The Spiritual Leadership of a Husband, Part 2
In our last blog post we asked: So what are the requirements and purpose for a husband to be a spiritual leader?
A husband need not be a gifted leader in order to lead spiritually.
Most husbands could do something spiritual, and just that something would thrill their wives in ways that few husbands realize. A husband who authentically practices certain spiritual disciplines will qualify in the heart of a wife as the spiritual leader.
Husband, the primary purpose of your spirituality and leadership is not to please your wife.
You are to please Christ. But, there is no question two birds are killed with one stone: both Christ and your wife are pleased when you depend on Him. Conversely, when a man neglects his walk with Christ, not only does he hurt Christ and himself, he hurts his wife.
Does being a spiritual leader require a lot of work and effort? What are some reasons husbands are clueless about this or resistant to this?
Husband, a little effort on a daily basis showing your genuine dependency upon Jesus invigorates the heart of your wife (assuming your wife loves Jesus.) Few things energize a wife as much. Being a leader in this sense does not demand extraordinary leadership skills, but an authentic dependency on The Leader.
So what does a husband's dependency on Christ look like to a wife?
Before answering this, let me add that this is not about performing for your wife's satisfaction. Even if you wanted to, you will still fall short of some of her expectations.
However, if you resent her expectations and refuse to enter certain paths, you may overlook something that pays great dividends. Some of you want a happy marriage, but you are neglecting the one area--the spiritual dimension--that makes her most delighted.
So, what can a husband do spiritually? Let’s discuss this briefly.
Is there a daily time of prayer? (including with your wife)
Is there a daily time reading the Bible?
Is there a support group in which praying and sharing happens?
Is there a setting in which biblical teaching is being received?
Is there a regular portion of the resources given to God's work from each paycheck?
Is there some kind of ministry involvement?
Is there consistent effort in providing spiritual input into the lives of the children?
Is there a readiness to talk spontaneously about Jesus with believer and unbeliever?
Don't feel overwhelmed by this list--half of these can be fulfilled on any given Sunday morning.
To get practical and simple with you, attending Sunday morning worship, tithing, and teaching your child's Sunday school class can immediately take care of four of these (numbers 4,5,6, and 7).
That leaves making a list of things to pray about (#1). For instance, you have felt needs at work and in the family. Praying about those things is a good thing. That should not be wearisome to you.
Then, you can add to that a period of meditation on selected promises of Scripture that encourage you (#2). For example, what would you like to see God do in your life? Find key Scriptures related to this and meditate on them. Who isn't energized by this?
There are only two items remaining. Is there a group of guys you respect who meet a couple times a month for breakfast and who talk about Christ (#3)? You can address in those times together what you are praying about and meditating on!
As for being more spontaneous about talking about Jesus (#8), don't worry about it too much. This will take care of itself as a result of these other things.
Your wife will feel she died and ascended to heaven.
Does this list strike you as legalistic? It should only do so if your heart is not right with Christ. And, if your heart is not right with Christ, could that be why your wife is distressed?
When this list of things is neglected, your wife grows fearful.
These spiritual disciplines evidence your dependency on Christ, which frees your wife to depend on you and follow you.
When these disciplines are absent, her world gets thrown off in relationship to you. She is uncertain about following you. She second guesses.
You can tell her she ought not to do that, however God designed her as a woman to be under your spiritual leadership. She is created to respond to your initiatives, but if she feels things are not right between you and God, she can get nervous and will be hesitant to follow.
Husband, you do not have to be a gifted leader to create in your wife a desire to follow you. If she senses you are depending upon Christ she will depend upon you.
When a husband is aligned with Christ, the godly wife aligns herself with her husband.
Tranquility comes over the spirit of a wife when she sees the heart of her husband kneeling before Christ.
To put the icing on the cake, here’s one last thought.
After your wife shares her burden about your child, or her frustration at church, or her feelings of inadequacy over something, offer to pray for her. Take two minutes and pray for her out loud.
Make it a two-minute drill, like an NFL football team driving down the field. How many games are won or lost in the last two minutes?
Similarly, you can win with your wife by praying for her. If your wife has ever asked you, "Do you pray for me?" then you are married to a woman who wants this. Carry her burden up to Christ. This will mean more to your wife than the world.
So what do you think?
Questions To Consider:
Wives, what do you think a husband’s dependency on God looks like? Where do you feel your husband excels in his dependency on God? Where do you feel he could use some improvement?
Husbands, does this list strike you as legalistic or does it sound like something you should do? Do you feel there are some areas in which you could be improving?