Christian men are largely not being equipped, trained, prepared or taught this stuff – not before marriage, and usually not after marriage. WOW.
Add to the lack of leadership training the fact that many men are paralyzed by pornography, lust, addictions, video games or some type of idolatry like greed, materialism, seeking fame, popularity, the American dream – umm… no wonder we are in such a mess with our marriages, our families, our churches and our country. Satan has much of our leadership (our men) exactly where he wants it – neutralized, impotent, weak and unable to fight in spiritual battle.
They are in SERIOUS need of our prayers, ladies!
WE NEED GODLY MEN AND WE NEED THEM NOW
Our country, God’s church, our businesses, our government, our families and our marriages are in DESPERATE NEED of godly men to take a stand and lead us back toward God. We need godly women desperately, too, of course! But if we don’t have godly men to stand in the gap for our nation, church and families – we will lose our children to Satan’s snares. We need strong, godly men who will protect their children, wives and the church and teach them to stay on the narrow path that leads to life.
WHAT KIND OF EXPECTATIONS DO WIVES HAVE?
There is a really good chance that if you are a strong believer in Christ – you have a long list of high expectations for your husband to live up to in order for you to feel he is being a “godly spiritual leader.” You probably expect him to:
- pray with you every day
- have his own quiet time of Bible study and prayer daily
- pray at mealtimes out loud
- initiate and read scripture or devotions daily for the family
- have deep spiritual and scriptural discussions with you and with your children
- monitor the spiritual growth of everyone in the home and keep on top of their weaknesses
- talk with your sons about God’s design and purpose for sex when they are old enough
- handle discipline problems effectively and with godly wisdom
- balance work and home life well so that he has adequate time to pour his wisdom and knowledge and love for God into his family
- be able to quote long passages of Scripture
- know the Bible better than you do
- feel very comfortable praying out loud in groups
- want to be at church every time there is an activity
- hold leadership/teaching positions at church
These are all great things, but it can take a lot of guys many years to be able to do all of this and do it well.
WHAT IS REALITY?
Reality for most men is that they haven’t EVER led anyone spiritually before. Many of them don’t have their own faith on solid footing when they marry. Becoming a godly, Christlike leader is a process and it takes a long time. It is unfair of us to expect our men to immediately know how to do all of these things well if they have never done them before. We as wives are going to need to be extremely patient, encouraging and positive as our husbands experience a huge learning curve on this path. We need to anticipate there will be mistakes and we need to be prepared to respond with grace so that our husbands can learn from mistakes and become stronger, better, more godly leaders.
- Most husbands have zero training and preparation to lead, represent Christ to a wife, be the head of a family.
- Many husbands are uncomfortable praying out loud. Men don’t have access to words and emotions quite the same way that women do, so sometimes they can feel nervous praying out loud – especially in front of their wives.
- Many wives actually know more of the Bible than their husbands do. This can make a guy feel intimidated and like he should just leave all the Bible teaching up to his wife – especially if she acts “holier-than-thou” to him. Not being able to quote the Bible as well as his wife does not disqualify a man from his God-given position of authority, but it can shake his confidence – especially if his wife holds this over his head.
- Husbands don’t always have the same list of expectations that wives do about what it means to be a spiritual leader in the marriage and family. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong.
- Husbands will each have their own style of leadership – that is ok.
- Many wives don’t recognize their husbands’ attempts at leadership unless the husband is leading in the direction his wife wants to go. That is unfair! We can respectfully make our case and share our hearts, but husbands need our cooperation even when we may not agree – unless they are asking us to sin.
- Husbands are men. They have entirely different ways of looking at life and different priorities than women do. That is a good thing – it’s God’s design. They have wisdom that we don’t have. We have wisdom they don’t have. Both the feminine and masculine perspectives are valuable and needed in marriage to get a full picture.
- Sometimes what we as wives expect is more than the Bible actually asks our husbands to do. Our unrealistic expectations can make our husbands feel like failures.
SO HOW DOES A HUSBAND LEARN TO LEAD SPIRITUALLY?
Since our husbands probably haven’t been trained to lead – that leaves three main sources of training on the job, in my opinion.
- The Holy Spirit
- God’s Word
- his wife
There may be some godly mentors, books and resources at church. But most men don’t read books about marriage. And most men won’t go to a mentor. Yes, it would be great if they did! I pray that men will find and use all the resources available to become godly husbands who will bring great glory and honor to Christ!
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP MY MAN LEARN TO BE A SERVANT-LEADER, WHO LOVES ME AS CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH?
Women are in a POWERFUL position to be used by God to help train their husbands/future husbands to become godly leaders with servant hearts IF we learn to be wise. If you are still single, PLEASE only look for strong Christian men who desire Christ above everything else! But even the strongest godly Christian single men will thrive and grow much faster if they have a woman behind them supporting and believing in their abilities.
- I cut out the negativity, criticisms, lecturing, speeches, pouting, whining and arguing to get my way. Negativity acts as static that helps to drown out God’s voice in my husband’s soul.
- I verbally thank and admire everything I see him doing that is praiseworthy and good. My respect and praise act as an amplifier that help to magnify God’s voice in my husband’s soul. I want my husband to be able to hear God’s voice as clearly as possible!
- I make sure that I am respectful. But it has to go WAY beyond just acting respectfully toward him. He knows the difference between if I am being respectful or if I actually respect HIM – right now, as he is. He DESPERATELY NEEDS to see that I genuinely admire and respect him as a man – in spite of his flaws. He knows he is far from perfect. He needs me to accept him and have faith in him anyway.
- I show him that I trust him and have faith in him to lead.
- I get out of the way and wait on his leadership – as long as it takes. I do not jump up and take over.
- I am INCREDIBLY patient with him as he learns.
- I am content in all circumstances through Christ who gives me strength.
- I give him a TON of grace and allow him to be human and mess up and I don’t make a big deal out of it. I continue to display faith in him as a leader.
- I share my thoughts, feelings, desires, opinions, goals and dreams with him. I don’t keep that to myself. He needs that input to make the best possible decisions. He really does want to make me happy!
- I tell him my whole range of emotions – in a respectful, brief, gentle way. Knowing when I am sad, happy, afraid, upset, angry, lonely, thankful, etc… is like having a compass that helps to guide my husband in his servant leadership. My joy rewards him and reinforces his behavior, my disappointment, sadness and pain hurts him deeply and makes him want to avoid that mistake in the future.
- I have to be Spirit-filled to do this stuff! I must cling to God and ultimately put my trust and faith in my BIG GOD to work through my sinful husband for my best.
(PS – if you are dealing with an abusive man, please find godly, experienced help ASAP! A serious situation like that goes beyond the scope of my blog.)