold the regular collar high up on Westen’s neck at the base of his head. Using the regular collar in this manner has the same effect as using the Gentle Leader.
It is so much easier and more enjoyable to walk Westen this way, and God revealed to me that this is how He wants to work with His Church.
Jesus is the head of the body, but His Bride, the Church, is the neck, and she has, unfortunately, been turning Him whichever way she wants. And as a result, the entire Body of Christ suffers for it. The neck is not supposed to be the lead. It doesn’t have the vision of the Head which has two eyes. It doesn’t have discernment and wisdom that comes with a mind. The neck has no ears for listening to the Father’s will. And, sadly, without Christ, the Head, at the lead, the neck also doesn’t have a warm, loving smile that reflects the heart of God.
Sweet Church, we need to make sure that we are allowing the Head, Jesus Christ, to be the one who leads us in all that we do. When the Head leads, then the neck and the rest of the body can follow knowing with certainty that we are heading in the right direction.
Living in God’s story means knowing, believing, and living as though Jesus is the author. He is the one writing the story. He has already written the ending, and He knows how to get us there.
I encourage you to take stock of your own life this week, and see how you can allow Jesus to lead as the Head, but also consider how you might be the graceful, elegant neck who lifts Him high for all the world to see.