A man who loves Jesus with all his heart and who desires to honor Him with his life can learn to lead – and lead well – even if his wife is “more intelligent intellectually” than he is. I am aware of farmers in generations past who were very godly husbands (and dads) who had only a 3rd grade education. Some of them lead their families well. I actually know of a number of couples in real life today for whom this particular dynamic works – IF a woman is willing for it to.
The key in my mind here – is that a woman is willing to let go of pride.
Can a woman say to herself, “My IQ is so much higher than his. I could never respect him”?
Of course she could. She can set her definition of respect to be anything she wants. If she believes that respect is supposed to be based on intelligence, she may refuse to respect or follow a godly man who has a lower SAT score or lower GPA than she has.
But a wife’s respect for her husband and his God-given authority are not based on his IQ score in the Bible. It is based on God’s design for marriage, for wives and for husbands. It is ultimately about her respect and reverence for God and her submission to Him. And it is about her willingness to give a particular man a place of honor and respect in her heart based on God’s design for marriage and the man’s position as her husband (or potential husband-to-be).
A husband’s leadership is not about his high intellect. It is about his heart for God and his desire to fully submit to Christ as Lord and to honor Him in everything he does and his willingness to love selflessly with God’s love. Actually, sometimes people with lower intelligence by the world’s standards have much greater faith and trust in God, not to mention, humility. Sometimes those with “higher intelligence” depend on themselves and become conceited and wander far from God.
- Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. Proverbs 3:7
- Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight. Isaiah 5:21
- Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
- Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” I Corinthians 1:26-31
For a woman to be willing to respect and honor a man’s leadership who is not as “mentally sharp” as she is, she will have to be willing to be humble and not put all of her trust in her IQ. If she is willing to trust God and honor His design for marriage, this absolutely could work and be beautiful!
The thing is, there are godly men out there who may not be the smartest, or the most handsome, or the best at flirting or the best dressed or the most wealthy – but who would be incredible husbands and who would love their wives in such a Christlike way. There are some real gems out there – if we have eyes to see them.
I pray that we might have eyes to see the way Jesus sees.
And more than that, I pray that we might become the women He desires us to be – whether we are with a man or not.