One of the greatest problems facing many families today is the lack of leadership by the husband. Some husbands don’t realize that God has ordained them for this role, while others simply don’t understand how they should lead; still others simply refuse to lead. In marriage counseling I see this problem over and over again. Most of the men that I counsel do not realize that many of the serious problems that are occurring in their homes directly result from their failure to lead. It is clear that the lack of the husband’s leadership in his home will definitely create a chain reaction of marital, financial, and parenting problems. Therefore, let us consider why husbands fail to lead and how they can begin to lead their wife and family.
Why is there such a problem with men taking the lead in their homes today?
There are many reasons why men fail to lead; let me give you just a few. (1) Many times men did not see good male leadership modeled in their own homes as they grew up. (2) Some pastors do not teach about a husband’s leadership role because they fear being charged with male chauvinism. (3) Many husbands are just lazy and would rather relinquish the leadership in the home to their wives. (4) Other husbands simply give up when their wives challenge them for the leadership of the home as their wives remind them of all their poor decisions in the past. (5) Other husbands are manipulated by their wives through tears, denial of sex, or constant verbal harassment to relinquish leadership. These are just some of the reasons I have found over the years that hinder men from taking the responsibility God has ordained for them as husbands. It is essential to understand that none of these reasons are valid excuses that God would ever accept for a husband not being the leader of his home.
How can you have confidence that you are called to be the leader in your home?
Paul the apostle made it absolutely clear that the husband must take the leadership in his home when he wrote to the Ephesian church. He commanded: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Eph. 5:22-24). The word head in this passage means the chief or responsible one. Paul clearly stated the principle of a husband’s responsibility to lead his wife. Furthermore, Paul used the example of Christ as the head over the church so we would all compare our actions with His. Therefore, if you want to be a follower of Jesus; husbands, look to your Master and Teacher as the ultimate example of what true male leadership should look like.
What does it mean to take this position as leader in your home? What should you do?
1. Leading by loving. A husband’s leadership in the home must first be firmly rooted in love. Why? Love is the core principle that should govern everything you say and do. Notice what Paul told the leaders of the Corinthian Church when they needed to take the leadership of their church. Paul told them, “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love” (1 Cor. 16:13-14). Therefore, if you need to turn things around in your home you must be strong, brave, act in faith and walk in love. You can be strong and loving at the same time.
Jesus is your ultimate example of a leader. He was strong and yet tender as the circumstances required. He could drive the money changers out of the Temple but hold a child in His arms or weep over Jerusalem. Therefore, let all that you do as a husband and a leader in your home be done with strength, boldness, and with the tenderness of love.
2. Leading by initiating. The first thing love will motivate you to do is to become an initiator. Initiation is at the core of true leadership. A leader doesn’t wait for others to give him an idea; he is the instigator, the one who takes the first move. God’s love initiated a relationship with each of us and we have responded because of that love. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). Jesus was the initiator.
If you love your wife as Christ loved the church you will become an initiator in your relationship. What do I mean? You will initiate the spiritual tone in your home. You will initiate prayer and family devotions. You will be the initiator in problem solving and communication to deal with conflicts or how money is to be spent. You will initiate opportunities to spend time with your spouse. You will take the lead in these and other areas of your marriage because you are the leader. As you do your wife will come to realize, in a very practical way, how much you care about her and the well-being of your family. Your leadership will cause her to trust you.
Follow the link to read How Does a Husband Lead His Wife and Family? Part II