We will be starting The Respect Dare July 1st here at peacefulwife! Get yourself a copy of the book and we will walk through it together prayerfully. I am so excited to be on this adventure with you!
BEING A LEADER IS A CHALLENGE
Being the God-given leader in a marriage is very difficult many times. It is a huge responsibility before God for a man to know that he alone stands accountable for the decisions and outcome of those decisions for his family. Particularly if a husband has a wife who is very critical, negative, angry, resentful, blaming, bitter and full of contempt for who he is as a man – being the Christlike, loving leader can be extremely difficult. Even the best leaders need cooperative followers
! It can be intimidating for a husband to try to begin leading if all he sees from his wife is rejection, disdain and hatred. For a husband’s take on why it is so difficult for men to lead sometimes, please click here
WHEN MY HUSBAND MUST MAKE A DECISION FOR OUR FAMILY:
– My feelings and desires are important factors for my husband to consider.
– It is important for me to clearly, calmly, respectfully share my point of view, my feelings, my needs, my concerns and my desires with my husband. He needs this information from me to be able to make the best decision, particularly if we don’t agree.
– My feelings and desires are not the only factors and, in my view, should not ever be the major factors in decision-making. My husband is held accountable to God for the decisions he makes. It is a relief to me to know that he loves me and cares about what I want and how I feel, but he will do what he believes is right and will most honor God. THANK GOD! I cannot tell you what a huge burden that lifts from my soul. I can tell him what I want and how I feel. But then he evaluates the situation, God’s Word, considers potential outcomes, weighs options on the scale in his mind, prays and does what he believes is best. I am so thankful that Greg seeks to please God first.
IN HINDSIGHT – I CAN SEE SO MUCH MORE CLEARLY
There were times in our marriage when I have felt SO STRONGLY that we should do something. I was CERTAIN it was “God’s will” and that what I thought was right was the “only way” things could possibly work out. My husband listened and considered my feelings and made sure I felt important to him and heard. But then he did what he thought God wanted him to do. Many times, later – I could see that my way would have caused a catastrophe. But I could only see it later in hindsight.
Speaking from my own experience – I actually wish that Greg had gently, firmly called me out on my sin all those years – my disrespect, my control, my idolatry. I believe I may have repented. Of course, I don’t know for sure! But it was not a favor to me, our marriage, my husband or our children to allow me to continue in my sin without any loving rebuke. The truth – spoken in love – that is what Jesus does. He does not ignore sin or just take it and pretend it isn’t there. He addresses it.
Now I am extremely grateful when my husband brings up any sin he sees in my life.
WAYS HUSBANDS MAY LEAD
Each husband will have his own style and priorities. My husband may not lead in the way I imagine he should. That is ok! My job is to support his leadership, honor his leadership and respect him. I can share concerns and ideas – but ultimately, he will make the decisions about how he leads. Some may be very hands off. Some may do a good bit of delegating. Some may have a very strict schedule. Some may be relaxed. Some may want the house cleaned a certain way. Some may not care much about the house. Some may pray with their wives every day, some may not. There is an infinite number of ways that men may choose to lead in their marriages and families.
What matters most is what is important to your particular husband.
I’d like us to be very careful not to place expectations on our husbands that the Bible doesn’t give for them.
We can trust God to give our husbands wisdom to lead us and our children. We can pray for our husbands in a humble, respectful way. We can ask God for His will and His glory in our husband’s lives and in our families. We can trust God in His incredible sovereignty to lead us through our sinful husbands – even if our husbands are not believers! If our husbands are not asking us to sin, God may be trying to lead us through them. God used pagan kings and armies as “His servants” to accomplish His will in the Old Testament. He holds the hearts of our husbands in His hand – and He can turn their will any way He wants them to go.
**** If your husband is violent, involved in drug/alcohol addiction, has an uncontrolled mental condition or you have SERIOUS problems in your marriage – PLEASE seek godly, experienced help ASAP! Those things go way beyond the scope of this post or my blog.
SOME WAYS WIVES CAN SUPPORT THEIR HUSBANDS’ GOD-GIVEN LEADERSHIP
- have a spirit of cooperation about your husband’s decisions and leadership
- honor his requests of you and do the things he asks of you whenever possible
- praise him for wise decisions
- thank him for being the God-given leader in the family
- speak kindly to him
- be friendly
- smile whenever you can!
- use a pleasant tone of voice
- don’t complain or argue!
- DO say what you need, how you feel, what you want in a respectful, pleasant, brief way at a time when he can best hear you
- speak in a positive way about him when he is there and when he is not with you
- pray for your husband in private – just between you and God
- make sure you get the time you need with God so you have His Spirit to empower you to be the godly wife God wants you to be
- try to get the sleep, rest, nutrition and care your body needs so that you have the energy you need to be respectful and to honor your husband’s decisions
- allow him to choose the church you attend (unless he asks you to go to a cult). It is fine to say where you want to go, but if he wants to go somewhere else, please go with him and honor his decision, thanking him for his leadership
- allow him to choose where to sit if he would like to
- don’t overcommit yourself to work, hobbies, children’s activities, church activities and ministry, make sure to keep God FIRST and your husband the next priority, then children.
- listen to your husband and take his advice often
- check with your husband before committing your time/energy/money to something
- stick with your husband’s budget
- be open to him – to his ideas, to his plans, to his dreams, to his sexual desire for you, to his emotions, to his goals, to his priorities
- appreciate the wisdom and the unique masculine perspective your husband has to offer
- use your words to give life and affirm him, not to tear him down
- support his parenting decisions, close ranks and be on his team so that the children see unity
- think of yourself as being teammates with your husband. He is not the enemy!
- make his job as leader a joyful one by being attentive, affectionate, positive, supportive, encouraging, admiring and full of joy yourself in Christ
What are some other ways wives can support their husbands as leaders in the family? I’d love to hear your ideas!
Ways Husbands Lead that Wives May Not Notice
Prayer for My Husband
It’s a Scary Thing for a Husband to Try to Lead His Wife Sometimes
How to Pray for My Husband so that God Will Hear
How to Support My Husband’s Spiritual Leadership
What is Respect in Marriage?
How to Ask Your Husband for Something so that He Wants to Say Yes!
Do Not Expect Outside Support
What is Disrespectful to Husbands?