When Your Husband Isn’t Leading
When you’re the “spiritual leader” of your household, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
In one sense, you feel resentful, because you would love to have a husband who leads you and your children. You may feel jealous of other wives whose husbands are leading them well, or lonely when surrounded by husbands and wives who are serving God together.
When you run into behavior issues with your kids, or there is a breakdown in relationship with them, it’s easy to blame and feel resentful toward your husband.
On the other hand, you can get a bit of an ego boost by seeing how well you play the role. When your kids behave well, you get to pat yourself on the back. All credit goes to you for the successes.
I know both sides of this spectrum quite well.
One of the most damaging things we can do to husbands who aren’t as “far along” on their spiritual journeys as we are, is label them. When we say, “My husband isn’t the spiritual leader of our home; I am,” we are crippling him. Even if we don’t say it in his presence, our words have power. We are speaking our feelings into reality (Proverbs 18:21).
So what do we do?
Instead of focusing on what your husband isn’t doing well (and what you are doing so well), wouldn’t it be more helpful to focus on your husband’s strengths? Maybe he doesn’t lead family devotions, but does he make you coffee in the morning? Maybe he doesn’t go to men’s Bible study, but does he help your kids with their homework? Maybe he doesn’t participate in worship, or even attend church at all, but does he go to work and provide for your family?
There are certainly things he does well, if you look for them. Focus on these things.
Because you might be filling some of the roles that your husband is vacating right now, be careful to guard your heart against resentment and pride.
Humbly take on the responsibilities that the Lord puts before you in raising your children to know Him. Humbly accept that God is working on your husband, just as He’s working on you. Confidently pray and believe for breakthrough and growth!
You cannot force your husband to be the leader you are dreaming of, but you can influence him with your love. Your admiration and affection will empower him to rise up and be the man God is calling him to be.
Wife Step: Look for opportunities to appreciate your husband. Today, thank him, praise him, and acknowledge as many times as you can!
How has being the spiritual leader in your home been challenging for you?
Elizabeth Oschwald is a freelance writer, blogger, and joy-seeker. She lives in central Illinois in an ever-improving rustic farmhouse with her husband and seven children. They are a blended family, which means the journey she pictured for her life and the one she’s found herself on are definitely different. But it also means she knows firsthand how God takes broken things and makes them beautiful. She loves to write transparently about their raw and real family life, her experiences in single motherhood, and how Jesus can add joy in every season. You can connect with her at www.addingjoy.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.