A Leader’s Loves



Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken

What a leader loves determines how a leader leads.  Consider Solomon, for example.

Solomon loved the Lord and walked according to the statutes of his father, David . . . As long as Solomon loved the Lord and walked according to David’s ways, he was humble and trusted God for an understanding heart because he knew he was not adequate to lead God’s people.  Solomon demonstrated his love for the Lord by living in radical dependence on Him.  Because of this request God gave Solomon a discerning heart and with it, God gave him more than he asked for:  riches and honor and the possibility of a long life (I Kings 3:3-15).  It was out of his love for the Lord that Solomon built and dedicated the temple (I Kings 5-6) that had been the passion of his father’s devoted heart (I Kings 11:4).

But Solomon had a different love, a love that changed his life and leadership.  Now King Solomon loved many foreign women . . . (I Kings 11:1)Each time Solomon married a foreign wife, she brought her gods with her, evil gods of shame and destruction who worked their ways into his heart.  He was charmed by these women, and their charms led him into the bosom of their gods, causing him to turn his heart from his Lord to their idols, even though God had warned him twice not to do this (I Kings 11:9).  He created altars to these gods and sacrificed to them and participated in their awful worship.  While Solomon never quite put God out of his heart, he turned from radical dedication to God and desperate dependence on Him to serve the idols of his wives.  And so a hill east of Jerusalem was scarred with the altars of false gods (I Kings 11:7-8) while the temple of the true God sat in sight of the smoke of sacrifices offered to the idolatrous loves of Solomon’s life. 

Solomon had two loves and he led two radically different lives.  In the first he built one of the greatest edifices of the ancient world to exalt the true God, but in the second he lowered himself to the pride, jealousy, and pettiness of the idolaters around him so that late in his life, he attempted to murder God’s chosen successor to his throne (I Kings 11:29-40).  Isn’t it amazing how what you love affects your leadership? The man who wrote some of the Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes, the wisest man in his generation, became one of the most idolatrous men in his generation and then even a would-be murderous man.

Learn the lesson of a leader’s love and be careful what you love because your love determines how you lead and the way you live—and the heritage you leave behind.

(from "A Leader's Loves" on

Bill Lawrence is the President of Leader Formation International, Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary where he served full-time for twenty-four years (1981-2005). During this time he also was the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership for twelve years.


  • Alma

    A leader’s loves

    Amen Bill!  God warns us not to put our trust in man rather to work out our salvation with "fear and trembling."  Even though Solomon did this treacherous deed of worshipping other gods, he was quoted as the Wisest man that ever lived!    He came to realize that all is Vanity under the sun!  For vanity's sake he forsook The Lord!  Let it be a great lesson to all who fear The Lord!  God will not be mocked!  He will give His Glory to no man!

  • lexismexi97

    please read & comment.

    I'm really upset and really wish I was never born. I real feel like there is no point! I am so miserable.. There isn't any point in family, I use to think was.. But some things have me thinking no. My grandma tells me god does not love those In hell , neither the devil & idk why it gets to me may be because god is suppose to be unconditional loving that is what holds me to follow after the lord. : his love! If he doesn't love them it hurts me. I am always putting myself in others shoes. I see my self thro others even if I am not like them. I have a filling thro anything I do I am going to hell. During armageton days grandma says mothers will be against daughter. Family against every one! & I think now what is family.. Family only on earth for a short period when faced to fight them to put them In hell?forever to torcher.i have no hope and I cannot leave this cruel world without facing another cruelty after. Everywhere its dawned! & I am dead inside. Ik what I am saying is not like me that you have seen its Js I have never been so lost! my entire life. God was once my only hope, but I've lost hope in that because of things I hear.

    — so does god loves the devil & people who go to hell? the reason why I care so much is because his love is what kept me going and what gave me hope. & I wanna know his love is unconditional no matter what.. knowing he loves the devil shows me hope. & that his love is really UNCONDITIONAL. to love someone who is that bad, gives me great hope . Bc I feel like a bad person.. I have sympathy and am made Always to put myself in others shoes or I c myself as someone else even tho I am not.. I just am that.. I think if he doesn't love them than how can he love me. That is what makes me have hope, faith and keeps me going
    is that wrong. lol

    and god says love your enemys. and god created the devil. if he loves unconditionally, that that is forever.. but im sure he don't show the devil bc god refused his love and is wicked..


    but god I think should love the devil and the ppl in hell.. that's just.. idk….

    What do you think?Thing is there is stuff i do not know and am trying too. We all gotta learn. lol, to honor him.


    I try to read bible.. and i interpret it different.. cuase i think different, everyone does. I have people i trust teach me.. lol.


    & the person who i trusted too.. made me hurt and change the way i think and the only thing i held on to for hope in this world.. that's why i reach out to others..

    I am reading so many different things on the lord and am very unsure what to believe.. & if what i am enterpretting to be true is correct , i am kinda mad at God, for creating my heart to be this way, and him not like that.. all i have is sorrow . he must know what i am to chose, he is God . Thing is i go against my heart, nd feel sorrow.. & how am i supose to be happy about God and spread his word if i dont feel it myself? :'(

  • lexismexi97

    Another add on to last message <3

    The way i am thinking of God , what i read off this site, is tha God already chose who he wanted before the world was created? then why make the ppl who he knew was to go to hell..?

    He loves unconditionally, but hates people who sin and re evil? but what if someone was good, then turned evil his love changes bc your evil? but his love is unconditional and without change? idk. 

  • brucehooper111

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