We’re back with Francis Chan, who joins us from San Francisco. Francis and his wife Lisa wrote a new book, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity. In the book you write, “No woman wants to be led by a joyless man” (81). Unpack that for us. Why is joy so central to leadership?
Well, joy is one of the fruit of the Spirit. But it is one of those fruit that is so contagious. We have the ability to bring life or death to a situation.
Whether it is your family or your workplace, you can think of those people that just walk in, and their joy just lights up a room. And then you can think of others where they are just joyless; they are just negative and it rubs off. So when it is in the home, I mean, that is a lot of time spent with that person.
And Scripture tells us that our joy, our forbearance, and that lack of anxiety should be evident to everyone (Philippians 4:4). This is what makes us attractive.
I think about how, as a kid, I was just not a joyful person. I just remember comments my dad would make, like: “You are never happy.” And my aunt would say the same thing. But when you come to know the Lord, that changes. I remember a pastor interviewing one of my daughters, he said, “Describe your dad.” And the first word she used was joyful — “He is just so joyful.” Who would have ever guessed that would be the adjective for me? But that’s what Christ does.
Bring Life and Light
And I see so many women that when you see the look on their faces you think: I don’t think she has a great husband. Some of you men, if you are listening, if your wife, before you met her, was this joyful, lively person, and she isn’t now, you have got to take some of that on your own shoulders: that being married to you has actually caused a burden because we are supposed to bring life and light into their lives.
But we should pause there. I’m not saying that any woman that for any woman who is depressed, it is your husband’s fault; or vice versa.