Leading your wife spiritually is not as hard as you might think.
A Men Only Monday Post
It’s been a while since I’ve written a Men-Only-Monday post. As the moniker implies, these posts are for husbands. Wives can check out my Wives Only Wednesday post for your side of the equation on this topic.
Are you among the many men who feel unqualified to lead their wives and family spiritually? Do you feel like your wife has more knowledge, more insight, and more sensitivity concerning spiritual matters? If you are like most men, you aren’t going to attempt things you don’t feel you can excel at, which means that you might hold back from even trying to be the spiritual head of your family.
You don’t need a theology degree or years of biblical study to lead your wife spiritually. Don’t disqualify yourself for this vital role that God has assigned you to. The way the Bible describes spiritual headship, as with other dimensions of headship, has nothing to do with being the “spiritual boss” or being in any way spiritually superior to your wife. It doesn’t mean you need years of spiritual wisdom under your belt before you start leading.
Spiritually leading your wife is not nearly as hard as you might think it is. For the most part, it just means consistently pointing your wife to Jesus and inviting his covering over your family.
If the idea of spiritual leadership is new to you, here are three simple, easy ways to begin stepping into your God-ordained role.
Maybe you aren’t that comfortable praying out loud in front of others, maybe even with your wife. If that’s the case, just ask your wife how you can pray for her. A simple “How can I pray for you today?” text message will work great! Then do actually pray for her and let her know you did. Even this simple little step will bless her more than you know.
If you can muster your prayer courage, I would urge you to pray out loud together. Prayer builds spiritual intimacy as few other things can. If that seems too difficult for you, start just by praying together silently. Maybe conclude with the Lord’s prayer, if spontaneous prayer doesn’t come easily for you. You can also pray the “Apostolic prayers” right out of the Bible. A few examples are Ephesians 1:17-23, Ephesians 3:16-21, Colossians 1:9-14, Philippians 1:9-11, Romans 15:13. These are great prayers for when you don’t know what to pray.
2. Read, Learn & Share
Pick a book on a spiritual topic that interests you. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it is something that speaks life to you or challenges you in some way. Devotional books can be useful because they tend to be short and easily digestible. I’ll admit that I’ve never been a regular devotional reader because I prefer books that drill a little deeper into a topic, but that’s just me.
Most importantly, I encourage you to read the Bible regularly. If you don’t know where to start, you might consider a topical Study Bible. If you are looking for a life-giving translation, I suggest the Passion Translation Series. If you are new to Bible study, start with the Gospels. If you feel you have a hard time understanding what you read in the Bible, pray for revelation and understanding. The Bible says the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth (John 16:13), and He is eager to do it (Luke 11:11). Just ask.
A few times a week, as you come upon something that gives you a new insight or seems helpful to you, or when the Lord gives you a particular revelation, share it with your wife.
Your wife will feel safe and protected when she knows you are pressing into a deeper understanding of God. This is one dimension of God’s instruction to husbands to wash your wife with the water of the word (Ephesians 5:26).
3. Invite Her In
As I said, headship does not imply superiority. I describe the relationship between husband and wife as described in the Bible as an ordered partnership, where husband and wife are of equal value but willingly take on different roles to support and honor each other.
Good leaders invite the full participation of those they lead and encourage them to employ all of their talents and capabilities. So invite your wife into partnership with you as together you discover God’s heart and plans for your marriage and your family. Lean on her spiritual discernment and sensitivity to the things of the Spirit. Invite her to bring her spiritual gifting to your partnership.
Intimacy comes from being fully known and knowing you are completely loved. Spiritual intimacy is no exception. Be real, honest and willing to be vulnerable with your wife about your life in God. Invite her to do the same. It’s not a competition to see who is more spiritual. It’s about encouraging each other to walk in your God-given destinies and to grow in the knowledge of who God is.
If you are the stronger one, spiritually, never use your position to browbeat or speak harsh judgment to your wife. Rather, speak grace and truth and encourage her toward who God says she is.
Now it’s your turn. What simple tips do you have for husbands who want to take a more active role in leading their wives spiritually? Leave a comment.
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