Many, many women struggle with the fact that their husbands don’t pick up the gauntlet to be the spiritual leader of the home as the Bible talks about.
It’s a very frustrating situation for them. This is something my husband and I struggled with for many years. My husband Steve just didn’t rise to the position of being a strong spiritual leader in our family. It was a continual matter of frustration for me as his wife. It’s something I prayed about a lot.
Pushing Him Up to be a Spiritual Leader
The Lord led me to keep going under Steve and pushing him up. I kept going under him and pushing him up. Again, I was going under him and pushing him up. I was strong spiritually, but I knew the Lord wanted my husband to grow stronger. He just needed encouragement and help in our earlier years of being Christians, to get to that place.
It took some time, and it took my backing away. It was a matter of emptying myself of my preconceived expectations on this matter. I kept looking to God to help me/us with this. It wasn’t easy, but I knew it was necessary. If my husband never did assume that position, then I needed to not judge him. It was important to let the Holy Spirit take control of all of this. I am not my husband’s Holy Spirit. God let me know that in no uncertain terms.
But what is truly amazing is that eventually, Steve became more confident in praying for us. And in time began sharing the Word with us as he grew in strength spiritually. He is now a very strong leader and I thank God for this.
Releasing this to God
It doesn’t always happen this way, as you may have seen or experienced yourself. Or maybe it will eventually, I don’t know. The important thing is to release this to God and see how He works.
Here’s some advice Greg Smalley gives (in an article titled, “He’s Not the Spiritual Leader I Wanted”). It’s something to prayerfully consider, which might also help on this issue of being a spiritual leader:
“Start by asking yourself this difficult question, ‘Do I let my husband lead?’ This could be the log in your eye.
“This isn’t about assigning blame. Your husband truly might be passive or withdrawn. His lack of leadership may result from the absence of a strong male role model growing up. It could also be that he may find it difficult to lead because of an emotional wound from childhood. Or perhaps he has an introverted personality, or some other issue. You might be a strong woman with a take-charge personality he finds intimidating, or you may unintentionally treat him like a child, make him feel incompetent, constantly question or undermine his decisions, step in or take over. Whatever the case may be, a man is often reluctant to lead because he has a wife who is reluctant to follow.
“Really reflect on this. Think about what it would look like for you to support your husband’s attempts, even if you think you have a better way to do it. Pray about this issue and search your heart for insight about your role as a follower. Then give your husband space to lead.”
Listen to God’s Promptings
Whatever is happening in your marriage, concerning this issue, I encourage you to listen to God’s promptings and be obedient to His leading. Be patient; it CAN happen! With God, all things are possible!
In the case of Deborah, the prophetess and Judge, as told about in the Bible in Judges 4, the men never stepped up to the leadership roles they were supposed to assume. As a result, Deborah had to step in. It’s just what needed to be done.
I don’t know what it is in your case, with your husband. But follow God’s lead in this.
Lastly, to help you further on this journey, you will find below links to several articles written on this subject, featured on several web sites. Hopefully, as you prayerfully read them you will find them to be inspiring and helpful, giving you another way of looking at the situation, as the Lord talks to you.
This article was written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International. If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.