Many husbands feel intimidated in their role of spiritual leadership. They find it hard to measure up to the idealistic ways spiritual leadership is described:
- read his bible for an hour a day,
- pray for half an hour a day,
- lead his family in daily one hour devotions and worship,
- pray with his spouse for 15 minutes a day,
- have regular family discussions on theology,
- the list goes on…
I have watched my husband attempt to lead his family in these ways. And I’ve watched him fall flat numerous times. As a result he became discouraged, defensive and frustrated.
At first, I was disappointed. I never voiced it, but I’m sure he felt it. As time wore on I wished he would, you know, “step it up”. Just get out that Bible and start reading out loud, were my thoughts.
Also, I’d like to have a headship more spiritual and knowledgeable in God’s word than I am.
With that thought, I started wondering “how can I biblically submit if my husband isn’t doing what he’s supposed to be doing?”
That’s when my spiritual brake lights came on and I recognized the ugly roots of bitterness and contention that had started taking place.
Here are a few things I learned in regards to the fact that spiritual leadership isn’t always cut and dried, and that I still need to honor his position as leader.
Learning to Appreciate His Leadership ~ even when it doesn’t look like I think it should.
1. If my husband doesn’t read the Bible to his children, I can.
We can read in Deuteronomy 11:19-21 how we are to present God’s word to our family.
“Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses, and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many…”
I can teach them. I can talk about them and I can put them on our walls.
There’s no argueing that having daddy read the Bible has a huge impact on children.
In my experience, while my husband doesn’t instigate deep and regular conversations about theology, when I or our children ask him a question about something in the Bible, guess what? He has the right answer! He is still prepared to give testimony pointing us toward truth and light.
2. My husband may not be as well versed in the Bible as I am, but that doesn’t make his faith or his leadership illegitimate.
He meets God in different ways than I do. He has been given a different measure of faith than I have. None of that disqualifies his walk with Christ.
My husband is an avid outdoorsman. He meets God in the treestand as much as I do over my morning coffee. He talks with God while drowning worms…err, fishing, in the same manner I do when I’m folding laundry or browning hamburger.
He takes me and our children on hunting and fishing adventures. We have had great converstaions during those times. In that, our children are learning that God is a personal God who can be reached wherever, whenever and however.
I like that they have that view of God.
3. It’s not scriptural to expect him to lead in a way that works for other men.
No, it really isn’t.
Am I suggesting we just roll over and give up? No. That is not what this is about. This is about realizing that God speaks to everyone according to their level of faith. Our husband’s need to to first nourish a relationship with God so he can then lead through the way the Spirit leads him. Let’s not get in the way of that.
Extending grace, lifting him in prayer regarding the area of his spiritual leadership, and allowing God to minister to his heart, has proven greater results than had I tried to guilt or pressure him into leading in ways I think he should.
What are some ways you have learned to encourage your husband in his spiritual leadership?